23 February 2012

Progress in PDX, Beervana, the City of Roses, Stumptown and/or Rip City (pick your favorite Portland nickname)

I had another wet commute to UBI up North Williams this morning.  It is really great to be commuting on a bike path and then with wide, safe bike lanes (and special bike signals at a few intersections) every morning.  I was surprised to see that there are plans to make the North Williams bike lanes EVEN BETTER than they are now, because of perceived "bike-bus conflict" at some points.
An example of the "bike-bus conflict" on North Williams, as bus stops require crossing the bike lane.
I've experienced the "bike-bus conflict" and it is nothing like what I come up against daily in Tokyo.  But I guess it is enough to scare some inexperienced, more cautious, slower or older riders.  Portland does a great job of making bicycle commuting feel safe enough that even people who don't normally ride in the streets and who are worried about traffic will come out.  This is crucial if the city is to meet its goal of having 25% of trips in the city by bicycle in the year 2030.  Portland's 2011 bicycle count statistics were released yesterday, and year-round (including the ugly weather months), 15% of all daily travel across four major bridges was by bicycle. And apparently this number would have been even higher but for construction on one of the bridges.  Imagine what it must be like in the summer when the weather is spectacular.  80% cyclists out on the road in Portland wear helmets, and over 31% are women.

As for my frame and framebuilding class, the main welding is done ... with a lot of help on the stays from the instructors (the seat stays in particular are way beyond my competence at this point).  Tomorrow we do the braise-ons -- the seat stay bridge, cantilever brake bases, cable stops, water bottle and rack bosses.
A wheel goes in as part of checking alignment after welding the chain stays this morning, before adding the seat stays.  Everything is straight.
The seat stays were tacked and ready to weld by early afternoon.
Meanwhile, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is coming up next week, and there will be eighteen (18) members of the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association exhibiting there, according to an article in Bike Portland.  As Dominic (aka Dave) pointed out to me a few days ago, there will be a "show me yours" pre-show event in Portland on Friday evening downtown, so I may be able to see some of the NAHBS bikes without going to Sacramento ... as a few of the students in my class apparently plan to do.

Tuesday night I took my mom to dinner at an excellent vegan restaurant in her neighborhood (Portobello).  It has been open for 4 years, but she had never made it there before. All the waitresses had tattoos (quite nice ones, to the extent they were visible) and piercings and were charming.  The beet tartare was delicious.  (That's right, beet, not beef).  The restaurant was in a little row of shops that included the micro brew pub, tattoo parlor, vegan restaurant and coffee house that I have come to recognize as a kind of standard combination in this city.  Sometimes there is also a bike shop.  This time there was a hair salon instead.
Citybikes' repair shop, a coop (employee owned) shop on Ankeny Street in near-in Southeast Portland, on a major (bicycle) commuter route.  About 2 blocks away is Universal Cycles, which opens 6AM weekdays, and offers free coffee for (bicycle) commuters.  Head a bit south to River City Bicycles.  There are lots of other shops nearby.
Today for lunch I went to the Che Cafe, a food cart across from UBI, and had some very good mac cheese with chicken.  I think this was the first time it has opened up since I started to frequent the 3900 block of North Williams last week.  Maybe it was open because of the nice, warmer and partly sunny midday weather.  I still needed to slip on my rain pants for the start of the ride home today.

1 comment:

Sam@cleanespresso.com said...

I've just found your site. Are you building your own bike? That's amazing!! I tend more towards road cycling, but that's really cool. I'd need a lot more coffee to be able to pull that off! :)