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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 28, 2008 12:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Quotation of the Day. The next post in this blog is Card shark nephew update. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gettin' bugged drivin' up and down the same old strip

One of the joys of being an academic in the summer is a great deal of freedom in one's daily schedule. This flexibility makes it possible for us to leave our car parked and get around using other means, if that's what we feel like doing. After last Sunday's car-free day up at Peninsula Park, we've been in the mood to travel around town on a bicycle and on Tri-Met this week. It's worked out pretty well.

Our motivations are threefold. First, we're cheap, and for the moment at least, the bus is a little less expensive for us than the car. Second, it's been a long spring of sitting, and we need to get back in shape any way we can; biking and walking aren't as good for that as running, but they definitely help. Third, it's been a while since the weather invited us out onto the sidewalks, but lately it's been calling to us loud and clear.

Now, we're fortunate enough to live near two bus lines that connect us to the world -- no. 9 and no. 33. Both are part of the spokes in the system that run downtown to the transit mall. But lately we've been showing up on some other lines as well. The other day, we were heading over to Higgins for lunch, and when we consulted trimet.org for advice on when to be at the bus stop, surprisingly it told us to switch to the no. 6 at Broadway and MLK. We did so, our connection worked, and we were dropped off virtually at the door of our lunch destination. This saved us about a six-block walk up to Broadway from the transit mall on Third, which wouldn't have been bad, but it was interesting to us how close the system could get us to the end point of our trip.

We tested the system's mettle again last evening, when we called upon it to get us to a friend's house in Northwest Portland for dinner. Again, trimet.org pointed us to an option we had never before considered -- the no. 77. This route is suddenly our favorite of them all. It runs down NE Broadway toward the river, makes a loop through the Rose Quarter transit center, crosses the Broadway Bridge, and then, miraculously, does not head downtown. It zigs around by Union Station, and makes its way through the Pearl and Northwest along a side street (I think it's Northrup). At 23rd, it makes a right and heads north. We jumped off at 23rd and Overton -- two and a half blocks from our buddy's place. Glorious early evening ride, and our walk westward into the sun in a brisk summer breeze was dreamy.

We really prided ourself as an urban guerilla when, during our five-minute wait between the 9 and the 77, we ducked into Great Wine Buys on Broadway and bought a bottle of high-class wine to bring to the soiree.

Coming back home late at night would have been a different kind of adventure -- we were prepared to walk all the way back if the bus schedule or the character of our fellow passengers didn't suit us -- but we caught a ride in a car from another guest. Which was also cool.

Meanwhile, we made a nice discovery on the bicycle yesterday. We were going down to Ladd's Addition, and we were determined to do it on the bike. To go by bus would have forced us downtown, which would have been a waste of time. So the bike it would be.

Planning a southbound jaunt like that requires us to decide where we're going to cross the Banfield Freeway. The usual options for us are 21st and 28th. For Ladd's, 21st is the ticket. But then what? 20th Avenue is the busy street down into southeast, and we've never been comfortable on that stretch (although many bikers do use it).

We dug around a little and pulled out the handy-dandy bike map that the city had mailed us a few years ago. Therein we found the solution. Once over the Banfield, go west on Irving, then south on 16th all the way to the heart of Ladd's. Sure enough, both streets were fairly welcoming to cyclists, and they provided a nice route to our errand of the afternoon. (16th and Irving has an on-ramp to the Banfield, however -- worth knowing in advance.) The roses in Ladd's, of course, are a tonic to see, and the whole vibe in there was a happy one under the impossibly blue sky.

Riding a bike is not a stress-free way to get around Portland. You spend most of your time watching out for hazards of all sorts. You're vulnerable up there. But you're getting there under your own power. It's free -- not even a bus ticket. And depending on where you're going, you can get there safely and fairly quickly on two wheels.

Next week we've got some moves to make that will definitely require that we start up the car. But for any that can be done by other means, we're up for the other means.

Comments (5)

This time of year it is possible to use a bike for many trips. Was grocery shopping at Trader Joes a couple weeks back and filled by backpack with the goods. We're fortunate enough to be able to do that living in close-in PDX, I realize that.

I've been commuting by bike/Max for several years now to my job. It can be hazardous at times dealing with traffic. I find a handle-bar mounted rear-view mirror to be invaluable for staying out of the way of oncoming cars. I try to stay on streets that have bike lanes, or neighborhood streets that are not major thoroughfares. I only occupy the traffic lane when there is no other safe alternative. It pisses off some drivers - but I'd rather that than get squashed by some careless driver. Stay safe, watch out for your loved ones.

I imagine 16th is one of the "bike boulevards." The city doesn't do a very good job of publicizing them. They are usually a side street paralleling a main thoroughfare by a block or two. They usually have some speed bumps or circles and very few stop signs along the route, so it's smooth and safe sailing on such a street. Unfortunately, the bike maps don't mention them and you only can find them by looking for white dinner-plate-sized circles painted on the street. In my neck of the woods, Clinton, Harrison, Salmon, Ankeny and 34th are all bike boulevards. I think Tillamook is a bike boulevard, too.

The map I have makes it pretty clear. And yes, there are those bike circles in the pavement on 16th, just as on Tillamook.

ByCycle.org provides bicycling trip maps similar to GoogleMaps driving directions. It really is awesome.

Navigating the site is a little wunky, but the biking directions are pretty good.


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If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
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The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
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Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 212
At this date last year: 60
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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