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October 29, 2008

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interesting you got the bird in the village, usually they are fairly bike friendly in that area.

WTF!!!??? Why did the Soccer Mom flip you off??? Yikes! I guess you can't expect "everyone" to be cool in any place though. Hopefully you're just meeting the assholes first off to get them outta the way.

ALERTO, ALERTO!!!... Sarah Palin wantabe in Mulnomah Village!

Dang, that sucks. I sincerely hope y'all can make the move into Portland proper, ASAP. If you ever want to visit the wilds of Northern PDX, I'm happy to show you around. We can have a Big Dummy meet up. :)

i live in SE portland (sellwood, to be precise), have read your blog for a while, and was tickled to hear you'd be moving here. i was pleased you'd get to experience the cycling scene portland's famous for. most of my riding is in SE, so i can't speak from a lot of experience (Lynne can, maybe) over there, but i'm really shocked that you're being treated so shabbily. especially with your daughter on the back of your bike!

i want to apologize for SW portland. it's consistently ranked as the least bike-accessible part of town, but that's no excuse. it really does get better once you cross the river. though i'm surprised to hear about multnomah village...

a word of warning about the sellwood bridge, since i noticed you rode down through riverside yesterday and might be tempted to try to cross over it: it's awful for bikes. truly. the best place to cross is the hawthorne bridge, by far. second best, but further north, is the steele bridge.

once a month, a group of portland cargo bike enthusiasts meets over on SE 7th and hawthorne at the lucky lab pub. you might have to ask martina directly when the next one is; she's the unofficial group "leader". we're aiming to actually go out for a ride together one of these days. we'd love to see you and your family and your big dummy!

OMG we must, MUST help you move to the east side very asap!

Most of my west side riding has been farther out in the country (Forest Grove, North Plains) and I haven't encountered anything like that. Really sorry you had to deal with that AND a ferocious flat on the same ride. But from the photos it looks like you had the best of company and a good time anyway.

Keep at it, you'll get where you wanna be.

I'm pretty surprised about your experience in Multnomah Village as well, which, by the way is in Portland. Your place is like the very easternmost edge of Beaverton. The Lucky Lab in Multnomah Village (pub) is a good place to hang out, as well. If you get further east (through the neighborhoods by a route I don't know), you can take Terwilliger over the hills down into Portland. Nice views to the east from there as well. But for general, everyday riding everywhere, SE is probably more suited. Much flatter, as well. The geography of SW PDX just does not help...

Wow, that's awful. Occasionally, as we go about our carfree lifestyle, we think, "we should move to Portland." We hear all the time that Santa Fe is a bad place to ride a bicycle, and Portland is the place to be. I have to say, though, in over twenty years bicycling here, I've never had anybody yell obscenities at me or flip me off. Occasionally, a car full of rowdy teens yell, "get on the sidewalk," but that's about it.

I hope your experience is just that initial karmic blip we sometimes face when we get something new that we think is going to be great.

Like the time I bought Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, the one with the big rubber strips in them to prevent flats, because I had spent an entire spring getting mysterious punctures the slime wouldn't seal, and the day after I put them on, I had a nail drive all the way into my tire.

So I hope that's the situation, and it will soon be all good.

Youch. I echo the sentiments of shock and embarrassment others shared above.

For what it's worth, I commute through Beaverton daily (further west of where you were), and I've never had any problems, much less obscenities. Well, there was one time when a car full of (sorry for the cliche) white trash yelled something at me while I took the lane once, but I had no idea what they said. I also frequently ride my daughter into school (she's on a Burley Piccolo tag-along). No problems there either.

So I'm inclined to believe the Schwalbe Marathon Plus theory noted above. Or maybe it was a weird cosmic blip where people were channeling Karl Rove, W, and Sarah P, or some combination of the above.

By the way, welcome to the area! I especially enjoy your tales of adventure with Chloe.

Now that you actually have first hand Portland hillage experience, you may start to discover a sick kind of fondness for the stuff. If so, here's something to dream about - or perhaps the stuff of nightmares. I did it this last spring. Wow.
http://www.dmroth.com/ronde_08/ronde_08_flyer.jpg

That Ronde 08 route is sick. First of all, it should not start at a brew pub, rather it should end there. And for that matter, why all that scurrying about in the hills like a route out of a Family Circus cartoon, when you can ride straight there and still have enough strength left to lift a pint or two? Seriously though, that is one extreme ride.

PS: Your bad experience with rude motorists was pretty unusual for the areas you were riding in. I wouldn't let it bother you too much. Most Portlanders are pretty laid-back and polite, but occasionally the Republican welcome wagon committee pokes its nose out of its dark, grumpy burrow.

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