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  1. #1
    ride for a change modernjess's Avatar
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    Worst Day of the year ride cancelled.

    Portland, the #1 biking city in America has cancelled "The Worst Day of the Year" ride due to bad weather. As a Minneapolitan, I'm just going to let you make your own jokes.

    http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-31223-permalink.html


    (I know this isn't really specifically about commuting, sorry mods.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Hah!

  3. #3
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    the irony is overwhelming.

    i'm wondering... is it an annual event? and if so do they always call it off on account of bad weather, just for laughs?

  4. #4
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    It is an annual event. It is supposed to coincide with the wettest, windiest, coldest day. As luck would have it, the weather on the day of the ride is more often decent than not.

    The OP is only partly correct about the ride being cancelled. There are two "Worst Day" rides - one is 45 hard miles over some of the steepest climbs in the Portland area, the other is 15 easy miles meandering around town.

    They had to cancel the 45 mile hill ride because, obviously, sending thousands of cyclists up and down 15% grades covered with slick snow and/or ice is a recipe for serious injuries.

    The 15 mile around town "Worst Day" ride is on - no cancellation.
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  5. #5
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I found it amusing while watching the Weather Channel today when they talked about how bad it was. They had a chart with record snowfalls,and IIRC the worst before this was like 6". Even DC can handle that.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    They had to cancel the 45 mile hill ride because, obviously, sending thousands of cyclists up and down 15% grades covered with slick snow and/or ice is a recipe for serious injuries.
    .
    Hey, that sounds like my (9 mile) commute! Oh wait, I drove my 4WD Toyota yesterday and telecommuted today... I have about a foot here.
    Ed Miller
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I found it amusing while watching the Weather Channel today when they talked about how bad it was. They had a chart with record snowfalls,and IIRC the worst before this was like 6". Even DC can handle that.
    How hilly is DC?
    Everyone hates your lights. Throw them away & buy something civilized.

  8. #8
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    How hilly is DC?
    Very. I live at about the second highest point and had serious hills to get back and forth to work. I think we can match anything in Seattle.

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  9. #9
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Well, freezing rain started Saturday afternoon and by Saturday night the roads were ice, either smooth or rutted depending on prior car traffic. Freezing rain continued overnight and by Sunday morning (today) the ice on all the smaller streets was super slick like a skating rink. I went out on a MTB with knobbies aired down to 30 psi, and the roads were essentially not rideable. I stayed upright, came back with the groceries, but it was very very tricky. The main roads were ruts of broken up ice chunks, maybe a bit less nasty to ride on, but still dangerous. I didn't see a single other cyclist.

    The Worst Day Ride was cancelled in its entirety. Much too dangerous to put on a group ride.

    There was an impromptu alternative ride for the hardcore with studded tires and/or fatbikes. I haven't heard how many people went on that one. The bike shop that organized/hosted that ride was probably a little nervous.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    Hey, that sounds like my (9 mile) commute! Oh wait, I drove my 4WD Toyota yesterday and telecommuted today... I have about a foot here.
    Did you take that 15 degree slope on an inch of ice?

    The dinglefruit who claim that their city does not shut down after an ice storm are talking pure horse manure. I lived in chicago for a few years and that city was a freaking ghost town after a major ice storm.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  11. #11
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    Major ice on streets still to be rolled on out here in the slummy outskirts of Portland, Oregon.

  12. #12
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Did you take that 15 degree slope on an inch of ice?

    The dinglefruit who claim that their city does not shut down after an ice storm are talking pure horse manure. I lived in chicago for a few years and that city was a freaking ghost town after a major ice storm.
    Good grief no. The ice at my place was forming on top of 18" of snow, so it wasn't really dangerous in a slippery way. I didn't go anywhere until today. In a day or two I need to drive my bicycle commute route to see how it's doing, as I doubt it's been plowed and at one point it goes higher than my house. Maybe I can ride again by Thursday or Friday.

    Ice in western Oregon is nasty. 32 degrees, wet, that's about as slick as it gets.
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  13. #13
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Outsiders who drive in Vancouver, BC are often very critical of how slow the locals drive when it snows. But I have this theory: I think that most of the car crashes (I hesitate to call them "accidents") that happen in a Vancouver snowfall are caused by drivers from the east (the interior of BC, the prairies, easterners in general) who don't understand that the west coast snow is a very wet snow. (I find that snow "wetness" is something only skiers understand, because you have to wax for humidity as well as temperature). Wet snow is very slippery. Dry snow, which falls in the interior regions, on the other hand, is very dry. It's much easier to drive in dry snow, as you're not slipping as much.

    So I'm not surprised that a west coast event would be snowed out. It really can get quite treacherous in some of the weird snow conditions we sometimes get, in an environment where it doesn't snow enough that accommodations are made for the more marginal conditions which might be quite commonplace in the east.

    And if you want to talk about slippery conditions, try driving in California when it snows! They don't even salt or sand their roads like they do in the Pac NW! (At least not on the roads I had driven on!).

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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Snow? Its gone , back to Rain , Today ..

  15. #15
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Snow? Its gone , back to Rain , Today ..
    Lots of loose pea gravel on the roads though. Not fun on two wheels, so beware.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Consularrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I found it amusing while watching the Weather Channel today when they talked about how bad it was. They had a chart with record snowfalls,and IIRC the worst before this was like 6". Even DC can handle that.
    No we can't, my bet is that WS Pax will close us on Thursday and probably into Friday.

  17. #17
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Snow? Its gone , back to Rain , Today ..
    The snow is gone everywhere except the places where it was piled in large quantities by plows. That is, the bike lanes still have plenty of snow.

    I told a friend that people in Minnesota would point and laugh about the Worst Day of the Year ride being cancelled, but that's life. The T-shirts say "Cold, windy and raining? A perfect day for a ride." They make no mention of snow.

  18. #18
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I found it amusing while watching the Weather Channel today when they talked about how bad it was. They had a chart with record snowfalls,and IIRC the worst before this was like 6". Even DC can handle that.
    The thing is, when it only snows one day a year and 6" brings talk of "record snowfall" the counties don't have any significant snow removal equipment.

    This is Portland's snow removal equipment:


  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consularrider View Post
    No we can't, my bet is that WS Pax will close us on Thursday and probably into Friday.
    Wow,must be nice to get a snow day. When I was at NGA,our emergency weather plan was me putting on the studded tires and trekking in.

    It really isn't that bad around here unless there's a genuine Snowmageddon. I'd actually say the sidewalks are in much worse shape than the roads.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The snow is gone everywhere except the places where it was piled in large quantities by plows. That is, the bike lanes still have plenty of snow.

    I told a friend that people in Minnesota would point and laugh about the Worst Day of the Year ride being cancelled, but that's life. The T-shirts say "Cold, windy and raining? A perfect day for a ride." They make no mention of snow.
    To be fair to our PNW brethren, most Minnesota bike commuters take the winter off. Of those that claim to ride "all year", there are a fair number that skip quite a few days in winter. Yesterday the temp rose into the 20's and I saw probably 3 times as many bike commuters as I've seen in weeks.

    If Minneapolis were to hold a "Worst Day of the Year" race, and it actually turned out to be the worst day of the year, allowing the race to go on could have some dire consequences.

    Probably the closest thing we have is the "Stupor Bowl" which is more of an all-day alley cat. This year it was February 1st. It would be held regardless of the weather I'm sure but as you can probably tell from the name, safety isn't the number 1 consideration.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 02-13-14 at 10:13 PM.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Huffandstuff's Avatar
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    I am a Portlander and I like to laugh at the worst day of the year ride being cancelled but I do agree with it, I rode 15 miles on Saturday around noon and it was beyond awful on anything that wasn't a major street. I tried to take the eastbank esplanade and had to walk from just about belmont bridge to the steel. Granted I was on a rigid 26" MTB but we don't need fatbikes here.

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