Tag Archives: weather

Biking to School in the Rain (don’t be a wimp, mom)

IMG_2358We woke this morning to the sound of raindrops pounding the roof and splashing the windows. So hard to accept after the lovely sunny and warm weekend. Yesterday we were at the beach and there were kids in their skivvys playing in the sand and dipping their tiny toes in the Sound. We slathered on sunscreen and sat in the sand eating pizza and drinking beer out of plastic cups (and talked about how summer had arrived).

And today we woke to rain. Really? On day one of Bike to School Month? Can’t we catch a break?

I was ready to ditch the bike-to-school-plan and walk instead. (We only live 5 blocks from school, it’s easier to walk). But we _are_ the organizers and during Bike to School month, we ride. Continue reading

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Everybody talks about the weather but no one…

A wet trip homeIt was raining so hard when I got up Wed. morning I didn’t ride my bike to work.

Don’t worry, I still got there on the Xtracycle, but like most days, I found it made more sense to take my time getting underway.

My morning (many mornings, in truth) went something like this: I got up. It was raining. Had my Grapenuts and coffee with the kids. Raining. Helped them get ready. Raining. Said goodbye to the kids. Still raining. Shower? Yep, still raining.

Yet 10 minutes later I was on my way to work dressed in my normal (non-bike) clothes, rain gear safely stowed in the Xtracycle Freeloader. Rain-gear optional is a a pretty usual way for me to roll (and maybe the reason I can still justify owning my hideously ugly purple/pink/black, 18 (!) year-old REI Turismo jacket/pants

I’m not saying all this to sound like a total time-challenged-douche-bag-schedule-slouching-weather-rock-star or something—though if you got soaked yesterday you might think  I sound like one of those. Nah, I just want to share my two simple tools (well, three if you count the merino wool and four if you count fenders, but everyone knows that one, right?)  for staying dry this winter. Continue reading

Our Hood Ornament Girls are Ready for Spring

Our girls got spring outfitsOur girls got spring outfitsSpring has sprung in a typical Seattle way these past weeks, one day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next it’s 50 and raining. We’re not putting our winter clothes away any time soon.

However, my daughter decided last week that our girls were getting a little hot in their winter wear and they were ready for spring. The dolls’ outfits were not at all appropriate on sunny days. They got outfit changes last week. They are definitely ready for spring now!

Even if we changed them too soon, they are just dolls, they’ll be just fine.

– Anne

Transportation Forum + Bike to Work/School Kickoff

I love commuting with my wife

I love commuting with my wife

Friday is a big day.

We kick off Bike to Work month (Tim) and Bike to School month (Anne and the kids).  I’m pretty sure we’ll be blessed with clear (or at least dry) skies, so don’t delay the start of your commute season. Remember, this is Seattle—the weather can only get worse as we get closer to June.

If you find yourself downtown with a spare hour around lunch time, I’d recommend checking out the Forum, TOWN HALL: Visioning the Puget Sound Region’s Transportation Future. It’s part of their ongoing Friday Forums series:

Transit demand continues to skyrocket while operating revenues are plummeting.  How do car sharing, walkable and bike-friendly communities, and transit work together to form a new vision for transportation?

You’re even bring your lunch so if your schedule can swing it—unfortunately, mine can’t— please share any good takeaways. From over here in the cheap seats, it looks like an interesting collection of speakers will be covering some major ground.

WHEN:Friday, May 1st, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
WHERE:
Bertha Landes Knight Room, Seattle City Hall (on 5th Ave.between Cherry and James St.)

More info at the Transportation Choices Coalition website.

-Tim


A chill in the air? Get studs for your tires

Seattle’s once-yearly cold snap has me thinking traction. Sure, so far things have been pretty darn easy. Aside from the University Bridge (no, apparently they _don’t_ read the blog), the roads have been in great shape.

But the weather folks tell me this won’t last.We’re supposed to get some snow tonight and maybe tomorrow. Then they tell us to expect the teens to the low 20s (in Seattle!) for a few days, followed by more white stuff.

That’s tempting me to up the ante in the grip department. Studded tires are a logical choice, but hard to justify for two or three days a year. Even if I wasn’t such a cheap bastard, by the time I got around to ordering them it would be 50 and raining.

So what’s a tightwad with a hankering for traction to do?

DIY of course. Chains seem pretty nifty, but the process is kind of  high maintenance, even for me. That leaves self-studding as my only option. You don’t need me to point you to a studding tutorial — the interwebs are loaded with them. Totally cool studding videos are in shorter supply. Luckily, the Google delivers with this awesome video from Finland:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Even Anne, who doesn’t give a rip about studded tires,  watched the whole thing. It kind of makes you wanna grab the cordless drill and a beer, huh? If I don’t get snowed in tomorrow, I think I’ll head to Tacoma Screw for some #6  pan-head screws and give it a whirl.

Do you have some studding plans or experience ? (I can’t imagine what our Google search referrers are going to look like after this post). Let us know how it goes.

-Tim

Dear SDOT: A little Sand on the Univ. Bridge, please

The only stretch of ice on the whole commute

Day: The only stretch of ice on the whole commute

Glare Ice on the Bike Path

Night: University Bridge: Glare Ice on the Bike Path

To my friends at Seattle DOT,

If, by chance, you happen to read this little blog before heading out Tuesday morning,  I’d first like to mention how much me and my bike commuting buddies appreciate the great job you did clearing the University Bridge deck Monday morning. It was cold but you were out there working it.

Thanks!

With that out of the way, do you mind if I ask a small favor? Is there any chance that you could pretty-please finish the North and South approaches to the deck? It’s very slippery, especially at night.

I know it may not seem like there are many riders out right now, but you’d be surprised: I think more than a few of us would benefit from such an effort.

Keep up the good work!

-Tim

PS: I used your online contact form to report this issue, but it said I’d hear a response in 10 days. I figure it will be 55 F and raining by then, so this venue will have to do.

Improve Your Chances of a Dry Commute with Hourly Forecast

hourly forecastThis time of year, the weather is pretty predictable in Seattle. More often than not, it’s gonna rain. Sometimes we get a break from the rain–maybe just a few clouds, maybe even some sun. To help us figure out the best time to head out on our bikes, Tim and I both use the  Hourly Forecast on AccuWeather.com. Continue reading

Enough with the rain, already

Heavy rain in June?We thought we were done with the rain for a few months. After our horrible winter, we thought the worst was over. A few weeks ago it was 90 degrees for a couple of days. We enjoyed some nice evening rides, we got out our window fans, cleaned the deck and stocked the fridge with Mojito supplies. Mmmm–Tim makes a mean mojito.

But we were wrong, so wrong. Friday it was 50 degrees and raining, it even snowed in the mountains a few days ago. I finally had to turn the heat back on because the kids won’t get out of bed in the morning. And our mojito drinking days will have to wait. Continue reading

You know how we said spring had sprung?

Lovin' the Late April Snow

Um…. I think we might have been a bit premature.

I got really wet both directions on Friday. I had rain gear but it was not raining when I left so I thought I’d risk it. On the way home I thought “what are the odds that it will start raining on two trips in a row.” I didn’t think to ask about the odds of snow.

Of course by the time I decided it was probably prudent to gear up, it no longer mattered. It’s only water, right?

-tim

Seattle Weather Smackdown: Spring Edition

Spring-Rain-RideWho would have thought—rain, sleet, and snow—all on the same ride? Well, maybe in January, but not on March 26th!

Sheesh, it was a wet, cold, and lonely night out there. Not a bit like last week when I enjoyed a lovely spring ride in the company of a backpack-clad fellow commuter all kitted out in Broadmark Capital gear.

As he spun along on his unencumbered rain bike he couldn’t help but comment on me and my Clampett-size load of crap:

“You sure ride with a lot of stuff.”

Continue reading