Friday, July 28, 2006

Bike Route and Comments on BIke Commuting.

There are probably better maps. This one is from the Clark County page of the WA State bike site.

I tried to map out a route from home to the Kaiser Interstate campus in Portland for an appointmnet today; maps were not detailed enough to come up with a safe and reliable route. Tried Barnes & Noble at Jantzen Beach & didn't find much either. The problem is getting across the Columbia on the I-5 bridge (I know it can be done, there is a path) then probably to the light rail line from Jantzen Beach. Once on the light rail, the rest is easy.

Most of the bike info at the book store was about touring, not commuting. Same as most of the bikes & accessories. I dont need 30 speeds and ultralight frame. I dont need trail-quality shocks and super rugged frame, either. I need low maintenance, reliability, simplicity, comfort, and a moderately resilient frame. It's difficult to find that combination. Also, a simple way to carry work papers and clothes/food for work (a small covered Rubbermaid bin and bungi cords seem best for that purpose)

One of the most important parts of bike commuting is planning ahead. Since I ca't ride in work clothes / cant work in bike clothes, it means either carrying clean clothes to work, or storing some there. I don't get to leave work for meals, so there is also a need to keep food at work. (Even if I could leave, the local fare is McDonald's and similar ilk, expensive bad nutrition). So, on driving days, I carry clothes and food. I have a refridgerator in my office to store a few days of food. If there are meetings away from my usual work place, I'm stuck - I have to drive. If I work split location (part day one location, part day another), then I have to drive.

My estimate is that I can bike 2-3 days per week. I used to go in on my "day off" to work, but now have a home computer connection and can telecommute on those days (no commentary here on the issue of working on my "day off" and how I feel about that). So, about the best that I can do is reduce driving to 1-2 days per week - still, not bad.

Anyway, the route from home to work has a number of alternative streets, and this is a start at putting some variety into the commute.

I will try not to fall off and break any more ribs.

I agree with the legend below. Stay away from brown areas and be very careful around red. Mostly I stick to blue and green.

Blue = high bike level of service.
Green = moderately high bike level of service.
Orange = low level bike level of service, requires skill.
Red = Caution area.
Brown = failed bike level of service, use extreme caution

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