Tuesday, May 8, 2007

White city via Hwy. 62

Today, I made the run to White City via hwy 62. Starting out on Coker Butte, I headed north on 62, then turned left on Agate, then up to Antelope. Left on Antelope to 3rd, right on Third to Ave. C, the left on C to the college.

All in all, the route was decent. The bike lanes on Crater Lake Highway definitely need to be swept more often, since most of the debris ends up there. The interesting thing was that as you get closer to White City, the cleaner the lane got.

The main problem with the commute lays with Antelope, by the lumber mills. All the lumber trucks taking that route all day every day means that there is an inordinate amount of crap in the bike lane. There's wood chips, rocks and everything else. I found myself in the traffic lane to save my tires, and that isn't a really good place to be, especially on Antelope, because of said lumber trucks that blow through there at upwards of 50 mph.

The main attraction to the route is the trip back. On the last hill, I managed to get into my highest gear and make up up to 32.4 mph on the downslope from the old Shenandoah's to Coker Butte.

All-in-all, it was a mostly flat commute with very little in the way of steep hills. The hills that were there rarely required a downshift from my standard riding gear, and they only slowed me down by about 1 mph. Total time: 26 minutes, one way. Total Mileage: 5.7 miles. Average speed: 15.3 mph.

Route Safety: **

Route efficiency: ***

Route hill grade :****

Mechanical Damage Potential: Moderate

Ratings are 5 stars - 1 star being unsafe, inefficient, and difficult grade, 5 stars being very safe, very efficient, and very easy grade.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Some technical info

So, since I haven't really had anywhere to go lately, I've been hanging around the house tinkering with the bike.

Here's my baby....

As I said earlier, it's a Cannondale Adventure 400 touring bike with 24 speeds, front and seat shocks, and mostly Shimano components. The trunk bag is pretty standard and has my spare tube, "fix-a-flat for bikes," a compressed air insta-flator, a first aid kit, an extra lock and chain, my multi tool, my light system, and an emergency power bar.

I usually commute with my two Axiom Journey series Mackenzie panniers. They hold most of my stuff pretty well, but I'm looking to upgrade because eventually, I would like to tour a little around Oregon...once I get my butt in shape.

I also have a couple collapsible fabric baskets for the back rack, and the large black thing on the handlebars is a front basket mount for when I do the grocery thing.

Some things I'm looking at in the future are a Nomad trailer so I can haul a few more groceries and a new lighting system for the front, something dual-beam.

That's all for this post, until next time.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The first post

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one turn of the pedals.

So also a journey of a thousand words begins with a single keystroke.

Welcome to Bike Medford. Hopefully, you've stopped by because you're either a kindred spirit, braving the concrete and asphalt jungle that is the road system in Medford; or you're curious about what sort of person takes his life in his own hands every day as he makes his way to work.

Either way, welcome. You'll find here, in these pages, a chronicle of my experiences with commuting by bicycle. Some posts will be what I've learned, some will be rants, some will be helpful advice, some will be routes, and still others will be about advocacy, since, in my opinion, Medford can use quite a bit more.

For starters, here's a little about me. I currently live at the north side of Medford, almost to White City, around near the Hertz Car Sales on Crater Lake Ave. I commute to school at Rogue Community College Table Rock Campus on Ave. C in White City (a distance of about 5.7 miles one way), and to work at Providence Medical Center (about 2.5 miles one way). I realize for all you old-time cyclecommuters out there that this isn't really a long distance, but it is a starting point.

This will be my third summer commuting to work, my second commuting to school (although the first was to Riverside Campus in Downtown Medford), and my first in all-weather. I have recently upgraded my vehicle to include fenders so I can ride more, even in rain.

Currently, I'm riding a Cannondale Adventure 400 hybrid touring bicycle with a rear rack, trunk bag and panniers.

For the pictures that I take, I'm using a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT 8.1 megapixel digital SLR camera. This is a learning experience about both photography and bicycling.

Feel free to look around a little. There's not much here yet, but there will be.