Saturday, September 7, 2019

Epic Barlow Road Mt Hood Wilderness ride over 3-day weekend

I'm a big fan of rides that you can get to from your doorstep, and this is a fantastic one!  You can take advantage of the TriMet line 30 (in blue in my map) to whisk you out of town to the very edge of the Mt Hood National Forest.

Travel Oregon calls it the Abbot Barlow Pioneer, but it's the wilderness riding that stands out to me.  It takes advantage of so-called "roads" that form boundaries between designated wilderness areas (you can't ride a bike in the wilderness areas). Luckily these are not paved, or even passable by cars for the most part.  Only bikes, dirt bikes, and hikers can complete the Abbot Rd portion of this journey.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Options exist for protected bike lanes

 Paint is not Protection

"Paint is not protection" is the message from the Red Cup Project.  Some city transportation departments act like plastic wands are the only alternative.  But I've seen lots of physical barriers that seem to work and a major traffic barrier company makes a one foot wide one that appears to be cheap and designed to fit in bikeway buffers.

Yodock 2001SL 1' wide pedestrian channelizer deployed along a bike lane in Oregon

Spaced Barriers

These spaced barriers in Bogotá, Colombia make this cicloruta safe and useful

Advantages of spaced barriers over continuous:

  • Cheaper and easier to deploy and move if needed
  • Reduce accumulation of debris in bike lane
  • Allow pullover space for emergency vehicles to pass
  • Allow bikes to pass obstacles or exit for left turn
  • Won’t serve as a drunk guide, enabling impaired driving as continuous barriers do.

Bike Barriers around the world - Italy

Contraflow bikeway protected with spaced staple racks, Padova, Italy

Serious spaced protection, Padova, Italy

Great spaced contraflow protection, not thrilled about road surface, Padova, Italy

Barriers Around the World - United States

Nice protection in Baltimore, Maryland c. 2004, but designed to protect horse-drawn carriages

Strategically spaced boulders in Washington state dis-incentivize veering out of lane.

Barriers around the World - China

For this high-speed freeway in Yunnan, China, a continuous barrier makes sense.

Metal barrier in Guangzhou, China

Monday, September 5, 2016

Maps lie, LiDAR doesn't

I was recently on a bike adventure that turned even more adventurous than I expected when a Google Maps mapping error led me and my buddy down a trail that devolved into nothing.  The route was supposed to be the Corral Mainline, a major gravel logging road, but what Google mapped in this portion was actually the route of a natural gas pipeline and not a road at all.  But Open Street Map got it right, as displayed in their OSM Cycle layer:

Two lucky factors let us navigate onward without having to painfully backtrack:

  1. Although we were out of mobile network range, my Google Maps app on my phone had cached some Terrain View tiles.  (This is luck, unlike the regular base map layer, you can't intentionally download Terrain layer maps)
  2. In many areas Google's Terrain View derives its images low-resolution topographic maps, but in parts of Oregon and a few other places it uses LiDAR, a high-resolution elevation mapping technique.  The LiDAR image (on the left above) revealed the topography of the real Corral Mainline so we were able to bushwhack up to it and get back on track. 
Even in Oregon LiDAR coverage is spotty: on our ride we also visited the Nehalem Divide Tunnel but LiDAR was not available there and the ordinary topo maps did nothing to reveal the old railroad bed.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Creative bikeways in France, Luxembourg, and China

Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg – This could be applicable in a lot of places: make room for bikes by putting the parked cars in between the trees in the sidewalk 'furniture zone'.

Near Lijiang, Yunnan, China – Put the bikes on the safe side of the crash barrier.  Duh.  Solar LED street lights a nice touch too.

Guangzhou, China – I don't understand why barriers like these aren't common everywhere.

Paris, France – Cycletrack, bike sharing station, and Parisian cyclists.  This is what you get when you have the space and money to do things right.

Yangshuo, Guangxi, China – Smooth central section for bikes and motorbikes.  Kudos to Portland for their solution to bikes on cobblestones.

Guangzhou, China – Nice big ramp for rolling your bike down the stairs.

Paris, France – What do you do when there's not enough room 'curb-to-curb' for bikes?  Let the bikes ride in the bus lane and park the cars on the sidewalk.  Actually works in Paris where people appear accustomed to negotiating the mix of walking and driving.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Technical Links

These are helpful links that took more time to find than they should have.  Linking to them in a public blog improves the likelyhood that someone else will be able to find them via a search engine.