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Updated: No frills tools for your rainy bike commute

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Updated: Leave it to the real bloggers and journalists to investigate and report on this topic.

Until yesterday, Portland had experienced less than a half inch of rain in December (usually by now we've enjoyed over 4 inches). I can't remember the last December that I saw the sun so much.

This morning brought me back to much more familiar December commuting weather. When bike commuters are asked about biking in the rain the common response is 'that all you need is the right gear.'

It's easy to get great bike rain gear and it's easy to spend a lot of money.

We've written before about cheap winter bike commuting gear. Here's another cheap accessory: kitchen dish gloves.

I have a lot of gloves perfumed w/ aroma of mildew from riding with them in the rain. While not breathable, kitchen gloves are 100 percent water repellent and dry easily. I learned on my inaugural ride that they're not the best at repelling the cold, so I would suggest a pair of glove liners to keep your hands warm. 

TriMet free after 8pm on New Years Eve

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MAX trains run until about 3:00 a.m.

TriMet is continuing its tradition of free fares to encourage revelers to make safe choices on the country's big night out.  After 8:00 p.m. on NYE, TriMet's MAX and bus trips will be free throughout the TriMet service area.

Buses and trains will run on regular Saturday schedules and MAX will add an extended late night schedule. Here are more details from TriMet's web site:

MAX Blue, Green and Yellow lines

  • MAX Blue, Green and Yellow trains will run on Saturday schedules with late-night service running approximately every 35 minutes until about 3:00 a.m.
  • The last Blue Line trip to Gresham leaves Pioneer Square South station at 3:06 a.m.; the last trip to Hillsboro leaves Pioneer Square North station at 3:16 a.m.
  • The last Yellow Line trip to Expo Center leaves Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th station at 3:02 a.m.; the last trip to downtown leaves Expo Center station at 2:24 a.m. A trip to Rose Quarter Transit Center (TC) will leave Expo Center at 3:42 a.m.
  • The last Green Line trip to Clackamas will leave from Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th station at 3:10 a.m.

MAX Red Line

  • MAX Red Line trains will run on Saturday schedules until the end of service; shuttle buses will carry riders between Gateway TC and Portland International Airport (PDX) as needed until around 3 a.m.
  • The last trip of the night to PDX leaves Pioneer Square South station at 10:43 p.m. and the last trip of the night to Beaverton TC leaves the airport at 11:49 p.m.

Combating Obesity in one of America's Best Bicyling Cities

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I read Tara Parker-Pope's New York Times Magazine article The Fat Trap with great interest.  We recently blogged about new research that suggests that even small amounts of daily exercise (such as a walk to the MAX station or a 5 mile bike ride) can overcome the so-called "fat-mass and obesity genes."  Parker-Pope's article shows just how difficult maintaining weight loss can be for obese people.

The Bridges Family,

featured in the article

Image: Davis Enterprise


Jan and Adam Bridges are featured in the article. There are a number of factors that contribute to the couple's constant battle against obesity.  But what caught my attention was The Bridges' exercise regime.  They bicycle - a lot. 

That makes sense.  Bicycling is a good exercise and low impact on the body.  But I didn't think about where they bicycle until I checked out the pictorial slideshow that accompanies the article. 

The Bridges live in Davis, CA, which is widely considered one of the best places to bicycle in the U.S.  While the Bridges don't refer to Davis' bike-friendliness, I believe that the city's various trails and bike-dedicated infrastructure helped the couple find an exercise routine (which, by the way includes using the bicycle for trips to the gym to work out!) that contributed to their amazing story.

I highly recommend the article.  Parker-Pope's ability to intertwine her personal story with the Bridges' history and current scientific research trends illuminates the human side of our country's obesity epidemic.