NOTE 23 January 2014: New posts are no longer posted to this blog. New stuff at my new blog, Please go there! All old and new posts are there, and you can also comment, too!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Wet Leaves Season

Portland cyclists don't really have that many legitimate weather-related reasons to not cycle. Oh yeah, there is the rain. But rain isn't that big of a problem: with the right bike, right clothing, and right attitude one can ride through it. On the flip side, truly hot summer weather doesn't stick around for long: we definitely get 90 degree days, but rarely do we have it more than three days in a row. And our summers lack the humidity that makes summer riding in the East such a chore. And "real" winter riding, like the type they got last week Back East? Very rare. On average 1-3 days a year (and usually non-consecutive days), so you can just take the bus those days, unless you're crazy like me and have a set of studded tires.

But there is one "season" for riding that I truly dread, and that is Wet Leaves Season, which starts in late October. The deciduous trees have changed color. And nothing makes leaves fall like rain. We had a fairly dry October, but each week has had a few rain days. And with that, a fresh layer of wet leaves on the streets.

Of course, Portland's best bicycle routes, our bicycle boulevards, are on low-traffic side streets lousy with street trees. You can see what that leads to...

To top it off, the city actually picks up leaves in certain leafy neighborhoods. Sometime later this month they'll come by in trucks and suck up the leaf piles and haul it to a composting facility. Where are these piles? On the side of the street, of course. Theoretically the leaves should be in the "parking" lane but they tend to spill into bike lanes. And while the leaf pick-up is primarily for the street trees, but nothing stops the homeowners from adding the leaves from their yards.

And there have been a few cases of unsavory types putting rocks and other debris in the bike lanes and then covering it up with the leaves. Yikes!

So until the trees finish dropping their leaves sometime later this month, I'll be riding around cautiously. Especially when the streets are wet. Especially at night.

Hello December!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, there's one season we don't experience here in Northern Minnesota. Maybe it's dryer when the leaves drop and the volume of leaves is much less due to the smaller less leafy variety of trees we have in this northern climate.


I'm no longer allowing new comments on this blog. You can comment on the exact same post on the new blog. Go find it over at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.