Thursday, December 27, 2007

Great Christmas Cycling Post on a Blog - Cyclist drags tree home

The bike lanes are busy with people transporting all manner of seasonal items. Trees, presents, what have you.
Just another day in the life of a cycling Copenhagen.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve at the Koonce Household

Just a slow day in Sellwood. Started off really slow, we had our Milwaukie neighbors over for a breakfast souflet that took two years off our lives. As we were trying to get together to get out and enjoy a little of that sunshine, we were greeted by a holiday elf that helped us decide to go down to the Park for a little play time with neighbors Katy and Lucy. We met Niko and his sister (forgot her name) and had a great old time although it was pretty cold. Susan was a baking queen and I tried to help by ruining some of the bread. Emma came over with Jack and I went shopping at the local shops for some last minute gifts and groceries. We had a good day with the girls, Abby put out treats for Santa and Amelia had fun putting on her new Curious George pajamas, a Koonce Tradition. I am eating too many sweets and Susan is making enchilladas for tomorrow's Christmas dinner at her folks. It was strange that we did not do the Estacada trip today (they were starting too late for the kiddos), but I guess that's what happens when you grow up with your kids.
Listening to some of the old Christmas Carols, Merry Christmas Baby by Springsteen is on and Elvis is always a favorite :)
Surfed a little to my favorite biking websites and found the Bike Carols on the Shift 2 Bikes site (very clever, I like clever people). Planning to ride on New Year's Eve, hopefully I am feeling up for it and the weather is decent (it is a family friendly ride)!

Off to assemble enchiladas...

Bikey Christmas Carols

Bikey Christmas Carols
Written by: Amy Stork, Jim Waigand, and Jeff Bernards

Bicycle Rock(to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock)
Bicycle, bicycle, bicycles rock
Bicycles roll and bicycles go
Spinning and grinning, it’s baskets of fun
Now the biking age has begun
Bicycle, bicycle, bicycles rock
Cyclist whoop and Cyclists hoot
Pedal and revel in Courthouse Square, In the misty air
What a bright time, it’s the right time
To bike the night away
Bicycle time is a cool time
To go riding on a two-wheeled sleigh
Giddy up, iron horse, don’t be a poke
Bicycle round the clock
Mix and mingle with your jingling spokes
That’s the bicycle, That’s the bicycle,
That’s the bicycle rock!

Bikes for the world(to the tune of Joy to the World)
Bikes for the world! The time has come
Let earth receive clean air
Let every heart, beat steadily
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing
Bikes rule the road, with speed and grace
And make our nation free
From oil rigs and corporate greed
So ride your bicycle
So ride your bicycle
So ride, so ride your bicycle!

Climate change is coming to town
(to the tune of Santa Claus in coming to town)
You better watch out, you better not drive
You better ride bikes I’m telling you why
Climate change is coming to town
We’re making it hot, we’re raising the sea
Gonna feel life at a hundred degrees
Climate change is coming to town
If people keep on driving
The poles will soon be lakes
The air will stink like petrol fumes
Ride your bike for goodness sake
We’re making a list, we’re checking it twice
We’re gonna find out who drove and who biked!
Climate change is coming to town

Deck the road with tons of cyclists
(to the dune of Deck the Halls)
Deck the road with tons of cyclists, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Tis the season for idealists, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Don we now our rain apparel, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Call your friend his name is Harold, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Grab your helmet and your u-lock, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Join the sheep who’ve left the flock, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Hitch your trailer to your seat post, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
To the store to get some French Roast, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Pedal til the old year passes, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Cold air fogging up your glasses, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Summer soon will come again, Fa la la la la la, la la la la
Just keep riding with the wind, Fa la la la la la, la la la la

O Come all ye cyclists
(to the tune of o come all ye faithful)
O Come all ye cyclists,
joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye by bicycle\ Come and behold them
See what fun they’re having
O come let us stop driving
O come let us start riding
O come let us start riding
Our bicycles

Ring your bells
(to the tune of Jingle Bells)
Dashing through the rain, on a pedaling machine
Over the streets we go, biking keeps us lean, oh ho ho
Horns on Hondas beep, testing our resolve
But oh what fun it is to ride, cutting down on smog!
Ring your bell, ring your bell, biking all the way!
Oh what fun, it is to ride a two-wheeled Chevrolet!
Portland winter’s wet, with puddles everywhere
Splashing cars behind, but why do I care?
I’ve got fenders on, keeping my ass dry
Oh what fun it is to ride, it’s a natural high!
Ring your bell, ring your bell, biking all the way!
Oh what fun, it is to ride a two-wheeled Chevrolet!
People think we’re odd, riding on our bikes
But we know we’re cool, ‘cause this is what we like
Breathing clean and free, letting go of hate
We are riding bicycles because it feels so great!
Ring your bell, ring your bell, biking all the way!

Rudolph the red-nosed cyclist
Rudolph the red-nosed cyclist
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it (saw it)
You would even say it glowed.
All of the silly drivers
Used to laugh and call him names (like a Masshole)
They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)
Take the center of the lane
Then one smoggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your healthy thighs spandex tights
Won’t you pull my sleigh tonight?
Then all the children loved him
And they shouted out with glee (with glee)
Rudolph the red-nosed cyclist
Won’t you come and ride with me!

Twelve days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
A tandem with a spare seat
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two handlebars and
Three inner tubes
Four pedals shining
Five times the fun
Six pack (or six Pabsts) for drinking
Seven days of riding
Eight bells for ringing
Nine lights a blinking
Ten spokes a spinning
Eleven cables snaking
Twelve gears for shifting.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bikes in Portland

While we were on Peacock Lane, there were two different cycling groups that came through. Even a devoted cyclist like myself thought they were a little crazy on one of the rainiest nights we've had.

I haven't been biking much myself with my health issue. A little frustrating going on the third week.
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Peacock Lane: A Holiday Tradition


One of our favorite traditions is visiting Peacock Lane in inner Southeast Portland. The two block walk is filled with houses all lit up for the holidays. The sad part is that cars run all the way through and it becomes quite congested on the sidewalks.

We enjoyed a rainy night with Herny and MK.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Year End Planning

Another year in the books and there's lots of work to do before the end of the year. Interesting discussion related to PD always makes one more self aware.

I am flying to Tucson tonight to continue discussions related to Professional Development within KAI. I am looking forward to the discussion and am hopeful that the conversations get people thinking.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Milwaukee, yes the one with Two Es and in December too.

I find myself in the City of Milwaukee. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, it is the home to Miller Brewing, and formally Pabst. I visited the Pabst Theater on my walk to the City of Milwaukee offices next to City Hall, which was a building covered in scaffolding. Milwaukee has some great architecture with old churches and great old buildings. Home to the Socialist movement in the early 1900s, it had three sociailist mayors from back in the day.

With its normal high being 33 and low of 19, it is living up to its average temeratures in what seems to pretty darn cold to me.

After the meeting, I got a ride from the hotel shuttle over to the Lakefront Brewery, which had a nice informal tour of their premises. Brewing just 9,000 barrels a year (that seams low) it is a decent operation, but as the tour guide said, they spill more beer on one shift at Miller than we make in a year. The tour had ample samples, but walking back I was careful not to partake too much. It was a cold run (did I say walk, no way in 23 degrees) back and I stopped multiple times to get warm and take in a bit of the scenerey. Some of my stops included the Water Street Brewery (seemed small), a book shop (great cluttered store, a little too much clutter though), and Rock Bottom Brewery. I decided not to eat at Rock Bottom and went back to Mo's Irish Pub for the third time (second time on this trip).

Going to watch the Bears game on TV (like a true Midwesterner) and maybe head to the coffee shop for some dessert.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas in America

Even in practically perfect Portland, the holiday season is upon us. The consumer culture is alive and well. IF only people would turn off their TVs to the normal crap.

I noticed a sign of the Apocalypse on Thrusday when looking through the paper and seeing that the Factory Stores were opening at midnight on Black Friday to get an early jump on the national chains like Kohl's that were waiting til 4 a.m. to give away their best holiday deals.

On second contemplation, I think it makes sense... if you're coming home from Family, you may just want to cleanse your holiday cheer with some shopping in the middle of nowhere.

I say all of this in gest becuase I sent Susan out with Emma and Dorreen and had a wallet and socks on my list of things she should get at the half off sale at Fred Meyer.

Transit Signal Priority and Me

I am putting on a Webinar for the Institute of Transportation Engineers next week. We had a trial run of the technology today. The presentation was mostly put together and I tested it at Portland State University (covering for Rob Bertini in his class today). I had to come up with a quiz and that was interesting, sort of like teaching my summer course.

I spent a little time googling the various transit signal priority documents that are available on the web and I wonder how many engineers and planners learn what consultants and others have done by doing that. I am sure the future generation of engineers are much more saavy about that then the more established folks of my age.

It could be something I learned about in graduate school, the fact that there is usually someone else that has information out there and when you have something to contribute it isn't always very clear what it is to others. What's significantly important is how you craft your message and how you communicate. Something to work on.

Week After Thanksgiving

Twas the week after Turkey Day and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. We finally rid ourselves of our basement friend. He ended up in the gutter, which is a little odd to think about how that could happen. I guess it is better not to think of it.

We enjoyed the visit and family time on the long weekend with the Leftleys. I tried to take them to the Aerial Tram, but it was closed. We rode the Streetcar into downtown and saw the Pioneer Square Christmas Tree, went into Macy's and tried to visit Santa (he was on a break), and rode the Max and the Streetcar back to the car.

It was sort of a lazy day for the McConnells and Susan. When we got back they were off to Grand Central, I guess they needed to get out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Southeast Soccer

Super Turkey 07

Susan just got back from New Seasons having picked up the 21.2 lb Diestel Farms Turkey. The thing is huge. Abby got a kick out of poking and prodding it while Susan helped thaw it a bit. It wasn't supposed to be frozen, but I guess it sat in the fridge in the back a little too long there at the store.

Abby was very curious about the bird and was asking about the bones and where the wishbone was and why its neck was separate. When we went to bed tonight she asked why I did not want to touch the turkey and I told her that I didn't like animals "that" much and she said, "but Dad you like Beavers". I told her that was a little different and that we could talk about it in the morning.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Yet Another Cycling Mention related to Portland

NY Times covers Portland's Bike Culture. I appreciate that I am living in a City that is doing cool things.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Climate Change Summary from Patrick McMahon

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the best, and most thorough source of information about the issue. The panel was formed by the UN in 1988 and they have just released the first three sections of a four part report that has been in the making for the past 6 years. Over that time they have enlisted the work of 2500+ scientific expert reviewers, 800+ contributing authors, and 450+ lead authors from 130 countries to put together a comprehensive analysis of the causes, impacts, and solutions to global climate change.

Listed below are links to the "Summary for Policymakers" sections of those three reports. On November 17 they will release a fourth report that pulls all of these together.
Working Group I - The Physical Science Basis (18 pages) -
Working Group II - Impacts & Vulnerability (16 pages) -
Working Group III - Mitigation of Climate Change (24 pages) -

By the way, the IPCC (who actually did the scientific work to quantify the problem and the potential solutions) are co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore (who has publicized their findings).

The general consensus among the scientific community is that the planet is warming, that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the cause, that human activity is the source of most of those gases, and that continuing the trend will have significant negative consequences. While some warming is already happening and will continue to happen based on emissions that have already occured, we can minimize the impacts of global warming by dramatically reducing our carbon output. The best estimates are that if we reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by 20 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050 then we could avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Environment Maryland, a local non-profit group, came out with a report this summer detailing the ways in which emissions in Maryland could be cut to meet those goals. They involve some costs and sacrifices, but longer term benefits and most of these would save money in the long-range and reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East (another benefit, especially as costs increase and the supply diminishes). Environment Maryland, the Sierra Club, and other local groups are working to encourage Governor O'Malley to commit to the 20/20 and 80/50 goals as part of his agenda.

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer also has a good site focused on the Climate Change debate with information from all sides of the discussion.

The Weather Channel also has an extensive set of articles and data.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has some more information and links if you need more information.

Here are two timelines on the history of climate change activities and research.

A couple of scientists at the University of Arizona have set up a site where you can see what the impacts of different amounts of sea level rise would be, from minimal up to 20 feet. Sea level rise is one expected impact of climate change but with limited clarity about the amount and timing of potential changes.

The City of Baltimore and other local jurisdictions have begun making commitments to make changes to reduce their climate impacts, and some have started making policy changes based on that commitment. A list of some of those jurisdictions can be found at: or

AND, for a totally different take on global warming, here's what Sarah Silverman has to say.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monster March, Carving Party, and Red Sox Win!

We had a great Pumpkin Carving Party complete with our friends. It was interesting how all the friends now have kids and thinking back four or five years it is quite different now than it was.

Jeff Mapes on Biking and Transportation Safety

Just finished reviewing a technical report on the Safety of Intersections in Portland and came acorss this great video from Jeff Mapes on Oregon Live on Bike Safety. I first met Jeff in January at the TRB Bike Ride (in Washington, DC - funny where you meet Portlanders) and we talked again in advance of the ITE meeting that I hosted in Portland. I listened offered my expertise in reviewing his book since I am currently writing the Traffic Signal Timing Manual ( for the Federal Highway Administration. or

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Road home from Astoria

We had a few good bike adventures at Fort Stevens. Our bikes parked on the beach were quite a site. We didn't bike all that far, but it was good to get out and see the park and the girls seemed to enjoy the entire weekend.

Amelia fell asleep on the car ride home from Astoria. She and Abby both were pretty tired as we left after lunch on Monday. Peter actually took a day off. We had a great time with the grandparents camping at Fort Stevens. We were pretty lucky with the weather and had our successful third camping trip of the summer!

More pictures at:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Providence Bridge Pedal

What a great annual tradition! The Providence Bridge Pedal is one of my favorite Portland events. We rode with Dad and Chris and had an awesome time.

We got lucky that we started with the first groups because some of the traffic control was terrible and resulted in delays of more than an hour for some people. I emailed to volunteer, but haven't heard anything yet.

One of my favorite memories will be Abby on top of the Fremont Bridge saying that she wanted to be finished with the ride. We coaxed her to continue by offering rubber snakes and ice cream. When we asked what flavor she wanted she said in a very emphatic way.... Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I don't think I knew that she had ever had that before, so that was a bit of a surprise.

I was actually on the news because James was filming at the start line where the Bite is in progress and he was working with a cook to get people to come down to the Waterfront Park that afternoon for lunch or dinner. It is also the end of the ride.We made 15 miles on the day which was pretty good for both kids. A funny highlight was meeting Dave from Dave's Killer Bread we love that bread. Here are some great pictures:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

070811 Ride to the Community Cycling Center

We drove over to Grandma and Grandpa's house and rode to the Community Cycling Center. Susan was looking for a cruiser bicycle for the Bobike Seat.

We had a great bike ride, but did not find anything to buy at CCC.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cycle Oregon Weekend 2007

Dad and I were going to ride in the Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride, but his knee was still bothering him so Susan replaced him on the 44-mile first day and 28-mile second day. Pressed into service, we decided to get her a new bike to go with mine and it was the start of her serious return to cycling (after Amelia and Abby!)
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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Bike to Rose Parade

We started out this rainy day thinking about just heading off for a short ride, but when we realized the rain wasn't so bad, we just kept going. We ended up making it all the way to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and watching the Rose Festival Parade for about 45 minutes. The rain came down throughout the visit and Peter was the one to suggest we head back.