A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A January ride: On the bike in the rain

Written January 27th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

This barricade made a handy place to lean my bike at Bowman Park on Saturday.

For no particular reason, my bike ride along the Albany riverfront Saturday took me to Bowman Park, where the only thing to see was the rain-swollen Willamette River.

While the river was running high, it was still several feet away from reaching the parking lot.

Since the parking lot and adjacent lawns were in no danger of imminent flooding, the gate on Geary Street was open and the park was accessible to the public.

At the time I stood there in the rain talking to my camera phone, the river level was about 18 feet on the Albany gauge. I looked it up later.

That reading, reported by the National Weather Service on its website, translates to a flow of about 52,000 cubic feet per second.

You may think that because of the rain, Saturday was not a good day to ride a bicycle in the Albany area.

But it wasn’t bad. The air temperature Saturday afternoon was 58 degrees, and compared to a week ago, that made the breeze and even the rain feel almost warm.

Sunday should be even better, with the chance of rain reduced to 30 percent and showers followed by a partly sunny sky. (hh)

13 responses to “A January ride: On the bike in the rain”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Hasso: The temperature is supposed to be 65 degrees tomorrow, Sunday, so, of course, the river is rising, not going down. It is full of premature, snow melt-off with rain added on top of that. You Birkenstock Republicans (that is, Libertarians) :-) will not say one word that would indicate that you think the weather is affected by climate change….because you don’t believe in climate change. Well, this life-long Linn-County resident will tell you right here that 65 degrees is very warm for a late January day!!!! Oh, thanks for the Bowman park pictures and video.

    • Al Nyman says:

      As this long-term Linn County resident will tell you, a week of ice covering the ground is very cold for a late January week.

      • Cap B. says:

        Yes, it is. It is called the effects of climate “change,” which means both warming and more severe, unpredicted winter storms.

        • Al Nyman says:

          Every time we have cold weather somebody, who knows nothing about weather, tells us it’s a result of global warming or the polar vortex. Many climatologists such as George Taylor suffered when they disagreed with this theory. Pray tell where you became so knowledgeable about weather as they cannot predict the weather accurately a week from today.

      • Mark Simons says:

        As a long time Linn County resident , . . . “Perfect.” I am inclined to agree.
        Weather is a fickle force at times.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    Great video, Hasso – the old Willamette River presses on, and soon the park will be full of waders and boats and summer fun!

  3. Leslie says:

    Thanks for this view of the beautiful Willamette River, Bowman Park and rain! I am a native Oregonian born lass living in Virginia but my parents still live in Albany and share your writings with me. It is a lovely place to live and please, do not tell anyone! LOL

  4. Shirley Karstens says:

    I am a native Oregonian born in Albany and recall many days in mid- to late-February (I realize that’s a month from now) when temps were very warm, fruit trees and other crops started growing only to be shocked with more cold weather. Today’s early 65 degrees is perhaps just another symptom of what they are calling climate change.

  5. RDykast says:

    Indeed Cap B, there is certainly evidence of climate change. There are plenty of fossil and geological remains that show evidence of past ice ages and periods of extremely hot temperatures. The fossils and plant life being uncovered in Ashfall, Nebraska show that rhinos, elephants and camels once lived there in a subtropical savanna. If only John Kerry and Greta could have been there during this time to give God advice about controlling nature, perhaps there would be tropical resorts in NE Nebraska.

    No Cap B, I’m not denying climate changes. I’m just acknowledging that mankind is not in charge of or responsible for changes of nature. The Bible tells us Who sets the boundaries of the seas and Who the wind and waves obey and it’s not Kerry or Greta or any of the Enlightened Elite that gather in Davos each year to set next years climate agenda.

  6. Dala Rouse says:

    You missed the river at Bowman Park when it was higher this month as it was almost to the gate. It was almost to Linn Ave in 1964 and pretty high in 1996. In 1996 the water was so high the dock went over the pilings and had to be brought back from down river. If this is result of climate change then it must have started in the 1800’s as that is when the flood water was up to about First St. but that was before dams were built. People like to say we are having worst hurricanes now because of climate change but the worst hurricane was in 1900 in Galveston where about 8,000 people died.

  7. Cap B. says:

    Oh, Gawd! (Oops, I mean “God.”) This is not the first climate change this old earth has gone through. And, yes, our present climate change did start with the industrial revolution which started in the 1800s. The deniers get those typing fingers warmed up when someone writes who believes in climate change and believes in science. I won’t even get into the opinions of the Bible Thumpers.

  8. Dala Rouse says:

    It is pretty common for the water to come up into Bowman Park and as for the rain that is usually controlled as science tells us which climate issue is either El Nino or La Nino. That seems to control the climate change on west coast and elsewhere. Every year seems to be different California complained about drought and along come heavy rain and snow and much of California is less of a drought. I love the change we have each year and I like it when they say this is the worst it has been in 40 years etc. Like they say about Oregon’s weather wait a minute and will change. I have lived here since 1959 and seen lots of changes including below zero weather in Albany.

    • Cap B. says:

      I was here in Oregon way before 1959. I was born here. I’m a 5th generation Oregonian whose ancestors on one side of my family came to Oregon by wagon train in 1852. And, my whole time here has been in this area. So, got you beat, Dala. So, please use another tactic on me….not that you have been here since 1959. I was born here many years before 1959.


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