View from Council Crest Park toward Mt. Hood, which is visible under a crystal clear winter sky at sunrise

One Thousand Observations

Published 2020-12-02

As of this writing I have made 1000 observations of Mt. Hood from Council Crest.

(Three of my observations were “duds” where I didn’t take a photo, or I botched the part where I recorded the observation on my website. So there are actually only 997 total observations on the website. But I have definitely summited Council Crest 1000 times since March 21, 2012.)

So: over the past 3,178 days, I average a summit of Council Crest every three-ish days, or about 110 times a year. Although I have pumped that average a little on occasion.

There are definitely people who ride their bikes up to Council Crest more often than I do (some of them live up there). But none of them has a website 😜

When I started this project in March 2012, I had a vision of creating a web-based tool for visualizing the data it produced. For a brief while I did manage a jankety D3 visualization, long since abandoned.

However, I occasionally fiddle with these data in a spreadsheet. You can download a CSV , but good gravy why would you? This is my obsession, not yours.

Since almost the start, about 45% of my observations have been “yes.” This certainly over-represents how often Mt. Hood is visible…because I’m more likely to ride up to Council Crest when the weather is clear!

Mt. Hood was not visible in 52.9% of my observations

Here are my observations… time of day:

I made the most observations (n=362) at the 8am hour, with a strong curve at 7–9am. There is a smaller curve of observations in the afternoon from 4 to 9pm, peaking at 69 observations at 6pm

I am most likely to summit during my morning commute, and sometimes on my evening commute month of the year:

Observations peak in July (n=129) but are consistently high (n=83 to 120) from March to August

The dropoff from Sept–Nov is probably because I’m likely to be ’cross racing on weekends, instead of doing leisure rides. I am surprisingly enthused about riding up this hill in December. I am clearly the least enthusiastic about riding bikes in February. (Also it’s only December 2nd so Dec–Feb have about 1/8 fewer opportunities for observations). I think the slight drop-off in June is probably an artifact of events in 2014 (injury) & 2019 (trip to Japan + illness). year:

I average about 110 observations a year. I made 167 observations in 2012 and again (so far) in 2020. There were noticeable lulls in 2014 (n=73), 2017 (n=50), and 2019 (n=60)

I had an injury in 2014 & recurring illnesses in 2019 that affected my ability to ride bikes. I have been summitting much more regularly this year during the pandemic. Why my observations dropped off in 2017 is a bit of a mystery. Some factors:

  1. stopped maintaining an office outside home = no more commutes

  2. busy with remodeling our house

  3. it was a bummer year & I just wasn’t very excited about bikes until Orion pulled me back into racing

I don’t know much longer I will continue to do this. That’s not a coy way of saying I’m considering not doing this; it means I can only imagine doing it indefinitely. Having a steady obsession like this keeps me grounded. On days when I don’t vist my hill, I miss it. I also low-key love that, for a tiny set of Portland cyclists, I have become Mr. Council Crest.