Tag Archives: bike

LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON: PART II, PORTLAND’S UNIQUE & DIVERSE BIKE CULTURE WILL BE MISSED

I “invented” my first bike BackPack from an old hiking pack when I was 16.  When all my friends were getting their driving licenses, I was learning to bike tour.  Biking gave me the freedom to  go where I wanted-when I wanted.  The car keys in my house,  came with so many stipulations, biking was a better option.
I moved to Portland in 1974 by train and brought my bike with me.  It wasn’t much of a bike city back then,.The city hired a full time Bike Program Manger in 1993 and since then bicycling has been given some budget priority.
I started a free bike lights program called Get Lit, for which I received a BTA Alice Award.  I was also volunteer of the year at the Community Cycling Center.  Bicycling has been in my blood for a long time and Portland was the perfect bike city for me.

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THERE ARE SO MANY BIKE PARADES IN PORTLAND, I MADE THIS TO SHOW MY ENTHUSIASM FOR BICYCLING

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I HAULED IT AROUND WITH MY BIKE AT BIKE EVENTS.  I FOUND SOMEONE TO ADOPT IT AND CARRY ON THE MESSAGE: “BICYCLING IS A BARREL OF FUN WITHOUT A BARREL OF OIL.” BIKING IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF THE PLANET TOO.

In 2002 Portland hosted “Bike Summer” which helped kick start Portland’s love affair with Bike Fun.  Everyone had so much fun that SHIFT and PEDALPALOOZA were created.  Then in 2005, Jonathan Maus started the “BIKE PORTLAND” website.  He did a story on the history of what helped Portland to create it’s Bike Culture.
I was lucky enough to be in Portland for this years PedalPalooza bike events.  In the past I hosted, Bike to Skate, the Oxbow Campout (an introduction to bike touring) and co-hosted with Jill, The Dandy Warhol’s tour of Portland.

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        OXBOW CAMPERS GETTING READY TO RIDE OUT

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WHAT’S HE DAYDREAMING ABOUT?

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PATRICK HAULING IN THE “SUPPLIES”

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ZIA (in the green) and JILL (in the white helmet) leading riders around on The Dandy Warhols historical locations tour: album recordings, living situations, favorite bars and  a private tour of the recording studio-The Odditorium (awesome!)

PedalPalooza culminated with the Multnomah County Bike Fair,  Which really celebrated Portland’s  Culture of BIKE FUN.

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WITH THE HELP OF MANY VOLUNTEERS THIS WAS ONE OF PORTLAND’S BEST BIKE EVENTS (before Sunday Parkways)

Some photos ofThe Sprockettes performing  before hundreds of spectators.  I always thought the bike jousting was a little dangerous, but always a crowd pleaser.

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I received a grant to offer low cost helmets and lights and had a booth at the event, promoting what I thought was important-Bike Safety.

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PORTLAND’S MANY EVENTS WOULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT IT’S GREAT VOLUNTEER’S

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MY FRIEND MIKE BEING FITTED BY ONE OF OUR MANY VOLUNTEERS

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KIM, PUTTING THE DEALS TOGETHER FOR PEOPLE.

Portland’s best bike event by far is SUNDAY PARKWAYS and I was lucky enough to participate in 2 of them, while in Portland.  It’s an opportunity to walk, run or bike Portland’s streets without cars.  It’s a great event too, because it’s the one event in Portland that doesn’t have beer as the main ingredient., it’s all for the love of walking and biking.

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A FEW YEARS AGO BOTH HANMI & I WERE RECOVERING FROM INJURIES AND COULDN’T RIDE, SO WE HIRED PORTLAND PEDICABS TO TAKE US ON SUNDAY PARKWAYS, WITH WATER PISTOLS!

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SUNDAY PARKWAYS ALLOWS DIFFERENT BUSINESS’S TO ADVERTISE WHAT THEY DO. LIKE SOUPCYCLE THAT DELIVERS, BY BIKE, FRESH SOUP TO YOUR HOUSE. IT’S SO PORTLAND!

These are some photos from this years Pedalpalooza kick-off ride.

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Portland’s bike community wants you to do “everything” by bike.

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EVERYONE IS INVITED TO A WEEKEND BBQ IN THE PARK WITH “GRILLED BY BIKE” PORTLAND’S CREATIVE NATURE IS SO INSPIRING!

Pedalpaloozaz’s  most attended event for riders and spectators is the WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE.    Why ride Naked?  The worldwide bike ride highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. It’s also a lot of fun and it’s free for all!.  I rode the first WNBR in 2004 and hadn’t ridden one since, Why? I have no idea.  But since I’m moving, I thought this would be a great event to participate in.

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YEP, THAT’S ME WITH ME WITH THE HANDY PHONE CARRIER AROUND MY WAIST.

My camera  lens was dirty and I didn’t have a T-shirt to clean it, so my photos were poor to bad.  They estimated there were 10,000 riders.

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The streets were lined with spectators and their cameras

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I SUGGESTED THESE LADIES RIDE NEXT YEAR, (hopefully they will!)

if you want some more WNBR photos try HERE
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ealpalozza ends again with the Multnomah County Bike Fair, but it doesn’t quite match the effort from years past.  But I had a windup bike toy I’ve wanted to give to Dingo the Clown for 5 years and I thought he would be there.

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I WAS RIGHT HE WAS THERE AND I FINALLY GAVE  DINGO THE TOY.

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THIS IS DINGO AND OLIVE AT THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY FAIR, HE ATTACHED THE TOY TO HIS HANDLE BARS.

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MR. RELIABLE, CARL LARSON, AT THE MCBF ALSO ONE OF THE FEW WHO TOOK THE TIME TO COME TO MY PRE-ESTATE SALE, IT MEANT A LOT.

There’s so much more to Portland’s bike culture that I can’t cover it all on this Blog.  But I would like to mention just a few more of Portland’s iconic bike pillars that have contributed to making  Portland the bike mecca of fun, that it is.    Bicycle Transportation Alliance,  Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, Jay Graves former owner of Bike Gallery, Nut Case Helmets (for making bike safety cool & fun) Cycle Oregon, Zoo Bomb, Urban Adventure LeagueFilmed by BikeBike Smut (why mention this? I don’t know why)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I liked writing it. Your feedback and comments are always welcome,  I’ve got some readers, but not so many writers.

Thanks for reading
Jeff

NEXT? LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON: PART II, SELLING A LIFETIME OF STUFF

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MICKEY MOUSE LOVER STANLEY IN ROYAN, FRANCE

I met Stanley, when he was bike touring  in Portland 6 years ago.  He joined us on our annual Oxbow Park introduction to bike touring camp out.  I toured Europe in 2011 with The Dandy Warhols, I had to have my Euro-Rail sent to his house in Royan.  Stanley’s  mom didn’t want any guest, so I rented an apartment from their friend. We’ve been face-book friends and last saw each other in Prague, Czech last summer. I always seem to hit the ground running, when visiting friends.  Stanley bought a little house in Morocco and has learned to cook Moroccan style. So we packed the car (yes car) and brought  all the ingredients to  Christophe’s house.

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HE TREATED US TO CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES COOKED IN A CLAY TAJINE

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                          SEBASTIAN, CHRISTOPHE AND STANLEY

I ask Stanley if we can just walk around town a little, OK.  They had a great farmers market  everyday I was here.  We walk around Royan, which I don’t think Stanley does very often and probably most of us don’t walk much around our cities.either? I love walking through the shops just to see what I can see THERE WAS AN ECLECTIC ART SHOP WITH THESE BIKE SCENE TILES.  SUPER NICE!. IMG_2955 IMG_2954 IMG_2953 I usually like to write about biking but that said walking can be a great way to explore a new city.  We walked along the docks, shops, a sardine shop, and the super farmers market. Stanley told me his mom didn’t want me in the house and he would bring me coffee in the morning.  OK? I  guess.  But by morning Mom came around and welcomed me into the house.  Mom ended up extending a very warm welcome, she cooked us several dinners, authentic French Food. We go biking on these Fat Tire bikes, which made riding on the beach sand,  AWESOME! AND FUN!

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            I HAD JUST ENOUGH CLOTHES TO NOT BE COLD.

People were constantly staring and asking questions about my bike, in French of course ( go figure).  Stanley said it was fun for him the first couple times, then he said he started to just ignored them, so
I took his advice and just kept on riding.

. IMG_2980IMG_2981 THESE ARE FISHING HOUSES ALONG THE BIKE PATH IN ROYAN, FRANCE, A SUPER RIDE I’m staying in an apartment attached to the house, it’s basically in the backyard.  Stanley got his mom to agree to make an Air B&B out of the apartment. I guess I won’t be staying for free anymore. But Good Luck anyway. So my 25 years of landscaping skills kick in and I see where I can make a difference.  I love giving back to my host, it’s makes my traveling adventures more meaningful.

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                                                  THE BEFORE PICTURE

I’m an early riser, so I’m up and start working my Yardtamer magic on this yard.  It takes me maybe 2 hours?

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                                THE AFTER PICTURE (you can see where the ivy was)

Stanley’s Mom  asks me where I got all the stones?  They were there all the time, just buried.  Then she got excited about what we could do.  She wanted these thorn tree branches cut off, (French Style trimming).  I hate ivy so cutting it is always good,  it was growing into the shed and starting up the side of the house.

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                                 EVERYONE GOT IN ON THE ACTION, IT WAS A REALLY FUN TIME.

We had cut the thorn tree first, then attacked the ivy.  Were standing there and Stanley asked for my camera?  He takes a head shot of me? What?

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WHEN I CUT THE THORN BRANCHES ONE BRANCH BRUSHED MY HEAD AND LEFT THIS THORN. i WORKED FOR AN HOUR WITH THE THORN IN MY HEAD. THANKS FOR THE PHOTO STANLEY.

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FINISHED AND REMEMBER TO NEVER PLANT IVY

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FRENCH STYLE TREE TRIMMING, REMOVE ALL THE BRANCHES

Mom cooked us dinner every day so, to give her a break, I went to the Farmers Market and bought Spanish Seafood Paella for us.  I also bought a window cleaning kit at the Farmers Market.  I was skeptical at first, no solution, just water with a scrub pad and bamboo cloths.  I did 2 windows testing it out, it worked great.  Now I have my traveling window cleaning kit.
Active travel is hard work and I’m getting tired.  I don’t want to be dead when I meet Natasa in Lisbon in a few days.  I opt to stay in Bordeaux before flying out to Lisboni say my goodbyes to Stanley and thank him.

I TAKE THE TRAIN TO BORDEAUX AND STAY AT THE ONLY HOSTEL IN TOWN.

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HOSTEL BEDS WITH PRIVY CURTAINS , I’M #2. (I’ll survive)

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I REPORTED TO THE FRONT DESK THAT SOMEONE HAD STOLEN THE TOILET SEAT LAST NIGHT! YOU SEE THIS ALL OVER FRANCE,

IMG_2997I RARELY SAW ANY BUILDINGS THAT WERE PAINTED AND IF THEY WERE IT WAS SOME SHADE OF STONE OR CONCRETE.

Walking around Bordeaux I can smell coffee roasting, I ask at the Hostel and they tell me where it is.

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I’VE STRUCK GOLD, 25KG BAGS OF: GUATEMALAN, COSTA RICAN, BRAZILIAN, MEXICAN, NICARAGUAN and MANY MORE–ALL “FRENCH ROASTED”. I BUY SOME GUATEMALAN. 

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WHILE WALKING I DISCOVER THIS PART FLEA MARKET PART ANTIQUE MARKET.

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SOME AFRICAN ART MASKS

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I WAS TAKING THIS PHOTO AND THE OWNER CAME OUT AND WANTED ME TO PAY TO TAKE THE PICTURE, I JUST WALKED AWAY.

I’m flying Easy Jet to Lisbon, which means you can only bring 1 small bag, nothing more.  The last day I packed my bag early to see if I had room for some more coffee. If your in Bordeaux, visit cafebastouil-alvarezetfils  for the best coffee I have found in Europe. IMG_3060 IMG_3062

SHE DIDN’T SPEAK ANY ENGLISH-NONE, BUT THAT’S OK THE COFFEE’S GREAT!
Thanks for reading and by the way, Stanley-“I Love Mickey Mouse too”
Jeff

NEXT? After 3 weeks of solo travel I’m finally meeting Natasa in Lisbon, now the fun really starts. coffeef1 coffee2 coffee3 coffee4 coffeef