August 20, 2007


I am in Portland, and it is raining. Tra-la.

My budding bike-geekery continues apace. Yesterday I bought a rear rack and strapped a milk crate onto it so that I could stop doing my grocery shopping via the bus. I had to have the nice bike dudes at one of the local bike shops install the rack for me because my ride is so slick that it doesn't have room to spare for convenient attachment hardware, and when I dropped it off one of the nice bike dudes gave it the up-and-down eyeball and told me I had a pretty sweet frame. I knew this already, and the bike's not bad either.

When I finished my shopping later and stuck my groceries in my brand-new cargo space, I had an epiphany: my bike is awesome. I wasn't really aware of this before. It weighs nothing. It goes fast. It's been unused and unmaintained for most of the last ten years and it's still effortlessly rideable. Even in high gear there's almost no resistance on the pedals. Even with a milk crate of groceries rattling around on the back it's like riding a bee-colored breeze. I'd been sort of assuming that all bicycles fit this profile, which is not entirely true.

Four wheels bad! Two wheels good! I think I'm going to start riding to work.

Posted by dianna at August 20, 2007 01:23 PM

Woohoo to you and your slick bike. I really had no idea it was so cool. When did you get it? Was I still living at home? Why did you decide to get a racing bike? Did we ever ride around together? I have complete bike amnesia after the age of about 12.

My bike, which is on the other end of the scale, is not like a bee-colored breeze. It's more like a green anvil. It must weigh about 50 pounds, it's dorky as hell, and I'm having so much fun tooling around re-learning how to ride. Today I discovered a hitherto unknown park right in my neighborhood, got really lost again, and wound up on a really cool path along a river of whose existence I had also been entirely ignorant, and on which I discovered that with my one gear and heavy frame it is almost impossible to get going on any incline whatsoever, even standing on the pedals. I basically ride around giggling and feeling like a kid, and waiting for the occasional car to go around me. I salute your bravery, you who are talking about riding to work in traffic with scary cars.

Query re: almost being run over in the traffic lane on Killingsworth. Does Portland not have bike lanes? That would surprise me.

Posted by: katie at August 20, 2007 10:44 PM

Portland's bike lanes are patchy. They're pretty good in parts, but North Portland, being one of the less massively-remodeled-by-hippies-in-the-last-20-years areas, isn't consistently bike-laned. It's got this weird problem where there are plenty of good north-south routes but not many good east-west ones, and the freeway cuts off a lot of the smaller low-traffic streets.

Your bike sounds like fun, and I am so delighted that you are riding it! You are experiencing Santa Cruz at medium velocity! It sounds splendid. Maybe the next time I come down to visit I can rent myself a dorky beach cruiser and you can tour-guide me around the places you've been getting lost.

This is the same bike that I've had ever since I outgrew your red 10-speed and begged Mom and Dad to get me my actual own bike that would fit me. Dad went out to some little bike shop on Ventura and found me this slick-as-hell road racing bike that probably cost a lot more than I want to know about. You must have still been living at home, now that I think about it, because I clearly recall wanting to go out and ride it and being forbidden to because you had either crashed the Subaru or broken another bone doing something and everyone was running around freaking out about it. I can't believe people say it's little sisters who always ruin things.

Posted by: Dianna at August 20, 2007 11:16 PM