Cargo Bike Rally

My husband Seth has done a little bit of work with Tom LaBonty building cargo bicycles, so when we heard that there was a Pedalpalooza event based on Tom’s bikes, we HAD to go!

Everybody met at Hawthorne’s Lucky Lab pub for, as they say, “you can’t have LaBonty without the Lab”. 

Games ensued…. I think? I actually didn’t get there until well over an hour after their start time, but there was a “slow race” with a bunch of the bikes, to see who could ride the slowest without falling off. I wasn’t allowed in because I showed up on a three-wheeler and that just wouldn’t be fair!

After the games and getting to know people, we all headed out for a group ride up to Lucky Lab’s northeast location way up on Who-Knows-What Street. That was the first time I’ve ever ridden with a group that all came together because of one type of gear. As you can see from a previous post I have ridden in a larger group, but it came together because of one LACK of gear!

At the north end of the Eastbank Esplanade there is a bicycle switch back that I never really thought much about before, but riding with a bunch of people who had 8 foot long bikes, it makes you wonder how they all got up there without crashing into the walls on the corners first! Embarrassingly enough, I hit the wall on the first bend. Oops!

Then there was the corkscrew. One bike at a time. All the way up the bicycle version of a spiral staircase, across a bridge over a busy road, then down the other side on another corkscrew. Riders were doing everything from cussin’ to laughin’ and everything in between.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the NE Lab location the bikes all piled up together and looked pretty cool sticking out from the bike racks and half hanging out into the street. Jammed and crammed.

Seth was able to meet us all at the north location just as we got there, so drinks all-round and Tom and him didn’t take too long before they started talking business again. They love it though!

After all that hoopla and fun group riding up, it was a pretty quiet ride going home with just Marin and I on the trike, Seth on his speedy city bike, and a new friend Kathleen on her bakfiet who knew the roads to get us home safely. We even had time to check out some free cycle piles!

Us and the World Naked Bike Ride

Us and the World Naked Bike Ride!

I think I know what you’re thinking.

“WHAT???”

Every year during Portland’s Pedalpalooza, the WNBR (World Naked Bike Ride) throws an event that draws thousands of people. People line the streets cheering cyclist on and giving high-fives to the participants. Bikes and other means of human-powered transportation are lit up with regular lights and intricate, crazy, multicoloured, cool lights.

Cyclist wear shoes. That seemed to be the one and only thing that every participant agreed to wear. Police asked everyone to also wear helmets, but you know people…. some of them skipped that safety item. There were guys in top hats and vests, girls in princess and fairy costumes. Naked people in wheelchairs and on skate boards, riding on cargo bikes and just plain running.

The only down side to riding with no clothing is if on the off chance you have a spill, there is nothing to protect your skin. I saw a cyclist crash when he ran into the edge of a cement lane divider. I didn’t see the in-line skater crash, but I did watch him get back up with a purple/red bruise the size of a cantaloupe on his buttox.

Despite the risks, people were in high spirits. There is a thrill in being naked with thousands of other people, in front of thousands more fully clothed people. Exhilaration and freedom!

Seth and I stopped about 2/3 of the way through the course and just watched the other cyclist go by. Everyone so unique and different. An education to be sure!

Where was Marin during this family adventure? Bundled up cozy warm and fast asleep in the front of the trike. She fell asleep right after we left the house and didn’t wake up at all until we were back home and putting her to bed.

Unicycles, tall bikes, cargo and tandems. Hispanic people, Asian, male and female. It was a night for every make, model and size, both for bicycles and people!

Proof we were there and I wasn't just making all of this up!
Proof we were there and I wasn’t just making all of this up!

We Forgot Our Anniversary?

A funny thing happened last night, where I got an email from my mom in which she apologized for not having said “Happy Anniversary” the previous day.

I went; “What”?

A look at the calendar revealed that (heaven forbid) I had forgotten my very own first wedding anniversary! I kinda chuckled at that.

Later that night after putting Marinny-roo to bed, as Seth and I were lounging together on the couch, I sidled up to him and asked, “Do you know what happened yesterday?”

“No,” he responded, with a quizzical confused look on his face. “What happened yesterday?”

“We forgot our first anniversary!”

His frown deepened and he tilted his head a little. “Was that yesterday? I knew it was coming up, but I didn’t think it was so close!”

We just looked at each other for a minute, processing the fact that both of us indeed truly had forgotten the uniqueness of the previous day compared to all the other days on the calendar.

“At least we went out for drinks on our anniversary, even if we didn’t know it!” Seth happily volunteered.

“No, that was the night before. Yesterday we rode our bikes down to the rhododendron garden, remember? Drinks was the night before, when Calvin took Marin for that long walk.” I pointed out.

“Oh right. Well, I still had a fun with you yesterday.” He said as he kissed my forehead.

Maybe we don’t have our days straight and figured out. Maybe we don’t always remember to make one particular day more special than the others, but we have fun and enjoy each other’s company each and every day, loving and being loved. Neither of us minded having the other person forget our anniversary, but rather each found it quite funny.

It has been a good year of marriage, full of adventure. Thank you Sether!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

End Of Day Parade

A good long nap for Marin set the stage for the evening adventures!

Getting ready for summer hikes (I don’t know when we will get out), I loaded Marin up in the big baby backpack and headed across the river with the dog to meet up with Seth after his work shift. Let me tell you, that pack is NOT my idea of comfortable! It fits Seth perfectly and he loves it, but I have found that all the packs I have tried from that particular company have never fit me well enough to make my experience anything other than a complaining adventure.

The legs were feeling the load when we got across the river, and we still had plenty of time before meeting Seth, so I called a halt at one of the big water fountains and let Marin play in the water, splashing herself drenchened and loving every moment of it! But it couldn’t last too long as her bottom lip started to vibrate with a chill, so warming up on the sun-warmed stones was in order for a quick recovery.

Mama got the granola bar and baby got the wrapper
Mama got the granola bar and baby got the wrapper

Then after a break on a green strip to let Marin stretch her legs again and where I could get off my feet, we continued on our way to meet Seth, having to divert around the perimeter of that night’s parade. The streets were crowded and blocked off to vehicles.

When we eventually did find Seth and a bite to eat, we conveniently found a nice little alcove along the sidewalk where we were all able to crowd together along with the bike.

Changing station where Marin could play with the bike pedal at the same time
Changing station where Marin could play with the bike pedal at the same time

The first thing to go past was a foot race. Ten minutes of runners. Some dressed up in goofy outfits… the best was the lady with a doll upside-down strapped to her front so it looked like she was in labour while running!

Then of course came all the marching bands… and more marching bands…. and more. Eventually we called it quits on the bands, but not before we got a quick photo of one….

The last band we stayed and paid any attention to
The last band we stayed and paid any attention to

THAT my dear friends, was our night. Okay, well there was the whole walk home with a baby, a dog and a bicycle, but that doesn’t seem like something you want to hear about!

Last Thursday

Last night was the Last Thursday On Alberta St Market.

Neither Seth or I had ever been to it before, but that didn’t stop us from cycling up there with the trike and setting it up as our own art stand!

Sorry, in the excitement we forgot to take pictures. Bad us!

We slow walked through the first couple blocks until we found a very nice little corner where the road narrowed a bit and the crowd was drawn in by one of those “see how strong you are” bell thingys. I held Marin while Seth did most of the setting up, then I added my touch with the art and started working on a painting right there.

Just sitting and looking at people never worked to draw in a crowd. No sirree. What DID work though, was ignoring them and painting, open coffee jar and everything! I think people were drawn mostly by the comforting smell. They would stop and look… smile… ask what kind of paint it is.

“Why it’s coffee!” I’d say, to which a look of surprise would cross their face until I allowed them to smell my paint.

“Wow, it really IS coffee!”

I think that was the most fun part, seeing people register that yes indeed I was making art out of their daily morning beverage.

 

Mother’s Day Adventures

Mother’s day was a little different this year. For the good and bad.

The good part was that this year I woke up with my daughter beside me instead of IN my belly, and Seth was there beside me as well. Last year we were in different coountries on this day. A good thing was Marin and I got out for a bike ride and spent a wonderful time with some friends that we ran into.

The bad part was having a full day of dealing with a teething child whose gums hurt her terribly. Oh well, that’s life!

"Tall Bike Tim" out for a political cruise
“Tall Bike Tim” out for a political cruise

While we were slow peddaling along the Springwater Corridor, we came across our friend Tim, parked on the side of the path, handing out Free Floride Free Water to passing walkers and cyclists in an awareness campaign about the issue of having low grade floride chemicals put into Portland’s drinking water, which causes all sorts of health risks especially for individuals who aldeady have health problems.

Anyway, here’s a picture of him on his tall bike towing a trailer behind. Sorry you can’t see the trailer very well.

As most of his water had been drunk up, we waited while he loaded everything back down, then together headed back to his place to visit Jan and show Marin the chickens and pigmy goats at their neighbour’s place.

Getting baahs from the goats and giggles from the girl
Getting baahs from the goats and giggles from the girl

 

No Cares On A Sunday

Another day spent outside with my little girl. Nothing too important to do. People watching, slow peddaling.

This morning while taking down the tent in the wind, the fly got a small puncture and a couple good scrapes in it. Wasn’t the best way to start the morning, that is for sure! It is lightweight silnylon made by Nemo. Beautiful tent and well structured! But that silnylon along with being ultra light for camping, is also surprisingly easy to tear and not so easy to fix.

While Seth headed off to work for the day, I did an internet search on how to fix silnylon. You can’t just sew on a patch and throw some goop on to waterproof it and call it good. One of the beauties of the fabric is that almost nothing ever sticks to it……….including adhesives. So my searching was also one to find where I might pick up a patch kit. Easiest place was REI, so off we went. Well, sort of.

There were delays getting to the sports store, as Andrew volunteered to make lunch and I was not about to say no to that! And then there was the issue of it being a highly breezy day and me only having one pair of shorts (whose reach just covers my knees) so Marin and I stopped at Goodwill to find a cooler pair of shorts for me. Okay, so I didn’t really find shorts, but a nice running skirt with built in boyshorts seemed to do the trick for keeping me cool the rest of the day.

Finaly we made it to REI and Marin started telling me she was hungry, so I found a quiet little corner amongst the sleeping bags (like anybody is gonna go shopping for a bag on a sweltering hot day like today!) where I could nurse her without any distractions. It worked so well though, that she fell asleep and refused to wake up! So I carried her all sprawled out in one arm while searching out the repair kit and I had to ask the cashier lady to bear with me as I had to do everything one handed. In fact, Marin was so sleepy that only opened her eyes for one second, not even two, when I put her back in her carseat on the bike. Zonked OUT!

When Marin woke up from her nap we watched all the little kids playing in the water fountain down by the river. I did some drawing while she watched the kids and played with her little maraca, becoming the center of attention for a couple other little tots who thought she was awefully cute (as always!).

One of the fun things about these longer nice days, is that Marin and I can meet Seth downtown when he gets off the train from work, and we can cycle home together, often stopping somewhere for a bite to eat first.

I love seeing Seth at the end of his work days! We have such fun together and it doesn’t take big activities to keep us entertained! Small little things like walk, bike rides or simply watching other people go by, is enough to keep us amused and happy.

All and all, I think it was a fantabulous Sunday! Yay!!!!

 

The Day Is Not Over Yet

With my birthday almost here, Seth and I splurged and bought tickets for some acrobatic airial arts show later tonight. But the timing is just right that Seth had to ask for the day off of work. So, with a Saturday free to do anything, we started the adventure last night by setting up our 3-man tent and each of us sleeping in our own sleeping bags, caressed by a gentle breeze taking the heat off the day.

Yes, Marin at 8 months old has her own sleeping bag. One of those length adjustable ones from Mountain Hardwear. She slept quite well in it, which does not necessaraly mean that Seth or I got as good a sleep. I’m sure you parents can understand! But it was fun anyway and I think we will do it again tonight.

Marin in her own sleeping bag
Marin in her own sleeping bag

So that all was last night’s adventure, but what about today? Seeing as it was the first Saturday that Seth has had off since working for Columbia Sportswear, he wanted to head across the river to the Saturday Market to check out what’s new there. Today’s means of transportation was walking with a stroller. It’s not as fast as cycling, but we get to talk and catch up on inventive ideas that we just don’t get the chance to share with each other during the week or out weaving through traffic on our own sets of wheels.

The market was busy as always on such a bright beautiful day. We locked up the stroller and carried Marin through the crowds, gazing at all the interesting creations that are on display. Brunch was had at Horn of Africa. Same thing as we always get there, six samosas, two of each kind. Yum.

Marin having her first drink out of a water fountain. She did well!
Marin having her first drink out of a water fountain. She did well!

After wandering around the tents, it didn’t take us long to find a spot where Marin could watch all the other little people running through the water fountain. She still is unsure about getting involved in the activity of getting wet by splashing water, but she loves watching everyone else.

Standing in water while watching kids play
Standing in water while watching kids play

After Marin started to tire of watching the kids, we sat down where there was less chaos and more flow to the crowd of people. Sitting and watching people must be one of our favorite things to do. So much variety! There was the older couple walking their bicycles through the crowd together with matching handlebar baskets and matching floofy dogs in the baskets. A fellow who looks like he spends all his time working out and watching too many survival videos on youtube, with a buck-knife on his belt walking a male dog that looked ready  to sire a mean looking litter of pups. A lady who looked uncomfortable in her much too short dress, having to discreetly pull it down an inch or two every ten steps. A fellow getting busted for smoking pot? Two dogs that looked like balls of fluff walking on the ends of leashes. A guy with metal spikes and leather arm cuffs, white boots with spurs and tatoos covering his arms while slowly peddaling around looking for customers to take for a ride on his tour trike. The best one by far was the guy in a Utili-Kilt, riding a unicycle, wearing a Darth Vadar helmet and playing a bag-pipe.

That was our day so far! Now we get to gear up and go to our show. Yippy!

My Cycling Father

Dad trying out the fat tire and watching how it worked beneath him.
Dad trying out the fat tire and watching how it worked beneath him.

While my dad was here I found out that he enjoys riding bicycles. We always lived a little outside of town (sometimes right out in the country!) and so cycling had no interest as you were always stuck on the same road. Portland is different though. There’s bike lanes and so many alternate routes that it is impossible to get bored especially when you’re only in town for one week!

Seth picked up a Pugsley Fat Tire by Surly last year, but my dad didn’t get to see it last time he was through. This time though, he spotted it and his eyes lit up right away.

“Who’s is that?” he asked with excitement in his voice.

When I told him it was Seth’s, he asked if he might be able to take it for a spin. Of course!!! So he tried it out on the street just in front of the house, and since we were heading out on a ride and I was taking the trike (which is slow), he opted for the fat tire ride. It was great to see him on it. He loved it!

Most our rides this last week has been with him on the Surly. It is slow, but still a heck of a lot faster than our trike which Marin rides in.

Grandpa cycling around proud as punch with his little granddaughter sleeping content on front.
Grandpa cycling around proud as punch with his little granddaughter sleeping content on front.

When I would suggest walking anywhere after the first couple of rides, his face would drop just a tad, then he would mention the option of riding to our destination instead. So we rode almost every day that he was here, including the last day when he had to pick up a few things for the kids’ school.

For that last ride, Seth stayed home with Marin while I rode Chester and my dad rode one of Andrew’s bikes downtown. We rode fast because we could.

First stop was Voodoo Doughnuts where we picked up a full dozen doughnuts and of course ate a couple of them right away. Had to get some energy to make the last few blocks to REI where Dad picked up some gear for the kids’ GoPro camera.

Heading home I got us a little off track, but didn’t exactly get LOST. Just didn’t know where we were going per say. Didn’t take too long and we were back on a familiar route, then we hit a section of heavy traffic being directed by cops, so we got on another detour, ducking and weaving between traffic. As we spun onto Clinton Street, Dad figured out where we were and took off like a rocket! Those doughnuts must have really given him a boost, because it was all I could do to keep up with him!

Late Night Transit and Timbers Game

Letting Marin go for a couple of hours is a really hard thing for me to do. Yeah, yeah it’s something I need to get used to and blah blah blah…..

Just the other night I was busy nursing Marin when Andrew came downstairs and asked if I might be interested in going to a Timber’s game that night. He had two tickets, didn’t want to go himself, but Leah really really wanted to go, so I thought about it a minute. Thought, “Heck, how often will a chance like this come up where I can go to a soccer game?” 

Andrew was offering to look after Marin for the evening, and I know that she is good with him, so in a burst of adrenaline and adventure I agreed to go to the game with Leah!

I had no idea how we were getting there and back, but a quick internet search showed an easy route that I hoped would make sense when scrawled across a scrap of paper.

Marin was a doll and didn’t fuss too much as I ran around, trying to understand maps, get myself ready, find all of the baby stuff that I thought Andrew might need, and get Marin fed and changed before heading out. She just rode on my hip for most of my running around and watched as I threw stuff together. What a girl!

Having seen her settled and content in Andrew’s arms, Leah and I ran out the door, heading for a night of noise, bright lights and loud noise!

There were people everywhere! The stadium was crowded. The game was on.

For all you big soccer fans out there, you gotta realize that I have never been to a big game before, or even a small “community kids” game.

At first I was taken aback by all the spectators. There must have been thousands and thousands!!! All talking, chatting, yelling, chanting. So much green! So many smiles!

I looked down on the field where the game had already started and thought; people are paying to see a small white speck get bounced and chased around a grass field by men that look the size of ants, who seem to get a thrill out of bashing their heads simultaneously against a fast-moving ball and the heads of other players. Why is this a sport?

Then I got into it. I couldn’t help myself! I kept pushing thoughts of worry over my baby out of my head (mom’s can sympathize!) and just sat back and soaked up the excitement and thrill of being surrounded by thousands of people brought together for one thing. And that one thing started to get to me too! I found myself cheering wholeheartedly whenever the Timbers stole the ball from the Quakes, then stood up and gave it my all when the Timbers scored in the 78th minute.

Wow! What happened to me?

At the end of the game I steered Leah out through the tightly packed crowd and made it out onto the street. That’s when I realized that my written directions were gonna be no good, cause there weren’t any bus about to come along this road, what with all those soccer fans milling around!

On a hunch, I led us around a corner and thankfully found what I was looking for. The train heading into the city center. I don’t know this city very well, and had never ridden the public transit here before except for one stretch of the train to get out to the zoo earlier this year. Yeah I’ll admit I was a little nervous, trying to get myself and my niece back home on the other side of the river, late at night, on a system I was unfamiliar with. But we made it!

Home safe and sound.

Yeah!!!

I can’t wait till Andrew gets more Timbers tickets that he doesn’t want to use himself!