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Updated: Motorhome-biker shares his story

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 30th, 2007 at 8:12 pm

[NOTE: This post has been updated since last night. Please hit your "refresh" button to make sure you are seeing the full story.]

brian camper bike-2
Brian
(Photos by Jonathan Maus)

Like most of you who read the story about how the famous motorhome-bike was destroyed Wednesday night, I instantly assumed it was the work of vandals.

But as the day wore on, evidence mounted that the bike's creator, Brian, might have done it himself: a commenter who has spent time with him said he'd been wanting to "trash it and start from scratch"; Ayleen Crotty reported that he needed help with repairs; and Jonathon Severdia, who wrote an article about Brian for WorldChanging called to tell me he wouldn't be surprised if Brian did it.

Despite all this, I didn't want to jump to conclusions until I heard what happened directly from Brian.

Fortunately last night, on my way to catch the B:C:Clettes at the Clown House on Alberta, I happened to see Brian entering the Safeway at MLK Blvd. and NE Ainsworth.

"Nothing ever lines up for me, no jobs, no nothing...I'm invisible out here, like a ghost. People only notice me now that this happened."
--Brian

I felt awkward introducing myself to him. No matter what the circumstances are around his bike, I knew he might not be in the best mood right now. Not to mention, I was a complete stranger.

At the outset of our conversation, things did not look good. I quickly realized he had destroyed the bike himself and he was mumbling and going on about how sick and tired he was of everything: living on the street; living in his "camper"; not finding work; not having many friends; being hungry; and so on.

He didn't really look me in the eye and he was angry, frustrated and depressed.

I let Brian know that while I couldn't relate to his experiences, I could understand why he felt angry and bitter at the world. Mixed in with my empathy, I let him know that there was a community of people who cared about him and who were willing to help; but only if he wanted it.

As we walked back to the site of his tattered bike, the warm breeze blew the wayward pieces of tattered foam all over the street. He had a few plastic trash bags and I asked for one to help him clean up the mess.

As we picked up bits of glass, metal, and foam, the picture of Brian's breakdown became clearer.

brian camper bike-8

After decades of traveling the country in his camper-bike and living a seemingly carefree, nomadic existence, Brian had had enough.

Still upset, he said, "Nothing ever lines up for me, no jobs, no nothing...I'm invisible out here, like a ghost. People only notice me now that this happened."

I offered (and he agreed) that perhaps people mistakenly assumed he was happy and content with his existence. After all, he was free-and-clear, without the stresses of work, mortgages, and other rat-race responsibilities. He was on an eternal bike tour, living off the land under his own power...how bad could that be?

As we talked, many people would honk and wave as they drove by.

He explained that last winter he reached a breaking point. The dark, cold, wet days found him "just lying there, in my cabin, staring out, losing weight from not eating." "I can't do that anymore," he said "I felt like I was in jail in that thing, trapped..."

He pointed out mold that was spreading through sections of the cabin's foam walls and expressed concern about breathing it in.

Despite his anxieties over the state of his life, I noticed that the more we spoke, the more stable, and less upset he became. Slowly but surely the fog around his mood began to lift. Eventually the conversation turned to how he could get rolling again and he even started joking and smiling.

brian camper bike-7
brian camper bike-6

With a huge grin he said, "This is what happens when you build a camper that's not big enough for a woman."

I told Brian that if he was interested, I would help him raise some money and maybe even have a little work party. He said he definitely wants to rebuild, "I can get this all fixed in just a couple of days."

Staring at his bike and thinking of rebuilding, he said, "It will be like the big family argument that gets better when you buy a new car and everyone's happy."

That "joke" is actually a true story from Brian's past. He told me about a "big blowout fight" between his mom and dad. Then, the next morning he noticed a brand new car in the driveway, and "the house was silent...and everyone seemed OK." With a confused look and a sheepish grin, he said, "I could never figure that one out."

I was relieved that his spirits seemed to be getting brighter. At this point, he was talking less of his frustrations and sadness, and more about how he could get rolling again.

Brian said he could re-build his camper for around $200 in supplies. Here's a list of what he needs:

  • 6 1" thick, 4x8 feet Armax (?) double foil-backed sheets.
  • A big roll of duct tape.
  • A can of spray paint.
  • A roll of silver flashing.
  • Some glass.
  • A front moped wheel.

Before I left, I wrote my name and phone number down and told him to stay in touch (he said he would). I offered my backyard as a backup place to crash if he needed it (he's currently got a place to stay that's off the streets).

Then, at his request, I went to Safeway and bought him a 40 oz. of Pabst and two cans of spaghetti.

If I do hear from Brian, and if there's sufficient interest from the community (which I think there will be), I will coordinate a work party to happen in the next few days. Stay tuned to this post for more details.

In the meantime, I've created this PayPal button for anyone who wants to make online donations. All proceeds will go to help Brian rebuild his bike (and maybe a show of support from the community will help him rebuild his zeal and outlook on life as well.)



UPDATE: As of today (8/31) at 4:15 pm, we have raised $515.00 for Brian. Wow. Stay tuned for more info...

UPDATE: We've set up a work party for tomorrow. If you'd like to join us, meet Brian, and show your support, come to the Walgreen's parking lot at MLK Blvd. and NE Ainsworth at 3:00 tomorrow, on Saturday, 9/1.


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Comments
  • K August 30, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    I had a feeling...

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  • Roma August 31, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Ha! So much for people \"picking on him because he\'s weird\".

    I think some people would actually have felt better if it was done by vandals.

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  • David Dean August 31, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Roma,

    Are you accusing me of having a persecution complex?

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  • DK August 31, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Time for a new look, or was it one of those days?

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  • pdxrocket August 31, 2007 at 8:45 am

    I had a feeling it was an inside job; but if you say anything like that on this board you get attacked. Next time I need a new bike I\'m gonna trash it then post pictures here; everyone should come running to help me make that new purchase. :-) [kidding]

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  • Roma August 31, 2007 at 8:56 am

    @David

    No - my comment was not directed at anyone in particular. There were a lot of people saying those types of things.

    I just think it\'s interesting that people who live in Portland of all places immediately assume that vandals were somehow picking on him because he lives outside the norms of society. I would have bet it was drunk teenagers just wanting to destroy something before I would have thought he was specifically targeted.

    There are few places in this country where you are less likely to get picked on for being \'weird\' than Portland, Oregon.

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  • Jessy August 31, 2007 at 9:12 am

    You should check out the comments from the last post... The destruction was apparently in response to being harassed. There\'s more to the story.

    Also, I like the idea of being there to support him, whatever the issues. He\'s an icon to people everywhere in this country. We don\'t want to lose that.

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  • Jessy August 31, 2007 at 9:15 am

    The story got bigger, all of sudden. Well, I\'m glad that\'s cleared up.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Jessy,

    I\'m aware of the mention of harassment in a comment on my previous post. The commenter said he heard that from some Safeway employees.

    Brian made no mention of this to me last night, although given his state of mind, I don\'t deny that he might have just not told me about it.

    I think the important thing, like you mention, is that Brian could use some help. thanks.

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 31, 2007 at 9:19 am

    I am sure that for some on these boards support for Brian is boiling away now that he is no longer seen as the righteous victim in some easily digestible fantasy about a gentle soul being savaged by a cruel world, but the fact remains that this action, confounding as it is, has created an opening for us to help someone who needs it. I am increasingly suspicious that living in a bicycle will ever promote good mental health, but I am sure that a safer, better bicycle would boost Brian\'s spirits in a measurable way, and I believe that even more good could be done by us coming together to assist in that process with all the positive energy we can bring. People on these boards have already said they would support Brian either with money or with manual assistance. I urge everyone who has made such statements to follow through with them, and help me put together a work party to pimp Brian\'s ride. It will be fun, I promise!

    Please see my comment #23 on the earlier post for more details, for now I go back to my day job.

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  • Jessy August 31, 2007 at 9:19 am

    And there\'s a donate button now! I\'m going to donate some money. He might be crazy, but every time I ride my bike past him and his creation it gives me hope that there\'s a better way to live than the suburban-housing, SUV-driving, cablve tv-watching way.

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  • Jessy August 31, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Oh, sorry. My comment wasn\'t to you. It was just for comments # 1, 2, 5. But there were no details yet, and now there are. I just didn\'t want people to see the short-story \"he did it himself\" and go nuts blaming him, etc.

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 31, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Wow, and as soon as I hit submit I see that Jonathan has updated this post with the whole story. You\'ve done a great job summing up the whole sweep of things, but now I really have to get back to work. Suffice to say, I am down to help!

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  • Darren August 31, 2007 at 9:42 am

    To Inform and Inspire says the masthead.

    Perhaps we should donate to Jonathan for his empathy and outreach efforts. Isn\'t this a great example of how to live your values?

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  • john August 31, 2007 at 9:47 am

    This is a really nice piece of journalism. Good one!

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  • James Lingk August 31, 2007 at 9:48 am

    White guilt is a powerful thing.

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  • SnarkyPants August 31, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Indeed, the empathy expressed in this post and exhibited by your efforts to support Brian are commendable and inspiring.

    I\'m all for pitching in to create a little hope here and there in the world.

    You do great work, Jonathan. Thanks for your commitment to the community.

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  • Schrauf August 31, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I just gave $20. Jonathan - Keep us up to date on what happens.

    As romantic as it may seem, a life on the street with this vehicle would be very difficult - physically, but especially mentally. If a few people can help out when he is down, it will make a difference.

    I wonder if a magazine article or book about his life is possible - something that may help support him for a time.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 10:08 am

    James (#16),

    Thanks for your comment, but I\'m sorry you see it that way.

    For me, this has nothing to do with skin color or guilt associated with race.

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  • wsbob August 31, 2007 at 10:13 am

    In this world, it can be very hard being an extraordinary person. Why have no jobs ever lined up for this person? Given that he rides the bike, he obviously has a level of physical fitness for some kind of job. If people are willing to work, work should be available to them.

    It\'s just unpleasant to imagine being stuck in a little compartment outdoors in Oregon\'s cold, damp, dark winters. It\'s great that people are going to do what they can to help Brian out, but a job that would allow him to provide for himself a little better would probably come in really handy.

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  • ND August 31, 2007 at 10:17 am

    On one hand, giving him money for a new bike will, well, create another sweet new bike (which was probably his plan from the start, it happened how long after he was getting blogged about?).

    On the other hand, having hung out with Brian a number of times, it is unlikely the solution to his issues, like launching into a world-hating rage and destroying things, luckily this time at least it was his own stuff.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 10:21 am

    \"It\'s great that people are going to do what they can to help Brian out, but a job that would allow him to provide for himself a little better would probably come in really handy.\"

    I agree with you to some extent wsbob... and part of my hope in this situation is that perhaps other opportunities (besides money and a rebuilt bike) will surface...

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  • Izarra August 31, 2007 at 10:26 am

    A wonderful followup, Jonathan. Thanks so much for keeping us informed and doing the right thing!

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  • Dan (teknotus) August 31, 2007 at 10:36 am

    So it sounds like he needed to rip it apart to clear out the mold. I guess it wouldn\'t be obvious from the outside that it needed to be reduced to it\'s frame, and rebuilt.

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  • brian August 31, 2007 at 10:38 am

    It\'s a \"jump to conclusions mat\". There are different conclusions you can jump to.

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  • Kyrstin August 31, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Sign me up for the work party, just let me know where and when!
    I dont feel white guilt, I feel a sense of community: when my bike was stolen, leaving my son and I stranded, the bike community in this town rallied to our aid and got us back up and rolling. I cant wait for the opportunity to give back, and feel strongly that the cycling community needs to stick together and have eachothers backs

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  • SKiDmark August 31, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Roma, people in Portland are no more morally superior than people anywhere else. Portland has it\'s fair share of rule-followers, and some of them do act out. Even though the overwhelming response to a tallbike in the street is positive, more than one of my friends has been attacked while riding one, and the overall vibe was that it was because they were weird and different. Both incidents happened in NE. I may have jumped to conclusions, but based on my experiences they were far from unfounded.

    Good job reaching out, Jonathan. You are a very compassionate man.

    I cannot donate supplies, but I can bring whatever tools may be required and I have a strong back. If a rebuild takes place I would like to help.

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  • janis August 31, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Count me in. Thanks Jonathan once again for bringing things to our attention.

    Compassion is wonderful. Embrace it.

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  • Ken Wetherell August 31, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Nice job Jonathan! Setting up the Paypal donation button is fantastic.

    I\'m wondering whether Brian\'s new outer shell would benefit from some added protection and improved insulation. I\'ve been experimenting with corrugated plastic sheet material used by sign makers. It is lightweight, durable, flexible, easy to cut, and comes in large sheets -- oh, and it\'s cheap. It has been used by others to construct velomobiles and fairings.

    I would be happy to bring Brian a sample if he is not familiar with it and would like to consider using this material.

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  • Dusty Grimm August 31, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Seems like this weekend would be the best time to offer any help to get our friend back on track and feeling good about his home again. I can only be available all day Sunday and possibly monday, but I am more than willing to help in any way. I will donate whatever I can. We could even get some live acoustic musicians who might want to be involved and make a \"Go, Brian, Go! renovation party\" out of it.
    I\'m sure it would be a pretty fun thing. Spectators will probably be coming by just to watch i\'m sure. Anyways, maybe that\'s a little too much, but i\'m guessing any extra money would be going directly to Brian right? For keeping him healthy and living as well he can...? The legacy must live on.

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  • rixtir August 31, 2007 at 11:11 am

    It sounds to me like what Brian wants most right now is being hooked up with a job-- something that bikeportland readers may also be able to help with.

    In the meantime, helping him rebuild meets his immediate needs. I\'ll be glad to send some money his way...

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  • anon August 31, 2007 at 11:15 am

    is anyone here in the position to offer this guy a job? it sounds like that\'s what he really wants.

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  • anon August 31, 2007 at 11:16 am

    ha ha, rixtir, didn\'t mean to get all redundant.

    i wrote the comment and walked away for a couple minutes before hitting submit. great minds think alike i guess.

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  • the duke August 31, 2007 at 11:27 am

    if someone can find out what size glass he needs, and what kind, i can probably lay my hands on that and bring it to whatever work party gets organized. i might be able to get the \'silver flashing\' as well, depending on what it is.

    RMax is a thermal sheathing product.
    http://www.rmaxinc.com
    it\'s available from Service Partners in Tigard. 503.598.7060 It is $15.90 per sheet.

    i assume jonathan, that you can get our email addresses out of these posts, but if you can\'t, post a response and i\'ll send you my contact info some other way.

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  • DK August 31, 2007 at 11:32 am

    As much as I admire his carefree spirit and living style, he might think twice about using the same materials he did before, on the rebuild. Like #27, there are different plastics, underlayments and caulkings that he can benefit more from, especially in the coming months. Or even better, get ready for a road trip to the sunnier locales. Also, he should make it a bit wider...alone in the cold, dark and damp nw would be hard to get used to.

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  • Dusty Grimm August 31, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    #32,

    That\'s cool you\'re offering this. Since glass is something not everyone can just \"come-by\".

    I don\'t think the glass needs to be any specific size or type. From what I remember he had just a few pretty small panes just to let in light and to see out somewhat. Like 12 or 14\" by something around half that I think...
    Someone else may have more info on this. I\'m sure what ever you can come up with would suffice. The cab is being rebuilt around whatever anyone can provide. We can assess as we go too.

    Excuse me if I misunderstood, but I couldn\'t quite tell if you were asking what the flashing is... The silver flashing is what\'s in the corners of roofs to keep water from pouring into the walls of a second story when the walls meet the roofs. rooves? no roofs, i think. Shiny foot wide or so flexible metal that comes in rolls. I\'m not familiar with any types though if that\'s even important.

    I\'ve got duct tape and spray paint. Gold silver and black. Plus access to Napa discounts for any other supplies. Adhesives, paint, tape, whatever we can use from there.

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  • michael downes August 31, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Jonathan,

    Excellent reporting! And heartening to see the response of the wider community. I made a donation and would be happy to be involved in any work party. I used to wrench and currently have access to a full model shop if any fabrication is required. On a technical note condensation and mold are perennial problems with campers. Does anyone know of any solutions that could be incorporated?

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  • toddistic August 31, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    ahhh PBR saves the day! That\'s all he really needed!

    let us know when/if there\'s a work party, i think it\'d be fun. I\'m near that area so if you need some help, I\'m there!

    todd

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  • Esther August 31, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    I\'m glad to see you are spearheading such a wonderful effort to help Brian. From some comments here and in the other posts, I\'m guessing he has a mental illness and it sounds like he is going through some tough times. You should make sure he knows he can call the Multnomah County Crisis line at 1-800-716-9769 and Cascadia has a walk-in clinic at 2415 SE 43rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206. He may be unwilling to call, but it might be helpful to know especially since he is nomadic and may not be familiar with Portland\'s services.

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  • Dusty Grimm August 31, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Does Sunday work for everyone? Maybe I or someone can stop by and ask Brian if Sunday\'s cool. I\'m assuming most people have Labor Day off in case we need to work a little that day too. If that works for everyone, we can meet at a later determined time and/or at least drop off any materials they want to donate to the cause sometime between now and then. I can definately help with any excess materials, broken material waste, stuff that needs thrown out/recycled. I\'m very close by and have means of hauling/picking up stuff if needed.

    Keep up the updates. Thanks everyone for your support.

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  • organic brian August 31, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Wow, Jonathan, I\'m amazed at the results you had talking w/ Brian. I think you must have the biggest heart in all of Portland.

    I stopped to talk w/ Brian months ago, when he was parked in front of Citybikes. I was curious about the design, about how heavy it must be, about The Man behind it all, where he\'s been, what does he eat and how does he get by. He was pretty drunk, was rambling about the lack of privacy of being a Bike Cabin Guy icon, how people weren\'t donating to his \"donate\" slot on the bike-cabin, how people were just interested in the bike and not him. I tried to interject w/ helpful comments, that people tended to donate for performance and not things that are static, and that if he wanted privacy there were less conspicuous places to park near parks and fun stuff that I could recommend. I couldn\'t get five words out, eventually I walked away with him still ranting angrily as I left.

    I\'m guessing that he is suffering the disappointment of being a person with pure ideals in a society which most values consumption. I\'ll bet that he\'d hoped that his creation would inspire people to make do with less, instead it is an amusing exhibit for them that they later forget. I really would like to see him happy and would definitely participate in a work party. He\'s a hero for at least trying.

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  • toddistic August 31, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Esther: I dont think mental illness can be attributed to someone going through tough times. Unless you\'ve never taken out your frustration at life at an inatimate object, otherwise we are all mentally ill.

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  • DK August 31, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Instead of the roll of metal flashing there is this peel and stick rubber and foil backed flashing that is 36\' wide, and is sold by roofing supply companies. It cuts easy and will seal any nails or staples that penetrate it, and is easily formed around anything...it\'s called water seal...I think its\' a must for an underlayment around joints, windows and seams for this project.

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  • Jim Bombardier August 31, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    The offer of the saddle still holds if he is interested. I can\'t help until Monday but will check this list to see what is going on by then.

    If you are not extremly frustrated by the world around us, you are not paying attention.

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) August 31, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Won\'t be able to make it to the work party (assuming one is held) this weekend, so I\'ll kick to the kitty and wish Brian my best.

    Jonathan, next time you talk to Brian you might suggest that he finesse his design as he rebuilds. When motor fuels prices soar off the charts and the economy crumbles there\'ll likely be a huge demand for his clever bike/camper combos. Brian already has a good-paying job; he just doesn\'t know it, yet.

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  • Chris Sullivan August 31, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    A 40 oz. of Pabst and two cans of spaghetti...that sounds like a good cure to just about any woes.

    Good piece, Jonathan!

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 31, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    I just sent an email to my friend Deirdre who works at Cascadia, so when I hear back from her I\'ll know more about what they may be able to do for him.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Just tallied up the donations...

    so far we have raised $515 dollars.

    Wow.

    Thanks to everyone who has donated so far.

    Stay tuned for more info...

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    OK, just talked to Brian. Work Party scheduled for tomorrow Saturday (9/1) at 3:00. Meet at the Walgreens parking lot at MLK and NE Ainsworth.

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  • Mike August 31, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Oh come on now. This guy is either mentally ill or an alcoholic/drug abuser or a combination of those---and the response is to glorify him as a \"free spirit\"? He needs help and a job, not a bunch of people enabling him to be in his same situation. I seriously doubt your neighbors will be happy about having some drunk camping in your backyard. The camper bike is a neat piece of improvisational engineering, but if he\'s that sharp and in the position he\'s in, there is a larger issue. He needs counseling, rehab, and a hand up---not a hand out.

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  • gabriel amadeus August 31, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Yay! Thanks everyone, it is astounding to see how quickly you all come to the aid of a fellow biker. Over $500? WTF? I\'ll be adventuring tomorrow, but have a great time at the workshop - can\'t wait to see it!

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  • Schrauf August 31, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Mike #50 - Possibly, yes. Or he could be a relatively stable guy who usually is relatively happy, and just having a bad week, month or year.

    Emphasis is on \"relatively\", because how stable and happy is the average person with a full-time job and full-time responsibilities? I would guess a decent percentage of these so-called more traditional members of society get drunk and have bad moments as much as Brian.

    Maybe we will all find out more soon. I would just like to give the guy a chance given he probably has never in his life had this type of support from the community. If he chooses not to make the most of it - his loss.

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  • rlk August 31, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    P.T. Barnum was right... :(

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  • beth h August 31, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    I would venture that a fellow living in a three-foot wide trailer on the street hasn\'t had much experience with community. Whatever other issues he might be wrestling with, doing it alone makes it ten times harder. (I highly recommend the book \"Bowling Alone\" for a look at the larger anti-community trends that are shaping our society today, and suggestions as to how that course might still be altered for the better.)

    Meanwhile, it sounds like there are folks with the time and wherewithall to give this man some help. I hope that extends to somehow helping him feel welcomed into some sense of [bicycle] community, along with counseling and job help. Almost any load is a little easier to bear when you don\'t feel like you\'re carrying it alone.

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  • Nuada August 31, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    It sounds like Brian really has some tough issues to face. Hopefully this community effort will give him a boost, enough to seek out the counselling he obviously needs so he will be able to give up the booze and find work and a place to live.

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  • John Mynhier August 31, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    the way his rig draws attention, would it be feasible to rebuild it with space for advertising? do you think any companys would want to advertise on it? Powered by Pabst for example. the rat race sucks but income is good.

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  • SKiDmark September 1, 2007 at 12:14 am

    James (#16) : this SO has absolutely NOTHING to do with COLOR. Maybe in your segregated world, but not mine...

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  • SKiDmark September 1, 2007 at 12:18 am

    And to John (#55),do we all have to be prostitutes for corporations?

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  • N.I.K. September 1, 2007 at 12:40 am

    He needs help and a job, not a bunch of people enabling him to be in his same situation.

    Right. Because having a job trumps having shelter. And what\'s more, it\'s so ridiculously easy to get a job without having a fixed address or recent work history. :P

    Look, Mike: I worked a job when I was homeless for a summer. And I mean \"homeless\" in that once in a while, someone I knew could put me up for a night or two, while the rest of the time was a mad scramble to find a quiet spot where I wouldn\'t be disturbed by passing cops or get robbed or beaten by vindictive assholes. I almost lost my job because I couldn\'t maintain a proper level of hygiene through only showering twice a week at best and then sponging off as best I could in the employee lavatory and only having access to a few changes of clothes. I kept that job by pleading my situation to my employer and providing records of my bank account to indicate I was indeed carefully budgeting myself to get back into a place as soon as possible.

    Now, you want to suggest that a guy who has been without a job and without a conventional home for *years* is going to be able to go and get himself work? Stop trying to convince yourself it\'s easy. The best help anyone can provide to Brian right now is to help him fix up his version of shelter so that it\'s safe and hygienic as possible so he has a slightly greater sense of stability, period. And the community\'s doing that. If you don\'t want to help, that\'s your call, but unless you run a business and can give Brian a job like that, you\'re being foolish.

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  • Mike September 1, 2007 at 8:45 am

    N.I.K.----so the solution is to buy him a big bottle of beer? I\'ve helped out the homeless before. I don\'t give them money. I\'ll buy them a sack of burgers and a Coke. Why not give them money? Because they\'ll drink it up, that\'s why. If you folks really cared about Brian, you\'d direct your efforts toward getting him some stability. He stated he was tired of living in a shack on a bike---but you guys are twisted up in your vision of him as a \"free spirit\" and you\'re not listening. Surely there are homeless shelters in Portland. Unless, of course, Jonathan wants to have this guy using his backyard as a bathroom.

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  • Darren September 1, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I\'m see a social experiment in action here with a real rainbow of views and beliefs about what is an effective way to intervene when intervention wasn\'t directly requested.

    A couple of thoughts: Any measurable success even temporary with volunteers and $500 bucks will be more cost effective than anything current social services, health care, police, charitable organizations, etc. could come up with probably 5 times the money.

    Also, look at the grass roots community that is forming up and actually doing something. Hats off again to Portland bike culture and its willingness to at least try to make things better. This kind of behavior will produce future leaders that will eventually produce viable candidates and elected officials that have values and skills that will better the city.

    Success or failure with Brian shouldn\'t be the end of the discussion. It should be the start of thinking big.

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  • wsbob September 1, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Mike #50,#60, how is that you\'re so certain your prejudices accurately apply to this bike camper guy Brian? Have you even met this person before tossing around these generalizations?

    A few comments here and there by various people; \'...he parties with us..\', \'...got him two cans of spaghetti and 40 oz\'...and automatically, in some people\'s opinion, \"This guy is either mentally ill or an alcoholic/drug abuser or a combination of those---\"(Mike).

    Yeah? So what? In your own words, you say, \"He needs counseling, rehab, and a hand up---not a hand out.\"(Mike). Except for the $500, which you\'re apparently already assuming will be handed to him in a big wad destined for a beer bust pot smoking binge, isn\'t what you say in your statement, exactly what everybody is rallying to offer this person in need?

    This isn\'t a perfect world. Some people with jobs and houses abuse alcohol and drugs just like people without jobs and houses do, sometimes worse. They all need help.

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  • Mike September 1, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    wsbob----David didn\'t get to the point where he had no home and no job because he was able to drink responsibly. Duh. The people who abuse alcohol and drugs but have jobs and homes obviously haven\'t hit bottom. David has. The man also clearly stated he was tired of living in a bike camper on the street. What part of that don\'t you guys get? You\'re not helping him. Help would be taking him to the local shelter and getting him some counseling and a warm, dry, clean place to sleep.

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  • N.I.K. September 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    N.I.K.----so the solution is to buy him a big bottle of beer?

    Gosh Mike, you sure love a strawman.

    If you folks really cared about Brian, you\'d direct your efforts toward getting him some stability. He stated he was tired of living in a shack on a bike---but you guys are twisted up in your vision of him as a \"free spirit\" and you\'re not listening.

    Stability = having a place to live on a consistent basis. Seeing as homeless shelters AREN\'T, and he has no way of paying any further rent if the community throws down for a security deposit, and it\'s going to be damned involved to build him a solid house, the best that the community can do in terms of giving Brian housing he can go to each and every night is to help him rebuild what he had before, and make it a bit safer and a bit more habitable. It\'s not going to change the fact that he\'s frustrated over certain aspects of his existence, but it\'s still better than a cardboard box or the gutter. The comfort of familiarity goes a long way when you otherwise don\'t have your own space.

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  • wsbob September 1, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Mike, first of all, just who is David? Secondly, why are you so sure the bike camper guy Brian\'s present circumstances are a result of alcohol and drug abuse?

    I\'ll admit that personally, I don\'t know either, because I haven\'t met the guy, but I\'m willing to consider, based on what we\'ve learned about him from numerous people, that this is a well traveled, at least sometimes friendly, extraordinary person with a demonstrated aptitude for practical engineering.

    With a little help, maybe Brian can learn to be more effective in efforts at getting a bigger house and employment of some kind. I suppose if he really, really didn\'t want to live in the bike camper, he would have scrapped the entire thing and parked himself in a shelter as you\'re suggesting. At least with it, he\'s got a certain independence and privacy that\'s nonexistent in shelters.

    \"The people who abuse alcohol and drugs but have jobs and homes obviously haven\'t hit bottom.\" Mike

    Well, maybe, but functional abusers often mess up so many lives and take so many people down with them as they manage to hang on to their house and job, it makes the transgressions of solitary individuals taking dubious solace in a 40 oz and two cans of spaghetti seem mild in comparison. Given humanity\'s sometimes myopic vision, of the two types of individuals, which is far more likely to be sympathetically acknowledged and aided as a respected citizen, and which is more likely to be written off as a worthless eccentric?

    I hope this community effort helps Brian get what he needs that will be best for him.

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  • kristen September 1, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    i am just now reading this story, too late to help out in time for the work party. but if there are still some supplies needed i work at a hardware store and can get a great deal.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 1, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    we had a solid first day with Brian.

    we bought a bunch of supplies and he plans to start re-building tomorrow.

    photos and more to come...

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  • Catbox September 1, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    \"Help would be taking him to the local shelter and getting him some counseling and a warm, dry, clean place to sleep.\"

    Once you are in the system, your at the mercy of those who run it and it\'s not a pretty picture.
    Part of my wife\'s job is getting homeless seniors services and housing...anymore...what little services there are left is set up for people to fail.

    The community seems more reliable than government programs and services these days. Why not help this guy? I figure if more community members took it upon themselves to assist others, things might look a bit brighter for us all.

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  • Jason September 2, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I just threw down a few bucks, hopefully you will keep in touch with him so that we can continue to provide support. It sounds like he might need more than just money for a new bike.
    I\'d love to make a trade with him. He could share stories about life on the road and I\'d make/buy him dinner.

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 2, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Personally, I can relate to this guy, as I suspect many of us can. I don\'t know that much about his personal story, but my basic feeling about this society is that it is a fascist hellhole, and the only reason I have a nice job and can afford to put nice organic veggies on the table, day-in-day-out, is mostly dumb luck.

    We all dream of \"freedom\" in the belly of this maniacal, ultracapitalist moloch, but we know that ultimately everyone either gets \"bought off or shot off.\" If you go my route, you get \"bought off.\" If you go outside The System and try to live like the Indians, or Brian, you get shot off. Them\'s the facts, and they\'re hard to deal with.

    \"World-hating rage\"? That\'s just another way of describing the way any healthy, fully sentient human can get to feeling when they know full well the reality of this society.

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Mike:
    Take a closer look at the \"social services\" system, or what\'s left of it under post-Reagan, post-Clinton, late US hypercapitalism. It is not a mechanism for helping people. At the very best, it tends to be a career path for \"poverty pimps.\" At worst, it is social control system for emasculating, demonizing, and humiliating poor people.

    Did you hear the one about the old lady getting kicked out of her publicly assisted housing \'cause her nephew left a dime bag of marijuana hidden someplace in it? That happens any day of the week. How about the 86 year old granny who died in prison rather than rat out members of her family? (http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n968/a05.html)

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  • Maggie September 3, 2007 at 5:36 am

    Brian is certianly not a victim and would probably be better off without any help at all.

    I KNOW BRIAN. He lived on my block for seven months and I hung out with him nearly everyday.

    Your money will go to a new bike, yes, but all the rest will be spent on beer and pot. He doesn\'t have a job because a) he is unstable and b) he doesn\'t want one. He was a good friend, but that doesn\'t take away from his mental illness.

    It\'s very sincere and sweet that you all feel so compelled to help him, but really, he could totally do it all on his own. Because I got to know him so well, I know that your generosity will give him an ego boost and will do more damage than repair.

    Trust me.

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  • DK September 3, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Geez Maggie, let the bikers have their fun. It\'s not just all about Brian, it\'s also about the community. Maybe if you didn\'t just hang out with him almost everyday for seven months, he would already be well on his way to something.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 3, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Hey Maggie,

    Thanks for chiming in. I too have some concerns with all this, but I\'m no expert on this sort of stuff, nor do I pretend to be. Simple fact is that Brian hit a low point and the community is trying to help. We may not have the best methods, but we\'re moving forward.

    I\'ve spent the last two days with him and I\'ve been happy with how things have gone. Wish I had time for full posts and reports, but I\'m headed to the coast for today-tomorrow.

    He\'s well on his way to building his new and improved camper bike. today he\'s going to buy a new mattress and bed sheets. He\'s also talking about buying a new wardrobe, getting some official ID, and (reluctantly) becoming more a part of the \"system\". He really wants to help other people see his vision of a pedal-powered world and it\'s been great to watch him work. He has been totally focused (not drunk, although pot has been smoked).

    It would be great if some folks would drop by today and tomorrow to say hi and see how things are going. I can\'t wait to see the camper when I return on Wednesday.

    thanks everyone for the donations and support.

    Click here for my Brian Campbell photo gallery.

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  • mommy September 3, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Mike,
    Does being a drug addict, alcoholic or mentally ill make someone a throwaway? You\'re right, most chronically homeless people are mentally ill who self-medicate with alcohol and street drugs. Is mental illness their fault? Do they not deserve our charity?

    Jonathon,
    I know you weren\'t looking for kudos, but I had tears in my eyes reading this. I have been thinking so much about homelessness and the disenfranchised lately. And why so many of us have the gut reaction like Mike that makes it easy for us to dismiss them as not worthy of our empathy. Thank you for being such a wonderful example. It makes me happy to share the earth with you.

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  • wsbob September 3, 2007 at 11:49 am

    \"t\'s very sincere and sweet that you all feel so compelled to help him, but really, he could totally do it all on his own.\" Maggie

    \'If...\'...right Maggie? If he wasn\'t unstable, if he wanted a job if he were stable, if he didn\'t have mental illness and chase away feeling bad by drinking and smoking pot, right? Just where does rationalizing stop and constructive assistance come into play?

    I wish it weren\'t true, but jobs just don\'t work out for everybody, at least not the regular, secure kind of jobs. There are lots of people not working would like to be doing something, but after bad experiences, failing at those jobs, or failing at even getting one of those jobs, people start feeling like they don\'t want a job, because they realize they can\'t handle it and consequently know they\'re going to fail. I know this too well.

    Some kind of new effort has to start being made to consider this reality of human nature, and learn ways to help people deal with it better. Do we really want to just stand by and watch these people continue to spiral deeper and deeper into the depths of despair and hopelessness?

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 3, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    wsbob:
    It\'s called the \"Basic Income Guarantee.\" And it\'s not new either. A variant of it was even proposed by the rabidly anticommunist Nixon Administration! Look it up.

    It works like this: Anyone who earns less than a certain income enjoys a \"negative income tax\" adequate in quantity and frequency for a humble but dignified existence -- ie, automatic bank deposits into the account of their choice from ustreas.gov.

    Brian could live and support himself and be as much or as little of a loner or iconoclast as he likes, without feeling compelled to work for capitalist despots or beg miserable charity or feel beholden to anybody. Problem solved.

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  • beth h September 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    I rode by the Ainsworth & MLK Safeway and the bike-trailer-thing was nowhere to be found.

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  • Mike September 3, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Antonio---so what you\'re suggesting is that I go to work and pay my taxes so Brian can live in his camper, get drunk and high, and receive money in his account every month? I don\'t think so. People like Brian are what charities are for. Maybe he\'ll have to listen to a preacher in exchange for three hots and a cot. Maybe he\'ll have to wash some dishes in the shelter. But I\'ll be damned if he should get money for nothing.

    Beth---he\'s probably drunk and high somewhere. Duh.

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  • wsbob September 3, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Antonio, thanks....I\'m checking out Basic Income Guarantee. Wickipedia too, has a page that came up in a search: Guaranteed minimum income.

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  • Minda September 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    #68: \"The community seems more reliable than government programs and services these days.\"

    I think that\'s the crux. I\'ve worked in social services for two years now, and I\'d say the majority of people I\'ve met who were homeless were so because they had no friends nor family. Many of us get on hard times, lose jobs, are unable to engage in society, go through addiction (or divorce, or...), and without a community of support, those hard times can last forever. Social services are trying to make up for what our community won\'t do. And too many people *won\'t* help because they think there is an easy fix. It\'s great to make sure someone knows what resources are available, but realize that most of those resources are overloaded. There is no accessible, safe, and supported path for people who aren\'t able to take care of their own needs. There are bits and pieces, but bits and pieces are very difficult to navigate, especially if a person is under stress.

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 4, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Well, Mike, it\'s a tradeoff. Would you rather pay for alarm and security systems, insurance, etc, to protect yourself against theft by people who can\'t get jobs and have to feed themselves, or would you rather pay for a social welfare state?

    In most civilized industrial countries, they\'ve opted for the latter approach. In America, we\'ve opted for your approach. We have Katrina and Fort Apache the Bronx and Sicko to show for it. It makes for some interesting documentaries and interesting places to visit, but not much of a country to live in, IMHO.

    I don\'t think your approach could hold out indefinitely in the face of a national conversation about human needs and social priorities, such as may well be provoked by deep economic crisis in this country.

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  • Mike September 4, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Antonio---providing health insurance for the uninsured is far different than paying people to not work, but socialized medicine has lots of faults. That\'s why wealthy British and Canadians leave their countries for necessary surgery----unless YOU want to wait a year for a knee surgery.

    People are homeless/jobless for a reason---and that\'s usually because they choose to be. If you want to actually LOOK at New Orleans, it\'s the result of exactly what you are preaching. There are generations of people there who have been given Welfare, food stamps, WIC, and a free place to live. What did it get them? Kids having kids at 14. Welfare mothers having 10 kids. Fathers not having to take responsibility because the state(working taxpayers) had to foot the bill.

    Poverty does not necessarily equal crime, or the Appalachians would be the most crime ridden area of the country.

    Good day, sir.

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    There are a lot more Americans who go to Canada and Canadians expats who go BACK to Canada for drugs and medical care than vice versa, despite the much feared long lines (as touted by self-interested US medical insurance industry propaganda) for certain procedures in Canada.

    Of course there is no perfect correlation between things like crime and poverty. And yet, if you look at almost any social indicator you like, the US is behind other major industrialized countries -- whether it is life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, etc, etc. Granted there can be many factors to account for this. But you will have a hard time arguing that the miserly-to-nonexistent social welfare state in the US has nothing to do with it.

    You are hearing a lot of propaganda by self-interested rightwing thinktanks and individuals that preaches the creed of \"moral hazard.\" That is an ideology recycled from Herbert Spencer and other 19th century apostles of the \"Free Market \" and which predates any sort of twentieth century sociology. Most contemporary sociologists who bother to look into the matter with a less heavy ideological axe to grind are dismissive of the \"moral hazard\" mantra. The so-called failure of the American social welfare state is largely attributable to it having been only imcompletely and abortively implemented, before being largely dismantled in the Clinton years. And Katrina came well after that. It was a largely manmade disaster that demonstrates in the starkest terms the cost of policies that abandon practically any pretense of social solidarity at all.

    Good day to you!

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  • SKiDmark September 4, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Mike said:

    \"People are homeless/jobless for a reason---and that\'s usually because they choose to be. If you want to actually LOOK at New Orleans, it\'s the result of exactly what you are preaching. There are generations of people there who have been given Welfare, food stamps, WIC, and a free place to live.\"

    You need to get with the times. For one, somewhere near 50% of homeless people have jobs, real ones at minimum wage usually with taxes still being taken out. Minimum wage is so low (even OR minimum wage) that you can still quality for food stamps. If you are a single person this is 40 bucks a week. If you don\'t have a pot to cook in or a window to throw it out, it is really hard to buy enough food to last for a week never buy food that might be good for you like fresh fruit and vegetables.

    I am pretty sure living on welfare went away with the \"reforms\" of the 80\'s and 90\'s. I\'m pretty sure have to be in an education program or have a work assignment, and if you have kids you have to find a place for them to be while you are working or in school. Day care will eclipse minimum wage/40 hrs. a week in about 3 days.

    The idea that you can live comfortably in welfare is nonsense.

    You should try being poor for a while, seeing that you think it is so easy, Mike.

    Just don\'t sit down on the sidewalk for too long.

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  • Deb September 4, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    maybe it\'s just about Brian blueprinting his camper plan and teaching how to build it, the gains he could generate might out weigh the negatives he deals with. A vision never hurts when others believe.

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  • wsbob September 4, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    \"...paying people to not work,...\" mike

    What are you talking about Mike? Paying people not to do what work? For many unemployed people what work is readily available for them to do that reasonably corresponds with their abilities?

    Unavailability or inaccessibility of work opportunities seems to be a big problem. There\'s a lot of people out there that want and probably could be doing some kind of work to at least partially provide for themselves, but various characteristics of the job market virtually guarantee that they won\'t ever get work or be able to keep it if they do.

    Did you read in yesterdays or Sundays Oregonian about those temp workers being hauled out to the coast to work back to back shifts in the cannery for min wage? How many people are really going to be able to hold that kind of job down? And the rest? Well, I guess it beats Darfur, Iraq, Afganistan, or other third world countries for work opportunities.

    I\'d bet that some of those workers just might be drinking 40 oz\'ers and smoking pot to deal with the stress of their lives. Do you the cannery owner cares about whether they eventually become chronic substance abusers as a result?

    People seem to recognize that Brian the bike camper guy has both assets and liabilities factoring into the possibility of his achieving aspirations in life it seems he may have thought of. He\'s a somewhat unique guy, but in this respect, he\'s not unique at all from many people who are frustrated with the way things are going for them.

    Perhaps it\'s a long shot, but maybe personally working with people like Brian in the form of friendship, assurance, advice and even cash, will lead them to develop the kind of realistic awareness they need to achieve their aspirations, thereby avoiding the fate of becoming the kinds of persons that find themselves in the margins of society and the subject of its harsher members\' contempt.

    Shut doors on too many people, kicking them to the curb, and eventually the streets, alleys and sidewalks will be so jam-packed that no place will remain for the people with jobs and homes to move about on foot, let alone their cars.

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  • K September 4, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    This discussion is so inspiring!

    I\'ve known Brian for over 7 years, and he\'s been biking around for so long! What an inspired REAL human soul! Cheers to the pedal power community of Portland for taking on this discussion. What is being shared and learned here is so incredibly powerful! Radical Generosity is in motion!

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  • N.I.K. September 5, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Perhaps it\'s a long shot, but maybe personally

    Oh, give it up already.

    I mean, look, I agree with you, but Mike\'s going to be blaming homeless people for their homelessness until the day he dies. You\'re not winning him over. Write him off and instead sink the efforts in converting people who haven\'t already decided everyone has a fair enough shake and that those who don\'t succeed are just lazy. Marginalize the hard-heads into sore-headed cranks and let them beat their fists bloody against other human beings surviving and buying into values different than theirs.

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  • beth h September 5, 2007 at 8:14 am

    This talk of blaming the poor for their overty is similar to the recent discussion on health care in the pages of the Oregonian. Several reader there wrote in saying that if you want health insurance, you need to start out by choosing a career that will give you health insurance. If you choose a career path that offers little stability and security, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Please.

    This is a much deeper, multi-faceted discussion, one that speaks to the very definitions of value in our society. Who decides why one particular line of work -- or one particular person -- is more or less valuable than the next? Who decided long ago that cars would be king, and that bicycles and the people who ride them would be relegated to second-class status on the road? Who decided that those who eschew car ownership are immature/stupid/fill in the blank? This all relates back to a larger, deeper discussion of power OVER, versus power TO. I suspect it\'s far beyond the scope of BikePortland, but I\'m glad it\'s at least beginning here.

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  • wsbob September 5, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Sorry if I\'m causing any of you to be weary. Mike can think whatever he chooses as far as I\'m concerned. I just don\'t want anybody else that\'s in the process of deciding what\'s what, to think Mike\'s simplistic conclusions about unemployed people are right, just because he resolutely talks that line of thought up.

    Anyway, people should go and talk to people that are struggling and find out for themselves what\'s really going on rather than only listening and letting other people tell them the story before deciding.

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  • a.O September 5, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Mike\'s ignorance of the facts on homelessness is what is making people weary, methinks. Too bad for them. Thanks for not letting crap like that slide, wsbob.

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  • Antonio Gramsci September 5, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Here is a two word phrase that every American needs to study and learn the implications of (you could try wikipedia for starters):

    STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT

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  • Craig September 19, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Any updates on Brian\'s VV(velo vehicle) rebuilt? pictures?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 19, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    hey Craig,

    lots of updates on Brian. due to various things I have not been able to do an update story like I\'ve wanted to. but I can tell you that he has completely rebuilt the cabin and the fairing of his bike! I\'ve just uploaded photos I took of it yesterday... check it out... post coming soon. And thanks to everyone who donated!

    \"Brian

    \"Brian

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  • [...] Update on motorhome bike [...]

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  • Angelo L Coletta March 4, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Hello
    I read about Brian 10 years ago in an Arcata, CA publication. I wanted to learn more about his flywheel drive. Glad to see that you good spoke folk took care of him. I live in Ohio, so its not likely I\'ll ever meet him in person. I respect the man for doing his life car free and house free.
    Angelo

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  • tomsk March 23, 2008 at 6:29 am

    did this guy rebuild with the help of anyone? it seem there was a lot of talk but did anyone pitch in and help?

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  • go brian! December 11, 2008 at 2:33 am

    the truth will set you free. im a "tired of evil" christian.

    so i think brian is doing what a lot of people are afraid 2 do. "living the way he wants".

    he seems to enjoy the bike designs.!i do 2!. all the help people gave is very great to see in these sad endtimes!. the status quo is trash and a lie and people like brian always get crapd on for being different.

    but not this time!. 8)

    money and things cannot save anyone so the status quo of materialisim and dog eat dog is illogical and junk.

    more people need to evolve past these primitive things.

    sure he likes the brew etc, but hell lifes lonely and short and rainy.

    im building my own version of brians camperbike myself but a tad bit larger with ammentys.

    now would i do this if i lived forever and couldnt be damaged in any way and was happy all the time?. prob not.

    but it dosent work like that sadly for people like me and apparently brian 2.

    so the camperbike at the beach etc and a pot of stew is better than the pointless materilisim rat race and rude spitting people in the end that automatically target different people like us.

    it really is.

    so in ending... brian seems to have some problems with problems but hes normal because everyones like that.

    go brian! when i get mine done i hope to convoy with ya.

    itll be safer in pairs.8)

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  • go brian! December 12, 2008 at 2:23 am

    what are the laws if any reguarding the use on road and parking of a bike camper?.

    maybe someone can tell brian about this blog and he can give some tips about staying safe etc. 8)

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  • aili April 19, 2010 at 4:53 am

    i've spent years trying to 'be normal' and that gets you guilt and despair if you're incapable, due to, in my case, mental 'disability' and cultural differences (hippie). working at what you do best and desiring to contribute can bring real human advancement. many improvements historically are result of those looking at things from an outside vantage point. i pray every day that i can respect my ability to learn and apply perspective, and trust in myself.

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  • aili April 19, 2010 at 4:55 am

    and i am interested in feedback, as well as update on this gentleman. good luck to him, and those who helped him

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