Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 26th, 2008 at 10:26 am
"Not knowing what I was in for created a lot of mental room for scenarios of death and disfigurement. So far, the worst thing that's happened is when my chain popped off on Interstate Avenue."
-- Shelby Wood
Remember Shelby Wood, the Oregonian columnist who was "too scared to saddle up" and ride her bike in Portland?
Wood, who writes the PDXGreen column, said her fears about biking were representative of many Portlanders in the "thick, nervous mainstream". When I shared her story back in May it sparked over 140 comments, including one from Ms. Green.
going south on N. Interstate Ave.
Watch Video Below
(Photo: The Oregonian)
"I'm fascinated by the commenters who don't "believe" I'm scared... It is, in fact, the fear of being exposed without the "iron curtain" that surrounds me when I'm in a car. Honestly, I am nervous about getting knocked off my bike or squished up against a parked car. But I am going to attempt to get over it."
And "get over it" she has. In a video published today, Wood put on a microphone, mounted a camera on her helmet, and confronted her fears of riding. The result is a very interesting perspective (both visually, and from Wood's candid narration) on what it's like to ride in Portland. Watch the video below and read Wood's companion column, where she contrasts how her outlook on several issues (including the "bike vs. cars culture war") has changed now that she's an official bike commuter...