Portlander Emily Finch en route to the Oregon Coast.
(Photos by Sarah Gilbert and Emily Finch)
This guest article was written by Portland writer and Stealing Time magazine founder/editor Sarah Gilbert.
“The Portland’s been strained outta him.”
This was a regular at a coffee shop in Vernonia. The coffee shop in Vernonia, maybe. “Him,” the guy behind the coffee bar, had welcomed us in right at opening time with an admiring look and, “YOU are the ladies with the bikes!”
He’d followed, “They said you were loaded, but I thought they meant the other way.”
We were Portland, unfiltered, and they acknowledged this without meaning anything bad by it. Loaded like this: Emily with 220 pounds: speakers, bike and a five-gallon water container. Me with all our “soft stuff,” sleeping bags, pillows, extra dresses and sweaters, bread, peanut butter, a little backup boombox, that sort of thing. Music is so important to motivate us up the hills, it’s worth the extra pounds. We went through a weigh station on the way out of Portland, on Highway 30, and I registered 250, Emily 350. We each weigh 130. I kept asking Emily to let me take something else so I wouldn’t feel like a wuss; she kept saying “no.”