[This guest article was written by Dave McCabe. Dave is a resident of the Alberta Arts neighborhood and is a regular bike commuter into downtown. A relative newcomer to getting around by bike, he’s current taking repair classes at the Community Cycling Center.
McCabe is also editor of American Scooterist, a magazine of the Vespa Club of America and a frequent contributor to scooter magazines around the world.]
the new King Neighborhood
(Photos: Dave McCabe)
While Saturday was Bike Day at the PSU Farmer’s Market, a biking phenomenon of its own quietly unfolded the next day at the new market in the King Neighborhood.
The King Farmer’s Market is the fifth one organized by the longtime non-profit, Portland Farmer’s Market (founded in 1992). This particular market is put on in collaboration with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (whose office is conveniently right next to the market). It is one block south of NE Alberta Street on 7th and Wygant in the King Elementary School parking lot.
There must have been some serious pent up demand because, even though it started without too much fanfare on May 3rd, in the past few weeks it has quickly blossomed into a crowded and thriving event.
For bicycle enthusiasts one of the most exciting aspects of this particular farmer’s market is the huge number of bicycles that show up for the local food and produce. It seemed as if very few people actually arrived on cars.
brought in to deal with demand.
When my family arrived in the morning around 11:00 (the market is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) we had serious trouble finding a place to lock up our bikes. Eventually we settled on a special rented bike rack from BikeRacker that was brought in specifically to meet the bike parking demand. Every other possible nearby fence and pole was spoken for.
We weren’t the only ones who noticed the surprising concentration of bicycles. Last week a local bike enthusiast and mechanic saw the same thing. After locking up our bikes I noticed that nearby (comfortably situated under a nice shady tree of course!) there was a person with a folding Park bike stand and small set of tools.
I went up to say hello and see what was up. I met the friendly mechanic, Mark. He said that, after visiting the market last week and seeing the shear number of bicycles, there was an opportunity. Like an entrepreneurial lemonade-selling kid capitalizing on a hot day, he’d take advantage of the unusual bike concentration.
Mark offered free inspections, including chain lubes and tire pressure checks just for the chance to look over bikes and give out his contact info for possible future maintenance work to his neighbors. While we were shopping, a number of people got their bikes hoisted into his stand for a quick looking over.
It was a cool service and a nice addition to a surprisingly bike-friendly shopping trip.