Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 17th, 2011 at 5:21 pm
This morning I swung by Pioneer Courthouse Square to partake in a grand Portland tradition — the Bike to Work Breakfast.
The crowd wasn’t too big this year (I think as biking becomes more normal, events like this lose their appeal to some); but that just meant more hot and fresh pancakes, egg and toast combos, bagels, coffee, and free bike repairs (thanks Bike Gallery!) for those who did show up.
The event was also a great chance to chat with folks. After all, Pioneer Square isn’t known as “Portland’s living room” for nothing.
I bumped into Portland Police officer Cage Bird (yes, that’s really his name). Officer Bird works the night shift patrolling downtown and was just headed home to Vancouver. “I just finished my shift,” he said, “So I figured I’d stop and fuel up.”
I also met Elliot Aughenbaugh. Elliot just started biking in March and he was in line for some free bike repair. “I’ve jumped in feet first,” Elliot said about his new biking habit, “I’m so new I don’t even know how to work on this thing.”
Jennifer Rosa just moved to Portland from Seattle about a month ago. She’s been biking for about two years now (read how it’s changed her life on her blog). Rose biked around the city up in Seattle too, but says riding is “a lot better” here. I loved hearing her perspective.
“In Seattle, I couldn’t get anyone to ride with me, they were all to scared because of all the cars and the hills,” Rosa said. “In Seattle, I’d always have to yell at people… I haven’t had to yell at anyone here… It’s been amaaazing! I’m in heaven!”
Markell, a self-employed Northeast Portland resident who I spotted in line for some new brake pads, is far from new to biking. 48 years old, he says he’s biked all over the city for “40-some years” and he’s thankful that biking is much more accessible today than it used to be.
(I wouldn’t have believed it if he didn’t show me the silver hair under his cap.)
If you didn’t go this year, make a note to join us next time. I know Bike to Work events don’t quite hold the charm here in Portland like they might in other towns, but how often do bikes get to take over Pioneer Square?
Thanks to the City of Portland for the hospitality this morning.