Splendid Cycles

Portland cargo bike celeb Emily Finch gets a new bike

Posted by on August 1st, 2014 at 6:53 am

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Emily Finch standing outside Velo Cult with her new family vehicle.

Emily Finch, the southeast Portland woman whose family-biking exploits made her a media sensation in 2012, is back on the road again.

Finch rode her bike β€” and her six children β€” into the hearts and minds of many, only to have her famous bike stolen from the side yard of her home in Ladd’s Addition late last year.

Without her beloved family bike, Finch had been toting kids and cargo around Portland streets on various bikes (a Brompton folder and a cargo trike) borrowed from Clever Cycles. As it looked less and less likely that her stolen bike would ever be recovered, she decided to have a custom bike built just for her by Metrofiets, a local builder.

Last night, Finch gathered with friends and family at Velo Cult to see her new bike for the first time. Metrofiets co-owner Phillip Ross had the bike placed on the stage under blankets until the big reveal. When they were lifted, Finch let out a shriek of delight. It was her first time seeing the bike fully built up.

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Philip Ross with Metrofiets built up anticipation by covering it up before the big reveal.
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The bright yellow bike is a wonderfully executed family-mobile built by Metrofiets’ Jamie Nichols (he was at the event last night). It features a 14-speed internal Rohloff hub with a belt drive; an extra-large, wooden cargo bin; and a custom rear-end with an extended rack to carry Finch’s trademark amp on the very back. We estimated the kid-carrying capacity of the bike to be about eight at one time (likely even more if Finch is feeling frisky).

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On her first test-ride on the roads outside Velo Cult, Finch wobbled a bit as she got used to the new ride, but after about a dozen loops around the shop she was pedaling smoothly and smiling as always. “You are the best Jamie! I love this bike!” she exclaimed as Nichols watched her pedal around.

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That’s builder Jamie Nichols watching his creation ridden for the first time. (And isn’t the new Velo Cult mural amazing!)
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Emily’s daughter is following in her footsteps.
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It wasn’t really her bike until the music started thumping.
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After she was out of sight Nichols turned to a few of us and said, “I really hope the city is big enough for that bike.”

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you β€” Jonathan

  • Jim Lee August 1, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Belt drive


    Should be good for 50,000 miles.

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  • Joseph E August 1, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Correction: Emily owns that cargo trike, and she had it before her Bakfiets was stolen. Mitch rode it with Kidical Mass PDX before.

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  • Mark August 1, 2014 at 9:24 am

    So Jamie’s actually building these now, they aren’t sub-contracted out as they have been in the past? I like the specially designed rear rack, that’s awesome!

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  • METROFIETS August 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Hey Mark. Yep! Jamie has been building from day one. We now have three other folks helping too. In the past we had help from Tony over at Tonic Fabrication as well as Wade at Vulture Cycles. Many hands make light work. πŸ™‚

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  • Mark P. August 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Great news! I’m glad to hear Emily is back on the road with an amazing cargo bike for the family.

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  • Buzz August 1, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Sorry, but this really isn’t front page news.

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    • Paul August 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Buzz kill πŸ™

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      no need to apologize.

      I hear you what you’re saying.

      But as publisher I reserve the right to put whatever I deem worthy on this Front Page.

      Thanks for the feedback!

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    • Dwaine Dibbly August 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      She’s a great example, and seems like a really cool lady. I’d like to see more stories about her and her family.

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    • BIKELEPTIC August 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Wow. Way to make someone feel like less of a human.

      A lot of people like to hear follow-up to bike theft stories and as one of those goes, this one is a pretty interesting tale. Not only is this a bikeless mom that hauls around kids, patio furniture, couches and all sorts of crazy things (to voiding manufacture warranties in my suspicion) – but she’s the nicest lady who has amazing parties ever and invites the communities out for the littlest celebration of life events.

      Front page news? Have you seen the Oregonion or KGW lately to see what qualifies at front page news. If you put donuts under someone’s windshield wipers at Voodoo Donuts you can make front page nowadays.

      At least this is a great story about bike innovation – creating a custom design that fits for this family’s lifestyle. Maybe you didn’t actually read the story and just read the headline. There’s more to it. It’s really quite an interesting bike in of itself. Cargo hauling monster. I love all the details that were put in. Like the integrated foot pegs for both rear rider and still room for cargo in back.

      But you’re right. It’s not front page news. it’s all got to be infrastructure and traffic enforcement 24-7.

      How about you start your own blog if you’re so bitter? pdxbikenazi.com URL is available.

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      • BIKELEPTIC August 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        EDIT: bikeless = carless (oops)

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        • Opus the Poet August 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm

          Well, carless first, then bikeless andcarless.

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      • 9watts August 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

        Comment of the week!

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    • GlowBoy August 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      IIRC Emily Finch was the subject of the Most Popular BikePortland Story Ever.

      So I think her new multi-passenger bike, after the much-publicized theft of her previous one, qualifies as significant news.

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  • A.K. August 1, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I’ve never noticed that “8-bit” mural on the back side of the building before, that looks awesome!

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  • Alan Love August 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Question for both the builders and recipient: was e-assist considered? Personally, I would not fault Mrs. Finch one tiny bit for installing a turbo boost kit for the hills and stops. On my Big Dummy longtail with a single 4 year old and some groceries, my relatively fit legs are sometimes complaining.

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    • Paul Smith August 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Emily is officially badass, capable of Herculean biking. 14 gears will help πŸ™‚

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  • Editz August 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I have to ask…what kind of security measures are included with this bike?

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    • Alan 1.0 August 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I hear it’s on a need-to-know basis but that, if you intend to ride it without permission, Second Chance shorts are recommended.

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  • Kevin August 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Oh, the jealousy, it burns within me.

    (except that I’m a wimp and I’d also want electric assist)

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  • jeff August 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I think with 6 kids, she’s been “frisky” enough. Tell me no one else picked up on that.

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    • Amy August 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Yep, I caught that, too! Funny!

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  • joel August 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    sakiko and I saw her last night with that bike on 28th.

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  • aram August 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    that bike is dope

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  • John Liu
    John Liu August 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    That amp is dope!

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  • Rob August 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I still say she needs to wear a helmet. How is she being a good role model for her kids?

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    • 9watts August 2, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Do you wear yours in the shower? When climbing stairs?

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      • Middle of the Road guy August 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        No, just when going out in traffic when there are other people involved who I can’t control the actions of.

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        • scott August 5, 2014 at 9:11 am

          You can’t control anything. Release the illusion and you will be free of it’s shackles.

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        • BIKELEPTIC September 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

          Exactly. You can’t control the actions of them. With that kind of logic, women should wear high collared tops and long skirts because they can’t control the attackers that may assault them.

          Education and enforcement of traffic. Higher penalties for violators.

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    • Caleb August 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Ah, so being a role model comes down solely to helmet use? That’s one way to reduce an idea.

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  • Paul August 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    What’s with the boombox? There was a guy at the SE Sunday Parkways with a be-speakered bike, and it was pretty annoying.

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    • BIKELEPTIC August 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      What’s with riders who wear earbuds? When trying to alert them of hazards ahead they can’t hear you. That’s pretty annoying.

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      • scott August 5, 2014 at 9:13 am

        What’s with people trying to ride my bike for me? I’m over here listening to Judas Priest. Hands off my ears people!

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    • q`Tzal August 4, 2014 at 2:29 am

      So are drivers who play their car stereos loud enough to be heard outside their vehicles.

      What of it?

      We may not appreciate their taste in music, or cacophonous din if you prefer, but until it is an actual noise violation we just have to grin and bear it.

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      • estherc August 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

        exactly. Its the sound of the city. Go with the flow.

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    • DNP August 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I’m not sure that is a boombox. Chrome corner protectors scream instrument amp (voice or bass). I doubt she’s having a karaoke jam while rolling down the street and it’s big enough to need an AC power source.

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  • Opus the Poet August 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I love locally-sourced cargo bikes. I will be glad when mine gets back out of the shop from replacing the IGH. Note: Sturmey Archer 8sp hubs and monster quads are not compatible, even when your quads are more Godzilla Jr. than your standard kaiju quads.

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  • Zaphod August 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Nice read. Congrats to all parties

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  • Justin August 15, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been looking for kids seats like the ones on the back of this bike. What are those called?

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  • Ali N May 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Does anyone know what the towing rig Emily had on her old bike was? It lifted the front wheel of a 20+ inch bike up and towed it. I’m looking for something that doesn’t mount on a bike post to hook up to my recumbent trike to allow my kids to tag along or ride independently as needed.

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    • Chelle T June 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      That was a Followme Tandem.

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  • Acrophile July 31, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I think with 6 kids, she’s been β€œfrisky” enough. Tell me no one else picked up on that.
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    I think that … that’s nobody’s business! How dare anyone judge someone else’s family?

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    • Kathleen M August 11, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Agreed. Even the “frisky” comment in the editorial…it must be editorial… erred a bit judgmental. I suppose it’s funny to some but, as an oldest child of six, I understand and respect my parent’s choice and desire to have all their children, and not as an unfortunate by-product of friskyness. I dare argue, someone with 6 children more-than-likely isn’t having them on accident, and likely values the beauty, growth, joy and love each child brings into their family. I dare say, someone wth six kids is more likely to truly value people. You can’t knock that.

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