Finch rode her bike — and her six children — 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.
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).
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.
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.”