I’m always on the lookout for interesting bikes and the interesting people who ride them.
Working downtown I see all types of cool machines and every once in a while I’ll strike up a chat with the person who owns them. Last week after I stopped into the Stumptown Coffee on SW 3rd (a frequent hang-out for bike messengers), a white bike caught my eye. When I went to take a closer look I met its owner, 38-year-old Boyd Littell.
Boyd works as a courier for two companies: Postmates and GO Box. He moved here last summer from Oklahoma, lured by the promise of the romantic life of a professional bike messenger. “It’s not exactly lucrative,” he said, “But it’s a lot of freedom.” Boyd takes advantage of that freedom by spending his non-work time as a musician. He plays drums in the band, ADDverse Effects, which just played a gig last night at the White Eagle Saloon.
Boyd has never owned a car. Before coming to Portland he lived in Oklahoma City where he said there wasn’t much of a bike scene. The bike he uses for work now was just a commuter bike in Oklahoma because, he said, “The only courier work there was [sandwich chain] Jimmy Johns.”
Speaking of his bike, it’s a looker. Part sleek, time-trial racing machine, part cargo-bike, Boyd admits it’s unusual. “It was really normal when I first got it eight years ago.” The tri-spoke wheels are perhaps its most striking feature. Boyd bought them after coming into an inheritance. “It’s the only time I’ve ever splurged on nice, racey shit,” he told me. Also competing for my attention were the F.U.B.A.R. leather toe straps, chain-link cuff locks, downtube shifters, air-horn taped to the handlebars, and front cargo bin.
There’s just something about the utility, speed, and personality of messenger bikes that I can’t get enough of.
Here are a few more pics…
Thanks for playing along Boyd. See you on the streets.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – email@example.com