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Weird but true: His bike commute inspired a series of album cover parodies

Posted by on May 20th, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Hillsboro resident Aaron Harrison (he goes by Rambo) has a commuting style all his own. Rambo has worked in Portland bike shops for decades and he’s also a decorated track racer.

I’ve known about him for years now (I can recall he and his Orange bike flying past me with whooosh during Cycle Oregon years ago); but I had no idea about his love for music and artistic flair on Instagram. Let me explain…

I follow many of Instagram accounts. It’s one way I keep track of what’s going on in our community and I like to offer support and encouragement from the @BikePortland account when people do good things. At some point I started to follow Harrison’s @RamboBikeMan account. It’s pretty fun: Goofy selfies of him flying down suburban arterials; Gloves full of things he finds on the road (he has an uncanny ability to find coins); nothing earth-shattering. Then about six weeks ago, things got weird.

Rambo started posting parodies of him bike commuting in the style of music album covers.

The first one was Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required. Rambo changed it to Rain Jacket Required.

He’s posted over 60 more of them since then. They always make me smile. Here are my favorites:

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Rambo told me he does this simply to keep himself amused. He commutes from the Reedville/Hillsboro area into downtown Portland (West End Bikes) on a heavy commuter bike. “It’s a long time in the saddle, so I look for ways to make it fun,” he shared with me in a recent email.

“It’s a long time in the saddle, so I look for ways to make it fun.”

The first ones he made were basic and used only the Instagram editing tools. Now he uses a basic editing app. After his friends liked them, he was hooked and now does them whenever the whim strikes. He even takes requests!

“I’ve been having a ton of fun making these album cover parodies, and will likely continue making them as long as I can find album covers I can duplicate (getting more suggestions from friends has helped),” he said.

Follow him at @RamboBikeMan for more album cover parodies, photos of a spoon he planted in the landscaping of a new development, portraits of his rain-bike mascot named “Koffee Kat”, and more.

Happy Bike Month everyone!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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4 Comments
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    bArbaroo May 20, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    I follow him because he’s basically an awesome human…that and I am on the edge of my chair daily wondering what change he’s found.

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    Jason H May 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    I agree, the album covers (which he also uploads to similarly titled Strava rides) have been a humorous new turn in his feed for those who know him or known of him for years.

    Much to local racer and racer wannabes chagrin he’s also infamous for using that track racer speed and long commute fitness to take many a KoM segment between Hillsboro and Portland even on his rain bike with a backpack on! He’s even inspired a “You’ve been Rambo’d” Strava group for local riders to commiserate.

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    rick May 21, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    That is a lot of coins and interesting things seen on the trails and streets. People won’t be able to see that when driving a car.

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    biketortoise May 22, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Rambo only has two speeds: Fast and Kill.

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