(Publisher’s note: We all had so much fun followings Shawne’s 40-mile trip to Gateway Green earlier this month that he’s come back to share another adventure. This story also gives us a chance to share more about how customer pick-up from stores works on a bike — an issue I’ve been curious about since so many stores now offer this parking-lot service often oriented only toward car users.)
I was so close to talking myself out of riding. It was foggy and rainy. I already had two big rides in the past week. I hadn’t slept well the night before. But we’d found a specific item available locally only at Target. The Mall 205 Target that is, a whopping 16 miles away. (I looked at several locally owned stores for the product but no luck.) I could drive; but I’d feel guilty if I did that just to pick up one thing. But what if I combined errands? What else could I do to justify driving? Nothing. OK. E-bike to the rescue!
I looked up public transit options. No weekend bus service on Line 43 means riding to Barbur Transit Center and leaving the bike there. (No way). We could walk to Pacific Highway and catch the 12. Meh.
Ok let’s ride the e-cargo bike but leave the kid’s bike at home this time (shedding 16 pounds makes a big difference). I attached the rain canopy, packed a lunch, and off we went.
The drizzle stopped just before we left. I decided to make a change to our route to eliminate one hill. This would be a second chance at the trip we took to Gateway Green last week. Maybe we could make it on one charge!
Before we left the house, I downloaded the Target app as it would be required for bike-up service. When our order was ready it asked me to click if we were on our way. (I didn’t want to do this at home as we had a 1.5 hour ride ahead of us.) I had to change the pickup option from walk-up to drive-up. Surprisingly there was an option for “Bicycle” when asked what kind of vehicle we were in! I waited until we were about 10 minutes away to click “on our way”.
As we rode up there was a long line outside. Customers were waiting to enter the store. Just past them was a canopy/tent at the curb with an “Order Pickup” sign. Was I supposed to pull up there? (Truly curbside.) Then I spotted the dedicated drive-up parking spaces trimmed in red paint. Yes! We coasted into the huge parking spot. I opened the app and clicked that we had arrived. I figured this would take a while so I dropped the kickstand, dismounted and took my gloves off. I turned around and there was an employee walking my way! The employee said they had never delivered to someone on a bicycle before. I told them that this was a first time as well. I showed them a number that the app presented in large text and that was it. Super easy and fast!
The ride home made a total of 34 miles and 1,900′ of elevation for the trip. (This was 5 miles and a couple hundred feet shy of the Gateway Green trip.) We made it on one charge Barely. Display showed zero range when we got home. Success!
—Shawne Martinez, @RescueEwe on Twitter.
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Shawne is a prolific urban rider who has put thousands of miles on his e-cargo bike, often with his young daughter in tow. He lives on Portland’s southern border with Tigard and is a member of the City of Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee. Follow his adventures on Twitter @RescueEwe