Sometimes all it takes to stoke gratitude for our city is to see it with fresh eyes.
While I was gaining perspective of my own in New York City two weeks ago, a visitor from the California Bay Area was in Portland. Eleni Jacobson is a bike advocate who works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. She came to Portland to visit Breadwinner Cycles and spent a few days riding around town. Jacobson also stopped at Bike Happy Hour and met one of our regulars, who passed along a blog post Jacobson wrote about her time here.
That blog post says so much about Portland and I recommend everyone give it a read. It will remind you why the place we live is so special.
During just a few carfree days in Portland, Jacobson visited a handmade bike builder, did a trip to see waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, ate great food, visited beautiful parks, was helped by new bike friends, did fun bike rides (“What a perfect vacation so far” was the title of one of her rides on Strava), used our transit system, and even swung by Bike Happy Hour.
It was that visit to Happy Hour that I loved reading about most.
“San Jose bike friends had recommended Wednesday Bike Happy Hour at Gorges Beer Co. to meet some of the community,” Jacobson wrote. “On arriving, the hostess acquainted me with a table of new friends. I grabbed a fistful of great stickers and learned about some of lovely creative projects these folks are working on…”
When Jacobson told her new friends she was visiting and needed a bike to use for a few days, two of our regulars (thank you Pamela and Rupert!) stepped up to loan her one. “This is where the magic of this whole trip really kicked into full sparkle,” Jacobson recalled.
Yes! The magic of Bike Happy Hour (BHH) in full splendor. It made me so happy to hear about that — especially since I wasn’t even there. This is what’s possible when we create a welcoming, reliable, and accessible community space.
Speaking of which, we’re getting ready for another fun event this week. Last week we had the worst weather since the event started 32 weeks ago… But it didn’t stop a bunch of you from showing up! The downstairs space at Ankeny Tap & Table worked well, and we even had a group of folks spill out onto the plaza.
This Wednesday will be another “Swap & Share Night.” That means, bring your stickers, t-shirts, zines, patches, pins, or whatever else you’d like to share or swap. We’ll also have the mic open if you have stories to tell or event/campaigns you want to promote. On that note, City Council District 1 (East Portland) Candidate Steph Routh is signed up to speak. If you’d like to learn more about her and/or ask her questions, come on out!
Come and experience the “magical sparkle” of Bike Happy Hour for yourself.
Hope to see you there!
Bike Happy Hour – Every Wednesday All Year Long
3:00 to 6:00 pm
Gorges Beer Co / Ankeny Tap – SE Ankeny & 27th (On the “Rainbow Road plaza)
$2 off drinks (includes non-alcoholic and coffee from Crema)
BikeHappyHour.com – “See you Wednesday!”