If you’ve heard of me around town as Bicycle Kitty, recall my Forest Park commute back in 2012, or read my articles here on BikePortland, you know I’m not new to being a bike geek. My journey through the bike industry has included roles like managing a bicycle tire outlet store, planning and leading rides, hosting flat repair clinics, maintaining e-commerce sites, fitting and training children on bicycles, and now, chain lube!
Cooler temperatures, golden school buses and colorful leaves can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for Portland Society’s Boot Camp! We’ve come to call it Bootless Camp, because it’s more of a relaxing retreat than a workout-a-thon.
What is the Portland Society? According to our website, we’re Badass Biking Babes. To put it more succinctly, we’re a membership organization of female-identifying cyclists in Portland, Oregon who work together to support each other through referral, education and community. Portland Society has become so much more to me than its mission statement of making Portland a better place to live and ride. What started as a networking group has become a club of bikey friends who empower and uplift each other.
Maria Schur, a.k.a. “Bicycle Kitty” is a Portland-based bike lover and ride leader. You might have sampled her handiwork if you did the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride. In this post she shares her experience as a volunteer at the Ride to Defeat ALS earlier this month.
I’m not sure whether to feel terrible for Lou Gehrig because he died young from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or because his name has become almost synonymous with this debilitating and often fatal disease instead of for his illustrious career as a talented professional baseball player.
I didn’t know much about ALS before joining the Ride to Defeat ALS last Saturday. 75 miles gave me a lot of time to think about the privilege of good health, and the struggle of the folks diagnosed with ALS and their families. ALS is a motor neurone disease, weakening the victim’s muscles until eventually they’re unable to breathe. It’s always fatal and a diagnosis usually means the patient will die within five years.