Meet BikePortland supporter Shannon Johnson

Shannon Johnson and her crew.
(Photo: Johnson Family)

Hi everyone.

It’s the end of another wild week here at BikePortland. Before we sign off for a bit, I wanted to share a profile from one of our supporters.

If you’re not one of our hundreds of financial supporters, subscribers, or Patreons (become one here!), you don’t get the weekly Insider Newsletter that goes out (mostly) every Friday. That’s where I share a personal note with readers, housekeeping stuff about the business, a recap of all our stories from the week, and other little tidbits I can squeeze in.

Each week I ask folks to send in a profile about themselves and why they decided to support us.

The latest one came from Shannon Johnson. I thought it was so sweet and fun that I asked if I could share it here on the Front Page as well.

So here goes: Meet BikePortlander Shannon Johnson…

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Two moms, two cargo bikes, one big adventure

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Portlander Emily Finch en route to the Oregon Coast.
(Photos by Sarah Gilbert and Emily Finch)

This guest article was written by Portland writer and Stealing Time magazine founder/editor Sarah Gilbert.

“The Portland’s been strained outta him.”

This was a regular at a coffee shop in Vernonia. The coffee shop in Vernonia, maybe. “Him,” the guy behind the coffee bar, had welcomed us in right at opening time with an admiring look and, “YOU are the ladies with the bikes!”

He’d followed, “They said you were loaded, but I thought they meant the other way.”

We were Portland, unfiltered, and they acknowledged this without meaning anything bad by it. Loaded like this: Emily with 220 pounds: speakers, bike and a five-gallon water container. Me with all our “soft stuff,” sleeping bags, pillows, extra dresses and sweaters, bread, peanut butter, a little backup boombox, that sort of thing. Music is so important to motivate us up the hills, it’s worth the extra pounds. We went through a weigh station on the way out of Portland, on Highway 30, and I registered 250, Emily 350. We each weigh 130. I kept asking Emily to let me take something else so I wouldn’t feel like a wuss; she kept saying “no.”

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As talk show appearance looms, thoughts on the Emily Finch phenomenon

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Emily Finch pedaling talk show host Ricki Lake
during a recent trip to L.A.
(Photo: The New Ricki Lake Show)

When I first saw Emily Finch with her six kids in tow at a local farmer’s market this past summer, I had no idea she would become a bona fide bike celebrity before the year was out. But that’s exactly what has happened.

This Friday night, Finch is hosting a viewing party at Velo Cult Bike Shop (1969 NE 42nd Ave) for her recent appearance on The New Ricki Lake Show. Where Emily will show up next is anyone’s guess; but there’s no guesswork about how far her story has traveled and how many people she has already inspired.

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With six kids and no car, this mom does it all by bike

Emily Finch powers her seven-person family vehicle down SE Clay Street.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Biking with kids is all the rage in Portland these days, but biking with six kids between the ages of 2 and 11? That’s something I never would have thought possible before I met southeast Portland resident Emily Finch.

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