Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest
An ode to our shared journey by bike
By Emese Ilyes
I remember my very first bike ride in Portland. Shortly after beginning my bachelor's education at Reed College in Southeast Portland, I had realized that my dearest materialistic companion, my camera, was harmed in the transit from Michigan to Portland. To find the camera repair shop in Northeast Portland, I hoisted myself atop a bike on loan from the college. I couldn't help but immediately regress to the more carefree days of my youth. Bending my head to the densely cloud covered sky; I welcomed each delicate Portland rain drop on my cheeks. I tried my hardest to lose myself in the winding streets. The more the streets became unrecognizable the more the foggy confusion of my hectic life lifted from view.
My bike and I bonded that day. Maybe it was the endorphins flooding my brain from the physical exercise, maybe it was the freedom of the unexplored road, or the way I was immersed in the elements, but I suspect it was and still is my bike.
Since then, I have discovered that, like me, six percent of Portlanders pedal themselves closer to nirvana. Riding over the Hawthorne Bridge surrounded by nameless friends, I feel connected to Portland's biking community.
I have a plan! You, my dear nameless biker companion, talk with six of your friends who have yet to discover the joy of riding and invite them on a ride. Celebrate randomness and be inspired, see what rides others recommend. If every one of us reaches out to six deprived souls trapped in the contaminated air of the automobile, we will have 42 percent of Portlanders intoxicated by this newfound freedom (the friendliest city to bike riders, Amsterdam, has 40 percent of all traffic movements by bicycle).
Why do you ride your bike? The first person to tell me in any way that moves them (video, song, poem, letter, one word, anything!) will get a professionally printed 16x16'' copy of the image above, printed by my favorite photographer from his studio, Brandon Sorg. I will deliver the print to you, by bike of course, personally. Ride on and ride free my friends.
I can't wait to hear from you!