My new “car”

Room for a puppy!

Shortly after moving to Portland, we joined the ranks of bicycle commuters and very rarely are in the car. It is really liberating not having to worry about parking, gas, traffic stress and everything else. I spent a lot of time researching and looking around the city for a used or new bike. Craigslist was a mess, most people didn’t respond to my emails or phone calls and they don’t usually put the size of the frame in the ad. What a waste of time.

I went to a number of local bike shops in Portland, the friendliest by far being citybikes, a worker-owned co-op. (Other helpful places were: North Portland Bikeworks, Community Cycling Center and the Recyclery). The employees literally took hours (and it’s a busy place!) to talk to me about bikes, walk me through the used bike room, figure out what size frame I need and the like. You can test ride bikes, but most of the used ones aren’t ready for the road. A really nice guy there got a used bike ready for me to ride (it took an hour) and after riding it we discovered it was about 2 inches too small for me. Bikes are expensive and I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for something that doesn’t fit me. For not too much more money, they had a new bike (that fit me) which I ended up purchasing. It’s called the Urban Xpress, a hybrid commuter bike with skinny tires, a mountain-esque bike frame and swing back handlebars that are supposed to reduce strain and stress on your wrists. It was customized by the workers at citybikes to embody their ideal get around town and commute in Portland bike.

So far, so good. I love it. I got a cute basket off craigslist from a woman who says it’s from the Netherlands, so now I can be like the Dutch, riding my bicycle wherever I need to go. I don’t think I’ll be pushing a work cart full of children anytime soon. Being on my bike makes me smile and I enjoy riding in to work, a little exercise before I start my shift. And I haven’t run over any pedestrians like I did in Seattle. At least not yet. Life is good.

3 Responses to “My new “car””

  1. Amy

    great bike! it’s funny, because i saw you and matt on saturday near hawthorne and 21st, on your bikes. i was just telling tim how i wasn’t sure if i would want a basket for a bike or not, and you guys rode past!

  2. kimmykokonut

    were you in your car? if so, thanks for not honking, i may have fallen off the bike :)

  3. Mathew

    Great blog!!!
    Bookmarked it!

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