This afternoon we introduced ourselves to the newest member of our family. Until now, our family included Michael, Morgen and Grey Street (our VW Passat). We used to have Inga, my Saab 9-3, but she has since been sold off into slavery. With the departure of Inga back in January, we’ve been down to a single mode of transportation for almost six months. To remedy that situation we looked long and hard and found Claude to be the most deserving of inclusion in our nuclear family.
Claude was very much a spur-of-the-moment decision. As we returned from Trader Joe’s this afternoon we passed by a yard sale just two blocks from our building. Among the many items were a copy of Charlotte’s Web and used bath mats. Fortunately there was one item that did not belong to the yard sellers but instead to the woman who lived next door (who was painting her doorway). That item was the bike that would become Claude. Claude had cobwebs on his spokes, dirt on his frame and a Post-It note labeling him as available for a mere $100. We took him for a spin and decided we had to have him. We talked her down to $75 and off we went with our own, brand new, used bicycle.
Morgen has been generally afraid of riding a bike since she was a wee lass and an accident caused part of her ankle to jut out in a direction not commonly referred to as normal. Ever since, the idea of riding a bicycle has been a difficult one to overcome. But now that we’re in one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, it seemed like the right time to break through that glass ceiling and take to the roads on two wheels.
So now the goal is for me to get my own bike so that we can take them together and ride. There are rumored to be amazing bike paths along the Willamette Riverfront and maybe if we work up enough courage we can ride around town to run errands. Many streets here in Portland have bike lanes and for the most part, people riding bikes are so normal a sight that neither drivers of cars nor pedestrians seem to be bothered by them. The other nice thing we have going for us is that our building has bike storage in the basement, so we don’t have to leave Claude to fend for himself out on the mean streets of NW Portland.