Movin'

Elsewhere I’ve documented some of Portland’s Bike Moves, in which members of the bikey community help one another move house, by bicycle. These moves have been over fairly short distances, and the amount of stuff has been modest. What, you ask, about going over seven miles, over the river and into the hills, with much of the household of a fifteen-year marriage? That was Saturday. Billed as “the mother of all bike moves,” I showed in spite of a cold, the showers with hail, and the audacity of moving sofas, a queen-sized bed, many heavy particleboard bookcases and much else about 130 blocks over the Willamette River by bicycle.

I didn’t take many pictures this time, because a reporter from The Oregonian was on hand and looked to be doing a thorough job, plus a fellow biker was putting it all on video, so I expect to be able to link to more complete evidence soon.

I did photograph my load, though — the first bike move for this regular production bicycle equipped with an Xtracycle and Stokemonkey instead of Xtravois. She handled well, but only because I was going quite slowly, at the pace of people carrying much more without Stokemonkey assistance. Those bookshelves were quite heavy, so the imbalance was severe, and the amount of flex over bumps was a little alarming, or should I say goofy.loaded loaded

The scale and route of this move drew more gaping mouths and giddy laughter and groping for cameras than previous moves, but what I noticed most were the people strapped alone into cars, looking out the glass at us, whose faces registered nothing at all. I felt pity.

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream

Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door

Who is it for?

8 thoughts on “Movin'”

  • George

    I can’t tell you how seriously cool that is.

    Your bike just blows my mind :-)

    Reply
  • Bill Manewal

    This is wonderful! I clicked on the upper photos, and then on the “Up” link and then watched the videos which really capture the large scope and giddy feel of this event. I may move to Portland!

    Apropos your comment of those faces, looking out of cars. registering nothing at all, I found this recently in “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle:

    “Carl Jung tells in one of his books of a conversation he had with a Native American chief who pointed out to him that in his perception most white people have tense faces, staring eyes, and a cruel demeanor. He said, ‘They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We don’t know what they want. We think they are mad.’”

    Reply
  • Todd

    O no, Bill, you wouldn’t like it here. ââ?¬Å?I donââ?¬â?¢t really like to drive anymore,ââ?¬Â? says 54-year-old Lynette Jones of Northeast Portland. ââ?¬Å?These cyclists have basically taken over. They refuse to be polite. You honk; they just go slower and look at you like youââ?¬â?¢re crazy. ââ?¬Â¦ To me it feels like theyââ?¬â?¢re taunting: ââ?¬Ë?I dare you to hit me.ââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬Â? — http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=31923

    Reply
  • Mike Leger

    Todd wrote:

    “O no, Bill, you wouldn’t like it here [Portland]…”

    Here in Madison, WI, the situation between bicyclists and cars is pretty much the same. There is an uneasy relationship between the 2 modes of transport, with jerks on both sides. Riders from the big fast bike club here will ride 2 and 3 abreast and run stop signs. This behavior is blatantly non-cooperative, besides being illegal. It does not help the bicycling cause. On the other hand, some motorists will not yield the right-of-way, leave inadequate passing distances, and generally ignore the bicylist, very dangerous behavior for those of us on a bike.

    The auto is so ingrained in US consciousness that rational approaches to altering drivers behaviors are doomed, I believe. It will take something like $5.00/gal gasoline to break the mindset. In the meantime, courteous, assertive riding behavior will be the only way to help sway the fringes of the mainstream. All IMO, of course.

    Reply
  • dingo dizmal

    Love those giant racks!

    Reply
  • Todd

    Dingo, didn’t i see you on about a 12′ high bike hauling a trailer on stilts with about 10 bike bodies on it down alberta the other day? I bow to you, sir. People, check out Dingo’s blog.

    Reply
  • [...] It took some doing to convince Kenny that I really did prefer to bike whenever possible; it’s not a show. Whenever it dawned on Beijingers that I was apparently enjoying biking, especially over longer distances, the reaction was tentative—both approving and incredulous. It was especially baffling to the Chinese that I, as a “rich American” am possessed of a certain fervor about carrying things on bicycles—an almost shamefully common office relegated to their increasingly motorized, incredibly crappy trikes. [...]

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  • [...] * A Portlander successfully moved across town (bridges included) using only bikes. The pics are fun, and inspiring! [...]

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