Wednesday, June 22, 2016

BSNYC Road Jernel Part I: Portland!

It's great to be back home in New York!

Well it's not that bad.

I mean it could be worse.

Oh, who am I kidding, just kill me now.

Anyway, appropriately enough, my first ride since returning home was on a Citi Bike yesterday, and the one I selected happened to have preternaturally sticky grips:


The most benign explanation I could come up with was that it was hot and the last user had just liberally applied hairstyling gel.  I came up with some other explanations too, but they made me nauseous, and presumably the next user was forced to rationalize the presence of Froot Loops all over the cockpit of the bicycle.

Summer in New York City means living in a constant state of denial regarding bodily fluids.

Still, it's comforting to return to the familiar, and I was heartened to find that people in Brooklyn are still "palping" Aerospokes:


Truck drivers are still assiduously blocking bike lanes:



And Citi Bike spinning is still the hottest fitness craze:


Speaking of denial, it takes a huge amount of it to remain in New York City at all, especially when you leave and see how people live in other cities.  Indeed, the case containing my travel bicycle is currently an apt metaphor for my pent-up desire to escape, in that it's still in the basement where I left it when I got home and I refuse to acknowledge it, yet its contents are poking through and yearning to break free:


And yes, I did bring a bicycle on what was essentially a long weekend, because with seventeen (17) children I take my chances to ride while I get them and I can't waste precious seconds scrounging for a bike to borrow on the road.  Plus, I've never had any trouble checking it through as regular luggage, and this trip was no exception:


I've traveled all over the word with this bicycle, and by now I figure I've saved roughly fourteen million dollars in bike fees.

Anyway, while I'm still not ready to unpack my bicycle, I am ready to unpack my memories of my trip, so let's start with Portland.  I arrived in the city under cover of darkness, and I didn't check into my hotel until after midnight, where I was alarmed to find these waiting for me on the night table:


(Eeew.)

My "hotel" as it turned out was really just a motel with a trendy boutique veneer.  For example, in addition to the prophylactics in various colorways, there was also soap with a hole in it:


(Double-eeew.)

Indeed, between the condoms and the soap with the orifice in it I very nearly checked out on the spot, and I had to double-check the name of the establishment to make sure I wasn't staying at the Cipollini Arms.  Fortunately I wasn't, so I resolved to tough it out, and despite the lateness of the hour I got to work assembling my bike so I could ride first thing in the morning:


It's never a good sign when the TSA leaves its calling card, because sometimes when they rummage through your bike bag they don't put everything back the right way again and things get screwed up:


Fortunately for me though the bike came together without incident.  Furthermore, my hands remained clean thanks to all the condoms I'd rolled over my fingers.  (Going to the front desk and requesting eight more condoms is a sure way to earn yourself a high-five.)  

Not only was I on east coast time, but I was also on parent-with-young-kids time.  This meant I woke up the next morning before pretty much anybody in Portland, and I was out in search of breakfast with the first rays of the sun.  Portland was just as I'd remembered it, providing ample opportunity to purchase essential items like vintage typewriters:


And listen to irreverently-named bands that evoke all the irreverently-named bands that came before them:


(Been there done that.)

Though of course at this hour all that was twee and artisanal still slept, and so I enjoyed more workaday fare:


(Ain't nothing locally sourced about that.)

While perusing the local alternative weekly, in which I learned that some schmuck from New York was in town:


By the way, I was pleased to see they credited me for perhaps my greatest contribution to the culture, though this is easily the least compelling reason to come to a book signing I've ever seen:

The man who brought us the term "salmoning"—riding the wrong way in a bike lane—will sign copies of his new book, The Ultimate Bicycle Owner's Manual, at River City Bicycles on Thursday.

How do you even top that?  Levi Leipheimer reading the contents of a box of saltines?

In any event, with my morning hunger sated I hopped on my bike and headed over to River City Bicycles:


And totally shredded their ramp in the parking lot while waiting for Alex from the shop:


Who was kind enough to lead me on a little early morning forest jaunt:


After which I returned to my side of the mighty Willamette:


My awkwardly-proportioned yet utterly dependable travel bike duly baptized in Portland mud:


I then went to the front desk to see about a new room, because a band called "Holy Fuck" were scheduled to play next door that night, and you can be damn sure I wanted to be as far from that shit as possible:


I'm pleased to report the hotel graciously accommodated my request, and I slept that night blissfully unmolested by the musical stylings of the "Toronto-based electronic collective," which is very possibly the most objectionable musical description I've ever read.

Thusly transplanted, I prepared my stickers for the book signing, as I now make it a policy to personally bedazzle every copy I sign:


You don't get that when you go see Martin Amis:


With my signing implements thusly organized I headed back to River City, where I joined some VIPs for a pre-signing ride to take in some of the new Portland infrastructure:


This is the Tilikum Crossing, which as I mentioned yesterday is exclusively for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit:


Also nearby is the OHSU Tram:


The whole area is positively brimming with people-friendly Euro-style development:


Disgusting.

Not all of Portland is this modern though, and the city's elves and trolls still live nestled in the trunks of trees:


Heading south, we crossed the new Sellwood Bridge:


And finally made it back to River City in plenty of time for the person who brought you the term "salmoning" to bore a bunch of people who will endure anything for free beer:


I left feeling deeply grateful to River City Bicycles and the indulgent people of Portland, and it was with a joyous heart that the next morning I headed to Seattle:


Stay tuned for more tales of the road--and yes, rest assured you will get to see me wrangling the mighty quill stem of a Rivendell.

64 comments:

wishiwasmerckx said...

Podium!

Blog Drafter said...

Bike Throw!!

Ted K. said...

143. Since the beginning of civilization, organized societies have had to put pressures on human beings of the sake of the functioning of the social organism. The kinds of pressures vary greatly from one society to another. Some of the pressures are physical (poor diet, excessive labor, environmental pollution), some are psychological (noise, crowding, forcing human behavior into the mold that society requires). In the past, human nature has been approximately constant, or at any rate has varied only within certain bounds. Consequently, societies have been able to push people only up to certain limits. When the limit of human endurance has been passed, things start going wrong: rebellion, or crime, or corruption, or evasion of work, or depression and other mental problems, or an elevated death rate, or a declining birth rate or something else, so that either the society breaks down, or its functioning becomes too inefficient and it is (quickly or gradually, through conquest, attrition or evolution) replaced by some more efficient form of society. [25]

Two Claws said...

Two Claws Up!

ermmurray said...

Condoms make great stick grip covers

Holy Roller said...

Praise the Lord!

ermmurray said...

fuck it I'm going back to bed

Anonymous said...

Unused condoms left in the room? That's a new one on me; you must stay in really nice hotels.

Anonymous said...

Dude, flip that stem.

ken e. said...

scraping in!

Bike Snob said...

Anonymous 12:35pm,

Dude, no.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...portland shmortland!

Stalker said...

Your can almost see the Snob's complete address in photo 6.

The King of Park Slope said...

TOOL ROLL

dancesonpedals said...

Wonderful trip, but please, no pictures of a man wrangling his "quill stem" as you so delicately call it.

Anonymous said...

I finally got my picture on your blog. I can die happy now! Glen the Red lives on in infamy!!!

N/A said...

The soap: would do it.

Mark S said...

I am glad you had a good time in our fair city. How was the locally produced adult beverages?

leroy said...

Can someone explain to me why my dog got the giggle fits when I showed him Mr. BSNYC's picture of the complimentary translucent green and pink mints in his Portland hotel room?

Honestly, he's just so weird sometimes.

I thought he'd calmed down, but I set him off again when I mentioned I might scoot up River Road after work this evening.

Apparently, scooting has humorous connotations for canines.

BamaPhred said...

Wrangling a quill stem. Well played, Snob. Surprised the Oakland cops didn't want in on the action.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

In the twennies. Gotta put that in blogstrava.

vsk

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Wait, it's only Salmoning if it's in a bike lane? I thought it was anywhere against the flow of traffic. So confused....

JLRB said...

Dude - Adjust your bike to match my misguided sense of style regardless of how it affects your fit!

JLRB said...

That forest picture is the greenest thing I have ever seen.

JLRB said...

...and - the hotel soap bit is too funny - Oh how I hate business travel - glad you survived

dcee604 said...

I've stayed in that hotel once! Well, not really, we checked out after learning there was going to be an electronic band playing in their courtyard all night! You would have thought they would have let us know when we booked the room...nope. Never going to stay there again.

bad boy of the north said...

really nice photo of the verdant trail in the jungles of portland.maybe we can all go there for next years gran fondon't....a traveling fondon't if you'd like.

P. Bateman said...

your own personal "pleasure" soap and condoms...AND a continental breakfast.

living the high life indeed. see? selling out has its advantages. where do i get all this free internet money?


also love how 90% of comments are related to condoms and soap and not one damn thing about bikeen. like a bunch of middle schoolers around here. grow up!

Anonymous said...

Wow that is some eclectic crowd at the book signing. We now know the demographic of your readership. Who said Portland wasn't racially diverse.

Anonymous said...

the anti robot thing now takes like 5 tries to solve? WTF

Anonymous said...

quick question, was the book signing also a family reunion?

Anonymous said...

#keepPortlandwhite

sorry I can't help myself

McFly said...

Now she's back in the atmosphere....
With drops of Jupiter in her hair....

heyHEEEYheeyyHey

wishiwasmerckx said...

Where's my podium kisses from CJ...err, I meant Ms. BabbleOn?

Anonymous said...

Can't remember: why do you live in NYC again?

Anonymous said...

1977 Masi Gran Criterium (Carlsbad)
2015 XXXXXXlized AWOL (don't ask)
2016 All-City Mr Pink

What's in your wallet?

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

McFly said...

That SLOT SOAP is interesting....


"Sorry, I was just cleaning it and it went off."

Take Your Pick said...

"Laurie looks like a nice young lady with many fine qualities."

Devon looks like a nice young lady with many fine qualities.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:16pm,

Only because I was born here, my life is here, and our family's livelihood is completely dependent upon it. Apart from that no good reason.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1904 Cadardi said...

Those TSA notes are always fun.

"Hi, we're the TSA, you brought a bicycle on an airplane which singles you out as a weirdo so we've decided we'd like to bend a few spokes and damage or lose some other stuff if that's okay."

Actually, aside from some scratched paint, the TSA has usually done at least as good a job repacking my travel bike as I did initially packing it.

Looking forward to reading about what sort of strange motel you ended up with in Seattle.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

With your vast fortunes 14 mil in bike fees is chump change but still nice to stick it to the man. I'd do the same if I traveled by germ tube.

Ratghost is a cool band name. The other day I was demolishing a shed and I found a squirrel mummy. Squirrelmummy would be a great band name.

The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse said...

Sausage, eggs and deep fried home fries, the All American Death Breakfast. EXCELLENT!!!!

Freddy Murcks said...

Is "wrangling the mighty quill stem of a Rivendell" some sort of euphemism? It sure sounds like a euphemism.

Freddy Murcks said...

Did you all catch the news that the real Ted K. (not our fake Ted K.) sent a letter from prison becuase he was upset that some fake Ted K. (possibly our fake Ted K.) had been sending letters to journalists claiming to be the real Ted K.? Maybe the real Ted K. is a BSNYC reader and he's pissed that fake Ted K. posts here claiming to be the real Ted K.

Freddy Murcks said...

The real Ted K.'s letter in which he points out that most journalists are gullible idiots.

M said...

The photo of your alleged breakfast is obviously FAKE. No eating establishment in Portland would be giving out styrofoam.

Fred Mercury said...

I bought our book at a bookstore. There was no sticker, but I appreciate the spondee. It was good.

BikeSnobNYC said...

M,

It's not styrofoam.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

Hey, I hate to go off-topic, but did anyone else notice that a 29-year-old woman from Anchorage named Lael Wilcox just won the self-supported, 4,400-mile Trans America Race? She’s the first woman to win, the first American to win, and she broke the women’s record by something like two and a half days. And she rode to the start of the race in Oregon from her home in Alaska. Did I mention SELF-SUPPORTED?

Anonymous said...

well sure, but did she ride back home to Alaska after the race?

Dooth said...

Awww...look at the smiles on the River City folk! Wildcat must've said Scranus.

JC said...

Only eight condoms? Was it your opposable thumbs you chose to forgo the use of? Most of us would find them handy when assembling a bike. You are indeed talented.

Huckleberry said...

I actually googled this one myself, and, well blow me down, it's yours! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=palp

"To equip oneself or one's bike with a particular part or accessory.

Popularized by Bikesnob NYC"

JLRB said...

thunderstorms?!? fughitimgoingbacktobed

Anonymous said...

JC, he had two already.

balls™ said...

Holy Fuck is great.

JLRB said...

Holly Fuck is painful

crosspalms said...

I forget, was Holy Fuck the band or the soap?

dancesonpedals said...

There was a man with 5 penises. His condom fit like a glove.

N/A said...

"Holy Fuck" is a super group formed when members from the bands Megadeath and Whitesnake, plus Iggy Azalea's studio drummer, got together to start this as a side project.

They are on a PNW tour, the band "Hangdown Wangdoodle" is opening for them.

babble on said...

WIWM- Well done, ya big doper, you. XXXX :)

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