-- The day after I quit working in the bike industry, I rode over to
Velo Cult to talk turkey with Sky about scheduling a benefit show there.
He was all over it, no questions asked except: "can your people bring
in some chairs? All I've got are these long benches." I assured him it
was fine. The show was a success.
-- I began hanging out there
occasionally during the early fall. I was still sort of reeling from the
sudden career shift, and I guess i needed a place to hang out on my day
off that felt, well, familiar. Sky and his crew were friendly and
--Over time I began making a point of
spending at least a couple of hours a week there, usually a combination
of getting some lesson-planning done and enjoying the bikey vibe in what
had surely become the most welcoming bike shop in town. Sweetie told me
she was glad I'd found a bike shop to hang out at.
-- a few weeks ago the shop became a sponsor of my bicycling club. It was low-key, no-pressure and easy for all concerned.
--Today, my worlds merged perfectly. I sat at one of the long tables
and typed out the finishing touches on a drash -- a sort of sermon --
that I am scheduled to give on Friday night. When I was done, I had a
bottle of cider and talked bikes with a customer and then with one of
the crew. And then it was time to go home. Until the next time I hang
out at Velo Cult, now my favorite bike shop in Portland.
Sky and crew --
thanks for moving here. Have a lovely weekend, make sure you go riding
ta least a little bit, and I'll see you next week --B
Bikelovejones lives the bicycle life in Portland, Oregon: car-free since 1990, she gets around town by a combination of bicycle and transit, occasionally towing her guitar to gigs with an old kiddie trailer. After two decades in the bicycle industry as a shop owner, mechanic and purchaser, she retired to pursue other creative projects. She still keeps a hand in bikey things by taking in repairs and tune-ups by appointment at her own tiny workshop; and by volunteering her mechanical services at bicycle races and citizen events like Sunday Parkways. Beth is also the driving force behind a little project called Refugee Bikes; she collects donated adult bikes and accessories, tunes them up and hands them off to an organization that helps newly-arrived refugees learn their way around Portland. If you live in PDX and want some experienced, very affordable mechanical love thrown at your bike -- or you want to help Beth's Refugee Bike Project keep moving along, drop a line here.