Saturday, December 2, 2017

off-season coffeeneuring -- travels with a pluviophile*

Last week I really struggled with a depressive period, where I felt like crap and didn't want to go outside. A couple of days, just getting out of my PJ's was hard. Then, somehow, the fog lifted and a couple of days ago I went outside and it was okay.
So I did it again today, combining errands and coffee.

I rode a mile to a bus stop, went multi-modal (every Trimet bus has a rack on front that holds two bikes) and got off at Lloyd Center to drop a package in the post office's mail slot. Then, I decided to ride over to the Rose Quarter, where the wind picked up and I decided to toss my bike on the MAX train. (I have a gig coming up next weekend and need to take care of my voice -- meaning I can't always ride in the cold and wet whenever I feel like it. On those days I'm glad there's public transit.)

I got off and rode over to Rivelo to say hi to John, and to deliver several pairs of socks for him to hand off to the local homeless shelter. He had a deal where if you brought socks you could have a free bandana. So take him up on it before Christmas, Portland friends -- the bandanas make nice gifts and are 100% cotton. We chatted for awhile.

 At Rivelo there's currently a suitcase filled with these cool blue bags. They're Sackville handlebar bags, hobo-style but a little slimmer and more streamlined than the old-style hobo bags Riv used to offer.
And these, done up in a very pretty blue waxed canvas, are selling so cheaply right now that if you need one, go get one. Because the price is stupid-low, and John needs the space for other stuff, and while I normally don't like to tell people to go out and consume, these are actually good and if you need a handlebar bag this will do you for YEARS. And the price is stupid-low. I'm not posting it here because John is lonely and could use the company, so go visit and say hello and maybe buy a bag. He's got about seven or eight left, so grab one soon.
(If it's any help, if I wasn't totally broke I'd buy one for myself.)

 And if you do go visit John, Be sure to bring a pair or three of clean socks without and holes or rips (pro tip: You can find them in packs of six really cheap at Goodwill.) He'll also take knit caps and gloves if you have them. They all go to people who need help staying warmer this winter.
After my visit with John, I rode back over to the MAX station, hopped the train and took it back into town, where I filled my thermal mug with some late-afternoon half-caff and enjoyed it while I watched the rain come down. In spite of the chill, I felt good being out and riding around. I'll try and do it again this week if weather allows before I head out of town for my gig.

If weather permits tomorrow, I'll visit with a friend over tea and then stop by the CCC for Scrap Sunday, to see if there's anything useful for my ongoing refugee bikes project.
And if you're in Portland and you'd like to help out, you can do one or both of the following:

1. if you've got bicycle parts, locks and lights and/or adult-sized bicycles you'd like to move along, I can use them to provide affordable transportation for our newest Portlanders. (Yes, we ride bikes here even in the winter, as long as it's not icy.)
Just let me know and we'll figure out the hand-off.

2. The bikes I repair are delivered to Catholic Charities, which then distributes them to newly-arrived refugees who will use them to find work or go to English classes and job-training. If you don't have a bicycle to give, but you'd like to help out, Catholic Charities can always use financial donations to make their work possible. I can vouch for their work with refugees and assure you that they do good stuff to help people get settled in Oregon and move forward with their lives in safety and peace.

Thanks, and happy riding.
(*pluviophile - lover of the rain)

No comments: