Well, touring is quite the easy life… especially when you’re going anywhere but I’m heading out the door as soon as I finish this post. I just wanted to update you guys on how I’ve been for the week up here in Portland.
My dad and I flew in about 2:00 pm on Thursday after a long layover in LA that was filled mostly with reading, sleeping, and eating surprisingly good airport terminal food. We stayed that first night in a hotel and went out to check out downtown Portland. At the time it was super dark and freezing and SNOWING!!! I had been warned about some bad weather up there but it was mostly just warning of rain and cloudiness. We were able to find a fancy-ish restaurant to escape the cold and had a pretty awesome meal (for some reason, any food cooked here tastes excellent).
The next morning, we woke up early to head over to Reed college where a friend of mine named Cody had said he could house me for the week. We had to sneak into the dorm I was staying at because my friend was still sleeping when we got there but we found our way alright. After I met up with Cody, he had to rush off to class and I made myself comfortable in the dorm.
Afterwards, I walked around campus with my dad a bit and then said goodbye as he had to catch his plane back home. I met up with Cody after one of his classes and joined him for a couple others. Reed is one of the schools I’m thinking about going to next year so this was an awesome chance to really check it out. I was able to meet a bunch of other Reed students (or reedies) and pretty much had lunch and dinner with them everyday.
So I’m going to admit right now that I haven’t really been all that good about journaling my time hear so the next bit is gonna be spotty and skip around a bit but I’ll try to do better for the next post.
That first weekend a pretty fun time to be on campus as there was, what they called, the Renn Fayre Theme Unveiling (Renn Fayre is a giant party at the end of the school year, celebrating the end of the year and the senior’s completion of their theses.) This was pretty much a dance party for the purpose of unveiling the theme of another even bigger party. I like the way these people think. So that was pretty fun, I felt like a doofus dancing but thats normal. (In case you were wondering, the theme was revealed to be The Oregon Trail…. as in the super old computer game… yeah, this is a dorky school)
After the weekend though, everybody had to go back to their school work and I was kind of the odd man out as I was just there to hang out. I took this chance to go check out Portland. This was nice as the weather had calmed down (relatively) and it was once again back to the normal cloudy and rainy. (I was told that that cold I experienced the first night was cold even for Portland, that made me feel a little better.) I think my opinion of Portland got better and my mobility situation improved.
For the first part of my trip, I mostly used the public transit there which is a bit more expensive than in Tucson but is super easy and works fantastically. I took those buses almost all around town and then just walked around wherever I got dropped off.
As far as the presentations are going, I’ve had both success and some failure. The first one was going to be held at Upper Echelon Racing, a very fancy cycling training center that was interested in hosting the event. Unfortunately nobody came. I don’t think I got the word out in time and I’m making sure this doesn’t happen with the other presentations. Here are some pics of the place though:
The other ones were much better. On Monday, I sat in on a staff meetinwg at the Community Cycling Center, a cooperatively owned non-profit similar to BICAS but more of a bike shop than an education center although they did offer mechanics classes and the such. I was able to talk about El Grupo there and everyone seemed really interested and one of the guys I was chatting with afterwards told me that a youth cross-racing program was something they had been talking about for a while. That was cool to here. And on Wednesday, with the help of I was a guest with Nacho on a community radio program called the bike show and this weeks show incidentally was on youth cycling. I felt that went really well and met some other cool people involved with youth cycling.
So back to exploring Portland. I got my bike on Tuesday after it had been shipped the day before I left. The original plan was to take it on the plane and check it as baggage but after realizing the dimensions may be too big we got worried. Alex and I thought I would able to get away with just an oversize fee at the airport and I would be able to take it on but Richard warned that they might not let me take it on the plane at all. So we shipped. My dad and I also were looking at the doors the luggage had to go through and we realized it was probably a good idea that we shipped it. Thanks for that foresight Richard. And thanks Alex for packing the bike up. It arrived in perfect shape. I was able to pick it up at Sellwood cycles and they even set up a stand to let me build it up on.
Alright, I’m really sorry guys but I gotta head out pretty soon if I want to make it to Salem with some decent time. I’m gonna do another post about my time in Portland and the ride today tonight.
Just want to say thanks to you all for being behind me in this helping me out in so many ways. I think I have equipment from like ten different people received support from so many more. I also want to thank my parents for trusting me and letting me do this. Thats about as mushy of a belated goodbye as I can do but you guys should know that it means tons and tons have you guys rooting for me.
Alright, I’ll get more to you all soon.