Another Visit to Portland, City of Bikes: Part Two: Clever Moms!

Previously, on Riding on Roadways:

Last time I told you about an amazing trip that Tyler and I took to Portland,

...where we spent the morning visiting with my friends Elly and Joe.


...and Joe.

And then to this wonderful, wonderful bike shop, called "Splendid Cycles."

Where we met with two of my favorite bike retailers, Barb and Joel, to talk about cargo bikes, bike shops and the future.

Joel and Barb.

All My Favorite Bikers Are Moms

After spending time with those two wonderful people, we headed out to meet my favorite moms of Portland, Emily and Kath and one of my favorite Pedal Families from Seattle, also down for a visit, the family!

Moms. Julie. Emily. Kath.

Julie is an engineer and a rad Pedal Parent. Julie writes a great blog called,, with her hubby, Shawn. Shawn was there, too, but he is not a mom, so no highlight here. She mostly rides her kids around in a Madsen, a bike which she is in the process of profoundly improving, more I cannot say.

I like Julie.

This is Shawn and one of their cool kids.

Emily Finch is an emerging bike celebrity, (that's Ricki Lake in the cargo box with her!) which is perfect, because she's hilarious and super-nice. She hauls her brood of six kids all around PDX car-free (and e-assist free) (and apparently birth-control free as well). Emily is well suited for the public eye, because where many others would get defensive, she just gets hilarious. Here she is encouraging a mom to get out there and give Pedal Parenting a try (from the comments on the Bike Portland story that started her rise to fame):

If you live in an area where moms on bikes are not targets for rage and indignation, go for it! If not, relax. You will become one with the bike, and eventually you will master pushing 4 kids plus yourself one-handed while giving an entire intersection the finger. I do it all the time with 6.

Anyway, I like her.

Kath is a mom of two, also a bakfiets rider. She's a trained sign language interpreter and a real whit herself. If Emily is an inspiring Pedal Parent because, "Shit, if that weirdo can do it with six kids, I can do it with one!" then Kath is that inspiring, times two. One of Kath's beautiful and happy kids experiences life with Down syndrome and transportation and containment are both serious issues for their family. Kath and her son find that their cargo bike is the best tool available for getting out into the world. Kath actually wrote my favorite piece in the Childhood zine. It makes me cry. But not in a "pity, pity the poor family" kinda way. More like in a "wow, some folks are really amazing. I hope I can be as smart and strong about my own life" kinda way.

I like her, too.

A Very Clever Bike Shop

We met up with these Pedal People at another world-class bike shop, Clever Cycles. Clever is at once a cargo and utility bike emporium and a beautiful bike and accessory playland. I have never seen a shop that so perfectly targets the kind of cyclist I increasingly see myself as; equally interested in cargo capacity and classy comportment. They have the largest selection I know of of lovely fenders,

useful and attractive racks,

dynamo lighting set-ups,

and well built European balance bikes.

Not to mention an enormous (really, the mind boggles) selection of imported and domestic cargo bikes and commuter rides.

As a very enthusiastic shopper and mechanic and dad and biker and, um... enthusiast, Clever Cycles has always been a Mecca to me. Over the years the shop has grown significantly and always gotten better. Also, Todd writes a really good blog.

While we were in Portland, Todd and Martina were very friendly and welcoming to Tyler and I. We rode and ate and drank with our Pedal Parent Pals at food carts and microbrewpubs with paintings of dogs. We basically had an entire Portland vacation in 24 hours. What a blast!

Thanks for being you, Portland!

Tyler and I took the BoltBus back the following morning and I arrived just in time to teach a class at Bike Works.

Little Oil was happy to see me and Ruby when we returned.

Come Back Next Time for Test Rides of the EdgeRunner!

With pictures and opinions!

Thanks for reading, Friends!