Clever Cycles – A Different Kind of Bike Shop

Clever CyclesCharlotte, a friend and Dutchwoman, sent me a link to Clever Cycles, a Portland OR shop specializing in bikes as transportation – which is their typical use in Holland. Clever Cycles focuses on practicality. If you were ever curious about bakfiets or longtails, this is the place to go. An exciting and visionary shop,  the success of Clever Cycles indicates that a bike utility culture is becoming rooted in Portland and they are giving it a push to spread out from there.

Theft Anxiety

Don’t know why but I started worrying that Moon Dog will be stolen from the station parking lot. I’m just not used to leaving a bike locked up outside all day – it seems like a target. Even though only the seatpost has a quick release and the u-lock is a good one, I wonder if a second lock for the frame and front wheel is a good idea – or overkill. Rather than fret I’ll use the second lock for a while and see how that goes. I just may need to relax a bit.

Cycling to the Station with Moon Dog

Just last week my town (a suburban city) installed a bike rack at a station commuting distance from my home, thanks to some lobbying on my part and from the support of local elected officials (read story) from The Hour. The station is considered “secondary” and doesn’t get much action outside of rush hour. I tried using my wife’s older mixte framed bike, but it was too small, like pedaling a kid’s bike. Eventually we decided that an inexpensive “station” bike would be the ticket- so long as it was under $100. The 7-speed Kulana Moon Dog – with fenders and kickstand included – sold for $99.88 and came home.

Station Bike The bike was assembled, but not well, so out came the allen keys, wrenches and screwdrivers for adjusting the brakes, aligning and tightening the stem and checking that everything else was snug.

Riding a cruiser-style book took some adjusting of my own after being accustomed to road bikes. Maybe because the riding position is so upright, it feels very slack and long, and engendered a contented feeling that was completely unexpected, yet a welcome and restoring way to start and end my daily 3-hour commute (round trip).

Kickstand up!

I’ve biked a long time, starting with the first bike boom in the ’70s. Until recently I focused solely on riding, not on using the bike for running errands, visiting friends, or peddling to the station for the morning train to my city job. I decided to add roles for the bike – getting a little more exercise into my day, lessening dependence on the car so it can be used selectively and more wisely, and promoting a healthier lifestyle by helping make my town become more walker- and bike-friendly. This is a journal where I’ll keep notes on what I’m doing and how it’s going, and a place for you to share your ideas, experiences and suggestions. Hopefully we’ll all encourage one another to use our bikes everyday – or most days.