NOTE 23 January 2014: New posts are no longer posted to this blog. New stuff at my new blog, Please go there! All old and new posts are there, and you can also comment, too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This is how we pick up people from the airport in Portland. (In other words, Take that, Minneapolis!)

Just remember, this is what the Midtown Greenway looked like around 1984.
There's been many gums a'flappin about this whole new BikeScore biz-ness. The big deal (at least here and in Minneapolis) is that Minneapolis came in first with a score of 79, while Portland trailed behind nine points at 70, tying it at second place with San Francisco. Most of the gum-flapping is Minneapolites going "Yeah! Numero Uno!" and Portlandites going "Wait! But..."while trying to find technicalities and pointing out errors in scoring weights. (Methinks that one of the areas we didn't score that well in was "1980's Bands, Underground or Mainstream". Minneapolis wins hands-down in that department with Husker Du, The Replacements, Soul Asylum,* The Time, and of course, Prince. While Portland, well, The Wipers were good. But Quarterflash? Nu Shooz?)

And of course Mpls gets extra points for Greg Norton's mustache.

As for me? I don't care that much about the fuss. I think both cities are great in their own ways. I'd love to have the Midtown Greenway and all those MUPs in Portland. To me the main drawback is that Portland's lost a bit of momentum whereas other cities have picked it up and run with it.

But there's one area that Portland still beats Minneapolis' pants off. And that is keeping stuff "weird". Yeah, yeah, Minneapolis is the home of Black Label and all of its freak bikes. But it's not always about tall bikes, tattoos, and bad beer.** So what do I mean?

Well, we can't be all regular about picking up people from the airport. Yeah, we can use the MAX light-rail, or a cab, or even a car, like most of you other people do. No, we have to pick up people from the airport by bike.

Example One. My friend Lily was in Berlin for six months and returned to Portland on Monday evening. A posse of people rode seven miles from NE Portland to the airport to pick her up. How to bring her back? Simple: A trailer. With a chair.
That chair ain't going nowhere.

We also had another trailer for her stuff, and just in case Lily wasn't into the idea, a tandem was also available. But Lily was game. After a quick snack of tacos (apparently "tortillas" are unknown in Northern Europe***) Lily boarded the trailer and was offered a celebratory adult beverage.

We then took off into the night to deliver her to "home", with a quick stop at the Sextant bar for more refreshers.

And! This wasn't the only time we've done something like that. Take for example Example Two that occurred in 2008. Click image to embiggen.

So let's see what you can do, Minneapolis!

*Before they sucked.
**Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that.
***Another reason why I can't live there.


  1. I found a decent Mexican restaurant in Vienna a few years back. She mustn't have been looking hard enough ;)

  2. . . . and a bamboo trailer, no less! :-)

  3. Sorry to realize that I have not been keeping up-to-daily-date with the UAL blog or else I would have attempted to assert the OG cred by saying that I went to pick up Dr Wasabi at PDX (eerily enuf, coming in from ... Santa Cruz) with a spare bike in the Blue Sky in, oh, 2006.
    (Tho I'm sure I was not the first. There's always someone else O'er G.)

    But I must also assert that Nu Shooz KICKED F'ING ASS. "Point of No Return"? "I Lost Your Number"? Freakin' Classics with a capital Q!

    1. Timo, compare Nu Shooz to Prince. Dare ya.

      And love how you profile "link" sends me to the page of a band on hiatus with links that don't work. Now that's VERY 2006!


I'm no longer allowing new comments on this blog. You can comment on the exact same post on the new blog. Go find it over at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.