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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Coconut Bill comes to town

Coconut Bill avec beard. Photo by Andy Schmidt.
It’s been busy times ‘round the Urban Adventure League HQ. Busy with work, busy with move preparations, not that busy with bike stuff or drawing stuff unfortunately. But over the last week I made some time for bike fun, as Coconut Bill came to town.

“Who the **** is Coconut Bill?” you may ask. (Especially if your name is Carl Larson.) Well, he’s this guy from SoCal that decided to come to town for the Thanksgiving holiday. Andy offered to host him for his stay in the Schmidt Family Compound on Mason Hill (which is located in that zone of north Clackamas County known as “Portland Creep”.) And we*planned a full roster of fun bike stuff over the course of Coconut Bill’s stay. You may still ask yourself, “Why the **** go through all this trouble for some dude?” (Especially if your name is Carl Larson.) Well my friends, let me tell you why: It’s always fun to see Portland again through the eyes of unspoiled innocence, where riding a bike in a city and not getting run over is in itself an amazing experience. And those eyes, my friend, are Coconut Bill’s eyes.

Anyways, I was part of the welcoming committee when Coconut Bill (referred to “CB” for brevity’s sake for the rest of this post, if you are into that whole brevity thing) arrived to Union Station on Tuesday (November 26). Amtrak’s Coast Starlight deposited CB and his bike, a 48 cm Rivendell A Homer Hilsen, into the hands of the Rose City. After a quick reassembly of the Homer, Andy (and his children), Chris, and myself rolled over to Chris’s pad in The Pearl to drop of CB’s bike box. Andy and Chris had other obligations for a few hours so I chaperoned CB for a few hours, giving him his first tastes of Portland coffee, pizza, and beer (in that order). Then we met up with the gang again, this time augmented with Kelley and Norm, at Bob of Bantam Bicycle Works birthday shindig.

Due to work and other commitments, I didn’t see Coconut Bill again until Friday, but the gang kept him quite occupied with rides and adventures in the intervening days. On Friday I led a big ol’ Country Bike Ramble from SE Portland out east towards Gresham, hitting up Mount Tabor and Powell Butte along the way. It was a great day to hit up Powell Butte, as it had been dry for over a week meaning non-muddy trails. (Bikes are banned from the trails if they are muddy.) Not the greatest view from the top due to the general overcastness of the day, but the moody skies and naked trees made the old orchard atop the butte just that more spookier. After descending Powell Butte we broke for Lebanese food at Nicholas in downtown Gresham and then took the MAX to our respective homes. 

And that was the last I saw of Coconut Bill for this trip. He had a few more adventures since Friday, then took the Coast Starlight southward on Sunday (December 1). I’m sure we’ll run into him again, as he’s in love with Portland. 
Coconut Bill sans beard. Photo by Chris Chen.

And I don’t think anyone even brought him to Voodoo Doughnuts!

*That would be the collective “we”.

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