Friday, June 17, 2011

biking in portland

portland is a beautiful city:

outstanding for biking. i have biked all over the world including all cities where biking is the most popular means of transportation like amsterdam, brugge,zurich,wien,vancouver,calgary,ottawa.

very nice biking at the river, many people were interested in my bike. these two ladies asked many questions before they moved on, maybe bikefriday has twenty more costomers after my ride at the river...

portland beats any of those first class cities by far: portland is large, there is a lot of space, it never feels crowded . the people of portland are relaxed, polite and extremely friendly, at least the majority is. portland is also cheap compared to any of the other biking cities mentioned. 30-60% cheaper

there are bike lanes on most streets, even when there are noone it is easy to bike because drivers are friendly and not aggressive.

portland is so bike friendly that you can even bike to the airport where you can find a full infrasttructure for bikes like bike lockers, dedicated space for assembling bikes etc.

the scenic river bikeway runs parallel to the airport. you climb the small hill and have a sneak peak:

another outstanding feature of portland is the fact that it has no sales tax. you pay what you see. that is nice. i bought everything i needed for my bike. you can easily get into a buying-frenzy if you are not disciplined. i wrote a list of all things i need and worked the list.

when you bike in asia it is way too hot for shoes. i would get sweaty feet within ten minutes. the only choice that i found are sandals. so i went downtown to a store called usaoutdoors. i did not find the address and asked a man passing by, he stopped and searched the address on his blackberry for me and gave me exact directions. i was overwhelmed by the friendliness. finally i found the store and bought the sandals. i even got a 50% discount because they hand a 50% discount on 2nd article promotion. all salesguys were superfriendly. i met a guy who had visited my mother country and exchanged some memories. just when i left the store the guy invited me for a beer. a girl joined and we sat outside the little pub just by the outdoorstore. fabulous.  sitting there watching people passing by i noticed that portland has something trendy and fashionable.

even the police is friendly in portland. i saw police on horses, said hi and asked for a picture, they smiled and agreed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

visiting bikefriday in eugene

the cheapest way from portland to eugene is by rental car: 13 usd per day @budget.
travel time is about 1.5 hours each way. bikefriday is located in the outskirts of tiny  eugene on 11th ave

 i had asked them to deliver my bike in the shipping box because i will ship it as a free airline piece of luggage.
here is how it looked like:

i started to assemble the bike. kirk was the salesman in charge this day. he was extremely helpful and hospitable. kirk offered me free drinks and some snacks that other employees had given to him. i met many employees of bikefriday. everyone was joking around and all people seemed to enjoy themselves. bikefriday is a well managed company. this is another reason why it has so many happy customers.

it took me a while to assemble the bike because i intended to do it slowly and accurately. i also got drawn into many conversations with employees and customers because i was assembling my bike in the middle of the showroom. after three hours the bike looked like that:

and finally after almost one day of chatting, eating, drinking, repairing the front rack by service and some assembly like this:

it was late afternoon. i packed my beautiful bike into the trunk of the small rental car and headed back to portland.