Thursday, September 11, 2008

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

As I left the Mac Store on 7th & Multnomah, I was congratulating myself on staying out of SE, when I got a sudden urge for sour cream pancakes from Tabor Hill cafe.  I was only about 15 minutes away so I caved, and headed south.

As I was locking up my bike, I heard someone shouting "HEY!!! HEY!" from across the street.  I didn't know if he was yelling at me, but the last time I stopped for some guy yelling hey at me, a skeevy drunk guy tried to climb onto the back of my bike, so I was disinclined to look up.

The rider, for it was a rider, eventually crossed the street and he was in fact yelling at me.  And when I turned around, I saw why:

He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother 

Matthew has had his Big Dummy, which he named Lucy (I definitely need to find a name!), for two months.  As soon as she was built up, he headed out of Seattle and hasn't looked back.  He said he's been staying with 'redneck' relatives in Newburg and this morning he ran away in search of an apartment in Portland, where he has determined he should make his home. Duh.

In a quick bike check, we discovered we have the same bars and saddle. I meant to ask him about his brakes, which sported a monstrous rotor.  I also found out that he built his wheels himself, which gives him +20 on me in bike geekdom.  We compared tires (his Schwalbe Marathon to my Big Apples) and commiserated about the hassles of getting them properly seated on the rim.  But he did confirm my suspicion that the Marathon's were pretty much bomb-proof in his ride down from Seattle.  He asked about putting the Dummy on the bus (don't bother trying), and spoke with glee about stopping at a light, and having fifteen cyclists stack up behind him.

As he got ready to leave, a guy passed us and stopped to ask about the bikes. "This one's all yours," Matt said, and I got the feeling he's had lots of these conversations.  I gave the standard answers and suggested he go test ride at River City Bikes. As of yesterday they had one built up on the floor.  I'll be curious to see how long it lasts.

Matt, if you're reading, good luck with your apartment hunting, and be sure to check out Bikeportland and Shift.  See you on the road.

1 comment:

Spokey dokey said...

You are really the commuter supreme ... I have my work cut out for me on this whole challenge thingie.

I like the name "Banana" or some variant of, for the dummy. I don't know why.