I love it when people come to visit me in Portland and bring their bikes with them. (Or when people come to visit me in Portland and are willing to ride loaner bikes.) It’s so much nicer to be able to show people this city in a way that allows you to actually be in the city, moving through it by human power and at human speed.
For the last few days, my brother and his girlfriend have been staying with us–and of course they brought their bikes up, so we’ve been pedaling all over.
Today, we wanted to take a “Portland” ride, which could go any number of directions but for us meant a ride around the Waterfront/Esplanade (with a stop at Saturday Market), through NW and downtown proper, then down the Willamette Greenway trail to the SW Circuit bouldering gym. (I’m not sure it would be a proper Honnold day without some climbing.)
My bro is much better at biking than I am at climbing (although it sure is fun:)
But them being here with their bikes reminds me how nice it is to be able to explore a city in a way that allows you to stop when and where you want, to not have to worry about parking or traffic. It reminds me how lovely it is to be able to get a sense of how the different parts of a city interact with and are connected to each other, to get a sense of the other people out and about.
The space between things, I think, is often more telling than the things themselves–and I love being able to inhabit the in-between space of Portland as well as the final destinations. Guests who are up for biking get to see those spaces of Portland, which makes for a much more full picture of the city.
I love having guests (and being guests:) who are up for biking or walking. You may see fewer destinations, but I think you see much more of the place.