Category Archives: Things You Might See While Biking

A collection of fun things seen while biking around

Things you might see while biking: nature wins

In northwest Portland (on NW 24th, I think), this fire hydrant is being swallowed by a tree:

fire hydrant

In case you want an alternate view:

hydrant tree(out of service, indeed)

So there you go. Nature wins in the long run, every time:)

Things you might see while biking: public pianos

That’s right. This summer, there have been random pianos springing up in various Portland locations with an invitation to “please play me!” There was one right by the Salmon Street fountain for a while, one in Pioneer Square, and this one in front of the Portland Art Museum:

portland public piano

It’s sponsored by the Snowman Foundation (which I only know about because I just looked it up:), an organization that works to create access to music for kids. And even if it’s not kids playing these pianos necessarily (though one girl I heard in Pioneer Square was fricken phenomenal), being able to simply walk around the city and hear free music that people just like you are creating has to be good for everyone, kids included.

It’s a lovely idea. A piano for the masses. And every time I’ve biked past one (or, when I walked home from work, walked past one:), someone’s been playing it. Usually very well.

Public art. I love it.

Things you might see while biking: impromptu live music!

Not too long ago, I wrote about how awesome it is that being on a bike makes you nimble: you can stop, turn around, change your mind mid-trip relatively easily, without endangering yourself or other people on the road.

I’ve also written that I love being on my bike for how much more it allows me to interact with the surrounding world–I hear more, see more, smell more, experience more about the world through which I’m traveling.

If you combine those two things, you get what I sometimes fondly think of as the aural quest for impromptu live music. That is, the phenomena of hearing music and then following it until I find out what’s going on.

Sometimes, it leads to me music that is for a purpose and has clearly been planned in advance, like these mariachis I found on First Thursday this month.


And sometimes, I find a random guy playing his bagpipe on the river.

Either way, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something when I can track down music I hear from a distance. And then I get a free concert. An all-around win:)

bike picture o’ the day

This is my new favorite picture of my bike:

lupine trek n burley

It’s got (almost:) all the essentials for a happy stasia:

  • lupine, playing the role of nature
  • my bike and burley, playing the role of human-powered adventure
  • and, of course, mostly-blue skies, sunshine, and open road, playing themselves.

And yes. I really did just post a picture of my bike as though it were my only child that I’m oh so proud of. That’s right. :)