Friday, December 22, 2006

Plan A: Airport Pickup by Bike

Here’s the plan I promised yesterday I’d spell out for you.
Before doing this, I’ll need to make a couple of major purchases, but they are things I needed anyway. One is a foldable bike I’ve been drooling over for years called a Brompton. My first Brompton sighting was when I saw one parked outside the Pearl Bakery and I loved it so much I had to go into the bakery and accost people till I found the owner so I could ask him all about it. At one point I located a dealer in Seattle which I can’t find right now. The model I want is expensive -- costs about a thousand dollars – but some day I hope to own one. I’ve seen another cute one around town called Bike Friday, which is more affordable but not nearly the masterpiece of beautiful lines of the Bromptom foldable. I can only talk about appearances as I haven’t tried either bike, but that Brompton looks like it would fold together with the mechanical beauty of a Swiss watch, and ride with the precision of a sewing machine. (Bromptom site shows video of it folding up.)

Second thing I’ll need is one of those pull-behind carts, maybe the Burley.

The plan is to put the foldable into the cart and pull it over to the nearest Max station. Throw in an extra helmet and some rain gear. Then I lock up bike & cart, and take the foldable with me on the train to the airport. I ride around the airport till I locate the visitor. Gently inform the visitor of the plan. (Or not…) We walk/ride back to the Max, possibly pulling visitor’s roll-along luggage behind the fold-up bike. We take the train back to the station where I’ve left the bike with the cart. We load the luggage into the waiting cart, I outfit the visitor with the extra helmet & rain gear and the foldable, and we ride to my house. Visitor gets a Total Portland Experience, right from the get-go. Visitor has a good story to tell, even in the unlikely event that the rest of the visit turns out to be dull or unpleasant.

Should the visitor hate the whole experience and/or hate me as a result of the experience, well, they clearly don't belong in Portland and they won't come back, so yay, who needs houseguests anyway.


At 11:52 AM, Blogger bikefridaywalter said...

Bike Fridays are a local product, made right in your backyard-- Eugene. They are handcrafted by a bunch of bicycle geeks with lots of love. All are custom tailored to the individual riders measurements. They come in a variety of colors-- your choice. And they can be equipped with any set of industry-standard components-- again it's up to you.

There are no proprietary components. I would give this latter bit some particular consideration if you plan to use this bike regularly-- it means it will be easy to maintain at any local bike shop.

Write me if you need to know any more.. I've been at Bike Friday for 7 years and know lots.

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Hatty said...

Brilliant! I'm moving to Portland in May, and I'm very much behind your plan.
As for now, I live in NYC and, unfortunately, an inexperienced bike rider would probably get mauled by a gypsy cab on the way home.

Definitely post if you pull the ride off.


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