Passing through Portland: A Brief Dispatch From the Road

I've taken some criticism for "complaining" about my book tour schedule, but the truth is that there are consequences when you're not home to "tend to your garden."  (I'm talking about "tending your garden" in the Voltaire's Candide sense, and not in the Mario Cipollini "manscaping" sense.)  For example, I've only been gone since Monday, but a reader tells me that some brigand has already stolen my identity:

Those may be Virginia plates, but he's clearly in the Bronx and about to get on the Hutch, and by the time I get back to New York next week and manage to round up a posse he'll be clear across the border into Canada.  

Then again, he is driving a Saab, so odds are pretty good that the head gasket will fail before he's even out of Westchester.

In any case, I'm in Seattle now and about to depart for Vancouver (the Canadian one, not the American one), but on Tuesday I was in Portland.  To my surprise, the weather was more beautiful than I had ever seen it in Smugtown, and so in the late morning I embarked on a bicycle cycling ride with the good people from Rapha.  Since I had a BRA that evening we didn't have time to do anything "epic" by Rapha standards, and instead we settled on a short 250 mile jaunt during which I was attacked by a bear, shot at by ornery townsfolk (it turns out perforated yak leather makes a great bandage), and forced to weld my own bicycle frame back together.

Naturally, we were trailed by a film crew, and the feature film of the ride will be released in artfully grainy black and white sometime in 2014.

Anyway, after that I enjoyed some of Portland's fine dining:

Admired the many practical, fendered, handbuilt commuting bicycles one finds locked up on her streets:

And successfully managed to avoid succumbing to Portland's MAX tracks:

By this time, as you can see from the Rapha photography-esque colorway of the sky, the weather had become decidedly more Portland-like, and by the time I arrived at 21st Avenue Bicycles my streak of rain-free pre-BRA rides had officially ended: 

If any city could do it, I knew it would be Portland.

We then set out on a spin over and along the Willamette River:

Which, given the gentle rain, leisurely pace, and friendly conversation, had the air of a ritualistic pre-ride moistening.

Soon we arrived at Powell's, and in one of the odder turns my tour has taken so far I was interviewed there by the local news:

Here is the reporter who interviewed me, and I feel compelled to point out we are setting up for the shoot in the breastfeeding book section:

I should also note that he looks uncannily like Ed Rooney:

Though his mannerisms were all Jiminy Glick:

Not only did he wear more make-up than I'd ever seen on any human being outside of a wake:

But he also read to me from my own blog post of this past Tuesday, and then actually accused me of making up the word "cobbling:"

Then he asked me what I thought about Portland's "bike boxes" in a way that clearly suggested he wanted me to tell him I thought they were stupid.  When I told him we also had them in New York City, he accused me of making that up too, and laughed all Jiminy Glick-like.  "Yeah, right.  Bike boxes in Manhattan!?!  You've got to be kidding me."  From what I can tell, he seemed to find the notion of any kind of cycling in any city completely absurd.

Sadly all of this took place before the actual interview and so there is no video evidence--though the anchorwoman (in an introduction I was unable to hear) does refer to people as "biking geeks," and the reporter then introduces me as the "Biking Snob," which I may have to rename myself:

Then, mercifully released from Ron Burgundy's grasp, I headed upstairs, where a bunch of Portlanders were waiting to hear some douchebag:

I'm now off to Vancouver, and here's where I'll be later today:

Thursday, April 12
5:45 ride
Bike Doctor
137 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1P4
(604) 873-2453

7:00 talk and booksigning
2505 Granville Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3G7
(604) 731-7822

Stay classy, San Diego.
automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine