it might be nice to get back into the habit of a saturday morning blog entry. i am yet to retrieve my pictures from my trip overseas but i have been itching to write about it.
i journeyed to the state of oregon on the west coast of the states to a bike school that taught bicycle frame building. i did a brazing course and a couple of days of tig welding. the main teacher ron was sweet, there seems to be so much nonsense and hyperbole surrounding framebuilding but he just cut through it so i ended up feeling much more confident in some basics of frame material and design.
so the course stuff might be a bit boring for some of you. the time i spent after the course in portland and tokyo was great. portland has a fantastic network of cycle paths lobbied for hard by the bta. I stayed with Edwin who was a friend of a friend just above town in a place called multnomah. We spent a couple of days riding around portland checking out bikeshops and using the incredible, bike friendly, public transport system. Got lots of cool zines from reading frenzy there is an especially good one called resist which anyone can check out at the shop. north portland bikeworks also had some cool zines and they were wonderful in allowing me to send my frame there rather than paying US$84 to take on my flight to portland.
it is a little freaky to experience a little slice of america and realise that there are so many other slices out there, i guess that is no different to anywhere else but there are so many damn people there. the slice of edwin's life in portland i experienced i saw was mostly but not only young people trying to create a sense of community for themselves. most of the people doing the frame building course and some of the mechanic students were appalled at what their country was and how it was perceived around the world.
there was an abundance of vegetarians which was cool, there was a sweet wrap joint in ashland and an italian restaurant which had some mad vegan delights, this chickpea salad with eggplant, raisins warm crunchy bread, oh yeah. and! they had a vegan pizza which kicked ass, i couldn't even eat all of it at once and i am loath to leave food on the table.
portland had this place called voodoo donuts which had vegan donuts but they sucked. there was super cheap and delicious mexican in north portland which was sorely after riding around all day.
there were the coolest load carrying bikes i have seen in the flesh ridden by a couple of couriers, they were made by the Centre for Appropriate Transport . Hydraulic disc brake load carriers with a generous amount of space to carry your load.
i didn't make it to any builders in portland which was a bummer but i was a little worn out of bikes and it was nice just to hang out.
enjoy your weekend.