I’ve lived on the border of North & South Park for almost 2 years, and I must admit, it’s a wonderful place to call home. The neighborhood is full of great art, restaurants, boutiques, and thrift stores, and I’ve met some fantastic people around the hood.
One of the first things that stood out about the community when I first moved here was the neighborhood’s love affair with bikes. There’s some awesome bike shops, a food bike delivery service, some ridiculously cool bike racks and it’s rare not to see someone pedaling up and down 30th street at any given hour.
I also work in North Park just a few blocks from my apartment, so my daily cycling commute is only a of couple minutes! My car recently wound up in the repair shop after a fender bender (grrr), so having a reliable mode of transportation was definitely a blessing. I rode my bike everywhere for 14 days straight, and while that experience made me appreciate my vehicle, it was really fun to ride to places I never thought about riding to before.
Here’s some velo gear I’ve acquired to pimp out Bliss (my bike):
- Chrome Mini-Metro Buckle Bag: I visited PDX last summer, and met a man named Dan that inspired me to check out this bag. The seatbelt buckle release is fun to press, and I recently discovered it doubles as a bottle opener: schwing. The waterproof bag’s the perfect size for my lunch, sweater, and locks, and the variety of internal pockets is great. I only wish there was an easily accessible pouch for my iPhone, but this bag is close to perfect.
- Knog Skink lights: I’ve seen these lights in a bunch of stores, but the blue color I’ve only found online is super rad. The flexible closure fits most bikes, and allows for simple and quick removal. And Holy LED, did I mention they are brighter than the sun? My dad found them for much cheaper on Amazon, so do some searching if you don’t want to pay top dollar.
- Topeak Mini Morph pump: I wanted a pump that was light and compact enough to fit in my Chrome bag, but still pumped fast. This pump does the job well, and the fold-out foot pad transforms it into a pseudo-floor pump. It took me a minute to figure out the “magic” head, but now that I have, it’s easy to inflate either presta or schrader valve tubes.
- Bern helmet: I was on the hunt to get a helmet that wasn’t too extreme, and thought it would be neat to find a color scheme that complimented Bliss perfectly. I found this beaut, and BAM, safety is sexy again! It was risky going with white, but the cyan font matched too perfectly to pass this protection up.
- Burger bell: This gal loves burgers, and this bell. I enjoy ringing it as I pass randoms, and it always seems to brighten their day! Having a bicycle bell is fun and there are some pretty neat ones out there. Dinnnng dinnnng!
Cycling is so amazing, and these rad accessories complete my ride. If you don’t have a bicycle, I highly recommend getting one. There’s a pretty decent selection on Craigslist or maybe you could be awesome and trade your car for a bike in 2010. On that note, follow the advice of my good buddy Mark Twain: “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” Well put, MT.