Gotta keep moving

Sunday Parkways SE-9-8 (Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Yesterday was Sunday Parkways in southeast Portland—our neighborhood. I pedaled the 6.2 mile course with Joe in tow on our long dreamed-of Futon Bike. He was filming footage for his documentary. The entire way, people laughed, pointed, and yelled. In a friendly way. Mostly.

Most of the yells were, with identical inflection: “Now that’s the way to travel!”

The second most popular thing to yell: “Shouldn’t that be the other way around?”

To which I mostly replied “No!” or “Why?” Finally I snapped and told some hapless couple, “Don’t gender us!” which resulted in nervous laughter and an increase in open scrutiny from all the other people waiting at the light.

Navigating heavy bike traffic made up of children & inexperienced riders isn’t made easier by having a 6′x4′ 200lb trailer in tow. It was mostly a lot of fun, though. A Parkways staffer hitched a ride with us for ten blocks and we should have kept her. Her cheerful attitude transformed our filming ship into a parade float.

In other news, we leave on tour tomorrow morning and won’t be in the same place for three nights in a row until October. We’ll be blogging our adventures, and I’ll be posting over at Grist about the bike economy in places we visit.

And finally, after writing for BikePortland off and on since 2006—and at least weekly for nearly three years—I’m moving on to new projects & schemes. Jonathan says he’ll keep doing a news roundup every Monday, so watch for it here.

As for those other projects, I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for reading Taking the Lane!

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5 Responses to “Gotta keep moving”

  1. Caroline August 29, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Wow, a lot of big news and changes! Sorry I didn’t really get to chat with you in any meaningful way yesterday. My little corner of Sunday Parkways was overwhelming me. Or maybe it was all the iced coffee. I would have been better to just hand over the entire cup to you!

    Bon Voyage! Can’t wait to read about your adventures!

    • Elly August 29, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks Caro! Glad we got to spend some time in the hat tent, even if it was a zoo. See you in October!

  2. browse August 29, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Oh yay, so happy to have found your blog! Looking forward to your coming adventures. :-)

    And this may have been the first time I’ve heard “gender” used as a verb. Is that a common usage? If I was going to use it, it would mean something like determining the sex of some species. “We need to gender the fledgling chicks this weekend.”

    • Elly August 29, 2011 at 11:44 am #

      Thanks browse. :) It’s not common usage, except in performative theory classes at nerdy liberal arts schools, as far as I know. The basic rundown is that sex refers to biology (so you’re actually “sexing” those chicks….sorry) and gender refers to the social construct of maleness or femaleness. Eg, boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink—or the expectation that men doing the physical labor while women bask on the bike trailer—is unrelated to sex and has everything to do with gender norms.

  3. Ron Richings August 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Bon Voyage Elly! Seems like Portland is emptying out with all sorts of people heading off on various tours.
    As a historical aside, apparently a hundred years ago or so PINK was considered the appropriate colour for boys, and BLUE for girls. When and why they switched, I don’t know. And why gender and colour would be linked is a mystery to me. But in any event I blame the Republicans.
    They deserve far more random blame than they are getting…
    Looking forward to your blog posts from the cities that you are visitting, so I have subsribed to this blog in additon to about 600 others.

    Ron, live from Vancouver, BC

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