Portland NBG Day
(from Boise , ID )
July 18 ,2003
Brought to you by:

Deputy Dawn George, Don Park, Deputy Dan Brugger, Rocky Brown, Bureau of Transportation System Management Director Eileen Argentina, George Wu, Transportation Options Admin Supervisor Kristine Shigley, Mark Chen, Andrew Heckman.
Just got back from the Portland ceremony. I'd complain about the heat, but with Rocky present after cycling though 108 degrees in the high Oregon desert, well, that'd just be silly. Kristine Shigley (from Transportation System Mgmt,, ed) put on a nice show, with Rocky, the three PDX to Eugene riders, Pat Franz of Terracycle Andrew Morton, yours truly and Lisa Heckman (my wife) following two Parking Department enforcement folks leading the way to the courthouse steps. Eilleen Argentina (Transportation Options Director, ed) gave a lovely introduction and read the proclamation, I spoke a bit, then Rocky spoke a bit. Then Kristine broke out the bottlred water and box lunches for the hungry and grateful cyclists. There was a good little crowd (30 people,
maybe?) enjoying the ceremony, or trying to as helicopters chopped overhead and the sounds of organized protest wafted on the hot breeze from a few blocks away, where John Ashcroft was in town doing something or other (probably helping build some gallows from which to hang Critical Massers).

But I digress.

Andrew Morton took some digital photos as did Dat (not sure of his last name) from the local grassroots bike advocacy group Shift. Lisa took some videotape as well. Kristine said she would send me my own copy of the proclamation signed by Mayor Vera Katz and to her I say, "Thanks very much for sending that. It will mean a lot to have that in my collection of the many communications I received from well-wishers last year".

Last cool thing before I lay down and rest my hip after cycling home: Pat Franz noticed that Don Park's right chainstay was completely broken in half -- the dropout was not even attached anymore. Luckily Cynthia got to work with a local bike shop (The Bike Gallery) and demanded action using the authority of the Mayor's office, and the LBS came through with a loaner carbon fiber racer for Don! So kudos to Pat for his sharp eye and Cynthia for her sharp tongue, and the Bike Gallery for being stand-up folks...they helped avert a potentially disastrous situation.

Must go lie down now. Thanks everyone.
Andrew Heckman

Portland Skyline

Andrew Heckman Speaks to Crowd
The riders met up a block away from City Hall and rode over with a bicycle escort provided by officers from the City's Parking Services division. A crowd of approximately 30 people was gathered for the presentation. A cheer went up as Andrew Heckman, the NBG rider who was nearly killed by an inattentive motorist in last year's relay, his wife Lisa, Rocky, who'd ridden from Boise, Mark Chen, Don Park and George Wu who would be riding down to Eugene, rolled up.

Eileen Argentina, Director of the Portland Transportation Options Department, started by making a few excellent remarks on about Portland's bicycling facilities. Andrew Heckman spoke about his accident and cycling's ability to bring people together. Eileen then presented Rocky with Mayor Vera Katz's proclamation supporting the NBG and recognizing the rider's efforts to promote safe bicycling facilities. Finally it was Rocky's chance to tell the crowd about his ride and show off the rubber lizard he talked so much about in his Pocket Mail reports. Everyone got a kick out of it.

The city's employees went far beyond the call of duty. They graciously provided each of the riders with a goodie bag full of various bike maps for the city and state and wonderful boxed lunch. Needless to say with a bunch of cyclists there weren't any leftovers. At some point Don realized that his chain stay had cracked. Cynthia Thompson called the Bicycle Gallery and came through big time, offering to loan Don a bike to use for the ride down to Eugene.

This year's reception was amazing and I'll predict that next years will be even better. Thanks to all the riders, the city, and everyone who was able to come down.

Andrew Morton
(Andrew rode from Portland to Santa Cruz collecting seven mayor proclamations on his way to the 2002 Santa Cruz NBG Bike Fest)

Lisa Heckman, Andrew's guiding light and strength films event
I will try to put into words the pride I felt shaking the hand of Andrew Heckman for the first time ... funny how the pride took over then but now the lump gets stuck in my throat when I ponder over that experience.

Full report soon!!

Rocky Brown

Rocky Browns listens to question from crowd

Eileen talks to riders
Lisa. on bike in foreground, films riders as they roll in to waiting crowd
George and I left my place Friday morning and met Don at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry since it is pretty close to the Hawthorne Bridge. We then biked across the bridge and when we got to the plaza where we were meeting everyone else, we noticed people protesting Ashcroft and the war. here were even a couple of topless women holding signs up. But we didn't have time to dally, so we looked around and saw Dat, from Shift, Don's friend, come running up to greet us. He told us where everyone was, so we headed over. At this point, my chain fell off; I fixed it later, but something to keep in
mind if it happens again...

"Everyone" was us three (Mark, Don, and George), Dat, Kristine and a coworker, two parking enforcement officers, Andrew and Lisa H, and Pat (tho I didn't catch his name and just write "Pat" because that's what Andrew wrote in his synopsis). We were all wondering where Rocky was. Across the block, across the street, were some people setting up a podium at the steps of city hall. Basically we just spent the time (about 25 min) meeting each other and checking out each others' rides. Andrew Morton showed up around then, too. And fun was had by all. It was at this time when Pat noticed the completely broken chain-stay on Don's bike. Uh-oh. But we didn't have time to do anything about it since Rocky and his sister showed up at City Hall and biked over. We then made a little train, led by the bike parking people, over to the steps where some 20 people were crowded around waiting to see what happened.

When we reached the steps, we met Cynthia and Eileen, and Eileen told us what was happening. When everyone was gathered, she made a speech, and read the proclamation, followed by speeches by Andrew H and Rocky. Andrew is an amazing guy and his speech was well put, IMHO. Rocky is also amazing--not complaining about 108 degrees because last year he had to endure 118. Bejeezus, if I were them, I'd milk it for all it's worth. Dirt Bag is well, too.

So after the speeches and the clapping and all that, Kristine shows us the box lunches they had prepared for the cyclists. The day before she called me and asked if there should be food, saying something like, "I don't know if you guys want food or if we should provide food for something like this. I mean, I don't know if you are on some type of training regimen or diet or something..." To which I replied, "Well, *I'll* eat at least! Actually, the ride we are doing is really easy, so any kind of food should be fine." And the food was indeed fine. Very nice actually, Paradise Bakery and whatnot. Don, George, and I had planned on leaving right then and there and to take our food with us before we found out about Don's bike. So instead, we at on the lawn of City Hall, while Cynthia made some phone calls. This woman has some bicycling clout! Or should I say "grease"? She got a hold of Bike Gallery and they offered to lend Don a bike for the weekend. After we finished eating we all said good-bye to both Andrews, Lisa, Rocky, and his sis, and we rode with Dat to the Bike Gallery located on the other side of the city (the one on Sandy Blvd--Too bad they couldn't find a bike at their downtown location!). I guess due to Don's height, they didn't have many bikes that would fit, so he got stuck with some carbon fibre USPS racing team Trek. Such is our luck. :)

Mark Chen

The Pocket Mail Stories

Meet our Riders

More Pictures from Des Moines to Boulder
Cynthia Thompson, Transportation Options Division manager joins Eileen and riders
National Mayors' Ride Schedule
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