Day at the Museum
More than a hour before Alan Scholz’s scheduled talk at the Portland Art Museum on July 27, Bike Friday owners began rolling up to the courtyard.
First a couple of Pocket Rockets zoomed up. In a matter of minutes, they were test riding a Silk. Then some New World Tourists arrived. A Silk. A Tandem. And more.
One-by-one, the group grew. They exchanged glances and compliments of each other’s bikes, talked about their adventures, and waited anxiously for the talk to begin.
By the time they sauntered into the auditorium for Alan’s talk on bicycle design, the group swelled to nearly 30 people. For the next hour they were entertained by Bike Friday’s Co-Founder, as he discussed elements of bike design and its history.
The Portland Art Museum opened up early for our special group, and the plan was to allow us private access to the exhibit about 9:30.
Instead, Alan engaged the audience and had them wanting more. The Question and Answer segment rambled on past the actual opening of the Museum at 10.
Lou Liserani and his wife Sue live in Vancouver, Washington, and are regular visitors to the Bike Friday booth whenever we are in Portland. They enjoyed the day.
“We had a great time on Saturday,” Lou said. “We had not previously met Alan or heard him speak about the product and the company. We love our Fridays, so it was very interesting to Â hear the thought that goes into the design of these products.”
Everyone eventually headed to the main hall, where they were treated to Alan’s insight to the 40 bikes owned by collector Michael Embacher, that are on display until September 8.
As they wandered about the 40 bicycles, neatly hung from the ceiling, Alan offered insight into what makes each one special, from a design element.
“We had seen the exhibit before, but it was nice to observe the bikes once more but without the crush of humanity we encountered the first time,” Lou said. “Very impressive that the display contains a New World Tourist, apparently just one of several Fridays in Michael Embacher’s enormous bicycle collection.”
Eventually the group spilled back outside.
With beautiful summer weather on display, a small group hopped onto their Bike Fridays for a ride around Portland, led by former Bike Friday service mechanic Chris Nelson, and Alan.
Alastair Calderwood is an IT professional from London who has been working on a project in Salem, Oregon, and he joined in. He hopped on a Pocket Rocket Pro for a test ride, and joined the bunch.
“The Pocket Rocket was a very smooth and fast ride, and the scenic route along the River Willamette only added to the enjoyment,” Calderwood said.
“About half way I swapped with another rider for a New World Tourist — a slightly heavier bike, slower to accelerate, but with more momentum at cruising speed. After 10 miles on both Bike Fridays, I hardly felt as if I had been cycling at all — despite the hills!”
He rode on Lou’s New World Tourist, and Lou got a ride on the Pocket Rocket Pro.
“The 10-mile ride through downtown, and along both sides of the Willamette River, with Alan and a number of Bike Friday owners was really fun,” Lou said. “It highlighted with great weather and Chris Nelson’s ‘off-road’ adventure along the East side Willamette bike path and the resulting flats. ”