Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I laugh every time I watch this. Locally made (Notice Stumptown Coffee on Belmont and laps on Mount Tabor.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Solsbury Hill

Now that I think of it, this is a great cycling song.

Thanks Cecilanne for the link.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ode: The Capris

by Mark Halliday

How do I feel about "There's a Moon Out Tonight" 
by the Capris?
I thought you'd never ask

Marcia Koomen lived across Cherry Lane
getting tall, taller than me in fifth grade
and smiling behind her glasses, she knew something.
The summer nights in Raleigh were thick
with something bright in the dark; you could ride
bikes under the moon and in and out of
lampshine at the corner of Wade and Dogwood,
not caring about touching a girl, or, later,
not caring much still but happy to be a boy
who could some day "have" a girl, and be conscious of
a shivering beauty caught in the word girl

There's a girl at my side 
that I adore
-the Capris knew something all together
and it called for this new verb, to adore;
something out there ahead of my bicycle in the dark;
I cared a loy about Paladin on "Have Gun - Will Travel"
but did I adore him? Scotty Koomen, years older,
got sort of pae and brittle when he went to visit
a certain girl in his class, he seemed to have trouble
There's a glow in my heart
I never felt before
- not exactly in my heart yet but it was
what would be there if I rode just maybe deeper down
Dogwood Lane in the busy dark.

Across Dogwood lived Ann Dailey
who had freckles and an awesome kind of largeness,
not fat but big and this made my eyes feel hot and burny;
she moved slowly doing chores in her yard,
her long tanning thighs seemed sarcastic
as if she knew soon her freckled beauty must positively
carry her somehow out, out and away...And
Shelby Wilson one night kissed her on the lips.
I saw it happen - on the sofa in the basement - 
her folks weren't home. Right on the lips!

Amazing lips are in your future, boy. That's
what the Capris were telling me; the North Carolinia moon
is natural and it can find you anywhere;
you have t let the moon paint you and your bike
and the picture of Elvis in your pocket
and it shines down on Marcia's hair
and on the thought of the green eyes of Ann Dailey.
Ride and wait, wait and watch;
you laugh, you shiver in the summer - cool - dark.
You speak of the Yankees and the Pirates but
cut a side glance at Marcia's tall shape
but when she says anything serious exasperate her
yelling Little Richard's wop bop alu bop

but this dodging, dodging will end -
somewhere - 
the Capris being on Marcia's side.
Baby, I never felt this way before
I guess it's because there's a moon out tonight

and once that shining starts
no amount of irony will ever quite ride the Capris out of town.
I picture a deep pool with yellow flowers drifting
on the surface. The song pours up
out of that pool.

Click here to listen to the Capris sing "There's a Moon Out Tonight."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shawn Granton

Shawn Granton is a local Portland artist whose work has appeared in Momentum magazine, as well as being featured on posters for Filmed by Bike, Pedalpalooza, many Shift activities, and lots of other bike stuff. See more of his artwork here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tweed Run

From the London Fixed gear/single speed forum comes this.
I think Portland is definitely ready for one of these.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Cycle of their Lives

by Eamon Grennan

All day, now that summer's come, the children
Drift by my window on their bicycles. houur
After aimless hour a small bright school of them
Circles the block, nonchalant as exotic fish
That barely ruffle the avocado depths
Of a home aquarium. For the most part
Their pace is regular - pedalling the rise,
Cresting the turn, then floating dreamy-eyed
Back down. Without warning, one will break
The circle, flash off on his own, on her own,
The way they'll leave at last the homes
They'll home to. If they see me staring
Out at them from behind the glass
They wave in passing - one hand jerky in air,
Eyes colliding with mine an instant - then
Steadying a slight wobble they resume their
Instinct's occupation, drawing order from
The tangle of their lives. Morning to night
They're at it, while the gold-spoked sun
Rides the blue rim of the sky, and light sifts
Through the hushed underwater web
Of leaves, altering the air they swim in
- Silvergreen, oriole, buttercup, verdigris-yellow
Come mealtimes, their dreaming spell
Is snapped by the cries of mothers: names
Ring round the neighbourhood like bells, bringing
Each one headlong home. Indoors they fret over
Vegetables, their propped bikes glittering
Against steps and porches, the road
A pool of light and silence. The spangled
Green crosshatch of leaves hangs still. Soon
They are back in their scented kingdom, lords
Of all its lit dimensions, circling perpetually
The square. Given our condition, they fashion
A provisional perfect freedom, beautifully doing
Nothing, unravelling and ravelling themselves
In time, being only motion alone, savoring
The sweet empty presence of themselves
In sunlight. My own son is among them
Until lingering grey traces of air and muffled light
Cling to his white t-shirt and he glows
Almost chromium or wild white rose. When I
Call him in at last, he glimmers away for one
More turn in watery dusklight, then freewheels
Slowly towards the garage dark, dismounts, lays
His bike aside. Grounded, he trudges through
Ankle-deep grass, talking in low tones
To his friends who know their own time is
Almost come and cycle on, flickering
The way I've seen seagulls flicker, who call out
To one another as they wheel round the infinite
High reaches of the evening sky.

From What Light There Is & Other Poems

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Church Going

Just a small cycling image in the first stanza, but a really beautiful poem.

by Philip Larkin

Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,

Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
"Here endeth" much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate, and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort or other will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation - marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these - for whom was built
This special shell? For, though I've no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Beat

Bruce Cockburn video

Watch more Yahoo! Music videos on AOL Video

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


By Michael Donaghy

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
This harpsichord pavane by Purcell
And the racer’s twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected.
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.
And in the playing, Purcell’s chords are played away.

So this talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante’s heaven, and melt into the air.

If it doesn’t, of course, I’ve fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsichordists prove.

Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

From Shibboleth

You can listen to Michael Donaghy reading "Machines" here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Is that a singlespeed? That would explain the legs...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


by Nikki Giovanni
from her book Bicycles: Love Poems

Midnight poems are bicycles
Taking us on safer journeys
Than jets
Quicker journeys
Than walking
But never as beautiful
A journey
As my back
Touching you under the quilt

Midnight poems
Sing a sweet song
Saying everything
Is all right

Here for us
I reach out
To catch the laughter

The dog thinks
I need a kiss

Bicycles move
With the flow
Of the earth
Like a cloud
So quiet
In the October sky
Like licking ice cream
From a cone

Like knowing you
Will always
Be there

All day long I wait
For the sunset

The first star
The moon rise

I move
To a midnight
The dangers

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tiago DeJerk

This is a mural Mr. DeJerk created for Cyclepath, a bike shop in Portland.
More of his work can be seen here

Saturday, February 28, 2009

To Zbigniew Herbert's Bicycle

by W.S. Merwin

Since he never
really possessed you
however he may have longed to
in secret

so that in dreams he knew
each surface and detail of you
gleam of spokes and chrome
smells of grease and rubber
the chain's black knuckles

day by day you
remained out of sight
so that he never had to
lock you up or hide you
because nobody could see you

and though he never
in fact learned to ride you
keeping his round
toppling weight upright
on the two small toes
of water slipping
out from under

once he was well away
hands on the grips feet off the ground
you could take him

at last like the rain
through the rain

invisible as you were

From Present Company

Friday, February 27, 2009

Maybe Alone On My Bike

by William Stafford

I listen, and the mountain lakes
hear snowflakes come on those winter wings
only the owls are awake to see,
their radar gaze and furred ears
alert. In that stillness a meaning shakes;

And I have thought (maybe alone
on my bike, quaintly on a cold
evening pedaling home), Think!--
the splendor of our life, its current unknown
as those mountains, the scene no one sees.

O citizens of our great amnesty:
we might have died. We live. Marvels
coast by, great veers and swoops of air
so bright the lamps waver in tears,
and I hear in the chain a chuckle I like to hear.

From Passwords