Oregon Manifest, Part I: Thank You!

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*note: the following contains an insane amount of links to other sites. It took me such a long time to compile them all, so please take a chance and ‘click’. . . I promise that they’ll be a better waste of time than talking dogs or celebrity meltdowns (note also that those things do not, in my estimation, deserve a link.)

Yep. . . Part I. I could have said “one” or “1,” but I’m going to try to keep it as classy as Roman Numerals imply for the sole purpose of matching the event to which this post owes its existence.

A huge thanks goes out to Shannon and Jocelyn for putting on this event. Of all the bicycle shows that happen throughout the year, I truly feel that this one has the greatest ability to change the way cyclists and non-cyclist view the bicycle.

Shannon is the (one of the?) person (people?) behind Super Relax Concept, whose jerseys I saw in an old old old issue of Velonews back when I thought I could be good at racing bicycles. It took me a year or two of searching the internet to figure out the people who had them made so that I could beg to get on their next order. I did and after receiving them I was told they would never ever again open up to people outside of Portland; I’m glad to know they have since changed their policy. Their motto (among others that can easily be taken from their kit): “Look Good. Be nice. Keep Dreamin’.”

We met Jocelyn during NAHBS 2011 which was held in Austin. I think I had emailed her a few times asking about the event, the last was answered by her in person in our booth. It was then that I was sold on going to the event. I may regret the amount of time it took to finish our submission (tackling a bunch of “firsts” is a lot more time intensive than I ever imagined) but I do not regret going. My short conversation with Jocelyn was the deciding factor to sign up. Thank you.

To Rob Tsunehiro (on the right) who let me borrow his wife’s road bike while I was in Portland. His generosity helped me save a great deal of money in shipping and handling fees by not having to bring a third bike to get around the city. Thanks, and congrats on your well deserved second place finish! (WIN!)

To the Judge who, unknown to me, gave a “shout out” to our bike before the ribbon recipients were announced. Shane of Brooklyness has video he’ll send me once I get a chance to write him, but until then I’m suspecting it was Bill Strickland, editor at large for Bicycling and a really handsome, tough-looking man (he looks like he could be an uncommonly refined turn-of-the-century Dutch stevedore, no?), but that’s just a guess based on the reaction to our bike he posted on his blog.

To Greg and Rachel at F3 Designs right here in ATX. I know them from a circle I travel in and asked them to build Katie and I bikepacking bags a while ago. When it came time to decide how the OM bike would carry gear I asked if they could make a racktop/backpack as well as panniers that would look more like their work and less like everything else on the market. An good amount of sailcoth, rubber, and coated nylon later and I had what I needed to carry the requisite items for the 51 mile shakedown-ride. They also make these awesome hats that a) enable me to comfortable tuck all my hair underneath my helmet, and b) keep the sweat off of my face. Bamboo jersey cycling hats. . . who knew?

To Aldo over at Delta Millworks (ATX!!) for making two awesome decks out of Texas Walnut over the Labor Day weekend. They look as amazing as they weigh (which is a lot when you’re riding uphill).

To the people who took their time to document the event and post on flickr. I’ve been viewing a lot from Taylor Sizemore (one of the entrants), Dylan Van Weelden (responsible for the photo above) from Chris King, Jonathan Maus from bikeportland.org, and Anthony Cobb (a student entrant from The Art Institute of Portland) for me to link to. Thanks for covering my ass, otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to show.

A GIANT THANKS goes out to Kellie, Pat, Riley and Oliver R. for letting Katie and I crash in their basement for the entirety of our stay. When we weren’t out doing the bike thing, we were comfortable in a warm and inviting house, hanging out with friends. Thank you so much!

And my final thanks goes to the city of Portland for making me feel pretty frickin’ awesome. What other city in the U.S. could draw a crowd like this to what is basically a one-night museum exhibit on transportation bicycles? Truly inspirational. And thanks for not yelling at me for all the times I forgot to signal my turns. . .

more to come. . .

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