Two Wheels

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I bought a bike when we first moved to Portland. This is a very bike-friendly city, and I didn’t want to rely on our car as much as I did in Indianapolis. The first bike I bought was a 1974 Schwinn Suburban, and it’s a beast. I feel like that bike weighs about as much as I do. Carting it up and down the basement steps, or even trying to ride it up a steep hill is ridiculous.

I checked out various bike stores, and rode a few bikes to try them out. I felt like an idiot because I hadn’t really ridden a bike in a good two years. Did I want to be the grown woman wobbling on a bike in front of a shop full of pro cyclists? No. Was I? Of course.

I said a little prayer when I hopped on that first bike that I wouldn’t just fall straight over into the street, and I managed to pedal away without too much embarrassment. I didn’t think anyone was around when I flipped the bike into a low gear that I couldn’t get it out of. Lucky for me, there was a car full of people waiting to pass me! Yaaay! I pulled over and made the “what-is-wrong-with-this-bike-sure-I-know-what-I’m-doing-please-dear-God-don’t-stop” smile at them while my face turned bright pink. I went home empty-handed that day.

I gave up on finding a bike I liked until one popped up on Craigslist. I took it for a (wobbly) ride and brought it home with me. The next day Rob and I headed out to the bike trail that I’d been eyeing all summer- Banks – Vernonia. It was just what I needed to get used to two wheels again!

It was the most perfect fall weather for our ride, and the trail was smooth, relatively empty, and an easy ride. The entire trail route is 21 miles long, but we only did about 11 miles. My butt was sore from that bike seat for daaaays, but it was completely worth it.

I’m still trying to convince Rob to buy me this farm that appeared to be in the middle of nowhere.

The trail passes thru mostly forest, but there are lovely stretches of fields and farms. I would go back in a heartbeat, and I’m looking forward to the next clear day when we can sneak away again.

And just as a teaser…. here’s something else that I’ll get to share more about soon!

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  • Sandra

    Hi Amy,
    As per your Craftsy serger class, I don’t know if you realize what a great service you and Craftsy are doing for us sewers who live in rural areas with little access to sewing classes–well maybe you do–but I just have to thank you again! In fact, I will be in Portland visiting my children and grandchildren
    over the Thanksgiving holiday and look forward to visiting Modern Domestic while I’m there. Maybe I’ll be real lucky and get to see you too! I love you blog and will continue to follow along back here in Montana.
    Sandra

    • http://reallyhandmade.com/ Amy Alan

      Hi, Sandra! Yes, I think what Craftsy is doing is wonderful! It’s so nice to hear from students who otherwise wouldn’t have class available to them in their area. I also love that there’s no rush to get thru your class. I’m taking a few of the classes myself!

      Let me know when you’re in town for Thanksgiving, and I’ll see if I can make it into the shop. I’d love to meet you! Thanks for your very sweet comment. Have fun in the Craftsy class, and a good trip to Portland!

  • Tamara Oster

    Amy, I am glad you found a bike that makes you happy and that you were able to take advantage of the beautiful riding trail. (I do miss Oregon.) I am looking forward to you posts about XXXXXX, I have one of these treasures too.

    • http://reallyhandmade.com/ Amy Alan

      Hi, Tamara! I’m happy too! I really didn’t want to have to bruise my ego (or my rear end) by taking more test rides! That trail was really really amazing. Where are you now, and why would you leave Oregon? ;)

      I’ll post about the machine soon. I had to put it away so I’d finish my sewing projects and not just sit there and stare at it!

      • Tamara Oster

        Hi Amy, I live in Northern Virginia now, I left Oregon after I joined the Army in 1978 (34 years and still going Army Srong)and have been traveling the world since. My husband and I will be visiting my parents over Christmas, they live in Jefferson. We are going to try to sneak in some skiing while we are there as well as a trip to the coast. I do hope while we are out west I can pop over to your shop, it would be wonderful to meet you in person. I love my littl old machine – it was “born” the same month and year as my Dad, that makes it pretty special to me. I have signed up for the Serger Class, I am trying to find the time to sit still and take it! Have a wonderul day, I am sending some prayers along for some sunshine for another bike ride.

      • http://reallyhandmade.com/ Amy Alan

        Wow- it sounds like you’ve probably been able to visit all kinds of amazing places! Jefferson isn’t too far- you should definitely come up! We’ll be here around Christmas, but I know the shop usually does close around that time. I’m not sure what their hours will be this year, but you should let me know when you’re up and I’ll see if I can be at the shop when you stop by. Otherwise, I’ll hopefully see you over on Craftsy sometime soon! :)