23 June 2007

No Dance Partner Necessary

Bike banners
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I remember the first time I thought I was delusional. I was reading in bed one evening and briefly lifted my gaze from the page to the window, only to catch out of the corner of my eye a glimpse of a man riding a unicycle. I did a double take.

What did I just see? Yes, a small man in a bow tie and carrying a briefcase was cycling uphill past my house and around the corner. I shrugged my shoulders, turned off the light, and slid underneath the covers…hoping that the image would fade from memory as sure as the daylight would soon arrive.

Bike parking

As it turned out, I would meet that man, Mr. Terry, a few months later. He was called to serve as the Bishop of the young adult congregation I worshiped with in Salt Lake City. And he did, indeed, ride a unicycle with a bright blue seat to and from his office downtown. I imagined that his business card read something like this:

Richard Terry, Attorney at Law
Passionate Unicyclist

Good balance, powerful legs, fossil fuel savings – I’m not sure what motivated him. If you visited his home, you would discover several unicycles hanging upside down in the mud room. And it wasn’t just his hobby, but a growing family tradition. Another image impressed in my memory is the evening I looked out the window and saw not only him, but also his twenty-one-year-old-bowtie-clad son pedaling up the hill toward home.


Today the fifth annual Multnomah County Bike Fair was holding court at Colonel Summers Park in Southeast Portland.

Bike dancers from Vancouver, BC, entertained the crowd, and a small fairway of venders and bike-friendly programs promoted their wares. There were silly competitions (three bikes, two people, and one moving entity) to enter, bike lore to share with fellow cyclists, and a cavalcade of homemade bike accessories to admire.

There were no unicycles in sight at the fair today. But in true Portlander spirit, there was plenty of verve and passion and silly fashions.

Bike cycle

Click to see more photos from the fair.

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