Take my daughter, Wee-hey.
She bikes to work with the countless denizens who choose this method of transport. Wee-hey pedals my mother’s ancient bike from Sears.
I was about 8 years old when my step-dad bought mama her bike one Christmas, a black 3-speed from the Long Beach department store. She loved that bike.
On weekends we would ride our bikes through the track homes, a cluster of houses built with funds given to war veterans. My parents called them GI Bill houses.
We made quite a picture with a line of two adults and four kids—sometimes six when my step brother and sister joined us.
When we moved overseas my mother loaned her bike to my uncle, who had a passel of children, and where it would get good use. I reclaimed the bike when I returned to the US for college.
The bike now belongs to Wee-hey, some 50 years later.
She urges the bike forward with its one remaining gear, regardless of the little hills that force her to stand while biking.
She’s a true Portlander.