The Daily Bike, November 7, 2012

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We run a lot of pictures of bikes in this space and all too rarely do we feature their owners, but today we have an interview with the pilot of the blue Tony Pereira porteur we covered back in September, Kristin, conducted by our friend Jeremy Dunn at Rapha.

You got a new bike from Tony Pereira earlier this summer. What is it and how did the idea for it come together?
My bicycle is a porteur complete with front rack, slender rear rack, custom stem, and my favorite element, a hand-constructed tail light. The bike is built with some pretty fab components (Dura Ace, Chris King, Shimano XTR brakes, Schmidt dynamo lighting, and Brooks leather).

The aim of the bike is pretty straightforward: To carry less on my person. So, when Tony and I got together to discuss the general outline, I told him pretty much that. “The less I physically have to carry, the happier I am.” I suffer from a Bag-within-a-Bag disorder. I don’t so much as carry around multiple bags as I do stuff bags of smaller sizes into one large bag, which exponentially increases in weight. Now, I have a front rack for my bag(s), groceries, and miscellaneous packages, a rear rack for a yoga mat and panniers, and integrated lights with generator hub, so I am no longer eternally rooting around my bag(s) for lights.

Tony gets extra credit for his suggestion to go with 650b wheels and I am so glad he did. Some of these Portland potholes call for extra insulation and 43mm tires are awesome.

Lastly, I have to give credit to my husband, Clint, for helping me choose just the right blue for the bike. It easily holds its own without being overpowering and adds some cheery color to the overcast Portland days.

This is primarily a city-riding bike. How did this change your daily riding (if at all)?
This bicycle rides like a Cadillac and handles like a Porsche. It’s comfortable, fast, and responsive. Even riding to work or the dentist is fun.

What do you like about riding in the city?
My favorite part of any bike commute is crossing the Willamette River, on any bridge, but notably the Broadway Bridge. At dusk. With clear skies. The views of the cityscape are striking.

Portland has an amazing bicycle infrastructure and I am always pleasantly surprised at the well-marked designated bike routes. This makes cycling with out-of-town guests, who may not be that comfortable riding with traffic, much more approachable. I would like to see more true segregated cycle paths in the central downtown area, i.e., those that are separated by a concrete barrier and not just a line of parked cars, similar to what I’ve experienced in Montréal and Munich. I know this has been discussed between City of Portland and Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and so I hope it becomes a reality.

I also love not having to pay for parking.

What do you do for a job? Does your daily riding factor into this at all?
I am a molecular biologist. As a scientist, I like to test hypotheses. So my daily riding factors into this by testing how many irregularly shaped objects I can carry home. I’ve had some interesting ones like a house plant and a package topped with vegetables from the farmers market sitting on top of textbooks, but nothing crazy…yet.

You seem to be a very stylish lady. What do you think about in terms of your dress when you ride your bike to work?
Why, thank you. I try to keep up my appearance when riding this bike because the beauty of the bike demands it. The biggest dilemma I have at the moment is what kind of shoe to wear in the rain. I think I’ve settled on yellow Wellies. The only thing that may top that is fireman’s boots à la Mark Wahlberg in “I Heart Huckabees”.

There seems to be a bike race going on behind you. What’s that all about?
I’m married to a cyclist, these things happen.

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