My flight arrived on time in Portland around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, but after collecting our baggage, then the rental car, driving the wrong direction on the freeway, getting stuck in rush hour traffic, it was almost 5:00 pm, the time I was supposed to be at “Bike Commuter.”
I made a phone call to Maria Schur the event coordinator explaining I was going to be late, I checked into our hotel room, but didn’t even unload our bags, and got back on the road again.
Then after getting lost again, thanks to false information from Google maps, I arrived at the venue an hour late. There was a small group of people, many had apparently wandered off and left, which I understand. After all it was a work day, and how long are people going to wait for an old guy who used to build bike frames, and one who may or may not show up?
What made the whole thing worthwhile for me was meeting Henry VonJouanne, original owner of #262 John Howard I built in 1983, Henry and his wife drove all the way from Seattle, Washington just to meet me. We went to a restaurant across the street for dinner and had a wonderful evening.
I realized this trip is going to be about meeting with individual owners like Henry, more than anything else. Henry was 24 when he bought the frame, and has ridden it for 32 years.
This bicycle, an inanimate object has helped define who this man is. It has had a profound effect on his life. Meeting him last evening had a profound effect on me.
Top Pictue: Typical shot of me (Left.) talking bike stuff. Henry Von Juanne is center.
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