Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Who is this?

Whoever is riding this bike to work exemplifies using a bike as utilitarian transportation. I'm pretty sure I'd like to spend a little time in conversation with them. Of course, we'd have to talk about the proper way to park a motorcycle! This person fits my description of an intrepid commuter.

This is Lancaster Mall in Salem. I first saw this bike about a year and a half ago. Through two Winters and a Summer this bike has occupied the pictured parking spot or one in the same general area. On really nasty days the bike isn't there. However, it's been present the majority of times I've rolled through. As a travelling person, the mall serves as a sort of field office when I'm in town. Free wireless internet is kindly offered. This allows me a place to conduct business as needed. If food and good coffee happen to be in close proximity, so much the better. You know how we motorcycle people are. We cruise parking lots looking for other bikes. As much as we celebrate our individualism we're always glad to see others like us out and about.

I think that the rider works at the Best Buy store. You'd just sort of figure that the rider would park somewhere near the entry to where they work. The parking area where I always see the bike is closer to Best Buy than the mall. If a person were to walk to the nearest mall entrance to the bike, it would lead into a Macy's store. Somehow that doesn't jive with my mental picture. This parking spot is a long ways away from the regular mall entrance. I could be wrong, of course. Not that it's ever happened before, mind you.

The bike itself is sort of a rat bike. There's foam showing through the seat cover. It's not a show piece but it must run reliably. Each day the Yamaha hauls its rider proudly to work and back.

When I took the pictures a small transformation had taken place. Up until now the bike has been just a part of the background. Now it's rotated to the forefront. I inexplicably find myself wanting to know more. I'd like to meet the rider. Maybe even put a photo in the blog. It's primarily about riding to work, after all. This rider is certainly doing that consistently.

I'm going to have to direct some effort to finding the rider. One possibility would be to leave a note on the bike. That just seems like an invasion to me. There's a certain respect for another rider's bike involved. One always needs to be aware of the fine line between gathering information and becoming a stalker, of course! Maybe someone in the area might know. There's a few local folks reading the blog. If anyone knows the answers I seek, please share. I don't know if you're still around, Kano, but I believe you live in Salem. If and when I find out I'll let you know. Whoever you are, I'm glad you're out there!

Miles and smiles,



Bryce said...

Suspect "Best Buy" isn't quite as
far from "work" as you are Dan. And there is a feeling of kinship with those who defy the reality of the change of seasons in reference to their transport mode. So those who steadfastly ride a bicycle in large urban centres in all forms of climate are as much different as those who propel motorcycles in similar conditions. Trust you'll discover the
owner/operator of the Yamaha soon.
Conversely you could venture inside
the Best BUy, wearing full motorcycle gear and ask. No harm in trying.

When much younger rode a motorcycle
with sidecar to and from work for three years when I was in Toronto, my then now long deceased partner
also road a BMW with chair, I had a GL1000. He was an architect, I worked as an instructional materials technologist with a west end school board. We lived close to a streetcar line. (Toronto has
always had streetcars unlike some cities which are rediscovering them); so any really nasty days
we both could take public transport. We had no four-wheeled

irondad said...

Portland has an extensive mass transit system. Unfortunately, the crime rate is going up on the light rail cars. Even though Salem is slightly smaller than Portland, the Yamaha rider is probably safer on the bike than the bus.