So I drove down this last weekend to Portland. It was a two birds with one stone type of deal. First off, I'd promised to visit my friend Dan down there for the longest time. Next, I needed a new full suspension bike while I develop the old prototype, so I picked one up down in Portland from a....ummmmm...competitor. First thing I've paid retail for in a good couple of years.
Anyhow, to start with...what the fuck! I was pretty pumped on getting this bike as it had a standard 135mm by 10mm rear hub and I was planning on cycling three sets of wheels between this bike and my hardtail. But nooooooo...somebody thinks they can always do things better and offset the rear triangle 5mm off center towards the drivetrain side. I understand what they're hoping to accomplish (stronger rear wheel, better chainline), but they're called standards for a reason. Now I need to choose a wheelset to sacrifice to this frame and there will be no switching. Not worth the effort.
Portland is a rad little town. It's the land of bridges and large portions of good food. I stopped in Olympia on the way down and ate the most fantastic burrito I've ever eaten in my life. Check out Quality Burrito if you're ever rolling through there. Of course, I was so excited that the bank machine gave me money (PC Financial isn't known for its worldwide acceptance) that I left my card in the machine. Oops.
On to Portland. Started the night at the Trailblazers/Lakers game. What a scene. Man, if you think people get into hockey in Canada, it's nothing compared to basketball in the states. Non stop yelling and cheering. There was just so much going on. It was pretty awesome.
One funny thing about Portland is that it's a town full of beer geeks. Good lord, I work in a Brewery and people don't talk about beer as much as they do in Portland. We were at a party and these dudes talked about hops for a half hour! But it's all bullshit. The only beer they like is over-hopped shit that gives you a headache if you have more than one.
Other Portland highlights:
1) Ate some Pastrami at this place downtown. This easily rivaled Schwartz's in Montreal, which is saying a hell of a lot. For $6.50 you got this massive sandwich that was about 3 inches thick, filled with thick cut pastrami. It was pretty fat and made me incapable of moving for the next couple of hours, but well worth it.
2) The Made in Oregon sign. Look for a Lumberjack logo like this soon. Ya, I know. It'll be a rip-off and I probably shouldn't tell you about it. But who cares. It's an awesome logo and I'll be proud to rip it off.
3) The overpasses and bridges. There's so many of them. Even though Portland isn't a big city, you feel like you're in the center of the Universe as there's so many goddamn bridges.
4) Powell's Books. This is the greatest book shop I've ever seen in my life. There's a motorcycle suspension guide that I searched for for weeks and finally bought from the author and had it shipped over from England. Nobody in North America had it. Powell's had 4 copies. They had everything. New and used. I could have spent days there.
Anyhow. Portland. Good stuff. The drive sucks, but whatever.