City Councilors Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall, who represent Portland's peninsula neighborhoods, in the interest of embracing a healthier lifestyle, have taken to late-night bicycle jaunts. Their ride on the evening of July 6 ended with each needing a new tire, after their rear wheels locked together. Neither one of these men has a car, so this was a major obstacle to their getting around the city. Marshall is an artist, who can be seen on Portland's streets painting landscapes.
I was kneeling on the ground by the mailbox, taking photographs, when Kevin appeared, holding a bicycle wheel. Sensing a political "scoop," I questioned him and found out about the bicycle mishap, which I've just shared with you.
I asked where he was going and he said he was on his way to get a new wheel, at the bicycle shop at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. Being true to my nature as a pushy broad, I asked if I might accompany him on this journey and he said I could.
When we got to the destination, CycleMania, there was David Marshall, removing the rear wheel of his bike. He'd rolled the damaged bicycle over there, and he'd brought his little dog Mocha with him.
The guys entered the bike store, each with a wheel under an arm. It was going to be an easy "fix"; just get a new wheel, attach it, and you're ready to roll around Portland once again.
The happiness on their faces turned to dismay when the man behind the counter returned from the back room to announce that he only had one wheel in stock. "You'd better have a coin toss, fellas," was his advice to the civic leaders.
Councilor Marshall won with his call of "heads," and Councilor Donoghue left, still carrying his broken wheel, heading to Back Bay Bicycle, located about a mile away. This reporter declined his invitation to accompany him on that sojourn. "I'm too old to walk that far," I said.
I trudged back up the big hill to my home and furiously typed up the hot story for my editor, the noble Ed King of The West End NEWS.
I called Kevin Sunday morning, to find out whether he was able to get his new wheel at Back Bay Bicycle. He said he did. Not only did he leave the store with the desired wheel, he also met someone there who gave him a ride home. How delightful, a story with a happy ending! Pedal on, guys.