Portland is filled with people who find themselves eradicating themselves from automotive tradition and proving there are different modes of transportation that match their wants. One space I feel is very attention-grabbing is the world of enterprise, the place bike lovers have discovered other ways to make use of their most well-liked mode of journey to their benefit to attach with clients and carve out their model.
Our latest profile of Sarah Minnick, the Portland pizza chef who fetches recent produce with an electrical cargo bike, reveals one particular person’s relationship to doing enterprise by bike, however there are many different tales to be advised. One in every of these tales comes from Joe Brown, a carfree Portlander who owns Ramblin’ Leather-based Items, a leather-based merchandise firm with a daily spot on the Portland Saturday Market.
It’s evident when speaking to Brown that he has an adventurous, self-sufficient ethos that carries him in his enterprise. Brown got here to the world of biking by way of his time hopping freight trains across the nation when he was youthful. After some time, he realized the prepare journey life was unsustainable for him.
“I give up doing the entire freight prepare factor as a result of the approach to life was sketchy and wasn’t what I needed to be doing,” Brown advised me. “However I didn’t wish to give up touring.”
To accommodate his craving to journey, Brown took up bike touring. He discovered lengthy bike excursions present the identical sense of exhilaration he got here to like whereas touring on trains – simply in a safer, barely extra buttoned-up method.
Whereas on a motorbike tour down the Pacific Coast, Brown found out a method to mix his ardour for journey biking along with his craft and livelihood of creating leather-based wallets. He had supplies despatched to him at completely different stopping factors alongside the best way, and he’d craft up his merchandise and ship it out whereas on the path. Alongside the best way, he’d meet associates and potential clients.
“Individuals would at all times come up and discuss to me at relaxation stops, they usually needed to know what I used to be simply doing. I wasn’t making an attempt to promote something, however I at all times have wallets on me, and other people would purchase them,” Brown advised me.
When he bought again to Portland, he had made sufficient cash whereas on the street to take his leather-based items enterprise full-time. As soon as he landed the Saturday Market spot, he sprang for a motorbike trailer from the Seattle-based firm Cyclefab that doubles as a show desk for his wares. Each Saturday morning, Brown bikes in from Raleigh Hills to select up his trailer at a close-by storage unit and takes all of it to the Saturday Market to arrange (no unloading within the bike lane required!)
Throughout the subsequent few years, Brown desires to take his bike to Argentina after which bike throughout Africa and Europe – an enormous feat solely doable due to the liberty of his enterprise. He plans to have a list of products right here in Portland that may be shipped out whereas he’s the world over to assist fund the journey.
Brown mentioned he’s at all times been a vagabond who’s up for something. He’s open about scuffling with habit and homelessness when he was youthful, and going all-in on biking was an enormous impetus for him to vary.
“After I began driving my bike, I began making loads of different wholesome decisions. It’s simply loads of enjoyable assembly different folks within the biking neighborhood as a result of lots of people that I meet out driving bikes are doing one thing constructive,” Brown advised me. “I like touring and don’t assume I’ll ever cease. However the earlier method I traveled went hand in hand with my habit. Touring by bike isn’t one thing I might do whereas making an attempt to feed addictions. Bike touring has led me to so many alternative wholesome issues in life and altered my perspective considerably.”
Taylor has been BikePortland’s workers author since November 2021. She has additionally written for Avenue Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org