PORTLAND, OR – Portland resident Beth Hamon’s commuting record is hard to beat. In fact, her bicycle has been a center piece of her car-free lifestyle for the past two decades. Beth kicked her car habit in the early 90s when she sold her only car — a gift that her father had given her to commemorate her coming of age. Beth’s infatuation with the bicycle started as a child when her older sister removed Beth’s training wheels and pushed her down the street until she learned to ride without them. Since that time, she has been demonstrating how life can be better by bike.
Beth commutes year round from her home in Northeast Portland to Southeast Portland”s Citybikes Workers” Cooperative — a shop she co-owns and where she serves as a mechanic and merchandise buyer. Her ten mile commute is often completed on her coveted Rivendell Long Lowcustom touring bike. Another dependable ride in her velo collection is her Surly Big Dummy cargo bike. This comes in particularly handy when she needs to make a run to the grocery store or farmers market or when hauling her guitar to her synagogue where she is one of several volunteer music leaders.
Beth also volunteers for Portland Sunday Parkways, a series of events throughout the summer that closes off city streets to automobile traffic so that citizens can freely walk, bike, and play in the streets. Beth roams the loop on her cargo bike acting as mechanical support to anyone who needs service.
More recently, Beth started racing cyclocross and short track XC. She even lobbied the local short track race organizer to add a separate singlespeed class for women. He did, and Beth will be racing again this year in the singlespeed class.
Anyone who knows Beth knows that she is committed to cycling. She vows to never own a car again and wants to be able to ride a bike until her last day on Earth. Beth declared, “When I die, I’ll be on my bicycle. I’ll just slow down and fall off the bike onto a soft, overgrown grassy knoll somewhere, with a shady tree overhead, and I’ll look up at the cathedral of leaves and branches with the sun glinting through and that’ll be it. Not a bad way to go.“