Monday, January 31, 2011

Little Horses, Big Bicyles


There are many things that seem quintessentially ~Portland~ to me, on very little evidence.  Maybe they are just things of our times, and this is when I happen to live in Portland.

One is the harnessing of little toy horses to those old rings in the sidewalk that are generally thought -- correctly, I think -- to have been put there back in the day for the harnessing of actual horses.


I generally like this custom, at least while the horse in question is still in good shape.  They eventually get pretty shabby.


The other is the presence of very tall custom-welded bicycles.  These are, I suppose, real creative and technical achievements on the part of the people who craft them.  Nevertheless, I must admit that I think of these as "asshole bikes."


The L&TM5K readership spans literally several cities and more than one country!  Tell me -- do these phenomena exist in your place of residence?  Or are they unique to the City of Roses?

12 comments:

The Calico Cat said...

unique

Rebel said...

They exist in my city!

also - I recommend you watch at least ONE episode of Portlandia.

Catherine said...

None here in the Phoenix area of either that I've seen, although Phoenix wasn't even a city until the street car era. Recumbent bikes are fairly common though. My hometown in Ohio had rings connected to bars, sort of similar to those in the bike racks pictured but parallel to the street for the tying up of horses.

Thom said...

I can confirm these things do not exist on the other side of the Atlantic.

lamanyana said...

Interesting...

Standard Construction Specifications, City of Portland, November 2007. (http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=40032&a=177121) "Salvage any metal horse rings encountered during curb removal. Reinstall horse ring assembly back at the same project stationing or as close as practical. If no new curb is constructed, deliver horse ring assemblies to the City's Maintenance Bureau at Stanton Yard located at 2835 N Kerby Ave."

lamanyana said...

To actually answer your question - I've seen tall bikes in other cities, but not the tiny horses (or the associated horse rings, I don't think).

Jenners said...

I can honestly say I have not seen this in NJ ... but I'll keep my eyes open!

Elaine said...

Really, really unique--the horse rings are not seen in Arkansas, and a bike like that would get you beat up, big time, I suspect.

In Chagrin Falls, Ohio, there was a carriage stone (meant to assist persons stepping out of same) for which a street was named...but I think they did away with all of the horsabilia when they modernized downtown...

UnwiseOwl said...

Personally, I like the occasional asshole bike I see around here in the antipodes, and have always thought of them as eccentric bikes.
Potaeto, Potarto.

Dug said...

Asshole bikes? Yes! Horses? Nah-we're not that creative.

Portlandia does rock - though I suppose it's prone to exaggeration.

gl. said...

did a tall bike bully you in grade school? or maybe you think they are too showy and need to be knocked down a bit (the tall bike syndrome)?

anyway, the horses: YES! that's one of those things that makes me swoon with delight:
http://www.horseproject.net/

Sara said...

Not here, bro. And it kills me that they're not here.