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Mom with a M.O.M. rescues injured "Naked" rider

Posted by Leonard Rubin (Creator)

By Tamara Rubin

Just another night in Portland, yeah...

The only Pedalpalooza ride I made it on (officially) this year was the World Naked Bike Ride... and even that I was late for.... The route was not officially announced (to keep away the creepies) - so we chased crowds of people around the city looking for the naked people and then (while on the East Side) finally found naked people walking their bikes the other way across the Hawthorne bridge - and then followed the trail (of random naked people here and there) across to the West Side and to the Burnside Bridge (which we took back to the East Side) - where I a managed just a moment or two of partial nakedness (to the embarrassment of my kids) and then found hoards of naked people at the end of the ride... it was interesting, and fun, and no one was drunk (at least no one we saw!), so that was great - and safe too. I had my 16-year old and my 10-year old with me (we were all mostly clothed most of the time but just wanted an excuse to go out and ride in the dark late at night with friendly police escorts & protest the use of fossil fuels with thousands of others [even though I have a hunch that many of them likely - at least momentarily - forgot why they were there/ why they were naked & what they were protesting] - what fun!)

I was on my trusty steed (the beat up old mountain bike that we bought used 9 years ago from a student for $50 bucks- another Portland "moment"!), towing my husband's invention (the M.O.M. trailer - it stands for "Multipurpose Overland Mover".) I always have a M.O.M. handy for errands and rides with the kids and this night had it fitted with a huge deck box mounted on it. I usually set it up with the deck box configuration for carrying all three of my little ones at once (boys ages 4, 7 & 10)—although tonight A.J., my 10-year old, had it all to himself, cozied up with a few layers of cushions from our lawn chairs and a favorite quilt (I figured he would likely fall asleep so we made him as cozy as we could.)

The third person in my little riding party was my 16-year old son, Cole. He had selected for the ride (from my husband's extensive bike stable) the late-great Conrad Oho's folder... it's a classic Bianchi U-shaped folder- and has a nice low-step-over height as well as an easily height-adjustable quick-release seat post.

We had no idea what was ahead of us when we headed back home to our quiet Portland neighborhood of Sellwood around 11:30 p.m., we just assumed we were in for an uneventful ride home along the peaceful SpringWater Trail bike the dark. Since we could not see much on the ride, we played a game of what we could smell (a campfire, some wildflowers and at one point my ten year old said he thought he smelled "something else" ;-)

We had circled all around the city this evening and this was my first day riding after being sick for about a month (exhaustion from being a bit overworked with my documentary film project most likely:  On our way home we passed OMSI and the cement plant and rode under the Ross Island Bridge and were well into the ride on the trail home when I told my boys I was exhausted - I did not think I could make it all the way home and that dad would have to come rescue me when we got to Oaks Park (I didn't think I could make it up the hill on my bike, towing the trailer plus 80 lbs. of A.J. midnight!)...

...moments later we came upon a couple of riders on the trail - it was in a very dark spot & one rider was down.

People were whizzing past them but I stopped to see if we could help.

The rider down was Sabrina - a beautiful and very tall woman (turns out she's 6 feet tall!) She was bleeding ... With a HUGE chunk out of her knee - and a badly injured shoulder (she said she thought she may have dislocated it.) She was in no shape for getting back on her bike ... and we were just far enough into the trail that walking to either end in her condition would have also been a scary challenge... Plus then she had her bike and what would she do with it?

As if that weren't enough to deal with... It had just started to sprinkle!

After a little bit of brainstorming we hatched a plan...

Cole got off Conrad's folder- and got Sabrina's bike (which - it turns out, was rideable and not too badly damaged.)

A.J. got out of his cozy nest and we helped Sabrina into the M.O.M.

A.J. then hopped on the folder, lowering the seatpost—way, way down!

Cole & Sabrina's husband Chris rode their two bikes to our house in Sellwood...

A.J. & I (towing Sabrina safely in the M.O.M. - now a human-powered-ambulance) rode back along the trail, back under the Ross Island bridge & back to the cement plant - to the closest point where a car could pull up. [I loved Sabrina's band aid solution for the giant wound on her knee... a sanitary napkin!] I remarked that she must have been at least somewhat thankful that she was no longer naked when she crashed! :-)

My darling husband then drove down & met us in the car and picked up Sabrina and A.J. and took them home to our house - and then from there, drove Sabrina & Chris home (with their bikes) to Milwaukie, while I rode my bike (towing the now empty M.O.M.) home alone in the dark ("blasting" music from my handlebar-mounted iPhone!)... and by this time the rain had really started coming down - a bit more than "just a sprinkle", luckily I love riding in the rain, in the dark! :-) really!)

Everyone was safe -and the M.O.M.'s first unexpected stint as an ambulance that night was pretty magical! I was glad I had my M.O.M. with me—and I was also glad I only had one kiddo in her that night (instead of my usual three.)

In our busy life, that night blended into the next day (my niece's graduation at OSU) and the next and the next. I wondered how Sabrina had fared, if she had gone to the hospital (they had been talking about waiting until the morning to go) and what the final verdict was on her shoulder - but I hadn't gotten her contact info...and so there was no way to follow up....

Until yesterday! Sabrina and Chris unexpectedly stopped by our house—on their bikes, naturally—with flowers and chocolate brownies to thank us for the dramatic rescue!! And she was also very obliging to pose for some "reenactment" photos in the M.O.M.! (photos are below!)

Thanks for coming by yesterday Chris & Sabrina, & thanks so much for the pretty flowers! (pic also below!) We're glad you are healing—and that your crash didn't discourage you from getting back on your bike!

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    1. Barbara Smoody on

      bravo and brava! the spheres and the stars and the sprinkles aligned for that story! I had no idea you evening ended up being so full of variety (nakedness, EMT-ing, crash-to-door delivery, etc.) a selling point for the M.O.M. push it, baby!

    2. Lynn Colwell on

      Wow! An ambulance too. Brilliant!