My Great Western Auto Tour

Tuesday, April 30: Portland, Oregon 

Page last updated August 16, 2002.

Today I spent four or five hours with Dez getting my rim fixed. The first shop we went, Willamette's Custom Wheel Service, to was going out of business, but the owner gave us directions to another shop in the southeast that had the proper equipment: Factory Wheel Outlet, 1576 S.E. 130th (503-650-5388). Jim, the young man working there said he could take care of the rim in under an hour. Dez and I went on a tour of the region south of the city, through some "gentlemen's estates" and lots of farms. We tried to cross the river on a ferry, but it was having electrical problems. That stranded a cyclist on the wrong side of the river and left him a much longer trip home than he had anticipated.

Dez also showed me where he works. We drank a can of soda and looked at his hardware and software. It's a pretty amazing company. I've seen their monitors at O'Hare in Chicago.

When we got back to the wheel shop, Jim had not only straightened my bent rim, but he also re-balanced the other three wheels and took the car for a drive at 85 mph to make sure that the shimmy was gone for good. For all this, he charged only $60. I can't say enough good things about him. If you ever bend a rim out West, go see Jim to get it fixed!

Portland is like Washington, D.C. It is a city of flowers in the spring time. I missed the cherry blossoms, but all of the other flowering trees and shrubs were in their glory.