The Bicycle Bus
July 18, 2010 1:14 AM   Subscribe

A detailed and fascinating glimpse inside the lives of two people spending decades living out of a bus on the West Coast, selling and trading bikes to get by. The Bicycle Bus has spent some time in the spotlight, but it is now parked. If you live in Eugene, OR, you should buy one of his bikes!
posted by seagull.apollo (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
(I'm using readability to read the first link)
posted by vectr at 4:05 AM on July 18, 2010

Thanks for that link to readability. It's about a bike, which is cool, but it's also about hideous web design.
posted by fixedgear at 4:48 AM on July 18, 2010

I always find these kinds of stories fascinating, as a view into what my life could have been like had my parents taken a slightly different path. I'm pretty happy to have grown up in houses, not buses, but I think if I'd grown up in the bus I'd have better stories.

I'm no big fan of the hippies, but I've always had a lot of affection for the people like these guys who just never were going to fit into the 9-5 track and had to find their own community and ways of connecting. They are burn-outs without being bums, if you know what I mean; it was never an easy road to take but they took it and paid the price and did the best they could.

Great post, thanks.
posted by Forktine at 6:26 AM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

When we arrived in Vancouver British Columbia Dr Sue Comey at the Pine Street Clinic looked at Sandy Laughing-River and said she was the healthiest baby she had ever seen. But soon afterwards, the government took Sandy away from us.

Ummm, WTF? Surely there has to be more to this story than this? That's so sad and fucked up.

In the bikes for sale link is a 1934 Aluminum Silver King, which is pretty slick when restored but apparently it's not the first aluminum bike according to that dude on flickr.
posted by glip at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2010

glip, there may be more to the story, but I got the idea that someone decided that they were homeless and indigent and took the kid for that reason.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:40 AM on July 18, 2010

This seems very hippy-esque and not too out of the ordinary. I am sure many live this lifestyle, some out of choice and some not.
posted by Fizz at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2010

(On April 23, 2003 we found Sandy Laughing River, and are now getting to know each other now after being separated for two decades. Blessings to all the friends who helped make this possible.)

Haven't read through the first link yet except for that. So yay!
posted by chrominance at 9:54 AM on July 18, 2010

It's great how inconsistent the reporting is in some of those newspaper clippings. He changes age with no apparent rhyme or reason, and his wife's name changes from Ellie to Ely, and then becomes Jeannie out of nowhere.
posted by Clamwacker at 1:16 PM on July 18, 2010

Strange to see the Bus on the blue - I knew these folks. Not well, but I sometimes helped a friend vend at Eugene's Saturday Market, the Bike Bus would be parked in the vicinity, and Tom's a talker. As Fizz says, not too unusual for western Oregon in the 80s and 90s.

Now I need to go dig out the tapes of the Dead shows he's talking about, 'cause I remember them better from the tapes than from actually being there which is often the case with the Dead.
posted by catlet at 6:34 PM on July 18, 2010

Wow, wow, wow.
posted by tantrumthecat at 5:01 PM on July 19, 2010

tantrumthecat: Oh that's just awesome.
posted by seagull.apollo at 9:29 PM on July 19, 2010

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