I turn around and see a two foot piece of metal tubing laying on the sidewalk, what looks like a part of the pneumatics that stabilize the window washing platform hanging 30 floors above. "That would've killed somebody" the guy in the brown jacket wonders aloud as he walks past me. I look again, the metal casing is just inside the construction tape, and must've landed two maybe three feet behind me as I rolled by. That somebody was almost me. Instantly expunged as I wheeled along the sidewalk four blocks from home.
Now what does this have to do with a yearlong bike expedition? Everything, in fact. One of the most common questions Kelly and I get when people hear about our trip is, "Isn't that dangerous?" Sure, I suppose it is, more dangerous than sitting in my apartment. But over the last 6 years I've traveled all over the world -- wandered around SE Asia for 2 months, cycled the narrow, shoulderless backroads of Ireland for a month, lived in San Salvador, where gang violence and petty crime are daily occurrences, where I was forced to dart among the craziest traffic I've ever seen -- and the closest I've come to dying, or even getting seriously injured just happened right here in Portland. Good ol America. Shit happens. Wherever you are. You never know when a piece of metal casing falling from 200ft might end your craving for a tuna melt. Might as well get your adventure in while you can.