If you don't know anything else about Congressman Earl Blumenauer, know this: he loves his fruit cake.
Building on last year's popularity, Salt & Straw has teamed up with the bow-tie wearing Congressman for another batch of fruit cake ice cream, available through the month of December. Last year, proceeds from the ice cream went to the Community Cycling Center in North Portland. This year, the collaborators added a new, more tangible twist: the funds raised will sponsor 1,000 bikes for local kids in need.
According to Blumenauer, a longtime cycling advocate, providing these bikes to kids is not just about giving them a new form of recreation.
"Beyond just access, it's about helping people to understand how to cycle safely, the road etiquette, and being able to get other members of the family involved," he said following a press conference at the Community Cycling Center on November 24. "This is one of the things that's so exciting how this happens every year. It shouldn't just be for the professional, lycra-wearing 45 year old upper middle class male. It's the hipster, it's the mom with the cargo bike. Everyone, no matter their station or their level of fitness, they should be part of this experience. Biking is democratizing."
There are three ways to get involved. First, buy the fruitcake ice cream--100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Community Cycling Center. Second, buy a child a bike for $50 on the Salt & Straw website (or at register at one of their locations). Third, make a donation directly to the Community Cycling Center here.
"It's the most efficient form of transportation ever designed," Blumenauer added while snacking on a small paper cup of his fruit cake ice cream. "It is such a positive: burning calories and not fossil fuels. I took a bike to Washington, DC for 20 years. I've never been stuck in traffic, I've never had to look for a parking space, and I've burned, literally, hundreds of thousands of calories. It gives you a whole different view of a world. My favorite vacations have been at 15 or 20 kilometers an hour through Oregon. It's an amazing way to experience the community."