Day Off: Keira AlbrightFeb 09, 2018
The sun is out in Portland (sort of) just in time for this year’s One Moto Show. Everyone’s dusting off their bikes and getting ready to roll out - including one very special Human of Stumptown: Keira Albright. We caught up with Keira while she worked on her bike’s carburetor, and we drank coffee like our lives depended on it.
Tell us about what you do at Stumptown.
I brew a lot of coffee, drink a lot of that coffee, and spend a lot of time navigating my co-workers’ calendars. It’s also not uncommon to see me assembling or moving furniture around. (I’m the office manager/executive assistant.)
Editor’s note: Keira is the damn glue of Stumptown HQ. She’s been with us for three years and accomplishes more things in one day than most of us do in a decade. Before this, she was a page layout editor at The Oregonian, solving daily puzzles and keeping her team on point.
How long have you been riding and what sparked your interest in it?
I've been riding since May of last year. I had never ridden any kind of motorized two wheeled vehicle before -- I only got my driver’s license five years ago! I never imagined I’d ride a motorcycle, but it’s always appealed to me. I’m whatever the opposite of an adrenaline junkie is; I’m really into planning and research and overanalysis, but I also think it’s healthy to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. I went on a few rides on the back of a Honda CB350 Four last year and was hooked, but quickly realized it would be more fun if I were the one driving it. I signed up for the class on a whim and barely passed the test.
What kind of bike do you have now?
A 1980 Kawasaki KZ440 LTD! She’s been so reliable and patient with me as I’ve learned how to ride over the past nine months. I want to upgrade to something a little bigger so badly, but I know I’ll be heartbroken to see her go.
Do you have any favorite spots for a long ride in Oregon?
My favorite ride was out to Madras and back in one day, hitting a wall of heat as we rode from the Mt. Hood National Forest into the Warm Springs Highway. Going ninety miles per hour on a beautiful open stretch of road and reaching a bend that opened up to a view made my heart drop into my stomach. I followed the curves of a road against a steep drop-off, battled harsh winds yanking my body around, and yelled inside my helmet just because the force was unlike anything I’d ever felt. On the way back riding through the Mt. Hood forest, the sun was low in the sky and hit me straight in my eyes - shadows all over the road so bad that all I could do was follow the white median line, having a mini panic attack and eventually pulling over for a pep talk. I raced the sun home through a tinted shield plastered with bug guts. It’s cliché, but experiencing a landscape from a motorcycle is unlike anything else.
Do you have any trips you’re looking forward to this year?
I recently joined a local women’s riding group and can’t wait to start going on rides with other women! I’m also determined to make the trek this year to Dream Roll, a women-only motorcycle campout happening near Crater Lake this summer. I’m an Oregon native and have never been to Crater Lake. This is fate making its case.
What would be your dream ride?
A cross-country camping/crappy motel/small town diner stop adventure.
Everyone has a favorite road snack- what's yours?
A lot of my rides include a stop at Dairy Queen.
Who’s your motorcycle hero?
My dad. He’s 79 years old and has been riding motorcycles all his life. He has knees so bad he can barely get his leg over his bike, but he still rode from Portland to Sturgis last year on a Harley trike.
If you were to give any sage advice to someone curious about learning how to ride, what would it be?
Take the Team Oregon class! Once you get your license, find people to ride with and build up your confidence! It takes time. People in the motorcycle community are so friendly - don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Keep a look out for Keira and the rest of the Stumptown Family at this year’s One Moto Show - February 9th-11th, in Portland.