Late afternoon of September 9th, 2012, the sun still high in the sky, Kenny Ocker was riding his bike to the Oregonian. At the green light, blocks away from his work, Kenny was right hooked by a car in Portland, Oregon. He was going down a hill when he suddenly realized a vehicle was turning right. There was not enough time to stop and the car did not see him. Ocker suffered with a mild concussion, and is forced to take the bus for a while.
Ocker is a copy editor intern at the Oregonian. He works the 3:30-11:00 shift Monday through Friday. He has always had to take care of himself, so living alone in Portland is a breeze. “Kenny is a loyal, passionate person who loves journalism”, says Thomas Milward, a co-worker of Ocker at the Oregonian. Milward also mentions that Ocker once exchanged a bike for a 24 pack of Black-Butte Porter beer. Ocker prefers to bike over taking the bus any day. Having the concussion disabled Ocker to ride his bike, so he was forced into taking the bus. Three month later, Ocker is back on his bike, making sure to be extra cautious when riding to work.
A normal day for Ocker includes waking up at around 10:00 in the morning. He reaches for his alarm clock in the corner of his room. “I am spectacularly lazy”, says Ocker. He tries to be productive the in the morning, but he doesn’t get rollin till about noon. En route to the office, now on the bus, Ocker finds himself in a small cubicle flooded with papers, pens and notes from the previous days. After many hours of reading and AP style correcting, Ocker gets home. His nights end in talking to his girlfriend before falling asleep. All do to the same thing the following day. Ocker enjoy riding his bike to work because it is the exercise he needs and it is a way to forget the stresses of work.
Ocker grew up in Madras, a small town in central Oregon. He remembers waking up every Sunday morning reading the Oregonian. He grew up with three brothers and sisters and his mother, who is retired now, but made just under $50,000 a year. His father never made a huge appearance in his life. Ocker attended the University of Oregon from 2008 and just graduated spring of 2012. “I worked my way through college”, ads Ocker. He worked at the Daily Emerald as the sports editor for about three years. Just before graduating, Ocker snagged an internship with the Oregonian, where he works today, and where he plans on having a full time job. Ocker hopes to live somewhere near mountains and no rain. He enjoys riding his bike and he would like to ride it in a danger free environment. Spokane, Washington would be ideal, for the scenery and the biking trails as well.
Ocker reads a lot. He reads for his job, in his free time and on the go. In a crowded Starbucks, Ocker can be seen with a large coffee and his laptop. His eyes are barely open from a late shift and his hair is messy. He uses the wi-fi at Starbucks because it is free and fast. As he sips from his warm beverage he is reading a profile about a basketball coach for a local basketball team. He takes notes on what makes a good profile and aspires to do the same. This is how most mornings start for Ocker. He commutes to the Starbucks on bike because there is no problem parking and it is a quick and easy ride.
Ocker is in a good position for what he wants his future to look like. Eventually he would like to be a sports reporter in a town where there is absolutely no rain. He would also like to live in the same place as hid girlfriend. “The hardest part about my life is my long distance relationship”, says Ocker. Ocker plans to live in a warm and dry place with his girlfriend where he can be a sports reporter and ride his bike every day.