After week one, the week where the only Pedalpalooza events I did were my own, week two was the week of finally going on some other folk’s rides! A nice change, for sure. Though it didn’t start great: I intended on doing the Mount Tabor Nature Ramble on Thursday morning, June 11th. A Thursday morning ride, great! (I typically work Thursday afternoons.) But it met at 10 am and Tabor is about a 45 minute ride from my house. By the time I got going, it was after that. I hoped to catch up with the ride halfway through it (it was supposed to end at noon), but when I got in touch with the leader just after 11 am, he said it was almost over. Ah well. At least I got to go up to Tabor!
So my first real ride was on the eve of Friday the 12th. And a real ride it was: the monthly installment of the Midnight Mystery Ride! This ride has happened every second Friday since February 2003. I’ve been on it countless times over the years (and led it several!) but I haven’t been on one in a few years, mostly because I work Saturday mornings and can’t deal with only getting a few hours sleep anymore. But since I would be working Saturday afternoon, I could sleep in easily.
The ride met up at Base Camp Brewing, left at midnight, and headed on the streets of the eastside to the Gateway Green area by I-205. As with most Pedalpalooza MMRs, it was large, at least 300, though I’ve seen larger. (And Gateway Green could easily accomodate a few thousand people.) It was fun despite my issues with my saddle on the Crested Butte.
Next was the N/NE Alleys Ride on Sunday June 14. This ride had about 100 folks tops, which is…a lot for alleys! But we meandered through many an alley, then took a mid-ride break at Woodlawn Park. There I decided to pull off since I was very close to home. It’s not often that rides go near my house!
Monday June 15 brought the Swan Island History Ride. There were maybe 75 people at the start. I was impressed by the numbers, since the last few times I did history rides during Pedalpalooza, I saw dwindling attendance. So is there new hope? (And maybe I’m a little…jealous that they had a lot of people?)
The ride started in the Skidmore Bluffs and would along the blufftops, then went down the Waud Bluff Trail to get to Swan Island. With its staircase. This is where I got a little…cranky for a moment. Y’see, I was still riding my Schwinn Heavy Duti since the other two bikes are out of commission for the moment. And I went up those stairs with the Heavy Duti once, ironically enough for the pre-routing of my Heavy Duti ride that happened last week. The experience of hauling the Heavy Duti up the stairs, along with the busy roads on Swan Island, made me decide to do the ride in NW instead, and never bring the Heavy Duti up or down those dreaded stairs. And here we are. Thankfully, someone with a bit more testosterone/strength than I offered to carry the bike down the stairs. Of course I took him up on it!
From there, we cruised along the busy roads on Swan Island and headed to the beach for a bonfire and hanging out, which was a lot of fun. And it was a fun ride (despite the stairs), though I found the history portion of the ride a bit lacking, probably due to the absence of a few people who were supposed to come along and help out.
And finally, Tuesday June 16 saw the Sunset Mystery Ride, and the return of the Raleigh Wayfarer. About 150 folks showed up at Peninsula Park, and then rode six miles down to Broughton Beach on the Columbia River for bonfire and sunset watching. This was A LOT of fun, especially since it’s a mystery sunset destination not that far from my house!
But man, I am worn out. All the rides, all the fun. All the drinking. I’m a hurting unit today (Wednesday.) I basically took it easy, spending the day catching up on the needed things (like updating this blog!) But getting worn out from all the fun is Pedalpalooza for you! And it’s nice to go on some big rides. I’m not always one for the big rides, especially the soundsystem ones, but doing it every once in awhile is fun. Now there’s still a week and change left. Will I make it?