pedalpalooza, Uncategorized

My Pedalpalooza 2019, Two Weeks In

Pedalpalooza is all of June. Portland’s annual festival of bike fun. I tend to lead a lot of events during the month, mostly because the types of rides I like to do are not as represented on the calendar as they used to be. I get so busy in the process of planning and leading my own events that when all is said and done I don’t do as many “other people’s rides” as I’d like.

Still, it’s fun, and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be doing them all!

Here’s a blow-by-blow of my first two weeks of Pedalpalooza:

  • Saturday June 1st. Under pseudonyms Emee and myself led the Kickoff Ride, the informal “introduction” to the whole festival. The Kickoff Ride is always a big affair, this year the riders numbered about 1,200! Yes, that’s right, twelve hundred people. Yes, leading that many people through the streets of Portland can be a bit nerve-wracking, but it went off mostly without a hitch. We wound our way from The Fields Park in NW and six miles later we found ourselves in Elizabeth Caruthers Park in SW. It appeared like most people enjoyed themselves, so I guess we did OK!
  • Sunday June 2nd. I led a Bike Touring Workshop for three folks. It was good, but a bit exhausting, coming after the Kickoff Ride and a thirteen hour work day for an event on Friday. (When I had scheduled the workshop I didn’t know that the other two would happen.) Thankfully it seems like people got something out of it.
  • Wednesday June 5th. This was my Three Speed Ride. About 20 of us rode from the Vera Katz Statue on the Eastbank Esplanade, crossed the Willamette via Tilikum Crossing, south along the Willamette Greenway, and then back across the river via Sellwood Bridge into Sellwood Park where we enjoyed a snack and beverage.
  • Sunday June 9th. History tour time! Local historian Doug Decker of Alameda Old House History and I led about 60 folks around Northeast Portland for the Ghosts of NE’s Past tour. We highlighted various bits of history that roughly parallel Alameda Ridge. After the ride some of us retired to Second Profession Brewing for drinks and food.
  • Wednesday June 12th. This was our first summer heat wave, with a high of 98F/37C. The heat didn’t stop about 30 folks from showing up at Golden Pliers Bike Repair and Supply for the inaugural 26 Ain’t Dead ride. Oh, did we have a lovely selection of bikes! Many a beautiful vintage mountain bike was to be seen. (See the pics.) We rode a little under ten miles to Cathedral Park to watch the sunset and chill. And yeah, I did put my feet in the river, thank you very much. If you didn’t make this one, I hope to do it again, probably next Pedalpalooza.
  • Thursday June 13th. I awoke early (for myself) and hustled the two miles up to Mount Tabor for Mount Tabor Coffee Outside. It was a good turnout, around eight folks. Many different types of brewing setups were evident (Aeropress, Esbit kaffeemaschine, French Press.) Maybe I’ll do more this summer?
  • Sunday June 16th. The day was a beautiful one so it was no problem roping 15 peeps for my Rough Stuff Ramble. The 28 mile ride lasted about seven hours as there was multiple stops, two flats, and one mechanical due to a pretty gnarly crash (the rider was OK, though.) The ride was a few people’s introduction to the wonders of Gateway Green, with its mountain biking. There was also the challenge of the SE 111th Ave Hill, where many a person wondered how this can actually be a city street. We spent a good long time atop Powell Butte (in the shade of the old orchard, of course). We got to see Mounts Adams, Saint Helens, Jefferson, and Hood, making it a four mountain day.
  • Monday June 17th. I concluded this segment of my Pedalpalooza with the Sunset/Moonrise Ride. This is a fun one I do throughout the summer (as conditions warrant), because on the night of the full moon the moonrise is right around the same time as sunset! I led about 100 or so folks from Providore to Mount Tabor. I was a bit worried about this one, as it is a “two-parter” since there is no one spot on Tabor that you can see both. So we are on the west side for sunset and east for moonrise. There’s a tendency for people to stay put once they plop themselves down on the grass. But no, everyone made it to both.

Now It’s Tuesday June 18th. I’m heading north on Amtrak Cascades Train 518 to Vancouver BC for a few days of fun. There’s Velopalooza happening up there, so I hope to catch an event or two. And then I’ll be back in Portland just in time to lead the Seersucker Social on Sunday!

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