Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 21st, 2006 at 11:27 am
New Belgium's Tour de Fat rolled through Portland Saturday and the crew from Fort Collins, Colorado put on one of the best bike parties of the year.
It got started with the craziest bike parade I've ever done (with clothes on). I have no idea where all the zany, outlandish bikes and people came from, but they showed up in force and downtown Portland will never be the same.
I heard our police escorts were a bit surprised to see so many riders. They expected 150 and closer to 400 showed up.
While staging at Salmon St. fountain I bumped into a tourist from Virginia. He was awestruck at the scene and all he could utter was, "Wow, quite an introduction to Portland." To which I smiled proudly and said, "What, this? Happens all the time."
It was quite a scene.
There were the usual tall bikes and small bikes. Then there were these two monstrosities with huge car racing tires and a big deck you pumped up-and-down. A few guys showed up with vintage Whizzer motorized bikes (cheating) and this guy proudly showed off his custom-made chopper.
This gung-ho Zoobomber proudly pedaled his mini-tall-bike. Imagine riding down from the Zoo on that at 30+ mph!
And here's the best-dressed rider of the day in a black top hat and suit riding a matching black lowrider cruiser.
I'm not sure if it was the gorgeous sun, or the promise of beer at parade's end, but it seemed people were just extra happy to be on their bikes. This guy was so excited he performed a banana seat bike ballet.
The hijinks continued back at Waterfront Park, where cold beer awaited parched paraders.
It was great to bump into friend of Portland cyclists Dat Nguyen. He's fresh out of the hospital after his clavicle-breaking escapade while on a Mt. Hood bike tour last week. Get well soon Dat!
I also finally met the New Belgium crew and was glad to introduce a few of them to none other than City Commissioner Sam Adams. Here's a shot of Sam, Meredith and Bubba. They're hatching plans to make this event even bigger next year. Or better yet, maybe we can woo New Belgium to Portland...aren't they considered "bicycle related industry?" ;-)
Big thanks to the New Belgium crew for keepin' it real and we'll see you again next year.
[I took a ton of photos. Check out all 75 of them in my Tour de Fat gallery.]
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