Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 12th, 2009 at 7:04 am
The 2009 Pedalpalooza got off to a rollicking start last night as an estimated 300 people turned out for the traditional Kickoff Parade.
The ride met at St. Francis Park in southeast Portland and then meandered through main streets (including a jaunt down Hawthorne) and alleyways before ending up at Colonel Summers Park.
Before the ride got started, I had the chance to chat with old friends and meet a few ones as well.
I bumped into 51 year-old Brett Stern, who was just on his second day back on the bike after a bout with cancer. Brett said he plans to also do the Naked Bike Ride. He did his first one last year because it fell on his 50th birthday, "And what better way to spend your 50th than to actually get into your birthday suit with a few thousand other people!".
It was nice to see Vancouver, B.C. resident Ron Richings back in town. He plans to stay for the duration of the festivities before heading home.
Ron's not the only visitor who's here to soak up Portland's bike culture. Leanne and Scott Shook traveled all the way from Marco Island Florida (in the southwest, on the Gulf of Mexico) just to experience all the bike fun Portland has to offer. "We're here to learn, get ideas, and bring them back to Marco Island... it's wonderful here!" they said before hopping on their bikes and joining the crowd.
Slideshow (with captions):
[Note: See photo gallery here. Also, in one of the photos, the name of Nickey Robare is misspelled. (Sorry Nickey!).]
Besides all the great people in the crowd, there was of course plenty of eye candy for bike geeks like me.
Cargo bikes of every variety (including a really cool homemade one named the "New Carrissa"), some ingenious mobile sound systems, whimsical tall-bikes (Frankenstack and the monster tall, complete with clenching jaws), and of course some great looking outfits.
It was the perfect way to get this party started. Well, almost perfect. There were a few angry drivers who didn't like sharing the road with a few hundred, silly-dressed cyclists. I even saw one guy dangerously drive his truck through the crowd of bikers, then he stopped, got out his phone and called the cops. On us!
For more of the action from the parade, check out our slideshow, and/or watch the little video we threw together.
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