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Portland’s invisible machine: Behind the scenes at the World Naked Bike Ride

Posted on June 26th, 2016 at 5:44 am.

evan setup
Who’s asking? A traffic cone at 52nd and Woodstock gives a subtle tip of the show to come.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Some of the images in this post are not safe for work. Obviously.

There it stood in the middle of SE Woodstock Boulevard, a 42-inch-tall orange breadcrumb surrounded by a bustling commercial district.

The Beaverton 17-year-old who’d leapt out the rolling door of a blue minivan to drop it confidently into place in front of the east curb of a traffic median didn’t tell anyone what he was doing or why. No one asked. Maybe no one even looked twice as he hopped back in the minivan to ride to the next stop, well out of eyeshot.

Seven hours earlier, the boy in question — his first name is Evan — wouldn’t have looked twice at something like that, either. That was before he found out that he was about to receive what was, just for that day, maybe the most closely guarded secret in Portland, Oregon: the route of that evening’s World Naked Bike Ride.

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Five things to know about tonight’s World Naked Bike Ride

Posted on June 25th, 2016 at 7:48 am.

(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

1) It’s not about sex. The WNBR is about loving your body, loving low-car or car-free life, demonstrating the power of bikes in mass motion, metaphorically conveying the vulnerability of people on bikes, experiencing the city in a new way and loving the friends and new friends you’ll see before, during and after. And although all of those things are almost certainly good for your sex life, you’ll be surprised how much fun nudity (or near-nudity) is without sex.

2) Nobody cares that your body is not perfect. Nobody’s body is perfect, so for one night, everybody’s body gets to be perfect.

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Juggling, rollerblade camping & pasta neckties: Pedalpalooza picks for weekend 3

Posted on June 24th, 2016 at 10:16 am.

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Coen Brothers fans draw a lot of water in this town, especially tonight.
(Photo: Brian Thomas)

After a dose of classic Portland Juneuary on Thursday, this weekend is looking clear, dry and (especially on Sunday) downright hot. Get out on a bike before the summertime indicators get too high!

Here are a few particularly interesting entries on this weekend’s Pedalpalooza calendar.

Prop and Juggle Ride
“Jugglers, hoopers, poi peeps, staff spinners, and other prop manipulators get together and we will ride to good flow and juggling spots in parks. New prop spinners welcome.” Friday 6:30 p.m.

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It’s looking like a dry, warm evening for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 at 11:16 am.

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Celebrations before the 2014 ride. It usually rolls around sundown.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s biggest pay-what-you-will group ride of the year is three days away. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride will start rolling at 9 p.m. Saturday from Mt. Scott City Park, SE 74th Ave and Knight St., in what’s currently forecast to be a rain-free night after a warm day, with late-evening temperatures in the high 60s and a low of 54 degrees by early morning.

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Portland police will exchange a U-lock for your cable lock on Sunday

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 at 10:41 am.

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Mayor Charlie Hales on his way to work last fall.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As bike theft has become the only major category of crime in Portland that’s on a long-term rise, cable locks have been going the way of the station wagon and the wristwatch.

The Portland State University Bike Hub doesn’t even sell them. When Mayor Charlie Hales briefly started biking to work last fall, Willamette Week wrote an entire online article about the fact that he used a cable lock. (His wife Nancy, a regular bike commuter, told us at the time that it was because they’d misplaced their U-lock keys that day.)

Apparently the Bike Theft Task Force at the Portland Police Bureau agrees. In a tweet on Wednesday, the team said they’ll be offering a lock exchange program at North Portland Sunday Parkways this weekend: you give them a cable lock, they give you a U-lock.

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Five rides before Friday: This week in Pedalpalooza

Posted on June 20th, 2016 at 12:26 pm.

Sunday Parkways Southeast-15
Tandem riders unite! Though not necessarily in matrimony.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Don’t postpone all your bike fun until the weekend! Here are a few highlights from the Pedalpalooza calendar from the next few weekdays.

Open Architecture PDX
Everybody talks about new building; this ride invites people to do something about it. “We will be touring vacant sites or unused land in the area and inviting our members to sketch their ideas for the site.” 6 p.m. Monday.

Dapper Tandem Twinsies
“We’ll promenade around town looking classy, stop at a classy grocery for classy on-the-go drinks, and play some classy lawn games.” 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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From lemonade to champagne to prom: Pedalpalooza picks for weekend 2

Posted on June 17th, 2016 at 9:42 am.

Prom and Dropout Bike Club Ride-14
Dropout Prom: good times roll.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The weather will be a little hit-or-miss this weekend, but the bike-fun schedule is looking packed. You really need to check out the full schedule for yourself, but let’s review a few highlights.

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Winding roads, wine and an all-women ride: Gal by Bike says Yes, Please

Posted on June 17th, 2016 at 7:24 am.

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Maybe it was the wine?
(Photos: K.Laudermilk)

This post is by columnist Kate Laudermilk.

In April, Cycle Oregon’s Chris Knott e-mailed me asking if I would like to cover the first ever women’s only Cycle Oregon ride. At the time, he informed me that they had exceeded their original goal of 250 sign-ups and were at 620.

After visiting the ride’s website, I could tell why so many women were enticed. Wine tasting? All local catered lunch and rest stop snacks? Massage therapy and acupuncture? Yoga? Live music? Widmer beer? AND bike riding!? SOLD!

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Fun for everybody! A 7-point action plan for a more diverse Pedalpalooza

Posted on June 16th, 2016 at 2:31 pm.

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At the Multnomah County Bike Fair, 2014.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This post is by columnist Taz Loomans.

Not long ago, I thought more bike lanes would save the world. In fact, my passion for a better environment for bicyclists and pedestrians was one of the reasons I moved to Portland.

Since then I’ve become disillusioned with the bike advocacy movement, largely because of its lack of racial and ethnic diversity.

According to the recent CNN article by comedian/activist W. Kamau Bell, called Gentrifying Portland: A tale of two cities, “Portland is 76 percent white. That’s a lot, for two reasons. 1) According to the 2010 census, the United States is 72% white, so Portland is whiter than America. 2) Portland is considered a major city. And we don’t associate major cities with whiteness,” he says.

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‘Cully Camina’ event on Sept. 18 will be a Sunday Parkways just for walking

Posted on June 15th, 2016 at 10:35 am.

Cully Blvd cycle track-15
The route will include mostly residential stretches of Cully Boulevard and Alberta Street.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

This fall, Northeast Portland will host a new experiment in humanizing streets: the city will open a one-day route from 42nd Avenue and Alberta to NE Cully Boulevard and Killingsworth just for walking.

“We want to give Portlanders a chance to see and experience their streets in a new way,” said Inna Levin, volunteer and outreach coordinator for the nonprofit advocacy group Oregon Walks, in a news release Tuesday. “We hope Cully Camina will be the start of something bigger, inspiring more people to walk and engage in their community.”

The free event is Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since there’s no Sunday Parkways scheduled in September this year (the fifth and final open streets event, Sellwood-Milwaukie Sunday Parkways, is set for Oct. 2) the new Cully event will in a sense be a sixth Sunday Parkways.

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