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City Hall surrenders to cycling scene

Posted by on July 7th, 2006 at 5:42 am

City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition

Hundreds of cyclists packed City Hall last night to bask in Portland’s rich artisan bicycle culture at the first-ever Made in Portland Bicycle Show and Art Exhibition. The crowds were thick and the energy and good times flowed like the free Widmer beer.

The bike show was the epicenter of the event. The marble floors, columns and high ceilings of the atrium were the perfect setting for the builders to share their craft. There was a wide variety of locally made bikes on display, from the utilitarian three-wheeled vehicles of Bill Stites to the woman-centric Sweetpea cross bike and Sacha White’s show-stopping Vanilla Tricycle.

City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition

[Bike parking.]

City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition
City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition
City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition

It was pretty special to have so many talented builders all in the same room. I noticed Chris King and Ira Ryan chatting it up and Sacha White got downright silly with his former apprentice and now builder of his own bikes, Ira Ryan.

I also finally got to meet JoJo Paquini. As a former band member he has lived in many places but said,

“I don’t think I could do what I do in any other town.”

Several people expressed to me that a show like this couldn’t have happened anywhere else. It’s true. Besides the vast amount of local bike-building talent on display, it was just as amazing to witness the way City Hall welcomed the bike community with such open arms.

Commissioner Adams left his office door wide open and welcomed everyone to hang out on his couches. Check out Zoobomber Handsome Dave, clowning around in Sam’s director chair.

It was great to see so many people from the community having a relaxed, fun time in the hallowed hall’s of City government.

I bumped into Tom Miller, (Adams’ Chief of Staff) and he looked stunned at the huge turnout. He said:

“Of all the First Thursday’s we’ve held here at City Hall, this one looks the most like Portland to me.”

I think the show left a lasting impression on Adams’ staff and made this exciting segment of Portland’s bicycle industry much more real to them.

But it wasn’t all just about the bikes, there was also a ton of great bike art to take in. If you missed it, you can still view the art all month in the Commissioner’s offices.

One of the highlights of the night for me was seeing the piles of bikes parked out in front of City Hall. We really did take over the place! I was also thrilled when, at the peak of the night, KATU-TV showed up and ran a live report on the 5 O’clock news.

City Hall Bike Show and Art Exhibition

I want to thank Polly Birge and Sam Adams and everyone who showed up for making it such a memorable night. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

For more photos, check out the full gallery.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • vj July 7, 2006 at 6:25 am

    Jonathan – what an incredible event! Thanks so much for all your hard work on this.

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  • andrew July 7, 2006 at 7:44 am

    it was great to finally get to meet you Johnathan. you put on a wonderful event.

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  • JLu July 7, 2006 at 10:03 am

    This post has photos of my 2 favourite bikes.

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  • etta-tron July 7, 2006 at 10:18 am

    i’m glad you were back from “vacation” so you could cover this event. 🙂

    it always tickles me pink to see so many people turn out for these events. who knew art in city hall could be so much fun?

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  • SKiDmark July 7, 2006 at 10:36 am

    The turnout was amazing. Nice to meet you Jonathan. While I have some serious respect for the craftsmanship of the pro framebuilders, I still think the bike show was in front of City Hall.

    IRA RYAN is the new Vanilla.

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  • patrick(db) July 7, 2006 at 11:06 am

    yes, I had many a “I love Portland” moment last night… was it the art in everyone’s offices? Drinking free beer in City Hall while perusing an 1897 bike map on someone’s wall? Which did I like ogling more, all the beautiful handbuilt bikes in the rotunda, or everyone’s magnificent steeds parked outside? Anyway, it was great fun, and thanks for putting it together, Jonathan!

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  • Jonathan Maus July 7, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Don’t miss Carye Bye’s report on the event.

    And taisau has an amazing set of photos.

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  • Tiago July 7, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks, Jonathan! It was a great event. It was really inspiring to see other bike artists and see those sexy bike frames…

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  • dirt doll July 10, 2006 at 6:35 am

    great show, I just wish it wouldn’t have shut down at 7 instead of 8. i didn’t get to see any art work becuase they locked the office doors at 7.

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  • […] You have probably seen the pictures, heard the buzz, maybe even seen the real thing at the Made in Portland Bike Show or outside of Stumptown on 3rd. But we would like to formally introduce you to the 26”er. While this isn’t the first of its kind, it is rare enough to warrant comment and shameless promotion. […]

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  • […] In the basement of Weir’s are the shops of two local bike builders; JoJo Paquini and Ira Ryan. I dropped by to see if anyone was there and ran into JoJo. He told me that he’s hanging up the torch in October to concentrate on work and school and that he won’t be building bikes anymore. We’ll miss his work but fortunately some of us got to meet him and marvel at his beautiful frames at the recent Made in Portland Bike Show at City Hall. […]

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  • […] The man on the mini-bike is City Commissioner Sam Adams. He’s clowning around with the Zoobombers in front of City Hall during the Made in Portland Bike show. […]

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  • […] Back in June, the Made in Portland Bicycle Show was a monumental success. I suggested to the PDC that while they woo Don Walker I’d be happy to work with them on a repeat of that show. Last year I put it together in just a few weeks with no budget, and I think a Portland regional bike builders show would draw a big response from both exhibitors and from the public. […]

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