Pedalpalooza is coming, are you ready?

The Pedalpalooza Kick-off Parade is one of the best events of the summer.
File photo: 6/8/06

June is fast approaching and that means Pedalpalooza is coming!

Ever since BikeSummer was held here in 2002, a local bike group called Shift has been organizing Pedalpalooza, a 2+ week celebration of bicycles that is simply unrivaled anywhere in the world.

It all starts with a big parade downtown, followed by a huge party and Naked Bike Ride, then after two weeks of daily rides it all comes together at the Multnomah County Bike Fair.

Last year, one of my favorite rides was the Mobile Mystery Dance Party. A big group of us met at the Salmon St. Fountain and rode through downtown, stopping at various places to dance and get crazy.

Mobile Mystery Dance Party

Dancin’ in Pioneer Square
Mobile Mystery Dance Party

Mobile dance parties allowed use of full lane.

Pedalpalooza is an all-volunteer, community effort. All the rides — last year there were 143 of them — are created and led by people just like you. Each year, a printed ride calendar is insterted into an issue of the Portland Mercury.

If you want to create a ride, and have it included in the printed calendar, you must submit it online by May 1, at 6PM. Use this handy form to get started.

Pedalpalooza '06 Kickoff Parade

Agent Lapis on the horn.
File photo: 6/8/06

Never led a ride before? It’s easy and fun (heck, even I can do it). But just in case you need a bit of guidance, check out Shift’s handy list of tips.

Stay tuned for more Pedalpalooza coverage. I’ve published daily ride reports and photos of all the madness for the last two years, and this year I’ll be doing it again. In the next few days I hope to have a special Pedalpalooza page up and running (I’ve got to organize my archives).

Check out the great rides already listed on the 2007 Pedalpalooza calendar and don’t forget to add an event of your own!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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el timito
17 years ago

Never led a ride? Here’s more help, from an e-mail by Ride Sober (who led, you may remember, the Prohibition Ride on Apr. 1 of last year “Celebrating the XVIIIth Amendment”)

These simple tips have inspired many new rides …

“I didn’t know this until I’d lived in Portland for a while, but anyone can lead a Pedalpalooza ride.

Do this simple ad lib, (below) make up a description, and post.

_(descriptor) __(noun)__ Ride

_SlowMotion_ Bagel__Ride
Join the search for the best sesame bagel in town. We’ll ride extra slow, so no waivers required!

You have [10 days] to fill in the details.

Formulaic? only if you like isomil.”

17 years ago

Pedalpalooza is a great time to think of all the rides you SHOULD HAVE LED. Then, a year later, they’ve all been forgotten…until this year.

Below you’ll find the a partial list of Pedalpalooza ride ideas sent into the Shift website over the past ten months. Some are good ideas. Some are terrible ideas. Feel free to steal them. Feel free to be inspired by them. Feel free to outdo them.

All that matters is that if you have an idea, you step up and make it happen.

Brace yourself:

Holy SITTING DUCKs! Or rather cycling Ducks… it’s a Ducky on a Bike Ride?? — suggested by James Hatfield (modXstb)

Homebuilts only event/parade. Only bikes fabricated for fun, aka chunk 666 types — suggested by Hanmade

closing down a couple of streets downtown for a kid bike parade. — suggested by sydney

Mountain Bike Skills class and ride in forest park. — suggested by Jordan Norris

Riding around Portland for 24 Hours. Start on a Saturday morning, finish
Sunday with Breakfast. — suggested by Tomas Quinones

A perpetual marathon relay, in which a flag is carried by a series of cyclists nonstop throughout pedalpalooza. — suggested by Sleepless

Workshop: How to build solar chargable bike lights/battery chargers. Reuse those broken solar calculators. — suggested by Robert

a bike tour of portland murals, with as many of the artists on-hand (and even along for the ride) to discuss the work. I am willing to organize this – who do i contact? — suggested by Marc

Six pack relay. Duct tape a six pack of talboys together and ride in a circle derby style. Must be moving to drink, winner finishes first. — suggested by Captain Calamity

Cargo competition. See who can haul the heaviest load up a designated hill. Sorry, Todd, no stoke moneys allowed. — suggested by Tall Steve

PDX Toxic Ride! Cyclists paint themselves green and ride from the nuclear reactor at Reed to the polluted waters of the Willamette in the NW industrial district where they bathe themselves “clean”. — suggested by Dan Philo

An across Portland no-rules, cannonball run. From the zoo to the top of Mt. Tabor, for instance. Or even, from two closer points. — suggested by some moron.

coreographed bicycle dances. imagine all the glory of synchronized swimming finally adapted to the roadway! — suggested by A. L. Brahe

Automotive exorcism. A laying on of hands for local automobiles. Rev Phil? Can you officiate? — suggested by Otto

BiKultural Day! A place of Bikes where bike commuters, messenger, racers, zoobombers, etc all come together to celebrate. — suggested by Wayne

Wheelie competition! — suggested by Elie

Urban obstacle course/tour, through unknown alleys and backways… —
suggested by One speed Dirk

I can’t ride 55 ride: a ride for folks over 55. — suggested by a geezer

Car-commuter challenge: Pick a random car at an intersection (say, by the Hollywood freeway entrance) and have a whole mob of people race said car to its presumably downtown destination. — suggested by Chance

Bike swapping ride: have your way with other people’s bikes. —
suggested by Swinger

Triplets of Belleville Ride: dress as your favorite character. Frogs will be served. — suggested by BonB regulars

Bike art show and poetry/fiction/spoken word readings (with snacks and drinks of course!) Could ride to different galleries, parks,etc. for this — suggested by Ms. Starry

timed freak bike building event in which sides build a from scrap in a given time & with set criteria (’27” rear wheel, 12″ front wheel’ or ‘must carry xx lbs’ etc.), then complete an obstale course on their bikes. point — suggested by Benjamin Jaspers

Bike Jokes. Crowd is the judge. First round – all Second round – 4 Finals – 2 jokers for the Grand Prize. Between other events to entertain the crowd. –Ryno– — suggested by Ryno

A photo-doughnut-naked-mobile movie dance party night ride with a pre-ride body painting pizza party, talent show and raffle at Disjecta (only half-kidding) — suggested by Xena

Martyr Ride — 12 cyclists tow an old Cadillac (with working brakes and a driver) around Portland. Maybe over the most dangerous routes. —
suggested by cosmo

A super huge photo shoot. Get tons of PDX bike folk in one place, and take lots of beautiful and creative pictures of them. — suggested by

Bike Themed Movie Night at Pioneer Courthouse Square — suggested by

Close off a street and hold sprint races. — suggested by Marcus

The 39th & Glisan 500 (500 laps…winner kisses Joan of Arc) —
suggested by Dizzy

More Zoobomb! — suggested by zoobomb

Cartopper Critical Mass: Gas up your car, put your bike on the rack and cruise downtown. — suggested by Otto D. Pendant

Portland’s Worst Bike Routes Ride: gravel, tracks, cars going over 60…you must sign a waiver and write a letter to your mom before going on this ride — suggested by Carl and Ken

“All the places Rev. Phil has been arrested” ride — suggested by Carl

Todd B
Todd B
17 years ago

Hey Todd F.

How about getting all the new bakfiets together to lead the Pedalpalooza kickoff parade?

17 years ago

Some of the ideas Carl mentioned might actually work!

(I am pro-kids parade since we got rid of our trail-a-bike and can’t go on the trail-a-bike ride! waaa!)

Todd B.
Todd B.
17 years ago

And who wants to organize Pedal Palooza events in Vancouver again?

Just email me…we can pull together a how to brainstorming meeting next weekend at the Salmon Creek Pub…before to print calendar closes.

Todd Boulanger
Transportation Services
City of Vancouver

PS. There once was a great dive bar ride in Vancouver in 2005. Anyone willing to update this ride?