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A Saturday to remember: Bike jousting, daytime nakedness, and a cycling circus

Posted by on June 17th, 2008 at 12:29 am

Cirque du Cycling-36.jpg

Racing on Mississippi Street was only part
of an amazing day for bikes in Portland.
Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

I realize it’s already Tuesday and there are new events to cover and rides to join, but I can’t resist sharing some photos, video and a few thoughts about a Saturday I’ll always remember.

It started at Colonel Summers Park in Southeast Portland. On the schedule was the 2nd Annual Stumptown Joustdown. The event was billed as the Pacific Northwest’s only organized bike jousting tournament, a “full day of metal on metal carnage and warfare” that promised, “smashed bikes, smashed bodies, and nudity.”

Suffice it to say I had my cameras at the ready and I was not disappointed. Check out the video below (photos here):

Then (as if pedicab jousting wasn’t interesting enough), about 100 fully nude people rolled into the park. They had just finished the Sunny Nekkid Ride.

Reader Bob Crispin was on the ride and sent in these photos:

With a lively crowd now formed for some great jousting action, I had to pull myself away from the park to make it over to the Cirque du Cycling event on Mississippi Street.

Cirque du Cycling-10.jpg

More photos of Cirque du Cycling
(or watch slideshow below).

Imagine a neighborhood street fair, but focused on bikes. This event had it all; a parade where little kids rode alongside bike gangs, a performance by the Sprockettes, and the main event — a criterium race.

Mix all that with a full street closure and a gorgeous summer afternoon and it’s no surprise that thousands of people came out to participate and take in the scene. Families sat at outdoor cafe tables and watched the racing, while bike tinkerers rolled around on their latest creations.

The diversity of bike culture at this event boggled my mind and I had a hard time knowing where to point my camera. Luckily I was able to snap some fun images. Take a look at my Cirque du Cycling photo gallery or watch the slideshow below (highlights include two amazing bikes by Chuck from Ladd Motorcycle Company, Sprockettes and racing action, and several colorful, fashionable characters):

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

And of course, after all this, I ventured out to the Naked Bike Ride and Dance Party. Just another day in Portland!

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Jim Anderson

Thanks Jonathan for stopping by Cirque du Cycling! It was a huge success for this first year event, and we are all super excited about it…we hope to make it an annual event.

This is a great line, and thanks for helping us describe it:

\”Imagine a neighborhood street fair, but focused on bikes.\”


Jonathan – Thanks for doing triple duty on Saturday to bring your faithful readers all this great coverage. Your posts from last year were a big reason why we went on the naked bike ride this year. We totally had the time of our lives! Best Saturday ever!