Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 9th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
Saturday’s Alice Awards gala had all the glitz, glamour, and inspiration you’d expect when 750 of Oregon’s biking superstars get together to toast their collective success.
Since most of the crowd are used to meeting up at bike events and work meetings, many people use the night to show off their fashion sense. Check out a few samples below…
Here’s Portland Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk and her interesting choice in hats (one commenter on Flickr called her grin a “S-mirk”):
Joseph Rose, The Oregonian’s commuter blogger, sported this nifty tie:
Bike fun and Shift veteran Ken Southerland looking quite dapper:
Clever Cycles store manager Tyler Robertson looking as stylish as the bikes he sells:
Former city bike coordinator, principle at world renowned Alta Planning, future author, and all-around biking superstar, Mia Birk:
This is Shelli Romero (L) from ODOT community relations and April Bertelsen with the City of Portland Bureau of Transporation’s pedestrian program:
Even off-road advocates clean up well: This is Frank Selker on the left and mapping guru Jack Newlevant on the right (maybe they’re teaming up to map out new bike routes in Forest Park):
And last but not least is bike fun aficionado and BTA staffer Lily Karabaic (L) and veteran Sprockette Shannon “Agent Trouble” Palermo:
The mingling began at the silent auction, where attendees put in their bids for all types of prize packages. Among all-expense paid vacations and packages of bikes and accessories worth thousands, was a peculiar prize — a night of bike fun with the BTA’s own Carl Larson. The winner of this package got a bag of beer chips, two bottles of vodka, a loaner freak bike, a “full-outfitted Zoobomb experience” and more.
Milling around the tables was none other than Randy Albright. Randy — whom you might remember from his infamous run-in with a TriMet bus back in 2006 — told me he remembers, back in 1996 or so, when this event was held at Kell’s pub downtown. Things sure have changed since then.
Despite having vastly outgrown a small downtown pub, Alice also brings out the city’s political heavyweights. Making their presence known Saturday night were City Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz and their boss, Mayor Sam Adams. Metro Councilor (and founder of the BTA) Rex Burkholder, showed up as usual with an outfit everyone was talking about (see what he wore two years ago).
From the state legislature, I caught up with Representative Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) and Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). Sen. Dingfelder was eager to tell me about the fledgling bike caucus that has sprung up down in Salem. She said they’re trying to get more legislators to sign on, and invited me to join them for a ride next time I visit.
I could have kept on talking with the people in that room for hours, but it was soon time to find our seats for dinner so the night’s program could begin.
Once settled into my place for dinner, I had a chance to look around and see who else was in the room. A few tables over was Mayor Sam Adams.
It was the first big bike event that Mayor Adams had attended since he admitted lying about a relationship with a teenager during his run for Mayor. Also at Adams’ table was former Mercury reporter Amy Ruiz along with other staffers and friends.
I had a brief conversation with Mayor Adams. He asked me how my business was doing (something he has always been interested in) and then we spoke about the upcoming budget. He gave hints that I can expect his budget to have some clear differences from the one requested by the Bureau of Transportation. He didn’t share details, but I assume that he’ll find more money, or even more likely, create an entirely new funding stream for bike-related infrastructure and programs.
The highlight of my night was watching Robert Pickett win an Alice Award. Pickett’s work to create a productive bridge between the Police Bureau and the community has been one of Portland’s true bright spots since I first covered his work as a member of the Southeast Bike Patrol unit back in December of 2006. Since then, Pickett has become a regular contributor to BikePortland (both as an author and a commenter) and has been named the official community liaison on bike issues by Chief Sizer.
During his moving speech, Pickett spoke candidly about the challenges cops face in interacting with citizens and he shared his perspective on the power bicycles have to transform communities.
Along with Pickett, Alice Awards were given to Salem Mayor Janet Taylor, Eugene’s Safe Routes to Schools coordinator Shane Rhodes, the Rose Quarter Transit Center Bike Lane Team (accepted by TriMet GM Fred Hansen), and ByCycle.org creator Wyatt Baldwin.