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Parade gets Pedalpalooza off to spirited start (Video/Slideshow)

Posted by on June 12th, 2009 at 7:04 am

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-32

Jacqueline Authier honks
Stephen Upchurch’s horn.
– Slideshow and video below –
(Photos © J. Maus)

The 2009 Pedalpalooza got off to a rollicking start last night as an estimated 300 people turned out for the traditional Kickoff Parade.

The ride met at St. Francis Park in southeast Portland and then meandered through main streets (including a jaunt down Hawthorne) and alleyways before ending up at Colonel Summers Park.

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-38

A purple dinosaur-costumed
lady smoking a pipe on her bike.

Before the ride got started, I had the chance to chat with old friends and meet a few ones as well.

I bumped into 51 year-old Brett Stern, who was just on his second day back on the bike after a bout with cancer. Brett said he plans to also do the Naked Bike Ride. He did his first one last year because it fell on his 50th birthday, “And what better way to spend your 50th than to actually get into your birthday suit with a few thousand other people!”.

It was nice to see Vancouver, B.C. resident Ron Richings back in town. He plans to stay for the duration of the festivities before heading home.

Story continues below


Ron’s not the only visitor who’s here to soak up Portland’s bike culture. Leanne and Scott Shook traveled all the way from Marco Island Florida (in the southwest, on the Gulf of Mexico) just to experience all the bike fun Portland has to offer. “We’re here to learn, get ideas, and bring them back to Marco Island… it’s wonderful here!” they said before hopping on their bikes and joining the crowd.
Slideshow (with captions):

[Note: See photo gallery here. Also, in one of the photos, the name of Nickey Robare is misspelled. (Sorry Nickey!).]

Besides all the great people in the crowd, there was of course plenty of eye candy for bike geeks like me.

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-23

Like the blooming gardens we rode by,
the colorful outfits caught my eye.

Cargo bikes of every variety (including a really cool homemade one named the “New Carrissa”), some ingenious mobile sound systems, whimsical tall-bikes (Frankenstack and the monster tall, complete with clenching jaws), and of course some great looking outfits.

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride 2009-43

Hamster Ball! (See it in action
in video below).

It was the perfect way to get this party started. Well, almost perfect. There were a few angry drivers who didn’t like sharing the road with a few hundred, silly-dressed cyclists. I even saw one guy dangerously drive his truck through the crowd of bikers, then he stopped, got out his phone and called the cops. On us!

For more of the action from the parade, check out our slideshow, and/or watch the little video we threw together.


— Keep up with all our Pedalpalooza coverage here.

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Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie

Loved the E.T.


[…] riffs on USA Today piece on Google’s move to put bike paths on Streetview. And reports on the Pedalpalooza […]


Really, only 300 participants? It sure felt to me like there were a lot more, especially as we picked up folks around Ladd’s circle. Anyway, as my first PP ride, it was pretty amazing.


I think pipe-smoking dinosaur woman wins! 🙂


It was great seeing you out there. There were times it felt like the parade had really grown like when we reached Hawthorne and people rode off the curb or side streets to join. You did a great job of capturing the atmosphere. It was like a dance party with different sorts of music at different point in the crowd!!!

Elly Blue (Columnist)

I counted just about exactly 200 coming out of St Francis Park. Brilliant brilliant ride!


I “counted” at least 300 in my video I took coming down the hill to Hawthorne.

Mark C
Mark C

Looks like a great time had by all, but I noticed way too many bare heads in the photos. I’d hate to see a serious head injury mar the festivities over the next few weeks. Ok, I’m climbing down from the soap box.

Steve B
Steve B

One driver who menaced the crowd, did a brake stand while cursing me as I continued to explain that I loved him very much was driving a Ford Aerostar van OR playes TYL-126. One bicyclist pointed out that he demonstrated how easy it was for him to pick a different route. Certainly, he was angry about a lot of things and I suppose the 3 minute wait for the hundreds of cyclists to cross traffic really set him off. It scares me that people like this are allowed to operate a potential death machine on our streets.

It brought up a thought I’ve had in the past about previous portland group rides — the lack of proper organizing to make sure streets stay corked while the ride processes.

Especially when you have kids in the ride, this is critically important to enjoying a safe, peaceful ride. I’m surprised we didn’t have a few bike police helping us out with that.

It would have been REALLY nice to see bike cops handing out tickets to people who were recklessly operating their vehicles like the Aerostar fellow.

Another reason to thank, smile and wave at drivers who do nice things for bicyclists. Disarm ’em with kindness.

Steve B
Steve B

That said, a big thanks to those who step up to help cork the traffic on their own will. It simply would be nice if ride organizers attempted to designate this role to some riders so there is some level of coherence.

What a fun ride!

Amy Walker

Carl Larsen is a babe.

Wish I was there to flirt with all the cute Portlanders!

Elly Blue (Columnist)

More photos keep rolling in — check out a set taken by BikePortland intern Dan Liu here, and some great ones by Brad Reber here.


i sure do feel safe when riding with a few hundred of my friends. thanks everyone!