Saturday’s Cirque du Cycling event, held on N. Mississippi Avenue, managed to do something very special: It brought together just about every aspect of Portland’s diverse culture of bike lovers. From kids (young and old!) to tall bike builders and everything in between, it was a two-wheeled feast.
Things got started with a family bike ride. After decorating bikes, participants rolled out from the headquarters of Self Enhancement Inc., (a local non-profit that was the benefactor of the event) and headed north to Peninsula Park.
At the park, Sean Sullens and Deanne Gomez from the Piedmont Neighborhood Association greeted riders with a table-full of cookies and fruit snacks. It was great to see so many kids and families out for a day on the bike. (More family ride photos)
Next up was the Art Bike Parade and local bike clubs and gangs showed up in force. The staging area on N. Fremont was turned into an impromptu bike show.
Art bike builder Neal Fegan‘s latest work caught many eyes (more on his creation in a separate post), as did the public debut of the Irondelles all-lady tall bike gang. Others groups in the parade were; Team Beer, The Belligerantes, The Kaufman Family (with cute, matching bike shirts!), Freaky Fridays (costumed families on Bike Friday tandems), Revolutionaries on Wheels, The Ladies of Scrapa, cargo bikers, Droupout Bicycles Club, North Freak, and more.
There was a lot to see; including a bunny-hopping cargo bike piloted by Jamie Nichols of Portland-based Metrofiets.
The crowds lining Mississippi Ave. loved the creative and crazy bikes and costumes. (Most everyone, I think, also liked the surprise (naked) parade guests. More coverage and discussion of that here – photos here).
To fully appreciate the scope of the bikes and people (including non-clothed ones) that showed up, watch the slideshow below:
With the parades out of the way (and the shock of nakedness wore off), the racing action heated up. The region’s fastest bike racers zipped around the .8 mile course, mere inches from onlookers who clapped enthusiastically (being careful not to spill their beers of course).
Meanwhile, at a VIP lounge area set up in the corner of Mississippi and N. Failing (the new Tupelo Apartments) the director of SEI, Inc., Tony Hopson, Sr., Mayor Sam Adams, and local business owners rubbed shoulders and enjoyed complimentary beverages and food.
This event brought together not just many strains of the bike community, but it put biking in a positive light for the entire Boise Neighborhood (well, maybe except for the nakedness). Hopefully, the Cirque will become a respected annual tradition.