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Fine bikes, high style, and great food: Come along on the Tapas Ride

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Clever Cycles owner Dean Mullin
at the Tapas Ride last night.
– Slideshow below/Photo gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland is a city known for many things; including food, fashion, beer, music, and of course, bikes. At last night’s Tapas Ride, we did our part to cover three of those.

The ride was organized and led by Clever Cycles. Clever is the shop on SE Hawthorne that almost single-handedly introduced Portland (and North America to some extent) to the Dutch standards of city bikes (well-built and made for utility) and bike fashion (there is something beyond spandex!).

So, it was fitting that they led 24 very well-dressed and well-equipped people (a sell-out crowd) on a ride to some of inner SE Portland’s finest restaurants last night. Stops included Biwa, Noble Rot, Nostrana, and The Maiden.

A group shot at Ladds Circle.

After a nice spin through Ladds Addition we stopped at Biwa (SE Ash and 9th), where we drank sake and dined on a nice dish of pickled mackerel, swimming in a bit of peppers and a green onion. We also met Biwa owner Gabe Rosen. Besides running a great restaurant (and doing a lot of his deliveries via bakfiets), Gabe is leading a crusade to get on-street bike parking in front of his place. He feels like he’s getting the run-around from the Bureau of Transportation so he had us all sign a form with our email addresses so he can get us involved in his efforts.

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From Biwa, we rode over to Noble Rot (11th and Burnside). Enjoying the fourth floor view, we enjoyed a very tasty glass of white wine and nice dish of fish salad with greens grown on their rooftop garden.

Next top was Nostrana, a casual and relaxed spot at SE 14th and Morrison. At a long table, which seemed appropriate for an Italian joint, we drank a tangy rose wine and feasted on a cool pasta dish with fava beans, drenched in sweet and hearty olive oil and other herbs.

A toast to bikes, friends, and good food.
(At Noble Rot, four floors above E. Burnside.)

Our final stop was The Maiden (SE 7th and Morrison). We sat out on the sidewalk in the warm evening breeze while enjoying drinks and a rich and creamy slice of chocolate cake.

It was a very satisfying night on many levels. Not only did I get to explore some fantastic new restaurants (all within just a mile or two from another), but I met some new friends and got to spend time with old ones as well.

For more photos, watch the slideshow below. Or, browse the photo gallery here.

More Pedalpalooza coverage.