Posted by Elly Blue (Columnist) on June 17th, 2009 at 11:54 am
[Thanks to BikePortland intern J.R. (Jonathan Reed) for reporting on last night’s Remedial Ride. Apparently 80 people showed up — twice last year’s turn out!]
(Photo: Jonathan Reed)
Approximately 45 people on bikes gathered at Colonel Summers park at 7:00pm Tuesday for a Pedalpalooza event called the “Remedial Ride 2.” Ride organizer Ben’s description on the Shift calendar caught my attention with promises of a short ride distance and multiple food stops. It sounded right up my alley so I coasted on over after work and took a seat in the grass while the tide of bikers rolled in.
Colonel Summers was the starting point for two other Pedalpalooza events at the same, time but each group found its attendees and off our group rolled for the less-than-grueling six tenths of a mile to the first top. At Belgian fry cart, Potato Champion (12th and Hawthorne), we all stopped for a significant quantity of frites adorned with assorted sauces.
(Photo by dealbreaker/Flickr)
I was pleased to find poutine on the menu (having recently relocated from Québec) in classic, vegetarian, and vegan versions, and quickly scrounged up the 5 bucks for a boite du cheese curd and gravy covered goodness. I can assure my esteemed colleague at montrealpoutine.com that poutine exists outside of La Belle Provence — and TABARNAC, it’s tasty. I had the veggie version, which was heavy on the pepper. I’ll be doing more thorough research in days to come.
It was beautiful to see a parking lot at a busy intersection overtaken by people chatting and enjoying the weather, one another’s company, and a bit of food. Passing auto occupants were clearly curious about this display of neighborliness and human scale living. The simple idea of setting up a time, location and destination via conduits like Shift seems like a good tool for improving the quality of life for those that seek it out.
Done ruminating over my squeaky curds and general good fortune, it was time to mount up and work off the french fries by parading through Ladd’s to the cute little trailer called /Sip/ outside the People’s Coop at SE 21st and Tibbetts, over a mile away. (Good thing I carbed up.)
(Photo: Jonathan Reed)
Sip made special arrangements to be open for this event and ride participants wasted no time in eagerly flooding them with a list of vegan shake orders for the two person staff to concoct. The lengthy wait for a shake made by hand was made well worth it by the tasty final product and the opportunity for people to chat further and soak up the remaining magic-hour lighting, happily surrounded by bicycles.
The threatened altercation with a Remedial rider by a man I know as “the-guy who-marches-down-my street-hurling-obscenities-at-squirrels” briefly disrupted the shake-induced bliss, but his anger was no match for a crowd of well fed and generally serene bicyclists. Calm prevailed and participants of the 2 hour long, mile and a half quest eventually went their separate ways, reassured that “bonking” on the ride home was unlikely.
Here’s a map of our route — 1.6 miles in all.
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com