Report: Jonathan Richman Ride

[This report on the Jonathan Richman Ride is by Carye Bye via Flickr. Be sure to check out her photos of the costumes and locations along the way!]

Carl (aka Roadrunner) and the Jonathan Richman crew set forth (20 people?) to experience Jonathan’s odes to love, life, and the Velvet Underground.

I think I was asked about half a dozen times, Who is this Jonathan Richman? I might have been the same, but I had a punk rock zinester penpal Yoonie, who hooked me up with some mixed tapes when I was in college.

A few us wore Richman’s signature stripey shirts. No one dressed up as the abominable snowman, but we did indeed visit a lesbian bar. This is the first song = location kind of ride I’ve been on and it was great fun.

These are some stops I remember: The Portland Art Museum for “Pablo Picasso,”* Then City Hall for “Government Center,” and on to “Lonely Financial Zone” as we biked through downtown to the river. Then a taco stop with Jonathan wooing us in Spanish, an “Ice Cream Man” stop in Col Summers Park where there was tons of activity including Monday Funday and the Karaoke Ride start.

We danced at the “Lonely Little Thrift Store” which actually has I believe a Mexican cart next to it just like in the song! And then up Division “We were dancing in the Lesbian Bar” to the Egyptian Club, and we stopped in for a drink, but no dancing, and then had another very brief dance party at the giant Banana stencil at 12th and Division to “Velvet Underground” (perfect!). The ride ended on the Eastbank Esplanade to watch a lovely sunset. A few had a little bonfire by the sea, but I went on home, trying to keep my cold at bay.

*The funny thing is, I wore a handmade button with the song lyric “Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole” and another gal I met on the ride had a huge sign on her bike with the exact same quote!

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for since 2006. Find her at

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