Report: Sexy Señoritas on Sexy Schwinns

[Thanks to Schwinn ride leader Esther Harlow for putting together a great ride full of badass, non-stereotypical femininity, and for providing this ride report. Check out Esther’s photos here, and Jonathan’s photo portraits of Schwinns and their riders the beginning of the ride (as well as the Trekstosterone ride that began in the same spot)]

Which were sexier?

All the hot varieties of Schwinns that showed up, from two tricycles, to girls’ Lil’ Misses and Stingray Jrs., to Varsities and Collegiates, to the popular cruiser Breezes, to 70s-80s road bikes Preludes/Le Tours/World Sports, to a tandem? And even Lillian’s faker Schwinn, with a Schwinn label affixed to her Panasonic?

Or all the lovely ladies (and gents) in short skirts, ruffly blouses, fishnets, bloomers, tank tops, pretty dresses, thigh socks, cutoffs, and flowers in their hair? Or in James’ case, a suit?

We did lose the two Schwinn Belligerantes who showed up, though I hear tell they enjoyed the finer pleasures of cigars and manly bicycling with the gentlemen of Trektosterone. In exchange I took a couple who were riding a lovely early Trek (her) and a Schwinn (him). We also had ~25 riders to start but lost some to other rides, traffic, etc.

We tooled around downtown, checking out woman-themed art sculptures and public parks, including Portlandia, Manuel Izquierdo’s sculpture/fountain “the Dreamer” in Pettygrove Park, and the “Walk of Heroines” – a brand spanking new public park at PSU at 11th and Market, which happened to be having its grand opening and which we unfortunately had to walk our bikes through, and I wasn’t able to point it out to everyone due to the crowd and buffet line (sorry!).

I informed the crew that being badass is sexy, so we were going to bike up the West Hills to the Rose Garden, which is in full, amazing, glorious bloom right now (really, you should. go. It smells awesome).
Using the amazing, free Northwest Bike/Walk Map from the city which I distributed to almost all the riders (thanks to Timo @ PBOT), I had recently discovered two car-free routes to Washington Park which I hadn’t known about in 12 years of living and biking in Portland. We powered up the Market street MUP, by both pedal and pedestrian power, through a beautiful car-free forest which was neither too steep nor too long in my estimation. The tandem riders apparently breezed past one spandex dude. I also pointed out the Sacajawea sculpture, the first sculpture in the U.S. honoring a woman (the more you know).

Upon arrival the Rose Garden, we sat down to enjoy a picnic snack of chocolate meringues, triple ginger snaps, Pink Lemonade, and red wine (the latter combined with great advantage into an ad hoc sangria), and moreso, vivacious conversation and great sensual enjoyment of the fragrance and peak beauty of the Rose Test Garden.

Having spent ourselves in such pleasures, we enjoyed a half-zoo-bomb back to downtown (Sarah Mirk did a whole bomb on a Stingray Jr. – having caught the MAX and ridden downhill to the Rose Garden), where we were greeted at Momo’s Bar by the gentlemen and ladies of Trektosterone with much enthusiasm–and refreshingly inexpensive alcoholic beverages. (Seriously, call Thomas – happy hour prices all night to bikers and a nice big patio.)

I really enjoyed the time I spent meeting everyone and hanging with some of my lovely friends, and the excuse to visit the Rose Garden, which I never manage to get to in peak season, so I hope everyone else had as much fun as I did.

A few pictures are here, though I am very sad to report they don’t do the sexiness justice.

Photo of author

Elly Blue (Columnist)

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

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