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MCBF makes for fitting Pedalpalooza finale

Posted by on June 29th, 2009 at 11:51 am

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-8

Johnathon Allen tries to trackstand
while being hit with water balloons.
-Slideshow below/Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

As the traditional grande finale to Pedalpalooza, the Multnomah County Bike Fair (MCBF) has lofty expectations to meet. After 17 days and nights of rides and events that captured the hearts and minds of thousands Portlanders, I’d say it came pretty close to meeting them.

MCBF’s volunteer organizers put together a fantastic event with something for the bike lover in all of us.

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-75 Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-79 Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-39 Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-54

This is the first year I remember having a large and well-attended kid’s area. Volunteers Beth Raisman, Martina Fahrner, Steph Routh, and others had decorating, arts and crafts, and even pedal-powered hayrides to get the little ones involved.

The midway section of the event also featured a host of locally made wares. Our BikeCraft at MCBF was the debut for Cycle Dog, a new Portland company that makes dog collars and leashes out of old bike inner tubes. Artist Ben Parsons attracted attention to his bike-themed screenprints and Tomas Quinones offered colorful handlebar bags out of duct tape.

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There were also several fashion-oriented vendors selling everything from handmade cycling caps and bike-inspired t-shirts to my favorite, neckties with cogs stenciled on them.

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-95

The big kids jousted…
Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-34

while the little ones played horseshoes.

Jed Lazar from SoupCycle served up chilled beet soup with pears and white wine and Kyrstin Westwind offered up fresh and sweet bike-blended smoothies.

At the Portland Mercury booth, big crowds gathered around as people tried to trackstand while being pelted with water balloons. Mike Cobb earned big applause when he withstood everything the crowd could dole out, even with his broken arm in a sling!

Meanwhile, over on the blacktop, the bike shenanigans were hot. The Sprockettes performed twice and there were all types of competitions (even for the kids this year, which was a lot of fun). Except for one bad fall by one of the jousters (get well soon Sage!), the show was enjoyed by what seemed like record crowds.

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-84

Mult. Co. Bike Fair - MCBF '09-16

Unicycle jousts, live music, and clown antics featuring smoke bombs and Dingo in a chicken suit riding a swing bike, mixed with 11 kegs of beer while memories of an epic Pedalpalooza still hung in the air.

Check the slideshow below for more of the faces, bikes, and crazy action that made MCBF 2009 so great (or browse the gallery here):

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    Carl June 29, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Just a shout out to all the volunteers who made this happen. From making decorations, to hauling trash, this is an all-free all-volunteer event and we couldn’t do it without you…

    …or Ayleen and Filmed by Bike! Thanks Ayleen for helping keep this event alive financially and spiritually.

    And actually, there were TWELVE kegs of beer. Many thanks to Widmer for the generous contribution. Beer sales constitute a significant portion of our budget.

    Want in on the fun? Volunteer next year!

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    Sarah June 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Great shot of the track stand! Just before you got nailed with the balloon yourself! Well done.

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    Joe Adamski June 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Every year it gets better and better!!

    I am pleased to see a constant renewal with Shift and MCBF, new faces blending with the longtimers, turning out mo’-betta bike fun every day. Thanks for making it happen!

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    Mr DeJerk June 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Viva Aurelia, the 10yo derby champion!

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    John Lascurettes June 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    So what exactly was the deal with asking people to dump their water in the performance area only then to offer free water? Were they afraid we had moonshine in our kid’s camelback?

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    Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm


    Yes. Specifically I think the OLCC is concerned about this…

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    Carl June 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    MCBF is about fun and games.

    Fun on bikes and games at the ID check.
    Thanks for playing “keep the OLCC happy!” It’s a game for the whole family.

    Glad to hear that this game was such a notable thrill for your family that it eclipsed all other MCBF experiences on which you could have commented.

    In 2007, the rules went like this: “your kid isn’t allowed into the performance area.” I prefer the new game involving water dumping. Don’t you? Who knows what’ll happen next year, though; the OLCC loves to mix it up.

    Seriously, though: thanks to all of you who patiently and understandingly played along. They’re a hard bunch to please but, for once, the OLCC seemed mostly happy this year.

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    John Lascurettes June 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Carl, the question (“were they afraid we had moonshine in our kid’s camelback?”) was an honest one. We didn’t understand why and the guy who asked us to had no answer. No need for the snark. Thanks, Anonymous, that answered the question.

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    carye bye June 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    There was free water just outside the line to get in to the blacktop, so I filled up my waterbottle then, only to dump it out minutes later. Maybe a sign, so water wasn’t wasted?

    thanks everyone!

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    YOUR-INN.COM June 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    The Wooden Obstacle Course was a good time, I got there late but it still had fun while there.

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