while being hit with water balloons.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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):