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Pedalpalooza starts Thursday: Looking back, looking forward

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

A scene from the Pedalpalooza Kickoff Parade in 2007.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Shift’s Pedalpalooza, an unprecedented display of fun on bikes like nothing that exists on the entire planet, starts Thursday. If you are anywhere near Portland (or an airport), you should seriously consider taking part.

In a nutshell; it’s 260+ rides and events packed into 17 days, it’s totally free, and it’s an ideal time to come out of your shell, meet people, and experience the streets of Portland from the seat of a bicycle.

A Seski sighting? Yes. Anything
is possible on a Pedalpalooza ride.

The event holds a special place in my heart; it was the thing that first sucked me into Portland’s biking abyss. Back in June 2004, fresh-of-the-boat from California, I stumbled upon a Pedalpalooza event at a park near my house. It was the first time I’d seen freak bikes. Suffice it to say, my life was never the same. A year later, I volunteered to help out, then I started a blog… and I’ve been knee-deep in bike fun ever since.

At our recent, Shift/Pedalpalooza-themed Get Together, we had a great time reminiscing about Pedalpaloozas past. If you’d like a trip down memory lane, here are handy links to my ride reports and photos from the last five years; 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

With so much going on, the calendar is a bit intimidating (see below), but with a bit of planning (and liberal use of a highlighter) you can get a handle on it. Speaking of the calendar, be sure to pick up a copy of the printed version, which will be inserted into the Portland Mercury on Thursday (that’s also their not-to-be-missed Bike Issue!).

Detail from Pedalpalooza calendar.

There are many gems on the calendar (stay tuned for my Pedalpalooza Picks) but three events in particular warrant special attention: the Kickoff Ride, the World Naked Bike Ride, and the Multnomah County Bike Fair.

Here at BikePortland, we’ll keep you informed and inspired about all the great rides this month. Early each morning we’ll post a list of all the day’s rides and we’ll have ride reports, links to photos, all the latest developments on the major events and more.

Tune up your bike, pack up your panniers, and start choosing rides from the calendar. Let’s make this the biggest Pedalpalooza yet!