Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The ‘Cirque’ delivers racing, art bikes (and nakedness)

Posted by on June 14th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-26

The Cirque filled Mississippi Ave with bikes.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Once again, the Cirque du Cycling delivered. The third annual event, dreamed up and (generously) supported by Laughing Planet Cafe, took over Mississippi Street with a full day of bike parades, racing, community booths, and more.

The Art Bike Parade (slideshow below) featured some excellent entries and was punctuated (for the second year in a row) by a visit from participants of the Sunny Nekkid Ride. As the Art Bike Parade wound down, scores of people — most of them completely nude — rode up Mississippi Avenue as large crowds looked on (photos below might be NSFW).

Sunny Naked Ride crashed Cirque parade-2 Sunny Naked Ride crashed Cirque parade-1 Sunny Naked Ride crashed Cirque parade-3 Sunny Naked Ride crashed Cirque parade-6

After that brief, smile-inducing diversion, myself and the rest of the esteemed Art Bike Parade Judging Panel (Alyssa Kail from SCRAP, Joseph Rose from The Oregonian, Alison Hallett from The Portland Mercury, Jude Kirstein from Epic Wheelworks and Evan Ross from Portland Bicycle Tours) discussed at length who deserved top honors. Here’s how we voted:

The Grand Prize went to Shiva’s Slaves/Rejuiced Bikes for their excellent make-up and costumes, unique human-powered vehicles, and inclusion of youngsters (*I’ve heard from someone via Twitter that they found this entry to be “culturally offensive and racist brownface.” I regret any offense and it didn’t occur to me or anyone else on the panel that someone would be offended by this):

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-16

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-40

In second, we chose the Candy Stripers for their intricate, Scraper-bike influenced decorations, and for interacting with the crowd by passing out candy:

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-19 Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-4

And rounding out the top three were the Belligerantes. One of Portland’s oldest bike gangs, the Belligerantes had a huge group and they flew their banner proudly:

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-36

Cirque du Cycling Art Bike Parade-25

Here’s the full Art Bike Parade slideshow:

The racing action at the Cirque was fierce. Winds and heat made for challenging conditions and there were a number of high-speed spills (everyone is fine, but OBRA reports one person still in hospital with multiple fractures). Fans along the course were thick and loud as they partied from rooftops, on balconies, and in cafes and pubs just inches from the racers.

Here’s a slideshow with more of the racing action:

The Cirque was a benefit for the Albina Youth Opportunity School. Special thanks to Laughing Planet Cafe for taking care of us at the VIP party and for spearheading this event for the last three years.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Anne Hawley June 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Jonathan. I’m not commenting much on these Pedalpalooza posts, but I wanted to let you know that I’m reading and enjoying every one of them. Thanks for the fantastic reporting.

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  • Shiva's Slaves Crew June 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Hey everyone….after reading the post about the offended people due to the “brownface,” I would like to say something about the color of our skin.

    It is tradition for Sadhus(followers of Shiva) to cover their bodies in ash in times of ceremony and celebration. This was our intention and not to offend anybody. We are the Shiva’s Slaves, and we will cover our bodies in ash.

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  • will June 14, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    gotta loves those dead babies. The skinny ones looks like he needs a taller bike or something. He seems to be climbing off of it or something. Anyways.. go dead baby!

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  • jay June 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    fantastic! colorful presentation parade, made even better the racing, art bikes everyone in the cirque rocks. winds and heats for challenging high-speed spills. good report as what it was.

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  • Noel June 15, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Love the racing pictures, looks like someone thought he was the victor and relaxed a bit, lmao

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