(Photos © J. Maus)
On Friday, I took a gamble and went on a Pedalpalooza ride that left the route up to chance. As luck would have it, myself and the 20 or so others on the ride got lucky and had a memorable excursion through the streets of Portland.
The ride was called “Get Lost” and was led by the Deacon of bike fun, Amos Hunter. Amos brought two big dice and the rules were simple. We roll to see where we go — an even roll means we go right as many blocks as the number on the dice, an odd roll and we go left.
Our group was a neat mix of people; old, young, male, female, a parakeet. Our first roll took us south from inner SE Portland (Belmont and 9th). We then headed west over the Hawthorne Bridge (which we counted as two blocks) and into downtown. We stopped at the park blocks between SW 3rd and 4th to roll again. 7 blocks south was our command, which took us past Keller Fountain and up the stairs and onto the SW Pedestrian Trail adjacent to Pettygrove City Park. Staying true to our rolls, we ventured east toward Naito Parkway through a parking garage and another set of stairs. From there, we headed south on Naito, eventually riding right through the Barbur tunnel.
After grinding up a few hills and getting a bit boxed-in between 99W and the South Waterfront (with the Aerial Tram overhead), our dice rolls pointed us back east over the Willamette River. As luck would have it, our route would have to be the Ross Island Bridge, which is a four-lane thoroughfare with no shoulder. And it was rush-hour. Thankfully there were enough of us to easily take the lane and we rolled across without incident.
Back on the east side, we crossed SE Powell/Hwy 26 using the non-motorized overcrossing and then somehow, miraculously, we pointed our steeds right back to Sparky’s Pizza on Belmont right where we started from. What are the chances?! We pondered that question with pizza and beer.