Special gravel coverage

Photo Focus: An homage to tall bikes

Posted by on January 21st, 2011 at 4:11 pm

A Bike Wedding Parade

Gabe Tiller pulling his just-married friends in Southeast Portland.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Over the years, I’ve photographed many of Portland’s unique tall bikes and the wonderful people who ride them. I dove into the BikePortland photo archives and pulled out some of my favorites…

Clownhouse tallbike race

Dingo the Clown racing in the backyard of the
former Alberta Clownhouse back in 2005.
Bridge Pedal 2009 -15

Shot at Bridge Pedal, this guy looks ready for a road race.
Bike Fashion Show_ride and afterparty-82

Minis also make fun tall bikes.

This thing is built like a tank.


This couple got married on a tall-bike tandem at Sunday Parkways 2010…
Sunday Parkways 09 -102

… and here’s the same couple one year before they were married!
pedalpalooza - Bike Porn 2-6.jpg

Having some fun outside a Bike Porn screening.
Seen in Portland-3.jpg

The imitable Dutch.
Tall Bike exhibit

That’s four frames if you’re counting.
Bike Fashion Show_ride and afterparty-95

Skye Blue of the Irondelles looking quite marvelous on the waterfront.
Albert Clown House

Rolling down Alberta Street.
Mult. County Bike Fair!

bikes at Earth Day

Gabe Tiller’s Captain America.
Last Thursday on Alberta

Looking slick and fast.
Family Bicycle Transportation Day - Oregon Manifest-12

The whimsical handiwork of Portlander Robert Stapleton puts a smile on everyone’s face.

Enjoy the weekend everyone. If you missed any of this week’s stories, browse the headlines here.

Please support BikePortland.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • sysfail January 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Some pics from Dropout Bike Club. We also have our month Freak Bike ride 3rd Friday of every month, which is tonight…weehee


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • DC January 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Never seen one in real life, how do they stop and not fall over??

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Gabriel Nagmay January 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Here is my sweet ride: http://bit.ly/fb1WO9

    And a new one that I am building from scratch:

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jay R. January 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    What, no tallcumbent?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • travesty January 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks! enjoy the photos a great deal!

    I prefer to apply the brakes on my tall bike, swing my leg over however is necessary for that frame (step thru is easier) and climb down the frame. The other methods also work.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Stapleton January 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    The lady you see riding one of my steeringwheel bolt together talls (she owns 2) is Pinky the juggler. She is a very talented person and also the inventor of the VRS system for deaf people,it allows them to communicate by phone.Google Pinky VRS for more info or to get in touch with her if you need a unicycling juggler for a gig.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • CaptainKarma January 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Arrgh….too…much….gasp…..sunlight….in those pictures…..it burns…..

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Stapleton January 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Tallbikes are truly WONDERFUL !!! If you can handle riding a regular bike without wobbling you can ride a tallbike. I agree with travesty the stepthrough top frames are easiest to get on and off of (much safer and quicker too).I build small step bars on the side of mine.A-hold onto the bars with both hands.B-right foot on step bar.C-push off for some momentum (movement is your friend) get rolling.D-stand up on the step bar and put your left foot on the left pedal.E-push your body up,right leg through the frame,right foot on pedal,butt on seat and your now experiencing one of the greatest feelings you can have as a bicyclist !! It’s NOT about getting attention,it’s NOT about trying to be cool or fit into some group,It’s about FUN !!!! It rekindles that feeling of fun and freedom and yes a little bit of danger that you experienced when you first rode a bike as a kid.It’s the BEST!!! Try it !!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kevin Wagoner January 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Here are a few good tall bike pictures of the Irondelles.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jack January 22, 2011 at 8:15 am

    On numerous occasions I’ve been asked in all seriousness, “What’s the purpose?” in regards to my tall bike.

    When I say, “It’s fun.” it seems to catch a lot of people off guard; as if it’s not a valid reason for doing something as an adult.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Stapleton January 22, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Yeah Jack I get the same thing when out and about on mine.Makes me feel a little sorry for those folks,it’s a sad thing when adults shut out the ability to enjoy things for the pure fun of it. I really like it when I see things like the (now married) couple in these pictures.Look at those great smiles,those two get it !! They definitely understand that silly fun is enhancing their relationship not taking away from it. Tallbike LOVE !!! FANTASTIC !!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tansy Ragwort January 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    And we wonder where Portlandia gets its inspiration.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • adam January 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

    that is great! I could not decide that year if I liked the clown house wedding or the mt tabor wedding more – so I just figured I liked them all.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • esther c January 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    It does totally look like fun to this middle aged lady. Whenever I see anyone on one they always seem to be smiling. Also opportunities for interacting with strangers which is usually good.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rev January 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    purty! tanx j-man

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mark Allyn January 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    The 2nd photo (the one at the clown house) and the 6th photo (the one with the person sitting on the handlebars are my favorites of this set!

    Keep up the good work!


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Stapleton January 23, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    esther c should go hang out with the Irondelles !! How’s your welding skills esther ?

    Recommended Thumb up 0