Gravel - Cycle Oregon

‘Cirque du Cycling’ fest to feature cargo bike race

Posted by on June 9th, 2011 at 9:22 am

Art Bike Parade at Cirque du Cycling-48

My money would be on this guy.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The annual Cirque du Cycling bike fest on N. Mississippi Avenue is this Sunday. The event brings together many facets of Portland’s bike scene and this year organizers have added yet another — a cargo bike race.

It was bound to happen as Portland’s cargo bike scene has gone absolutely bananas in recent years (I’ll try to share more photos and notes from a recent cargo bike meet-up soon).

The Cirque includes a family ride, an art/freak bike parade, a very competitive criterium race, and it’s a benefit for Albina Youth Opportunity School. Event organizer Ayleen Crotty says the Cargo Bike Race is a natural addition.

“We are very excited for this,” she shared via email, “It’s our first year doing it; so we’re keeping the race simple with hopes to expand it.”

Crotty says the field for the cargo bike race is already shaping up and features some well-known local names (registration is closed and was limited to 10 racers)…

Track stand/World Messenger Champion, former cargo-bike delivery professional, bike-powered music tour veteran, and currently the service manager at Joe Bike on SE Hawthorne, Mike Cobb

Mike Cobb and his Boxbike

Joel Metz from Magpie Messenger Collective (Portland’s original — and only — cargo bike messenger company) says he’s competing to win and he’d be “embarrassed if he were beat by a longtail”…

Joel Metz, messenger-20

Charlie Wicker of Trailhead Coffee, who completed the 7-day Cycle Oregon with his custom Metrofiets cargo bike last year…

Trailhead Coffee bike-1

Ken Weatherell from Portland Pedal Power on his modified Yuba Mundo…

Local filmmaker and founder of Crank My Chain TV Dan Kaufman with his “Disco Trike”…

tour de fat 2007-13

James Newman, a former big-time racer who did a stint in Europe and is now known as the Thomas the Tank Engine and Boat Bike guy.

The race will be mass-start and riders must complete three laps, picking up “oddly large items” on each lap.

Sounds like it’ll be an epic battle. May the best cargo-biker win!

More about the Cirque at

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

  • Milkshake June 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Joel Metz all the way.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • beelnite June 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Jonathan that cargo bike bunny hop shot is fantastic. It’s my vote for action photo of the year!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Gabriel Nagmay June 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

    “My money would be on this guy.”

    That’s my good friend Jamie from Metrofiets.

    Unfortunatly, I found out last night that he will be across the country and won’t be able to participate. However, several of his bikes will featured in the race.

    Good luck everyone!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Caroline June 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Ooooh… I want to see this. I know who I’m rooting for!! JOEL – SLAY THEM ALL, MF!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe Rowe June 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Please, this is not a race; it is a marketing game for bike businesses on the “in crowd”. It’s their choice, and good for them.I support them. But don’t call it a race as much as a dog and pony show.

    I raced Lance Armstrong, got 2nd in the Illinois State Crit Championship, and was ranked 17th in Cat 1,2,3 in Texas. I don’t think they want competition really. So un Amerikan.

    I’ve asked to be put on a wait list. We shall see.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • captainkarma June 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      I’ve noticed several marketing events (er, rides) and am torn what to think. Why not, I guess. As long as “the truth is out there” and there is no mis-representation. I just hate guerilla marketing and commodifying my favorite sport, but I guess there’s no escape. We are the corporate states of america after all.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Jeff TB June 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

        Actually, it had nothing to do with marketing. We just thought it would be fun…..

        Some people are still into fun.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Greg June 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      “The race will be mass-start and riders must complete three laps, picking up “oddly large items” on each lap.”

      It sounds like a fun race. I’m sure you’re too hard-core.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • joel June 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      anyone accusing me or magpie of being in the “in crowd”, or any kind of marketing, is deluded. we are spending too much time working as actual cargo bike messengers for that kind of thing.

      and i can bunnyhop a long john at least as high as jamie.

      i was bummed that it was a size-limited field, and even moreso that its limited to 10 – but stoked for it all the same.

      and yes, i will be (momentarily) embarassed if i – or ANYONE on a long haul – is beaten out of the win by a longtail.

      heres hoping for hay bales and full beer kegs as cargo.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizée June 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Why haven’t we done this sooner!?! Can’t wait to see it. I hope I can make it there!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Hanrahan June 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    How about a cargo bike zoobomb!!?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tony Pereira June 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Team Beer will be there rocking our new cargo bike!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • q`Tzal June 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Next year: weight classes!

    () pizza delivery
    () shopping with toddler
    () grocery shopping for two teenage boys
    () WTF

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • cycler June 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I like q’Tzal’s idea of weight classes- or something like draft horse pulls at the state fair- each lap see if they can carry something bulkier/ heavier…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ayleen June 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    We’re super excited for this event – thanks to Kevin Ziemke from Team Beer for creating the event!

    We’re keeping the event simple this year to work out kinks and test the waters and keep it manageable.

    There are still volunteer slots open for the event and volunteers will help the event go smoothy so we can expand it in the future. Volunteers get an exclusive t-shirt (available only to volunteers) and free Mississippi Pizza (yum!).

    Info is on our website:

    Hope to see you all out there!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jenn June 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I really think that Joel is going to take the competition -sorry Ken. I will send you a better picture of Ken on the PPP bike. The one you have of the first version of the bike and my belly. The bike and Ken are much better looking 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • DEanna June 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    My friend Sam said he’s racing in this and he doesn’t even have a job, so I’m not sure what the hell that guy above meant about this being for marketing. Maybe that Sam is marketing how awesome Sam is? Because he is.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad Ross June 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Joe, You sound like a super cool guy. You should move back to Texas.

    Recommended Thumb up 0