Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 11th, 2012 at 12:57 pm
If the sunny and warm weather doesn’t already have you thinking of Shift’s Pedalpalooza, then it’s time to start. The 2012 poster has been unveiled (and it’s fantastic), there’s a Pedalpalooza preview party tonight (at VeloCult), and the official calendar is filling up fast (125 events and counting).
Each year since Pedalpalooza started in 2004, a local artist has created the official event poster. The poster is spread all across town and it always seems to evoke part of the distinct spirit of bike fun that makes Pedalpalooza great. This year the art was done by southeast Portland resident Ben Guernsey.
Guernsey, 27, is a graphic designer who works for Wieden + Kennedy. He started biking after college because he, “had put on a few pounds,” and then after doing a few organized rides, he experienced that familiar slide into cycling. “Once I sort of learned how to navigate the city, I was hooked.” Then Guernsey did a few alleycat races, which he led him to track racing. “But then the track is wet 3/4 of the year,” he shared, “so I started road racing. Which lead to cross. Then I started a cycling team…”
Guernsey says making posters for cycling events is “pretty much all of my passions rolled into one.”
As for the Pedalpalooza poster, he says it’s a reflection of how he found out about Pedalpalooza in the first place:
“I worked across from Colonel Summers Park [where many of the events take place] and one day saw a huge crowd so I decided to check out what was happening. Turns out it was the tall bike jousting event with people at least six feet in the air on janky homemade contraptions, throwing each other off their bikes. I was taken back by the absurdity, courage and camaraderie of the event. In some way sort of wanted to capture that by making the bikes overly tall with a kind of a funky Rube Goldberg drivetrain and just kept the overall feel very loose and fun. Hopefully people get a sense of that and come out for some fun.”
Love it Ben. Crazy tall bike jousting is one of the things that first inspired me to get more involved with all this stuff too.
If you’d like to get plugged into all the Pedalpalooza action, check out the calendar, grab a copy of the Portland Mercury on June 7th, sign up for the Shift email list, head out to the preview party tonight (free Ninkasi beer, a live performance by ukelele band Honky Tonk Prison, raffle), and stay tuned to BikePortland for lots of coverage.