Pedalpalooza 2012 has officially begun.
Last night’s kickoff ride and party drew a healthy and diverse crowd to the South Park Blocks. We weaved through downtown (making a double pass in front of City Hall), then went up and over the Steel Bridge, through the Lloyd District and took over the entire eastbound side of Broadway before settling in for beer, food, and live music at Velo Cult bike shop on NE 42nd.
It was great to see so many new faces, including several families.
I never get tired of seeing how streets filled with bikes can transform our cityscape…
At the start of the ride I met Topher Darling (below), a part time student and full time social worker who told me he’s shifted around his school and work schedule just to take part in Pedalpalooza. “I’m mostly looking forward to the costume rides,” he said, “I can ride around any day and see a bunch of people riding bikes, but when people are in costume there’s a stronger sense of unity.” Topher’s marked his calendar for the Star Wars vs. Star Trek ride and the Dr. Who ride.
After the ride, Velo Cult and the Portland Mercury did a smashing job hosting the party. The Suicide Notes rocked the house and a food truck parked right outside the front door kept folks happy long into the night. I ended up pretty much closing the place down, hanging out with some good old friends. All in all, it was an excellent start to Pedalpalooza season!