The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Bikini Bike Wash headlines another big bike weekend

Posted by on August 17th, 2012 at 10:51 am

Get it clean and help the Naked Ride.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just like last weekend, we’re embarking on a bunch of great bike events starting this afternoon with the much-anticipated Bikini Bike Wash.

It’s hot and it’s time to raise money for the World Naked Bike Ride; so the wonderful bike fun promoters of Portland will be washing bikes at the Burgerville on SE 12th and Hawthorne from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. According to organizers of the Naked Ride, it costs nearly $3,000 to put it on each year. Expenses include leasing the starting location, various permits, porta-potties, security, and so on.

At the Bikini Bike Wash today you can hang out in a Dutchtub (from Clever Cycles) while your steed gets cleaned. I’m told three service levels will be available: “fully penetrating lube and complete wash” for $20, “rim job – just washing the wheels” for $10, and the “quick n dirty – spritz and go” for $5. There will be music thumping, cool local bike goods for sale from Bikeasaurus, balloon bikinis by Dingo and Olive, free bike maintenance, and of course lots of scantily clad ladies and gentlemen. Stop by on your way home and get wet, have fun, and open your wallet to help these fine folks cover some costs for the Naked Bike Ride. More info on the Facebook invite.

But wait! There’s more!

After getting your bike all cleaned up (or before), roll over to the Portland Opera headquarters on the banks of the Willamette River just south of OMSI. Tonight is the Opera’s annual Bikes, Beer + Big Night. The Opera folks love bikes and they’ve been doing this for four years now. Their patio opens right onto the Eastbank Esplanade and tonight from 430 to 6:30 they’ll be serving free cold beer, water, and they’ll even have some misters going to cool you off! More info on the Portland Opera website.

On Saturday, our friends at Kidical Mass have a great family ride planned. The theme this month is ice cream. They’ll leave from Clinton City Park at 1:00 pm and ride to legendary local ice cream makers Salt & Straw on SE Division. Then (after a stop at a playground of course), they’ll roll over to Dairy Queen on Lincoln and than back to Clinton Park. It’s only a 3.5 mile loop and it’s sure to be fun for the little (and big) ones! More info at

Also on Saturday, you’ll get another chance to see some fast and exciting bike racing with the second annual Giro di Portland. The race is sponsored by the Festa Italiana and riders will zoom around a course in the Pearl District. It’s great spectating and in true Italian style, there will be a food court with beer, wine, paninis, and more. Racing starts at 3:30 and goes until about 7:00. More info at

On Sunday, it’s time to ride. The Portland Century is back and organizers have three amazing loops for you to enjoy. There’s a 100, 80, and 40 mile route offered. This is the ride to do if you want to explore more of our city and you want to be taken care of with gourmet food stops and lots of support along the way. The ride is fully catered by local food and drink vendors, they make fresh pizza on the route, and registration ($80 day of the ride) includes free breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. More info at

The Faux Museum in Old Town (NW 2nd and Davis) is hosting an interesting bike event on Sunday. Their Tour de Faux is being billed as “the world’s only 0.0 mile bike event.” Here are more details from the organizers: “Bicyclist, tricyclist, unicyclist (anything without a motor) will be judged in four categories: 1. Best Bike. 2. Best outfit. 3. Best Helmet 4. Best attitude and Regimen. Prizes will be awarded. $10 entry fee includes picture and spoke card.” More info at

On Sunday night, Velo Cult Bike Shop in Hollywood is hosting a meet and greet with biking legend Victor Vincente of America. Vincente is a mountain biking pioneer who began racing road bikes in the 1950s and went on to race in the Olympics and throughout Europe in the 1960s. He later returned to California and was a part of the “klunker” phenomenon in the bay area. He was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2001. Sunday, starting at 7:00 pm, is your chance to hang out with Mr. Vincente of America and ask him questions about his amazing bicycling history.

This is just a sampling of things to do on a bike this weekend. What did I leave out? What are your plans? Share them in the comments below and enjoy yourself out there!

[Note from the Publisher: This story originally included the event flyer for the Bikini Bike Wash. Many people found the poster offensive, so I’ve removed it and replaced it with a photo from the event I took yesterday. — Jonathan Maus]

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Joe August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

    awesome 🙂

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  • q`Tzal August 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Some people might be offended by the heavy handed “sex sells” angle of this bikini bike wash but I’m not; it feels like Portland’s bike scene has officially “jumped the shark”.
    Hopefully everyone else will respect us in the morning:)

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    • Tassy August 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I have to say, I wouldn’t be offended if the sex appeal did not seem so exclusively focused on women in bikinis. Are there going to be gents out there in marble bags and banana hammocks scrubbing bikes?

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      • gl. August 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        i cannot like this comment enough.

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      • Alex Reed August 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        Seriously! The sexist ad notwithstanding, the organizers must provide scantily-clad male bike-washers to get this gay man’s money!

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      • dan August 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

        Much to my disappointment, when I biked by tonight around 7, it was mainly hairy shirtless guys — not sure if that was quite what you had in mind.

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        • q`Tzal August 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

          Rule 34: I’m sure wet gorillas appeal to someone.

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        • Tassy August 18, 2012 at 9:17 am

          What, they didn’t bother to get full body brazilians for my viewing pleasure?

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  • Joe August 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I dig like the fact 2 girls fighting over who washes my bike. ;-P

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  • Jolly Dodger August 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    errr…rim job, please?

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  • Joe August 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    oh snap 3 levels of service. haha

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  • Sunny August 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I’m still on the bike right?

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  • Ted Buehler August 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Bike Temple “Joy of Sects” ride to Verboort. We’ll take MAX to Hillsboro, go on a leisurly 9 mile ride through the Tualatin Valley, and check out the Catholic church and school in the little hamlet of Verboort.

    Meet at Rose Quarter MAX at 8:00 am, or Hillsboro Hatfield station at 9:00.

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  • scaryseth August 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Pics, or it didn’t happen!
    No really, pics please. 😉

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  • q`Tzal August 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    This just seems like the sort of thing a USED CAR dealership would do.

    OTOneH it’s all “WHOOHOO! Bikes are mainstream enough to rate a babe party!”
    OTOtherH this type of advertising always seems to be used to distract from lack of value in the product.

    Sorry, I’m done raining on everyone’s innuendo/ strip tease/ endorphin bonfire.

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  • KYouell August 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I thought the trackback to the Kidical Mass site was just another piece of spam. Surely “bikini bike wash” linking to us couldn’t be real? 🙂

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  • S. August 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

    OK, so the bikini bike wash is a cute/bike-centric twist on a cultural cliche, and I’m not such a naive ninny to think that this kind of thing doesn’t persist in our culture, and yeah, maybe it’s even remotely justifiable since its sexism is cancelled out by its pro-bikeyness. Hence, I do not condemn you for including it in this list of weekend bike events.

    But seriously, Jonathan? As the opening item with a prominent photograph? Relying on the ole’ “sex sells” tactic? Brother, please. You are better than this. Your site is well-established and influential, you have a cover story in the Trib. You don’t have to sink this level.

    This is one of the few media outlets I can access where I am not barraged with the sort of body-shaming crap women have to endure everywhere else we look. Newsflash: not every woman on a bike in Portland is a undernourished 20-something pixie/hipster riding a fat-tire cruiser in high-heeled boots. Those of us who are just trying to save money by choosing a non-car commute not only contend with the typical challenges cyclists face (primarily, safety issues), but on top of everything else, we have to worry about how we look on two wheels.

    And we are damned if we do or don’t: if we gear up against the rain/darkness, we feel over-padded, unfashionable and dorky; in nicer weather, as we shed layers to contend with the heat, we have to worry about whether or not we will be subjected to harassment (verbal or otherwise) if we choose certain routes. (I for one have never let this keep me from certain sections of the I-205 path or Springwater Trail, despite the frequency of unsavory shout-outs I invariably experience).

    Let the defensive replies commence. Tell me to lighten up. Accuse me of having no sense of humor. But this blog has frequently wondered aloud what keeps women from cycling at the same rate as men; case in point, this Ellie Blue article you linked to recently: . It is all of a piece. You cannot ask these questions in good faith without scrutinizing your own practices. On behalf of all the other women cyclists who read Bike Portland on a daily basis but are reluctant to speak out in fear of compounding harassment (round 1: photos; round 2: comments), I implore you to be more conscious of these issues when you are choosing photos to post on your influential site.

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    • Paul Manson August 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Well said. I agree.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm


      Thanks for the feedback. Sex does sell. And that poster is sexy. But I don’t think it’s sexy because the women happen to look a certain way. I just think women and bikes and people and bikes in general is sexy (remember that sticker I used to sell around town.. “Cycling is sexy”?)

      Another thing in play here is that I know the people behind the poster very well. Well enough to know that they are well aware of image issues and stereotypes that exist in our culture. As am I. They actually have another poster that is hand-drawn that I don’t think would have caused as much of a stir; but I felt this one looked better.

      In my view, I simply see a poster with beautiful people and a bike. If the women looked differently, or if it was men, I would say the exact same thing. I think people standing next to bicycles in the sun having fun is a very sexy and beautiful thing.

      Sorry if the poster and the way I presented it offends you (and others, which apparently it does). I just want folks to know the background.


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      • Eavan Moore August 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm

        Unfortunately, the poster design they chose perpetuates these image issues and stereotypes. Simply being aware of these problems doesn’t magially make it ok to exploit them.

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    • Karstan August 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      I agree with you 100%. Except your comment accusing thin women of being “undernourished.” That’s the same time of abusive body-image attacks that you’re complaining about.

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  • Esther August 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    While I agree with your overall assessment that using skinny young white chicks to sell stuff is boring and reinforces all kinds of bad stuff in our culture and blah blah blah (and I had that immediate reaction to the flyer picture posted above), I want to disagree with your critique of Jonathan. I think this was his lead event for the weekend because WNBR is an important event to him & the community (and Jonathan does as good job as of documenting fat old guys as he does skinny young white chicks at WNBR), and I think he looked forward to a fun water-centric event with a lot of his friends in the bike community (last I heard on social networks he was there splashing around in his bathing suit too).

    I did wonder why there were two separate flyers -one pictured above, one handdrawn as shown on their FB photo that was much less stereotypically “sexy” – but I know most of the WNBR organizers and know them to be thoughtful, progressive and generally feminist people so I figured there was some discussion behind that. I don’t know for sure and I didn’t want to armchair quarterback their decisions. *shrug*

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  • Kj August 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I know many of the people who put this event on and respect the possible irony or cheekyness intended by the theme of the bike wash, the poster and the even itself are to raise money for a ride. I do have some concern about the sex sells tactic of the bike wash that this comment thread and teased out more concretely for me.

    WNBR is a ride that is/has been a protest, a place to find body acceptance and self confidence, the notion of doing something taboo, to have fun with friends etc. and I realize it no longer has unified message of protest. it’s become a part of Portland, it’s like the Soapbox Derby, or the Starlight Run, but naked! It’s a cultural event, people now expect it. It’s now promoted beyond Pedalpalooza.

    I am sure there are a fair number, now that this ride is so big, that are there to see and be seen..therefore it is a place you can see lots of attractive naked people…but I have never felt the the ride was supposed to be …sexy, or about selling sexy people or putting sexy people on display for others to view… it’s been a place for many that one can feel comfortable doffing one’s clothes and hopping on a bike in a gender neutral non-sexual expression of amazing humanity and have a thrilling, if nippy, ride though town. It’s never really a safe space, but organizers try to keep it as safe as possible as one can with that many people around…

    Still, for some percentage of the riders there is a chance that along the ride they will be harassed, slapped or groped etc in a sexual way by the onlookers. Which, granted, is a risk one takes, being nude in public, especially of you are female.

    The onlookers who know about this ride by how it’s advertised. This year there were some notable issue brought up about this groping harassment issue iirc…maybe because of the size of the ride and the publishing of the route by someone (I think it got published ahead of time this year?) or at least the time.. people PLAN to be onlookers for WNBR the same as any parade.

    So I was really a bit taken aback by the bike wash marketing.
    I am not sure it’s be best marketing to equate the WNBR with sexy ladies (and men), using the tired but true “sex sells” slogan to a bring in some cash.

    The original poster alone, never mind the (admittedly funny!) innuendo laden wash services, sells an image of WNBR that makes me uncomfortable…Lots of people will have seen that, and will not have been to the bike wash and who don’t have the benefit of know the organizers or how its’ funny and cute to most bike fun people or why the WNBR exists.

    It also doesn’t promote the idea that any-body is welcome at WNBR, you don’t have to be sexy to ride in WNBR and no one should feel they NEED to be to ride.

    So I am afraid it might to the ride’s image more harm than good or cause more problems from the crowd next year, though I think all the organizers meant well and had the best intentions. I just disagree with the marketing of this event.

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    • Kj August 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Also, sorry for the poor editing, I’m tired and my dyslexia got the better of me.

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  • Craig Harlow August 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Uh, it’s not off topic to say that the Kidical Mass Ice Cream Ride was super cool, is it?

    There were no bikinis or fruit toting garments on display, per-se, but I was still enthused and inspired by the sight of four-year-olds cruising around my ankes on city streets like so many orca young amid the safety of the larger pod of fierce and adroit adults.

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