(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
I have not been out on many Pedalpalooza rides this year. After missing the big opening weekend while I was in Europe, I just haven’t gotten into the bike fun groove. I’m also being pulled by the strong magnetic force of home where my two year-old son and growing daughters don’t really care much about biking because it’s just what daddy does when he’s not with them.
I did however get out last Friday night for the Midnight Mystery Ride. This is a monthly tradition that’s been going on for over 10 years in Portland. The premise is simple: Show up at the announced meet-up spot, hang out for a bit, then “at midnight we ride” goes the slogan. The destination is only known by the ride leader.
It has been years since I joined an MMR. Besides the fact that it made me feel very old seeing all the new and young faces that had gathered in huge groups along both sides W Burnside and 18th, it felt great to be out on the streets on my bike at night with a huge group of people. The turnout was pretty big, which made it feel even more exciting than usual (the warm skies and “Pedalpalooza bump” were surely to blame).
We took a unconventional route to the final destination — south through town and then up onto SW Terwiliger (disclaimer: I turned back after the first big regroup spot but heard later the ride ended somewhere on the western shores of the Willamette River south of downtown). I bailed out early (my boy wakes up, ready to play at 6:00 am), but still got to chat with a few friends, meet some new people, and enjoy a solitary and wonderful ride home through nearly empty streets.
I hope everyone is having a great Pedalpalooza. Check out a few more pics from the Midnight Mystery Ride below…