Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on December 24th, 2013 at 9:55 am
After weeks of terrible, ice-cold sunshine, it looks like Christmas and New Year’s are rolling into Portland the way they’re supposed to: warm and gray. What better way to celebrate than with a bike?
We’ve recently heard about two fun, free group rides of note here in town: One on Dec. 26 and one on Jan. 1.
The first, organized by the grouchy but erudite Urban Adventure League mastermind Shawn Granton, is a “Country Bike (in the City) Ramble.” Here’s Granton’s description:
Do you like riding bikes? Don’t mind a little “rough stuff”, i.e. some unpaved and rough action that isn’t actual mountain biking? Want to hang out with other cool folk? Are available the day after Christmas? Well, I might just have the ride for you…
Here are the details:
COUNTRY BIKE (IN THE CITY) RAMBLE: PENINSULA VERS.
Thursday December 26th
meet at Omaha Ave Greenway, N Omaha Ave at N Killingsworth St (we’ll meet at the southernmost tip of this park strip on Omaha Ave.)
A ramble exploring the “country” aspects in the city while riding “Country” bikes. Expect a good deal of gravel/dirt action, meandering, and places you didn’t think existed. We’ll have an indoor food/beverage break along the way for warming up and refreshing. Ride a bike geared towards comfort, not speed, and one that can handle off-road elements. Moderate pace, no one left behind. Lycra and carbon, no, wool and shellac, yes. Estimated 30 miles with not a lot of climbing. Ride not a loop, but will end near transit and beer.
Hope to see some of you fine folk there!
A few days later, three affable but subtle volunteers for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance will lead a combination bike tour, fun ride and fundraiser for the organization’s New Year’s Day Ride. It includes free pizza and coffee, thanks to the BTA’s sponsors:
Portland has done a terrific job building east-west routes throughout its inner-east side. North-south routes, however, tend to be full of difficult crossings and frustrating twists and turns. As part of The Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Blueprint for World Class Bicycling, we identified NE 7th and SE 9th as a key Neighborhood Greenway. On this year’s New Years Day Ride, we will ride the length of this route and stop along the way to point out exciting developments both new and upcoming.
This year our ride will conclude at Old Town Pizza and Brewing Co. on NE MLK Jr. Blvd. Old Town generously sponsors our Project Advisory Council and will be providing some free pizzas for riders! Want a deal on beer? Be sure to bring your BTA membership card!
We’ll have a midway stop at the headquarters of B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, a local company devoted to urban delivery by electric-assist tricycles. There we’ll enjoy some coffee donated and brewed by one of their clients, Portland Roasting Coffee.
So: bring a friend, some warm clothes, a few bucks to donate to the BTA, and your imagination as we explore an exciting future bikeway.
The ride is approximately 9 miles and will not be a loop.
Both of these folks know how to lead inclusive, fun and welcoming rides for people of all sorts. Whether you earned your holiday hangover from from peppermint candy, peppermint schnapps or your Aunt Pepper, joining these rides looks like a good cure.
Correction 12/25: The BTA’s ride won’t be led by organizer Carl Larson but by three volunteer community members.