Let it drizzle: Two holiday rides to wet your winter weather whistle

Slug Velo ride - February

Finally, the cloud cover you moved to Portland for.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

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:
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.

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.

Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
benn s
benn s
10 years ago

the portland wheelmen have a christmas ride which starts at noon dec.25 from lents park happy holiday!

10 years ago

Wait, Carl’s subtle?
And that’s Retro-Grouchy to you, Mr. Anderson!

Carl (BTA)
Carl (BTA)
10 years ago

SO subtle, in fact, that I’m not even going to be there! The ride will be led by Joel Holly, Sheilagh Griffin, and Scott Lieuallen — affable and subtle characters all.

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
10 years ago

I’m doing a New Year’s Ride sadly competing with the BTA’s (sorry, BTA!)

1PM on January 1st.
Meeting point:
Start of Leif Ericson in NW Portland – NW Leif Ericson & NW Thurman, Portland, OR
I’m starting to train for the Oregon Outback ride ( http://velodirt.com/portfolio/the-oregon-outback-part-i/ ) and I’d love to build some community and meet some people while doing it!

Approx. 22 mile out/back on Leif Ericson (gravel road closed to cars in Forest Park). About 600′ elevation gain on the way up, lose it on the way down. We’ll go for a beer after this if you want 🙂

Pace moderate with a no-drop policy. Just because I used the word “train” doesn’t mean we’ll be going fast 🙂
Alex Reed, malexreed at gmail daht comm

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
10 years ago
Reply to  Alex Reed

Update, I’m cancelling this event because I’m sick. Sorry! Go have fun on the BTA’s ride!

10 years ago

>>Let it drizzle: Two holiday rides to wet your winter weather whistle

did you mean “whet” ?

(h)wet/ a thing that stimulates appetite or desire.