Ready, set, ride: Preparation tips from a Pedalpalooza veteran

Cross Crusade Wash Co Fairgrounds-13

Chris “Fool” McCraw is pumped up for Pedalpalooza!
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

In case you haven’t heard, Shift’s amazing month of bike fun is about to begin. Yes, the annual Pedalpalooza — with its 259 events (so far) over 24 days — is set to get rolling just one week from today. On that note, we came across this spirited email from Chris McCraw on the Shift email list the other day and figured it’d be fun to share. Take his advice, start preparing now for an optimal Pedalpalooza experience.

— by Chris “Fool” McCraw

It’s time to think about riding your bike…all the time, for 3.5 weeks straight! Get that tune-up, stock up on spare tubes, and make sure your butt loves your saddle. It’s the last minute NOW because you want to have your bike ready before the fun really gets started!

Now get yourself tuned up – do you know where your summer bike clothes are? Been putting off that doctor’s appt? Been to see the barber? Nobody wants to stop riding with a few thousand of their closest friends to take care of stuff that could happen anytime, and you know you wanna be in top shape to enjoy the rides and be looking sharp for the cutie you’re sure to meet on the happy streets. Might not be a bad idea to get caught up on laundry, too..


Next up it’s time to get stocked! Easy frozen meals to heat & eat when you get home exhausted and just wanna crawl into bed? Favorite hangover cure – available in quantity? Portable stimulant of choice – need to hit costco or stumptown to get enough? Beer is easy on the fly, but if you’re more of a liquor is quicker, candy is dandy kinda person – get ready, call your dealer, you know, get the parts you can’t make happen anytime done on your schedule instead of missing the first half of bowie versus prince because you have to find the last liquor store in town still open.

Almost ready – but is your pedalpalooza survival kit all ready to go? Picnic blanket, hearty snacks, condoms, band-aids & aspirin, flat-fix kit, extra headlight batteries, and fliers for your ride to hand out to folks at other rides are all recommended. costumes for the WNBR [World Naked Bike Ride] and beyond? might as well!

Finally, the fun part: start checking out the calendar and getting excited about all the fun that’s in store for you in june! Contact ride leaders with questions or offers to help (contact info or at least a forum to ask questions in is provided with every ride on the website). Make a personal pocket reference so you don’t have to look at the calendar or the web to get to your next event.

— Check out the Pedalpalooza calendar here and keep a look out for the printed version coming in next week’s edition of the Portland Mercury.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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