What Pedalpalooza ride are you looking forward to? Kickoff riders sound off (photos)

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Last night’s Kickoff Ride was one of the largest ever.
(Photos by M Andersen/BikePortland)

Pedalpalooza 2015 rolled into Portland Thursday evening with a swarm full of smiles as something approaching 1,000 people took over East Burnside for the city’s first big ride of the summer.

The route (led by Nathan Jones of Ride Yr Bike‘s regular Thursday night rides) snaked through central east Portland and through Lone Fir Cemetery before a stopover at Basecamp Brewery, where some peeled off and others continued toward festivities into the evening.

Before and after the ride, we buttonholed a bunch of participants to ask what rides this year they’re most eager to be part of.

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Franco Ortega (left): “The Bike Play.” Lianne Cray (right): “Probably the Ginger Ride. Because…”
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Maria Schur: “The New and Improved Unimproved Northeast Alley Ride. They did it last year and it was a little chaotic. But they improved it.”
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Nicholas Van Pless: “Sunset Mystery Ride. I can’t go to all the late-night party rides — I’ve got a jobby job.”
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Xander Almeida: “My sister-in-law is having the sixth annual Morrissey bike ride. I hate Morrissey as a person but I think he’s a great artist. So I’m ambivalent. Which maybe is appropriate for that ride.”
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Chas Gilbertson, Ken Eucker and Minh Tran: “Grilled By Bike.”
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Nate: “I’m doing the Pioneer Century this weekend. I’m pretty excited, and also a little scared. I’ve been drinking a lot and suddenly it’s bike-riding season.”
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Timo Forsberg (left): “The Learn How to Lead a Ride Ride.” Esther Harlow (right): “Heavy Metal Marriage. That sounds pretty romantic.”
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Anne Gire (right, with Daniel Broschert): “The long-exposure photos ride at night and everybody gets their LEDs.”
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Armando Luna: “Grilled By Bike. I didn’t go on it last year and I missed out big time.”
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Melissa Stone, center: “Prom ride.”
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Chris Chen (left): “I got up at 4 this morning for the coffee ride. I’m still paying for it.”
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Lillian Karabaic: “Heavy Hill Climb. Your bike has to weigh a minimum of 40 pounds and you climb up to Pittock Mansion. And if your bike isn’t 40 pounds then you have to weigh it down with alcohol.”
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Carl Larson: “The Bike Play is always the best.”
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Fred King: “Star Wars vs. Star Trek.”
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Erin Goldwater (left): “Puppypalooza. I love seeing dogs and other pets in bikes and trailers and backpacks.” Elodie Garcia (center): “The goats one.” Ben Duncan: “Bridge Pedal. I want to see Tilikum open. It’ll be in August.”
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Jolly Dodger (left): “The Rocky Butte Sunset. I’m going to look and see if it’s scheduled, and if it’s not I’m going to do it.” Joe Hill (right): “This one. It’s the beginning of it all.”
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Annie Stahl: “I don’t know. I’ve never done this. I’m playing it by ear.”
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Alyse McNeill (left): “Naked Bike Ride.” Kyle McCallum (right): “Rooftop. It’s the most mischievous ride.”

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As for the Kickoff Ride itself, it was a joy as usual, despite some slowdowns for unusual stunts like the trip through the cemetery. Some good times from the ride started at the meeting place, Salmon Street Fountain:

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And continued through the Better Naito multi-use path pilot project (yes, this is a tiny house with no brakes being towed by bikes):

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Over the Burnside Bridge:

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And up into Portland’s east side:

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Then through the cemetery:

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And back into the streets:

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And there was a trapeze being pulled by bike!

A video posted by Esther (@theta444) on

The Kickoff ride is always one of my favorites of the year because more than almost any other bike event in Portland, it’s a gathering of the tribes. This was another great one and it got me stoked for the month to come.

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

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

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Tony H
Tony H
8 years ago

Great time! As my wife observed, it’s like the naked bike ride, only with clothes.

9watts
9watts
8 years ago
Reply to  Tony H

And with daylight, so you can see all the fun. We should have a kickoff ride once a month, a Critical Circus Ride.

Carl
Carl
8 years ago
Reply to  9watts

There were a lot of highlights last night but your team was top of the pile. Was that the trapeze’s first ride?

9watts
9watts
8 years ago
Reply to  Carl

Thanks, Carl.
We did some test rides in the neighborhood over the past few days with it, but this was its debut. Look for it in upcoming Sunday Parkways. 🙂

John Lascurettes
8 years ago

I was all set to do this one this year. Was looking forward to it. Then. I got pneumonia. Fun times.

Adam H.
Adam H.
8 years ago

The ride was a blast!

Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
8 years ago

The Lone Fir loop was a sanity check on my part, was getting conflicting reports on splinter groups, I send the Thursday rides there as regroups when we get split up.

Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones
8 years ago
Reply to  Nathan Jones

And thanks for the mention! 🙂

Carl
Carl
8 years ago
Reply to  Nathan Jones

That was a much-needed and elegant-done regrouping. Nice work, Nathan! Biggest kickoff ride I’ve seen in quite a few years!

Kelly Francois
Kelly Francois
8 years ago

The kick off ride was awesome! I’ve never had the pleasure of riding with so many other riders before, it was exhilarating!! A fabulous ride with interesting people through this glorious city!

Eric Iverson
Eric Iverson
8 years ago

Thanks for the coverage! Great Photos! Note the sticker on the #grillbike following the photo with “one less car”

Martina schrenke fahrner
Martina schrenke fahrner
8 years ago

For a moment when we rode up Clinton to 39th, I thought we would go over the hill and ride down Powell to the corner of 26th which would have been quite a signal!

During the entire ride when the crowd took one lane and drivers hand to gingerly pass us in the other, I could only think that for once drivers had the experience, bike commuters have every day: to be surrounded by big group that you need to adjust to…

…and I think we set a great example: even though we were a large unorganized group, I am not aware of any accidents, even though we rode very close to cars!

Aaron
Aaron
8 years ago

I’m grateful to everyone who helped. The big awesome trailers, decorations, the trapeze, the photographers, the corkers, and to Nathan himself.
Almost 1000 people is incredible!
(I would have suggested avoiding the cemetery both for logistical reasons and for respect for anyone who might’ve been visiting loved ones) Otherwise the route was very fun

Buzz
Buzz
8 years ago

The only crash I saw was the impatient soccer mom in the minivan at SE 28th and Pine who, after trying unsuccessfully to push her vehicle through the ride (she had a stop sign and we had the right of way; thanks, corkers!), then backed into a parked car while trying to turn around.

lahar
lahar
8 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

Technically you did not have the right away, hence the corkers. Sharing the road does not mean taking.

Carl
Carl
8 years ago
Reply to  lahar

Wrong. The corker, in that particular instance, was there to stop an impatient driver. It wasn’t a four-way stop. Traffic on 28th (the ride) had right of way. She did not.

Of course, there were numerous other places where the ride did NOT have right-of-way but, by and large, other road users waited patiently (and, in many cases took pictures and gave high fives) as the ride passed.

Electric Mayhem
Electric Mayhem
8 years ago

The soccer mom was the only pissed off person that I saw. What an awsome event!

Novice Group Rider
8 years ago

Mi gusta Corking!

Craig Harlow
Craig Harlow
8 years ago


Nate: “I’m doing the Portland Century this weekend.

Maybe Nate means the “Pioneer Century”, since the Portland Century is in August?

Taco
Taco
8 years ago

Love the photos, thanks Jonathan.
Especially liked the dog riding in the custom bike box with the super dog on the side ( disclaimer the guy who makes the bike boxes is a friend check out his work @ Badger Bikes).

Ted Buehler
Ted Buehler
8 years ago

Great ride, thanks Nathan and other organizers.

Nice pic of the supertinyhouse, Michael, thanks for sharing. And, we did have brakes…

Ted Buehler