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As the city mourns Prince, the week’s biggest bike ride is tonight

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Bowie v. Prince Ride-9

Tim Nakayama, a.k.a. Diablo, keeper of Prince’s flame in Portland bike culture.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Three months after Portland lost one icon behind its annual Bowie vs. Prince ride, the other has also left the stage.

Prince, a Minnesotan mystery man who matched David Bowie on both musical genius and serious weirdness, died Thursday morning — setting up, among many other things, what will presumably be one of the biggest musical bike rides ever during Portland’s PedalPalooza festival in June.

But for tonight, expect many Portlanders to continue the local tradition of mourning pop icons by rolling around town blasting their beats from bike trailers.

Bowie vs Prince Ride-3

Bowie vs Prince Ride-21

The weekly Thursday Night Ride meets each week at 7 p.m. at Salmon Street Fountain, SW Naito and Salmon. Soon after the word spread of Prince’s death, people began discussing him in Facebook threads about the ride.


Nathan Jones, Thursday Night Ride’s founder, said in a text message Thursday afternoon that he expects a showing for Prince tonight.

“Lots of folks are rocking the Prince theme but nothing official for TNR as we work to avoid any particular theme,” Jones said. “I’m sure some folks will be decked out, but not lots.”

We’ll see. And we’ve contacted Tim Nakayama, more famously known as Diablo and the perennial leader of Team Prince during PedalPalooza, to see if he has any plans of his own to share here.

Update 4:30 pm: Fans may be pleased to know that what purports to be the last public sighting of Prince shows him on his bicycle (and wearing purple):


A photo posted by PRINCE LIVE THE BEST (@princelivethebest) on

Update 10 pm: Just heard from Nakayama, who writes:

Absolutely devastated

Was still healing from the loss of Bowie
And now this 🙁

We were gonna do a Bowie vs. Bowie ride for Pedalpalooza

Not sure now
I’d like to do two separate rides on separate nights
Honoring each of them separately

We’ll see what Lillian wants to do

Nakayama will be hosting a Prince tribute on his KBOO radio show tonight.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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    Houston Electrician April 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    So sad to hear about Prince, but sounds like it will be a great memorial bike ride tonight!

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    Jeff April 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    is “the city” really mourning? or just a few Prince fans?

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    longgone April 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Shift should title the ride ” Bowie and Prince” at least for this year.

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    GlowBoy April 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Bummed that I didn’t see this in time. I’m in Portland today, and would have loved to ride with some fellow mourners tonight.

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    GlowBoy April 21, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    BTW, the Morrison Bridge was purple tonight in Prince’s honor. Why wasn’t the Tillikum?

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      mran1984 April 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      It was a beautiful sight on the journey home this evening. I hope he found The Ladder. Bowie and Prince are on the same team, so versus simply does not apply.

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      Lillian April 22, 2016 at 7:38 am

      The morrison has bridge colors that change for anything within reason – you can even change them for your birthday for a small sum (around $150 or so). The Tilikum’s colors are based on the speed, temperature, and height of the river, and are not alterable in the same way.

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    Kat April 22, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I find the whole celebrity death cult very odd.

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      GlowBoy April 22, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Fine. If you don’t want to mourn the passing of an artist who had a major influence on you, then don’t.

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      longgone April 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Kat, I know what you mean…the one that baffles me most is Ronald Reagan!! How can be ?

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        Mossby Pomegranate April 23, 2016 at 9:28 pm

        Can we have anything on this forum not go ugly and political?

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    Rain Waters April 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I remember the exact moment I “got” Prince. Exactly the same as the moment I finally “got” Garcia and friends.

    100% total instantaneous influence.

    Words ?????

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