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

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.

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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