Portland’s annual open-source bike festival ended Monday with a cookout picnic in Woodlawn Park, complete with a vertical flamethrower rigged atop a huge bike-towed grill and a dozen handmade awards for the best rides and riders of the year.
The awards had been chosen by an online ballot. The ballot, like the awards themselves, were created by volunteers for Shift, the nonprofit that organizes the festival each June.
The Best Bike award went to the Fuzzy Monster Bike ridden by Splob, also known as Dan. Dan said Monday that he lives in Oakland, Calif., but visits Portland a few months each year for family reasons and always tries to make sure it’s in June.
“It’ll be back,” he said of his amazing bike.
This year’s massive edition of Bowie vs. Prince, the final one of the series, was named the Most Epic ride of 2016.
Tour de Hives, a ride to various beehives, was named the Most Informative ride of the year.
The massive Thursday Night Ride was honored as the Most Inviting ride of the year for drawing riders of all backgrounds.
The Working Theatre Collective’s Bike Play (this year’s theme: Adventures in Bikesitting) took home a prize for Best Collaboration.
The Bikin’ Betties, who led all-ladies’ rides on Monday nights, won Best All-Gal Ride — one of several award categories created via the contest’s “Make Your Own Award” category.
The long beloved Dropout Bike Club won the award for being the Most Prepared.
Scott Batchelar took home the prize for the Most Prolific Pedalpalooza participant of 2016. “He led more rides than I rode,” emcee Carl Larson said in respect.
Gerald Fittipaldi was honored as Rookie of the Year, with a special citation for his work on local bike advocacy.
Dave McHappywheel won for Best Costumed rider of the year.
Swim Across Portland (which visited public outdoor pools) won for the Wettest ride of the year.
The Magical Unicorn Ride won for Best Kids Ride.
Liuba Vevsali was named the Naked Endurance Champion.
Eric Iverson of Grilled by Bike was named the festival’s Bringer of Fun.
And Michelle Z, who weathered a health challenge to join three group rides, was honored as the Most Intrepid rider of the year.
At the close of the ceremony, Ken Southerland took time to recognize Larson, who he said had been a fixture in Portland biking since he spent two weeks on someone’s front porch in 2006 and then the next 10 years claiming he was only visiting for a short while. Larson is moving to New York State next month.
“This is going to leave a hole,” Southerland said, choking back tears and giving Larson a customized plaque.
Monday’s event closed with a round of cheers and applause followed by, of course, a bike ride.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – email@example.com
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Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.