Armando Luna is everywhere. From monthly advocacy meetings to late-night party rides — this guy soaks up the cycling scene.
During Pedalpalooza — the month-long, grassroots festival of creative bike rides and events — he kicks it up a notch. So far this month (we’re 21 days in), he’s attended 29 rides.
I recently asked a few questions to learn more about him and his impressive Pedalpalooza prowess…
What’s your background?
I moved to Portland in 1996, fell in love with it and then fell into a job at OHSU, where I still work. I commute by bike every workday from my home in Hollywood. I am grateful for being able commute by bike, for OHSU partnering with Go By Bike bike valet, and for my work paying bike riders to ride to work. (And the tram rides!)
How long have you been doing Pedalpalooza rides?
I don’t really know! I don’t remember the early years, mostly because I was a new dad, that sort of took everything over. When the kids were young they ended up attending a daycare downtown, so when they were old enough I’d pull them in a trailer to daycare, then ride to work.
How many rides have you done this year?
My goal is to do at least one ride/event a day. Thirty days of Pedalpalooza, at least 30 rides/events. As of today, Tuesday June 21st, I have done 29 rides/events. I count an event as something like Breakfast on the Bridges or the Squirrel Jam.
How do you fit them into your schedule?
I am recently divorced, so when my kids are with me it’s a bit more challenging to ride. I always invite them to every ride I go to. They’ve done a few with me so far, but I’d rather hang out with them so if they are not into riding I try and pick what might be a shorter ride or event, or I just bail early. When they’re not with me I exhaust myself trying to do as many rides as possible.
What have been your favorite memories so far this year?
Riding with two friends on a three seat “tandem” (what do you call these?) for the Alameda Stair Climb Ride. I attended my first Prom [the Dropout Prom] this year — it was spectacular! The Dr. Who Ride was super fun, even though I have never watched the show and don’t know what a “dalek” or “tardis” is. I enjoyed the Summer in SoPo ride because it was the ride leader’s first ride ever, and her enthusiasm carried the ride.
What’s one assumption about Pedalpalooza people get wrong?
I usually hear “What is Pedalpalooza?” more than I hear about assumptions. I tell people who ask that: “Have you heard of Sunday Parkways? It’s fun like that, but themed rides every day!”
What are your picks for must-do rides coming up?
I’m leading my first ever ride this year — the Twin Peaks Ride. I made a movie trailer and got some great prizes for giveaways. Everyone in Portland should do the WNBR [World Naked Bike Ride] at least once. Dad’s on Vacation, Karaoke Ride, another Goth Ride, and I hope to take over the Ding Ding Ride, because it’s not on the calendar.
Any other thoughts to share?
Pick a ride that interests you, and go! Bring your family. Tell other participants it’s your first ride so other riders will look out for you or answer your questions. Don’t feel like you have to finish the ride if you’re not into it. Another one of my goals this year was to pick rides I wouldn’t normally pick.
There’s a whole week of Pedalpalooza left, so take Armando’s advice and don’t miss out. For more inspiration, follow his fun bike adventures via @dudeluna on Instagram.