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Subscriber post: Ode to the Thursday Night Ride

Subscriber Post by Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) on September 27th, 2017 at 9:34 am

Thursday Night Ride - Week 52-53.jpg

It rolls from Salmon Street Springs every Thursday around 7:30 pm.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The dream of the nineties is somewhat alive in Portland.

In Portland, cars most certainly exist. Except for once a week on Thursday, when people ride bikes or double-decker bikes. They ride unicycles. They ride skateboards!

No matter what our President tweeted, no matter what forest is on fire, no matter what ODOT has done that week to make it easier for people to use cars, the Thursday night ride rides on. It does not care about liberalism, conservatism, that week’s gross domestic product numbers, or really much of anything. You do not even really need a bicycle (as long as you are a fast jogger) or a cent to your name.


The only requirement is that you are you and you are enjoying yourself. All dirty clown frowns must be turned upside down.

So if you are feeling blue or if you ever find yourself lost in a city where you could have sworn that building did not exist a week ago, remember that the Thursday Night Ride will always be there as long as you are there and if you are not that is fine too. Thursday night will continue long after we do.

The ride meets every Thursday, 7pm, at the Salmon Street Fountain in the Waterfront Park, and starts rolling after 7:30.

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  • bikeninja September 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Thursday Night Ride! All your roads belong to us!

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  • joan September 27, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for this! Can I suggest you all add the meeting time and place? Tedder? As someone who has never joined, it took me a while to find that information myself recently.

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  • bikeninja September 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

    What I love about the Thursday Night Ride! is that it is the opposite of much of what plagues our society. It is a pure gathering of like minded ( but diverse) people to enjoy the night, the sky, the streets and each other without mediation or hierarchy. No entry fees, reservations, donations or sponsorships are required because it is outside the consumer money economy. There are hardworking people who make it happen but no steering committees or boards bringing down proclamations or rules, just communal action to achieve happiness and joy and freedom one night a week. Taking the lane, taking the road, rolling through intersections is just a tiny jab at the establishment that wants to pen us in under cable bills, rent, insurance and junk fees. We show to ourselves and to those still trapped in their metal cages watching ,that the human spirit is still alive and will eventually triumph over the machine.

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    • Pete September 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Just don’t look too ‘San Francisco’! 😉

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    • Lester Burnham September 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Good point. Don’t be a slave to anything except that iPhone!

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    • chris October 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

      People still pay for cable TV? yuck. I gave that garbage up in 1993.

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  • TJ Baxter September 27, 2017 at 11:42 am

    My names TJ im the ride leader for TNR and have kept Thursday Night Ride alive and going through the winter months when we had only 8 people and a foot of snow to the Kick Off Ride for Pedalpalooza where we had 1500 riders!

    This article made me really happy to read and yes we will continue to ride every thursday rain snow shine! We are TNR see you at the fountain; come join us!

    LOVE THIS QUOTE: “The only requirement is that you are you and you are enjoying yourself. All dirty clown frowns must be turned upside down.”

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  • Bike Curious September 27, 2017 at 11:59 am

    This is a great opportunity for an after party for the folks who plan to physically make Naito better this week.

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  • Kiel Johnson
    Kiel Johnson September 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I played off some of the lyrics from the Portlandia Dream of the 90s music video. When this video first came out Obama was president, Sam Adams our mayor, and I just had a general optimism about the world and this song represented so much of what Portland meant to me. Lately, that feeling that things are moving forward is missing. Thanks to everyone who makes the TNR a place where those worries go away.

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  • Terry D-M September 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    We are by far the most diverse, and particularly queerest, regular bike ride in town. My husband and I consider it “date night.” In most group rides visible gay male presence is not there for the viewing, not to mention women…. But TNR is different as happy rainbows abound.

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  • emeeeeeeeeeeee September 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    h to the yeah!

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  • RH September 28, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Where does the ride end? Is it a loop?

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  • Joe September 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    love the Thursday Night Ride. @RH tonights ride will do 9miles and loop back to the start. * thanks for doing the story on BP * 🙂

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