There’s nothing like a massive bike ride to make Portland feel like, well, Portland again. After a Covid-induced hiatus last year Pedalpalooza got off to a spectacular start last night as hundreds (thousands?) of people joined the Kickoff Ride.
As we rolled through the streets of inner southeast neighborhoods and gathered at Colonel Summers and Laurelhurst parks there was a refrain I heard several times: Portland is back! Or in the words of one of our Instagram friends: “Whoa Portland’s still cool.”
And after missing out on so much social cycling this past year, spirits soared on sun-soaked streets. The crowd was as large as any I could remember. And as per usual, Pedalpalooza draws a diverse crowd of bike lovers. On last night’s ride there was just about every kind of bicycle and person that you could imagine: Tall bikes, tiny bikes, three-wheeled trikes, electric bikes, fast bikes, slow bikes — there was even a sidecar-chariot-fat-tire-ebike. The people riding them were just as varied.
The group assembled at Colonel Summers Park (a location steeped in local bike culture lore) and rolled out through the Ladd’s Addition roundabouts and rose gardens. The ride continued along Water Avenue near OMSI before heading north through the Central Eastside Industrial District where it connected to Ankeny for the ride east into Laurelhurst Park.
Picnics started promptly in the lush forests of Laurelhurst. Music, laughter, new friends, and old ones. People passed out flyers for their upcoming rides and the drinks and conversations flowed for hours. As the sun set on Pedalpalooza’s first day, the portable disco ball light emerged (thanks Cory!) and the dance party thumped into the night.
If you want to get in on the fun, check the Pedalpalooza calendar and follow @Pedalpalooza on social media. See you out there!
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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