A few years ago, Portlander Keith Jones (who happens be executive director of Friends of Green Loop and operator of The Cart Blocks) was feeling nostalgic for the ’70s and “went down a Yacht Rock rabbit hole.” Next thing you know he was captain of the Yacht Rock Pedalpalooza Ride.
What is Yacht Rock? It’s a sub-genre of soft rock Wikipedia describes as having, “high-quality production, clean vocals, and a focus on light, catchy melodies.” It’s the type of music that makes you want to sing and dance while on a boat in a beautiful harbor — or ride a bike along a beautiful riverfront.
That’s what myself and many dozen others did on Friday night, with Keith and his co-captain Tonya Oyala leading the way.
A few years ago the two friends were making a playlist and realized they were both obsessed with the music of Yacht Rock icon Christopher Cross. “We spent an afternoon listening to that playlist and she was like, ‘This is fantastic! I want play this loud enough for everyone to hear it!’ We’re both bike people and we started talking about a Pedalpalooza ride,” Keith said.
With “Do That To Me One More Time” blaring from mobile speakers as we rolled en masse through downtown, onlookers ran out of bars to clap, smile and film us. After a loop through the Pearl District and then down to the Tilikum Crossing, the ride ended on Duckworth Dock where we watched the sunset and enjoyed fizzy drinks as we dipped our toes in the river and enjoyed the company of great tunes and great people.
Check out the official playlist and the full photo gallery below…