The Ladds 500
The Ladd’s 500 is a continuation of a proud Portland legacy: Free fun on in the streets that’s open to all — and with bicycles as the thread stitching everyone together.
The “third first annual” relay drew a huge crowd to Ladd Circle Park on Saturday, which was the perfect base camp for the day’s activities. What is usually just a sleepy roundabout in a quiet residential neighborhood was enlivened with picnics, BBQ’s (by bike, of course), music, and Portlanders eager to shed winter, embrace a dry day, and enjoy each others’ company.
Lessons learned: show up early, bring extra water, snack before riding.
I’ve had the pleasure of participating in quite a few Portland bike events during visits from Seattle — Fiets of Parenthood 2012, 2013, and 2014, Disaster Relief Trials 2013, one and a half TNRs, and a few smaller Pedalpalooza 2017 rides — but my experience at the 3rd 1st Annual Ladd’s 500 was the Portlandiest bikiest thing I’ve done yet! There were so many amazing bikes: tall bikes, swing bikes, cargo bikes, mini bikes, grill bikes, and a lot of skateboards.
The Ladd’s 500 is a biking relay race of 500 laps around Ladd Circle with a bunch of rules I didn’t notice until after I got home (they were pinned as the top post within the Facebook event so they weren’t exactly hidden):
For the uninitiated, the event is a novel homage to one of Portland’s most beloved bike routes, neighborhoods and public spaces. Ladd Circle is a public park inside of a roundabout smack-dab in the middle of the historic Ladd’s Addition neighboorhood of inner southeast Portland. The idea behind the event — like many other events that make our local bike culture so interesting — is to simply have fun doing something silly on bikes with a bunch of other nice people.
With the 2017 edition coming this Saturday (4/15), we asked one of the event’s protagonists Eric Ivy to share more about it.
Here’s what he sent over: [Read more…]
The Ladd’s 500 went off without a hitch on Saturday. And given the reactions we’ve seen so far, it appears the organizers have hatched a grand new Portland tradition.