Former Portlander and bike fun creator, Zed Bailey, has died

Zed Bailey at Velo Cult in 2013.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Zed Bailey beamed into Portland in 2012 and wanted to take our already legendary bike fun scene to the next level. They were bursting with creativity and volunteered to lead rides and help galvanize the spirit of other bike-loving Portlanders.

Sonder, who was also known as Cory or Zed Bailey, died last month in Hilo, Hawaii at the age of 41. According to sources who confirmed the details with family and the Hilo Police Department, Zed died by suicide.

Zed moved to Portland from Salt Lake City Utah where they lived for eight years. While in Utah, Zed created the “SaltCycle” blog and built a community around cycling. The blog is now defunct but the SaltCycle Facebook Group is still active and has over 2,600 members.

While in Portland, Zed was a regular attendee of Zoobomb and in 2013 took a leading volunteer role with Shift, a local nonprofit that promotes free bike fun and hosts events like Breakfast on the Bridges, Midnight Mystery Rides, and Pedalpalooza.

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‘It’s not called ‘Coast”: Zed Bailey on bringing new energy to Shift, starting tonight

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Zed Bailey

Bailey (in character, not his usual garb) at
Open Bike Night in January.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Zed Bailey doesn’t know if anyone will show up to Velo Cult tonight to talk about the future of bike fun in Portland. He doesn’t know because he didn’t put the event on Facebook.

Instead, tapping the low-tech xerocracy that drove bike-fun events in Portland ten years ago, he photocopied a bunch of neatly designed flyers for “Shift 3rd Wednesdays” from July through December and handed them out at PedalPalooza rides.

It was an invitation for more people who like bikes to get involved with Shift, the loose team of volunteer bike lovers responsible for Portland’s monthly Midnight Mystery Ride, for Breakfast on the Bridges, for PedalPalooza and, in many ways, for putting Portland’s bike scene on the map. It’s a ten-year-old organization in need, many of its organizers say, of a burst of new energy and direction — a burst of energy that Bailey says he’ll be working to create as its new facilitator, starting tonight.

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