I “invented” my first bike BackPack from an old hiking pack when I was 16. When all my friends were getting their driving licenses, I was learning to bike tour. Biking gave me the freedom to go where I wanted-when I wanted. The car keys in my house, came with so many stipulations, biking was a better option.
I moved to Portland in 1974 by train and brought my bike with me. It wasn’t much of a bike city back then,.The city hired a full time Bike Program Manger in 1993 and since then bicycling has been given some budget priority.
I started a free bike lights program called Get Lit, for which I received a BTA Alice Award. I was also volunteer of the year at the Community Cycling Center. Bicycling has been in my blood for a long time and Portland was the perfect bike city for me.
In 2002 Portland hosted “Bike Summer” which helped kick start Portland’s love affair with Bike Fun. Everyone had so much fun that SHIFT and PEDALPALOOZA were created. Then in 2005, Jonathan Maus started the “BIKE PORTLAND” website. He did a story on the history of what helped Portland to create it’s Bike Culture.
I was lucky enough to be in Portland for this years PedalPalooza bike events. In the past I hosted, Bike to Skate, the Oxbow Campout (an introduction to bike touring) and co-hosted with Jill, The Dandy Warhol’s tour of Portland.
PedalPalooza culminated with the Multnomah County Bike Fair, Which really celebrated Portland’s Culture of BIKE FUN.
Some photos ofThe Sprockettes performing before hundreds of spectators. I always thought the bike jousting was a little dangerous, but always a crowd pleaser.
I received a grant to offer low cost helmets and lights and had a booth at the event, promoting what I thought was important-Bike Safety.
Portland’s best bike event by far is SUNDAY PARKWAYS and I was lucky enough to participate in 2 of them, while in Portland. It’s an opportunity to walk, run or bike Portland’s streets without cars. It’s a great event too, because it’s the one event in Portland that doesn’t have beer as the main ingredient., it’s all for the love of walking and biking.
These are some photos from this years Pedalpalooza kick-off ride.
Portland’s bike community wants you to do “everything” by bike.
Pedalpaloozaz’s most attended event for riders and spectators is the WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE. Why ride Naked? The worldwide bike ride highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. It’s also a lot of fun and it’s free for all!. I rode the first WNBR in 2004 and hadn’t ridden one since, Why? I have no idea. But since I’m moving, I thought this would be a great event to participate in.
My camera lens was dirty and I didn’t have a T-shirt to clean it, so my photos were poor to bad. They estimated there were 10,000 riders.
The streets were lined with spectators and their cameras
if you want some more WNBR photos try HERE
Pealpalozza ends again with the Multnomah County Bike Fair, but it doesn’t quite match the effort from years past. But I had a windup bike toy I’ve wanted to give to Dingo the Clown for 5 years and I thought he would be there.
There’s so much more to Portland’s bike culture that I can’t cover it all on this Blog. But I would like to mention just a few more of Portland’s iconic bike pillars that have contributed to making Portland the bike mecca of fun, that it is. Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Portland’s Bureau of Transportation, Jay Graves former owner of Bike Gallery, Nut Case Helmets (for making bike safety cool & fun) Cycle Oregon, Zoo Bomb, Urban Adventure League, Filmed by Bike, Bike Smut (why mention this? I don’t know why)
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I liked writing it. Your feedback and comments are always welcome, I’ve got some readers, but not so many writers.
Thanks for reading
NEXT? LEAVING PORTLAND OREGON: PART II, SELLING A LIFETIME OF STUFF