portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro


Beaverton Crtical Mass Lives

A brief report on the last two month's Beaverton Mass. This ride is alive and fun. Because of it's diminutive size, this ride offers a totally different experience to the Portland Mass.
1st Friday of the month at Sunset Transit Center.
Hurdfurd the Absurd and AQDIB's rider returned to Beaverton this month to keep Critical Mass alive in this rather car accursed part of the Tri-Country Metropolitan area.

Highlights from the December ride:
Going faster than the cars on 26 east bound, due to some construction or something somewhere. It's terribly satisfying going faster than cars on a normally high speed freeway. And the shoulder of 26 is comfortably wide enough for two riders abreast. The enthusiasm for the ride was high, with much shrieking, whistling, ringing of bells, and joyous cries of "We are the traffic!".
After a bit of representing, we turned tires east for a ride over the hills back to P-town proper. A beautiful and fortunate window in the rain, exquisite riding conditions. Coming up from Beaverton leaves one without decent shoulders in places, but nothing CM can't beat.

And from January's fine ride:
Despite interest from others, Hurdfurd the Absurd and AQDIB's rider were still the only two riders. Not a problem though, fun can be had on any scale. This time, it was democratically decided that a mall and sprawl tour was in order. So we just rolled around through parking lot after partking lot, claiming a lane on the road, and waving to the happy consumers (surely they're happy?). Beaverton has a lot of parking lots...I'm not sure if this poor community even has a real center. The finest of moments was riding around the Beaverton Transit Center maybe five times, then going under the waiting building for a triumphant bike lift. Judging by the lookds we received, I think we earned the respect of those awestruck public transit riders. We did run into a few of Beaverton's true transportation cyclists. They're out there, braving those miserable conditions, navigating between Starbucks, 24hr fitnesses, Walgreens, Rite Aids, through the endless parking lots. After our unguided tour, we worked our way back to dear old Sunset Transit Center and headed east, in pursuit of bicycle freedom and cold beer.

So what up yo? ...get yer peddling arses over to Sunset Transit Center for some roots Critical Mass fun. The lovely MAX makes getting to the other side of the hills a fluorescent-illuminated dream. Don't know Beaverton? Don't worry, we just ride around in circles until we figure out how to get back where we started. By reports, any cops that do show up are bike enthusiasts, and so make for pretty good company, as far as cops go. Compared to the crazed intensity, shrieking of expletives, and cop harrassment of the much bigger sister Mass to the east., it's a wonderful, relaxing tonic for your bike-loving soul.

Again, 1st Friday of every month at Sunset Transit Center. Meet at the top of the stairs in front of "Sharif's". Ride leaves at 6:30PM, because there's only so long you can wait around hoping more people will show.

...Beaverton has a lot of parking lots....let's try to fill them up with some bikes!
pedaling the shoulder of 26 rules! 06.Jan.2004 21:59


I tried to catch the first Beaverton Mass, and ended up passing the lot of them pulled over by "one time" on the shoulder... NEVERTHELESS riding the freeway faster than rush hour cars was a blast!! just watch yourself past those onramps.

I highly recommend you join this endeavour - beavertown has many interesting byways, curves, slopes and curbs for your cycling amusement.

From Portland to Beaverton Mass - "there and back again" 07.Jan.2004 20:40


[Note: the Beaverton Critical Mass has been riding at least since June of 2003]

September - the mighty ascent
Boom! Got wind of a Critical Mass in Beaverton. I informed ADQIB's rider, then huffed it out of Portland up Burnside, then made the descent down SW Barnes to Sunset Transit. It was warm and drizzle-free, but the speeding cars made for an unnerving ride. BTW, it was quite rewarding on the down-hill to pass all the cars locked up in traffic that only car-drivers know best. At the transit center, there was about a dozen bikers and half that many bike police. Shocked, was my mind, at how friendly the officers were. We rode along side the highway and also overtook a single-lane, country road. Yeow! Did that ever gather gawks and slow things up. The troupe stopped at a Starbucks for a flash-fire debate with a management-head about imported coffee and bikes, plus the inorganic-chemical-coffee. Needless to say, we all left for locally-operated coffee shop.

October - missed it

November - rain out?
I came via Fairview, Skyline, W Barnes and SW Barnes, instead of Burnside. This tour made for a beautiful ride, although the dark and wet, plus the cars made it harrowing at times. Arriving a little after six, I heard a bicycle bell, but saw only a couple of bike po. I spoke with them for a half-hour, before two more bike cops showed in a chirper mood, like they just came from a ride. The return ride was miserable, and I swore in every cardinal direction to never return. Can anyone tell me if they showed for November?

December - keeping it alive!
ADQIB's rider and an enthusiasm through cold, wet, and dangerous dark made this ride exhilerating. It wouldn't have happened at all if it were not for the insistence of ADQIB's rider. It was a no-po ride. On the west-bound hwy ride there was much squinting due to the water being kicked up by the rapidly moving cars, buses, and semi-trucks. We received a rewarding shout from a driver on east-bound Sunset HWY, "Are you crazy?" This driver then sped-up, only to quickly be stopped in car-traffic. We breezed past with smiling faces. The return to Portland up SW Barnes begs the question of a need for bike lanes. It was a rush coming down Fairview after a grueling, dark climb. Elation was the mood after meeting the Beaverton challenge.

January - Why stop now?
Yes, indeedy, it was only ADQIB's rider and Hurdfurd the Adsurb taking to the Beaverton roads and strip malls. It was mildly cold, very dark, but without wet-fall. Again, no po. Snow and gravel pushed off into the bike lanes prevented any travel there so we legally [O.R.S. 814.430 section 2c] took to the road. Some bike lane lines were so faded as to be non-existent in the dark. A few car-drivers teased us with near back-end swipes, but most were accomodating. Three squad cars were seen that night - one even paused for a long interval to discern whether our side-by lights were that of a strange car. As ADQIB's rider mentioned, there was a bike lift. More are surely in order. We MAXed it back to PGE Park, instead of over the snow-topped hill.

For the up-coming rides, work-preventing (because the weather has yet to stop us), we're there for you Beaverton!

PS - the meeting place is by Sharif's Coffee and Juice. We'll wait until 6:30pm.

Correction to above 07.Jan.2004 22:59


Oops! October 5 was when I initially partook of the Beaverton CM, and not september; I have not missed a Mass since. October was, I am told, the 3rd Beaverton CM.

Spring comes to Beaverton Critical Mass 14.Apr.2004 08:40

AQDIB's rider

The April Beaverton Mass saw lovely warm temps and lots of daylight, with a beautiful sunset from the sunset transit center and over the not so beautiful sunset highway. But still when you can ride faster than the traffic on a highway, how can a mass say no?
A nice meandering ride on some of Beaverton's bike lanes hither and thither. Ending at the local McMenamin's Cedar Hills. Half the mass then caught the MAX back to Washington Park for a slow bomb back into Portland. Join us in May!

May Beaverton Mass 14.May.2004 19:56

AQDIB's rider

Fun, fun, offbeat, "why are we here? ...to take back the road!" bike fun.
Corporate parks, freeways, fence hopping, bike lifts in front of intel, exploring greenways under high tension transmission lines.
What more could a outer suburban cyclist hope for?

And what better way to finish than a bomb from Washington Park on the way back east.

Join us in June, and get the fun rolling in anticipation of Pedalpalooza!