Yesterday was the kickoff to two weeks of nonstop mad bicycle love.
It all started with a "parade" leaving from Jamison Square at 7pm. A great location for staging too, what with the Farmer's Market across from the southeast corner of the square (complete with petting zoo and miniature pony rides for the kids!).
I meandered about the grassy area east of the fountain taking in the dazzling array of bike creativity on display: Unicycles, trikes, tall bikes, and highly unusual spaceage, imported German Human Powered Vehicles! ( http://www.greenash.net.au/images/go-one-velomobile). And most of them decorated in innumerable ways: a triple decker tall bike with "wings" intended to look like an old biplane, the rider complete with aviator goggles; a "chariot" a la ancient Rome; numerous "xtracycles", one with a mobile soap bubble generator (the kids loved it!), and on and on.
Our route took us up to NW 23rd, then back down Burnside across the bridge, ending up at Colonel Summers Park. The ride went without a hitch! The valiant "Belligerantes" (sp?) (a tactical team of highly skilled cycling safety experts) flawlessly insured the smooth flow of traffic. The atmosphere was refreshingly wholesome, a real family event, full of parents with the kids, and both cops and belligerent motorists seemed scarce.
Later, the Grand Parade gave way to the Night of the Living Donut Ride, captained by the much admired ambassador of Portland cycling, Timo ( link to bikeportland.org). Starting from Staccato Gelato in Northeast (which made a special batch of Pedalpalooza donuts by prior arrangement -- they don't usually make donuts on Thursdays!), we wound our way to multiple donut debaucheries, including visits to various "donut" shaped intersections, and to the (in)famous Voodoo Donuts in downtown, a real late night donut joint on Alberta, and finally the Airport! (I bailed out before reaching the latter.)
What a ride. What a typically Portland event!
Pedalpalooza has come to represent what we all love about Portland: spontaneity, free spirit, and creativity.