Pedal it (just a little bit)

The vaguely interested outdoor lover’s guide to Pedalpalooza

June 10, 2010

Billed as “two weeks of bikey fun”, Pedalpalooza, an unabashed celebration of spoke’ n’ spandex, which entails some 270 individual events (some more organized than others) goes full throttle today.

And with nearly every hour of each day jam-packed with happenings, this pedal-powered crazy train won’t stop chugging until June 27.

Inspect the lineup and you’ll discover events that are hilarious (a Bowie vs. Prince mobile dance party—that’s tonight by the way, so cue up the Ziggy Stardust, pronto), self-righteous (a “gas mask” ride—just in case you forgot that your car’s emissions are indeed lining our collective coffin), mysterious (no, seriously there’s midnight mystery ride, with locations TBA—and no doubt heavily dependant on access to mucho PBR), family-friendly (a Family Cycle Picnic in Ladd Park), and, well, just plain weird (a ride dubbed “Shia’s Slaves Midnight Special” encourages the following items: tiger stripes, conch shells, dreadlocks, chillums, third eyes, and tridents. Uh, sure. You first though, OK?).

But hey, it takes all kinds, right?

So what about outdoor fiends? Don’t worry there’s room on this nutty ride for you, too.

Here’s a quintet of to-do’s that will scratch your itch to go bike-wild, while actually being in the wild (or at least around some trees).

Great Blue Heron Rookery Sunset Ride
Tomorrow evening you can hook up with Portland Parks and Recreation for a 5.5-mile sunset ride around NOPO’s hidden gems like the Heron Lakes Golf Course and the Columbia Slough Trail, which shelters one of the largest Blue Heron rookeries in the city. Register with Karl Dawson at [email protected], or check in with Portland Parks for more info.

Trolley Trail Ride
On Saturday, set out to inspect Metro’s planned six-mile Trolley Trail before it (hopefully) gets completed. The ride, which departs from downtown Milwaukie, travels over mostly hard-packed dirt and heads south towards the Clackamas River taking in scenic wetlands along the way. Register for the ride with Paul Hanrahan at [email protected] or call 971-506-2579 for details.

NP Greenway Trail Tour
This Saturday you can also explore links that might one day make up another long-planned connector trail, the North Portland Greenway, which supporters hope will travel all the way from the Eastbank Esplanade to Cathedral Park near the St. Johns Bridge and even on out to Kelley Point Park. Check in with organizer Scott Mizee at [email protected], or surf over to for details.

Bike Camping 101
And if you drop by Colonel Summers Park in Southeast Portland next Wednesday evening (June 16), you can get the low-down on how to pull off a camping trip via your bike. Members of the group Cycle Wild, which often organizes such excursions, will be on hand for a two-hour breakdown. Lesson 1: leave that deluxe camp chair with the built-in beer koozie at home. Check in with Matt Picio at [email protected] to be sure, though.

Fig Leif Naked Run/Ride
But whatever you do, don’t forget the 5th annual Fig Leif 5K Naked Run/Ride. This flesh-flopping fete winds its way up—where else?—the Leif Erikson trail in Forest Park on Saturday night. Is such a thing even legal, you ask? I’m not entirely sure. But if the fuzz does show, you can always try experimenting with a few well-placed sword ferns. And don’t forget to remind the officers that, hey, it takes all kinds, right? The nudity begins at 7:30 p.m. at Forest Park, 500 yards beyond the NW Thurman Street gate.

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