In Portland, summer means Pedalpalooza. Started in the aftermath of the international festival Bikesummer’s stop in Portland in 2002 (an event that was so much fun something like it simply had to happen every year), Pedalpalooza is normally just one month of themed rides and two-wheel celebrations. Organizers announced in April that the 2021 version will be spread over three months, to make up for the canceled 2020 fest and in the hopes that more rides on the calendar might mean pandemic-friendlier, smaller groups per ride.
Not on the books this year is the World Naked Bike Ride. Instead of the usual marquee event, meant to raise awareness of oil dependence and known to draw up to 10,000 riders plus lookie-loos, there are smaller in-the-buff rides planned for every full moon night this summer.
The WNBR is a classic Portland bucket-list item, but organizing your own ride should be on that to-do list, too. Anyone can post a ride to the Pedalpalooza calendar based on what they’re into (Bloody Marys, for example), what they want to celebrate (such as one’s own birthday), or their favorite tunes (planned ride soundtracks so far include the Spice Girls, a Taylor Swift/Katy Perry double shot, and the ’80s in general, with a Spotify playlist riders can add to). Organizers should make clear if a ride is 21-plus or family-friendly, and what rider expectations should be for COVID precautions.
Here are a few July rides we’re looking forward to.
July 5, 12, 19 & 26, 10:30 a.m.: Slide Ride
Two local clowns (kid-birthday-party celebs Olive Rootbeer and Dingo Dizmal) lead some easy, family-friendly loops around Creston Park, hopping off to hit the slide. Keep a few bucks in your pocket in case they feel like making some balloon animals afterward and you feel like tipping.
July 7, 8:30 p.m.: The Big Lebowski Ride
Sometimes, there's a ride, well, it's the ride for its time and place. It fits right in there. And that's this ride in honor of the 1998 Coen brothers film.
July 10, 11 a.m.: Boba, Báhn Mì & Desserts
This loop ride will fill you up with lunch and goodies—check the event page about preorder details, and bring your wallet.
July 14, 5:30 p.m.: Young Professionals in Transportation Rose Lane Ride
Celebrate buses with bikes (and roses and red garb, if you like) on this "wonk" ride with guests from PBOT, TriMet, and Toole Design, talking about the city's new red-painted dedicated bus lanes.
July 31, 11 a.m., Bikes and Film Cameras Ride
A rare registration-required ride, this one promises stops at spots that are good for documenting on film-film, and will end near a St. Johns camera shop where photographers can drop off their rolls to be developed.