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 (bookstores, for example), what they want to celebrate (such as one’s own birthday), or their favorite tunes (planned ride soundtracks include the Taylor Swift, and OG Goth). 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 August rides we’re looking forward to.
Aug 1, 1:30 p.m.: Golden Girls Ride
Miami is nice, and we'd do this ride thrice. It starts at Tropicale, stops for cheesecake at Petite Provence, hits Fernhill Park for some trivia and a costume contest, and leaves time for dinner at the Shady Pines cart pod.
Aug 3, 5 p.m.: North Portland Taco Ride
In the name of all that is holy (by which of course we mean carnitas, al pastor, pollo, and asada), this third annual ride will tour the Portland quadrant/sextant with the highest concentration of standout taquerias. Follow the link on the event page to estimate how many tacos you'll eat (we're safely in the 5+ category) and indicate whether you're a meat or no-meat person. Bring cash or contribute online to cover costs.
Aug 9, 6:30 a.m., Inn Between Ride
This barhopping pedal will stop at those extra-hospitable drinkeries with "Inn" in the name, kicking off at the Sellwood Inn and ending up at the Magic Inn.
Aug 13, 6:15 p.m.: Rocky Butte Sunset Picnic Dance Party Ride
This monthly Irving Park–to–Rocky Butte ride has some serious elevation gain, but the reward is a dance party at the top. August's ’90s–’00s hip-hop soundtrack promises "all your favorites club jams, East Coast, West Coast, Dirty South! Biggie, Snoop, Luda, Outkast."
Aug 20, 7 p.m.: Dazed and Confused Ride
The Richard Linklater film celebrates summer's kickoff, but we could use a dose of Randall 'Pink' Floyd, Aerosmith, and redheads even this late in the season. No air raids or O'Bannions, though, thanks.