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 last year that the 2021 version would 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. Since more bike rides = more better,
Back on the books this year is the World Naked Bike Ride, scheduled for July 30. Last year the marquee event, meant to raise awareness of oil dependence and known to draw up to 10,000 riders plus lookie-loos, was replaced by smaller in-the-buff rides full-moon rides.
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 (John Carpenter films, for example), what they want to celebrate (such as one’s own birthday), or their favorite tunes (planned ride soundtracks include the Taylor Swift, Aminé, and David Bowie/Queen). 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 June rides we’re looking forward to.
June 3, 7:30 p.m.: Jock Jams
Starting at Laurelhurst Park, this 21-plus ride pays homage to the ESPN compliations of "the hottest crowd-pumpin' grooves of all time!" Wear sports stuff and get ready to rumble, get ready for this, prepare to be made to sweat, and make a plan to pump up both the volume and the jam.
June 4, 10 a.m.: Kid Let Pride Parade
This isn't specifically a bike ride, but bikes are welcome to join in for this Lewis Elementary Queer Student Association event that also features drag performers Poison Waters and Bolivia Carmichaels, with live music from Blaca Alegria.
June 24, 6 p.m.: Portland's Radical History Ride
Meet at Davis Street in the North Park Blocks to start this tour exploring Portland's radical past, touching on labor history, the Black Panther Party, and figures like John Reed, Louise Bryant, Marie Equi, and Julia Ruuttila.
June 26, 2 p.m.: Paddlecanooza
After promising a leisurely bike ride from Cathedral Park to Pirate Cove, the organizers admit they missed the memo on this being a bike fest, and by "bike" they mean "canoe."
June 28, 5 p.m., Heat Week Climate Resiliency Ride
Observe the anniversary of 2021's deadly heat dome by learning about the neighborhood inequities that make some places heat islands while others enjoy a protective tree canopy.