June 2009 started off with a bang as I started integrating bike tours with the new airiel tram that floats between the two OHSU campuses. Riding in the modern bubble shaped pod gives you a fantastic 360 view of the greater Portland area and a brilliant skyline in evening light. Thus the “Sunset Tour” was born. Something I will push all the way in to September. I also participated in another Pedal Potluck Picnic with the Urban Adventure League and had a grand time. We had some good rental and tour business days leading up to a Bicycle Business League meting on the 5th about formation and possible membership guidelines.
I had good session with the Small Business Development center in the afternoon and had another good talk with David of Portland Walking Tours. An evening flat repair customer wrapped up the day. June 6th I was invited to join Mayor Adams and his staff in the Grand Floral Parade.
I arrived at the coliseum just in time. I met the Mayor’s staff members (the ones I had not met yet) and we had a great ride through town. After the procession I had the shop open till the evening and enjoyed the crowd in Chinatown due to the Dragon Moon Festival next door. On Sunday the 6th I sent out a press release about my participation in some upcoming events and had a meeting in the evening with a gentelmen from a tour agency. Early in the next week I had a few rentals each day and I noticed more and more mult-day rentals. Wednesday was the annual Garlactica Festival in Eden, Utah that my friend Pete hosts at Sandhill Farm.
Friday June 12th started off the annual 17 day bike festival in Portland called Pedalpalooza. The events are organized on a large on-line calendar that anyone can access to add an event they want to host/ lead. I signed up to lead a few rides during the festival and started off with a Portland City Tour in the afternoon.
Here is a review of the ride posted by Michael on the Shift List.
Portland City Tour Friday 12 Jun 2009 12noon – 2pm
Evan Ross led about 14 of us through the urban jungle of downtown Portland and managed to keep everyone happy and safe. No one fell on the tracks, and there were a lot of them. One nice (unadvertised, I think, or at least I wasn’t expecting it) feature of this ride was a focus on developing urban riding skills, mainly negotiating streets busy with motorized, non-motorized and pedestrian traffic. We jumped off the bikes and onto the sidewalks, off the sidewalks and back on the bikes, biked along side tracks, crossed over tracks, encountered MAX trains and streetcars, at least one pushy pedestrian and one speed-demon cyclist who seemed put out that we had the temerity to take the Hawthorne Bridge at a relaxed pace, and it all went off without incident. Happily, no angry drivers. Our route took us from the Vera Katz statue on the Esplanade over the Hawthorne Bridge, north on SW 4th, west on SW Morrison to Pioneer Courthouse Square, south on Broadway a block or two, then over to SW Park, which we rode up to PSU (passing someone in a cap & gown – congrats to the graduate). Back down Park across Burnside some where and east toward Old Town/Chinatown — at this point I lost track of where exactly we were, Everett maybe. We went down some little stretch of NW 1st I hadn’t been on before and did a kind of loopy thing to get across Naito Pkwy, at which point Evan suggested we write to PDOT ( Portland Dept. of Transportation) to ask for a better crossing at that juncture. (In order to do that, I’m gonna have to go back and figure out exactly where we were.) Then south along Waterfront Park back over the Hawthorne, back to the statue. The second ”all-MUP” leg for those who wanted more (and a good 8 or 10 of us did) was a more straight forward loop south down Springwater, over the Sellwood Bridge, north up the Greenway back over the Hawthorne, ending back at the statue. Met a nice couple from New York who just arrived yesterday and were delighted to find out about Pedalpalooza, rented bikes on the Waterfront and are all set to partake. I made a bid for them to write to the tourism board and tell it they planned their trip around Pedalpalooza and talk about how much they spent while here. 🙂 A couple of us tried to tell whatever scary stories we could about the Sellwood being ready to collapse, but we didn’t manage to scare anyone enough to chicken out of crossing the bridge. It was fun to try. Still, I could tell the woman from New York was a little nervous — gotta keep those New Yorkers on their toes! (Okay, really she was more nervous about the width of the sidewalk than about the bridge falling into the Willamette.) My only suggestion for improving the ride would be to make a few more stops, even at the expense of covering as much ground, for greater focus on Portland highlights and history. It’s pretty tough with a group that size, though — you really need a smaller, more manageable contingent. I imagine Portland Bicycle Tours rides for paying customers are more informative and this was just a taste. Nevertheless, it was really impressive how Evan led a diverse bunch of people with different cycling comfort levels, different experience levels, and differing degrees of familiarity with Portland all around downtown with nary a problem — and made it look easy. All in all, a really nice orientation-type ride — definitely belongs toward the beginning of Pedalpalooza, and I hope it becomes a fixture. – Michael
After the ride I had the shop open until I went over to the Wend Magazine kickoff party. This was a great event – also nice to see a lot of friends from the adventure sports community gathered together. The day just kept going with a Midnight Mystery Ride – Pedalpalooza style with a great turnout and bumpin stereo bike-trailer systems for mobile dance party.
Saturday June 13th was the World Naked Bike Ride. I had volunteered with Shift to do bike loan for the event and I used my bus to host an on site service center and bike loan station. I was able to bring several bikes, took deposits but no charge, and still go on the ride. Right before the ride left there were several people who came by with flats and I helped them get back on the road. Then, J-Maus and I climbed on top of the bike bus and took some photos. I had to wait until the last few people were taking off to keep an eye on the bus, but was able to ride the route and pass most people to make it back first and start checking bikes in. The ride took about an hour and I saw thousands of smiling faces. What a great turnout – I heard later that there were about 5,000 naked people riding together at night through the streets of Portland.
On Sunday the 14th I unloaded the mobile rental station and had a short ride in the Gay Pride parade with the Mayors office again. Then I headed off to lead my own Portland Parks Tour for my second Pedalpalooza event. Here is the Shift List ride report/ review of the event:
We had great weather and smiling faces on Sunday’s Portland Parks Tour. Our route took us South from the Tom McCall waterfront park, past the pride parade, and across the Hawthorne Bridge to the East Side of the River. We then traveled up Salmon St. – checking out what exactly makes a bike boulevard special before stopping at Col. Summers Park to look at the site for the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair. Next, we rode past the Community Garden and off to the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. After a quick jaunt up in to the park to see the reservoirs and the Portland skyline, we traveled North to share some history and duck pond facts at Laurelhurst Park. After a good break – we found another bicycle boulevard to ride and headed down Ankeny St. Again focusing for a minuet on local cycling infrastructure and pointing out the bike shop co-op on the way. Up and over the Burnside Bridge took us back across the river for a final loop through Old Town/ China Town and back to the Tom Mcall Waterfront Park. About 12 participants and lots of stops for history and park facts. Thanks to Portland Bicycle Tours for leading another awesome ride and thanks to all the riders! – Mary P.
We had a great Zoobomb session Sunday night, stopping at legoland and crawling inside new spaces.
Monday the 15th we had a Bicycle Business League meeting at Vendetta and talked about the mission statement and definition through action. I had a long talk with Ryan about the upcomming Portland Bicycle Share project and decided to purchase the domains.
On Tuesday I updated my business log and on Wednesday had an excellent game of Bike Polo. On Thursday I filled out some ride reports and Friday the 17th of June I lead another Pedalpalooza event: The Portland Sensory Ride. Also known as ” Smells, Sights, Sounds, Tastes, and a touch of Portland”.
Here is another Ride Review:
We had 8 people today on the sights, sounds, smells ride around Portland and we managed to finish right before the rains came. It all started at a certain noise making sculpture in the waterfront park near the West end of the Steel bridge, and we got to kick it off with the thunder of local trains. We crossed the Steel Bridge and traveled north on Williams Ave up to Peninsula Park to take in the sweet smells of Portland’s oldest Rose Garden. After some tasty snacks and a little park history we headed back down Vancouver to go East on Shaver st. South on 7th ave and we landed in Irving park for a roll-around. We continued down 7th ave past a statue “Ideals” at the Oregon State Building. We crossed 84 at 12th and cruised up to the bread factory for a whiff. Then we headed down 7th again to Portland Coffee Roasters to smell their work. Back up 6th to Ankeny st and West to the Tazo tea factory. This was by far our most potent smell stop and we made sure to take a good break for cookies. We then crossed Stark street on to Water ave, and headed down to Salmon St. to ride the East Bank Esplanade. We stopped once more to take in the sights before crossing the Steel Bridge back to our starting point. Many happy faces and some new friends. Thank you Portland Bicycle Tours. – Jamie Digs
Afternoon Green Buildings Bike Tour with the Office of Sustainability and Planning. We rode from the Eco Trust building after a good look at their on site storm water management including the green roofs and rain gardens. After that we headed down 10th to Overton St. Then rode across Natio to the Waterfront path along the NW stretch. We went down all the way to the RR crossing near the Steel Bridge and down to look at the White Stag Bldg. and the Japanese War Memorial. We looped back North to cross @ the Steel Bridge and stopped across the river to look at the 1st and Main Bldg and the “black box”. Continuing South, we rode past the Hawthorne crossing on ramp to the Boathouse Building on the East Side. Then we crossed the Hawthorne Bridge and headed to Bond Ave to work our way towards the SW Waterfront Bldg. groups. We ended at the community garden to talk about what it means when you “build” a community for these new settlements and what the infrastructure means to the people that will inhabit them.
Another long summer day is noted at midnight rolls around and I found myself still networking with bikey folks about upcomming events. I met up with Scott B. of the BTA and Roger G. of the City on a Dropout Bike Club ride that had merged with the annual Bowie VS Prince Mobile Dance Party and had a great talk about the National Safe Routes to School Conference in August.
On the 20th of June we had an early morning meeting for Multnomah County Bike Fair set up that went well and we covered the layout and details for the day.
I set up a new FLICKR account – Portland Bicycle and loaded the magic school bus again for Sunday Parkways.
June 21st – Solstice and Sunday Parkways. I shared a space with Bike Farm for this event and was right next to my friend Brian at Bike Empowered. I had a lot of posotive comments on the bike shop and people loved the bus. Lots of people taking pictures and business cards. I spent all day networking, renting bikes, doing some maintenence and repair and visiting with friends stopping by to see my booth. Back at the Shop in the evening, I unloaded the bus, put the shop back together and built up a new Bike Polo bike to completetion – almost. Another beautiful night to Zoobomb, I lasted all three runs.
June 22nd. 2009. Shop Open as usual For the next week I painted my short bus in anticipation for the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair.
It took an entire day to wash the bus, another day to sand it, a day to wash again and start masking, a day to finish masking and start painting, and another whole day of painting. Later it would take one more day to touch up the paint and put the mirrors and reflectors back on that i had taken off during the masking process.
June 27th 2009 the Multnomah Co. Bike Fair. I volunteered to be set up coordinator and had to arrive early with the bus already packed and the mobile bike station ready. I had a great fair helping people place and set up their booths and communicating with all the vendors. What a great networking opportunity.
There was a great vip afterparty but everyone who was involved was so tired that it was super mellow. There was a midnight mission to Pirate Island for a little celebration off the radar.
The last three days of the month I had some great rental business, and did some work on my local business listings on-line. Lots of winding down from the epic Pedalpalooza experience 2009 but the summer just getting started.