Nelson Vails, the first African-American to win an Olympic medal in cycling and recent inductee into the U.S Bicycle Hall of Fame will be in Portland next month. Vails, known to many by his nickname, “The Cheetah,” is fondly remembered by bike lovers not only for his silver medal in the 1984 Olympics but also for his role as a bike messenger in the 1986 film Quicksilver.
Vails will be in Portland to help raise money for Bicycles and Ideas for Kids Empowerment (a.k.a. Kids of BIKE), a local non-profit that uses bicycle racing and training to help kids from underserved communities have a better chance at academic and personal success.
Here’s the official event flyer
On Saturday May 4th, Vails will speak along with other local luminaries at 6:00 p.m. at Classic Pianos on SE 13th and Powell. Then On Sunday May 5th, Vails will join kids, staff and volunteers from the BIKE program for a ride. They’ll meet at River City Bicycles (a major sponsor of the group) at 1:00 pm and then head out on a bike ride that will tour northeast Portland. The ride will then head downtown and end up at Imperial, an award-winning restaurant inside Hotel Lucia that was developed by head chef (and bike lover) Vitaly Paley. Paley, along with River City Bicycles owner David Guettler and Bob Grummel of Grummel Engineering are the sponsors behind Vails’ visit.
Tickets for the ‘Nelson Vails Weekend’ benefit events are $20. For tickets and more information call Randy Word at (503) 484-7838 or email randy [at] wordsports [dot] com.