What Pedalpalooza ride are you looking forward to? Kickoff riders sound off (photos)

What Pedalpalooza ride are you looking forward to? Kickoff riders sound off (photos)

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Last night’s Kickoff Ride was one of the largest ever.
(Photos by M Andersen/BikePortland)

Pedalpalooza 2015 rolled into Portland Thursday evening with a swarm full of smiles as something approaching 1,000 people took over East Burnside for the city’s first big ride of the summer.

The route (led by Nathan Jones of Ride Yr Bike‘s regular Thursday night rides) snaked through central east Portland and through Lone Fir Cemetery before a stopover at Basecamp Brewery, where some peeled off and others continued toward festivities into the evening.

Before and after the ride, we buttonholed a bunch of participants to ask what rides this year they’re most eager to be part of.

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Franco Ortega (left): “The Bike Play.” Lianne Cray (right): “Probably the Ginger Ride. Because…”
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Maria Schur: “The New and Improved Unimproved Northeast Alley Ride. They did it last year and it was a little chaotic. But they improved it.”
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Nicholas Van Pless: “Sunset Mystery Ride. I can’t go to all the late-night party rides — I’ve got a jobby job.”
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Xander Almeida: “My sister-in-law is having the sixth annual Morrissey bike ride. I hate Morrissey as a person but I think he’s a great artist. So I’m ambivalent. Which maybe is appropriate for that ride.”
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Chas Gilbertson, Ken Eucker and Minh Tran: “Grilled By Bike.”
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Nate: “I’m doing the Pioneer Century this weekend. I’m pretty excited, and also a little scared. I’ve been drinking a lot and suddenly it’s bike-riding season.”
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Timo Forsberg (left): “The Learn How to Lead a Ride Ride.” Esther Harlow (right): “Heavy Metal Marriage. That sounds pretty romantic.”
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Anne Gire (right, with Daniel Broschert): “The long-exposure photos ride at night and everybody gets their LEDs.”
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Armando Luna: “Grilled By Bike. I didn’t go on it last year and I missed out big time.”
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Melissa Stone, center: “Prom ride.”
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Chris Chen (left): “I got up at 4 this morning for the coffee ride. I’m still paying for it.”
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Lillian Karabaic: “Heavy Hill Climb. Your bike has to weigh a minimum of 40 pounds and you climb up to Pittock Mansion. And if your bike isn’t 40 pounds then you have to weigh it down with alcohol.”
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Carl Larson: “The Bike Play is always the best.”
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Fred King: “Star Wars vs. Star Trek.”
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Erin Goldwater (left): “Puppypalooza. I love seeing dogs and other pets in bikes and trailers and backpacks.” Elodie Garcia (center): “The goats one.” Ben Duncan: “Bridge Pedal. I want to see Tilikum open. It’ll be in August.”
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Jolly Dodger (left): “The Rocky Butte Sunset. I’m going to look and see if it’s scheduled, and if it’s not I’m going to do it.” Joe Hill (right): “This one. It’s the beginning of it all.”
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Annie Stahl: “I don’t know. I’ve never done this. I’m playing it by ear.”
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Alyse McNeill (left): “Naked Bike Ride.” Kyle McCallum (right): “Rooftop. It’s the most mischievous ride.”

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As for the Kickoff Ride itself, it was a joy as usual, despite some slowdowns for unusual stunts like the trip through the cemetery. Some good times from the ride started at the meeting place, Salmon Street Fountain:

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And continued through the Better Naito multi-use path pilot project (yes, this is a tiny house with no brakes being towed by bikes):

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Over the Burnside Bridge:

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And up into Portland’s east side:

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Then through the cemetery:

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And back into the streets:

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And there was a trapeze being pulled by bike!

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A video posted by Esther (@theta444) on

The Kickoff ride is always one of my favorites of the year because more than almost any other bike event in Portland, it’s a gathering of the tribes. This was another great one and it got me stoked for the month to come.


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