Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pedalpalooza 2013, Part B

Pedalpalooza 2013 is over.  It's sad to see it go, but it's also happy because it means summer is officially here.  The rain has subsided, the mercury is up high, and my summer legs have arrived.
The Chutes and Ladders ride was an absolute hoot.  We were supplied with maps and a die.  Ready, set, go, roll your die and ride that many blocks.  If the map and the chalk marking on the road tells you to, you can skip ahead on the course using a ladder or lose ground on a chute.  Look out for the double-chute!
Another great event I had the privilege of attending is the Rocky Butte Sunset Dance Party Potluck Picnic Ride.  This ride deserves its seven word title.  I joined a group of cyclists in the grass at Irving Park, but didn't recognize a single person.  Then the leaders welcomed everyone to this year's Bike Play ride and I flashed back to college days when I started freshman year in the wrong class.
After roaming around the park and finding the Rocky Butte riders, I was happy to see many friends in attendance.  We rode over to the butte and watched the clouds clear up just in time for a spectacular sunset show. The potluck picnic portion of the party was a total success.  I brought a box of honey stinger waffles to share and munched on a banquet of offerings from others, including a pretty orange daisy.
At the last minute, I was elated to be invited to the dropout prom.  The sprint there also put me on top of the world - from Rocky Butte to Colonel Summers Park in 20 minutes ain't bad.  I didn't have a dress or time to stop for one, but the orange daisy made for a nice corsage.
After a non-Pedalpalooza road ride around Sauvie Island the next day, I rushed home to change into a paisley dress and raspberry beret just in time to jet off to the Bowie vs. Prince ride.  Lots of purple and creativity were in attendance, like the papier mache Prince head pinata, the lady dressed as a dove with tears drawn on her face and someone dressed as a royal prince.
The sound system finally arrived and we rode and rocked out to our favorite tunes while pedestrians cheered us on.  One of the best parts of Pedalpalooza parade-style riding is overhearing murmurs of "I love Portland" from both witnesses and participants.  We met up with the Bowie group and let them beat us at tug of war.  Then, on to a dance off, which I missed as it was late and I was tail-light-less.
Up again the next day with another bike and another outfit, this time for my very own Pedalpalooza ride - the second annual Swim Across Portland.  The forecast called for rain again this year and it did sprinkle on us, but not enough to ruin swimming.  Five of us headed over to Grant Pool for splashy fun and succeeded.  The City of Portland public pools disappointed me for the next two pools, which were closed and gated, even though I had been assured in advance that they only ever close for thunder and lightening.
Leaving Pier Park in St. Johns, we lucked out to pass by bike polo.  It's come a long way in the time since I saw my first game.  The mallets appeared standardized and the ball was bright orange, making it much easier to spot.  Most of the wheels had spoke protectors and the riders were unbelievably adept at track standing and maneuvering the ball around the court and into the goal.
For my last ride of Pedalpalooza, I joined Erinne and friends for a frisky early ride up to Forest Park.  Gnar was shredded.  Bunny ears were mounted.  Fun was had and mud was everywhere.  And thus closes another Pedalpalooza packed full of fun and friends and play.