Do you like bikes? What about free beer? What about a party of 2,000 cyclists?

On June 13th, the Pedalpalooza Kickoff party jumpstarts over a fortnight of bicycle rides, workshops and events with a huge party. (The world naked bike ride will leave from the party at midnight and return.) We need over 100 volunteers to make this event a success! All positions include fame, glory, and beer tokens.

Crowd Control/Medic     Control the masses, respond to injuries and needs.
12:00-1:30  3 volunteers needed
1:30-4:00    2 volunteers needed

Stair Cheerleader      Make sure people don’t get hurt or lost on the stairs.
12:00-1:30   6  volunteers needed
1:30-4:00    5 volunteers needed

Bag Check   Take care of people’s stuff, watch the strip awkwardly.
1:30-4:00  2 volunteer needed

Ready to volunteer? Login to http://www.shift2bikes.org/wnbr/wnbr.html to learn more and  email anomalily@gmail.com to sign up now!

Pedalpalooza Event Volunteer Coordinator


Palm Tree Ride

After a breakfast of re-heated Poutine (from Potato Champion, the Belgian Fries Cart on Hawthorne and 12th), I rode to the Seven Virtues Cafe on 60th and NE Glisan to meet Shawn Granton and folks for the 5th Annual Palm Tree Ride (pictures forthcoming!).  It was a sunny, beautiful day with harsh winds pounding out of the Gorge.  Riding East (and sometimes North) was trying, but of the approx. 28 people who started the ride, I only know of one person falling (taking pictures while riding can be hazardous).

Shawn talked several times about the beauty of evergreens and palm trees as sources of green and life in the winter.  Coming from Sacramento, I suppose I took this for granted.  But when I think about all of the Chinese Windmill Palms, Monkey Puzzle Trees, Ceders, Madrones, Southern Magnolias, eucalyptus, and the many other green plants across town, I think he is on to something.  There is a beauty in finding the things that make it through winter; like cyclists coming together in the wind, or a tall and dignified Cryptomeria…



I found myself inside a massive concrete shell
lit by glass tubes, with air pumped in, with
levels joined by moving stairs.
It was full of things that were bought and made
in the twentieth century. Layed out in trays
or shelves
The throngs of people of that century, in their style,
clinging garb made on machines,
Were trading all their precious time
for things.

by Gary Snyder
Regarding Wave
New Directions, 1967, 1970
LCCN: 72-122107

Rain rain go away…

Rain is upon us.  Joe has hung up his bicycle for the season.

Here in Portland it is wet (see showers and cold and scattered showers) and by wet I mean people at work (long time North Westerners) were shocked when I put on a rain jacket to spend my afternoon break taking a walk (“…but, it’s raining!”).  My neighbor and I talked after our rides home about clothes that didn’t dry, but how even a wet, cold bike ride beats driving.  And I think it’s true.  I feel pretty good on my bike in the rain.  Better, actually, in the cold and  very rainy than in warmer, lighter showers, because my bicycle rain jacket doesn’t breathe well (do any, really? If I didn’t have to ride over a bridge in the wind, I think I’d try a rain cape.).

Before moving to Portland, I’ll admit, I was worried about the rain and bicycling.  I read a lot of opinions and fretted over several products.  But it’s not so bad, actually, so long as you can change clothes at your destination; being wet isn’t so bad when your body is generating heat.  So I wear a long sleeve wool jersey, bike shorts under silk tights and 3/4 length cut off corduroys, and a rain jacket.  And I have come to really appreciate my full fenders!

Tour of Bike Shops

My friend A. from San Francisco is in town for the weekend and we spent the better part of the day touring bike shops around town looking for a good map, a small repair, wool jerseys, new pedals, and a mirror.  Eventually we found these things (and more), but passed on wool jerseys because they are just so expensive…  Maybe someday.

Anyhow, we started out the day by meeting at Coventry Cycle Works which specializes in Recumbents, but has a large selection of folding bikes, too.  From there we headed to Veloce Bicycles where they have a mix of new and old Road Bikes and some nice gear, too.  We got some friendly advise about the difference between some pedals and A. added Crank Bros Candy SLs to the list.  We headed to City Bikes Annex, a cooperative bike shop with two locations (a repair shop and a retail/rental annex) to see about getting A’s bottom bracket tightened up.  Turned out his right crank arm is stripped, so bad news there, but they did tighten up that loose cup.  I got one of these cool mirrors that I first saw at Rivendell Bicycle Works – it’s quite nice!  Seeking out a good deal on those Candy SLs, and still looking for wool, we headed to River City Cycles where there is a shrine to Eddy Merckx and free espresso for customers.  Still hoping for a better price, we tried REI (out of stock!) and the Bike Gallery downtown where he bought them after they offered to throw in a Voodoo Doughnut for each of us.  At this point, we got some pizza and then said goodbye over some espresso at the Stumptown on Belmont.

A. went to a wedding and I headed over to the Community Cycling Center to do some volunteer work (and had more pizza!).  Overall, it was a lot of fun.  Surprising that after living here for a year I hadn’t visited any of these shops, although I had passed them and heard about them.  Each was nice in its own way.  A. liked that they all had free water; I’m just happy to live in a town with enough bicycle riding to support not only these shops, but several others.

Q: What else would you like to say?

A: I’m 54 and looking back. My oldest daughter is a sophomore in college, my young one is an eighth grader. My marriage is terrific. I’m undereducated and am lucky that I can make a living. There are so many things I can’t do that I wish I could, and things I wish I knew more about. I wish I’d paid more attention in school, and I’m glad my girls do. I wish I could read 2 hours a day, but I’m lucky to get in an hour. I love books and bikes, and thank goodness for Rivendell, because I have a family I need to support, and without it, I’d be spec’ing comfort bikes for some market-driven bike maker somewhere, and it would make me really sad. [Grant Petersen in cycloculture; emphasis mine ]

I like Rivendell Bicycle Works and the bikes they put out and the gear they sell and the Rivendell Reader. This quote is from is one of the best GP interviews I’ve read/heard, so maybe check it out: http://cycloculture.blogspot.com/2008/08/grant-petersen.html

Stolen Harvest

Stolen Harvest; the Hijacking of the Global Food Supply
by Vandana Shiva

Looking for a fast-paced introduction to globalized agriculture and why intellectual property rights are just as bad for farmers as they can be for music lovers (think DRM, DRM, DRM…)? Here it is. Written eloquently by Vandana Shiva, this concise book covers a lot of ground in very few pages. In college we used to have a “Community Book Project” – this could be ours, readers, so head to your local library or independent bookstore… A rather important book given that current media coverage of the ‘global food crisis’ tends to blame ‘fat people,’ meat-coveting Chinese and Indian middle class people, and pretty much everyone except those who really control what we eat and how it is grown/produced/processed (companies and governments). Essentially, people are being given a raw deal and companies are benefitting from it and then people are taking the blame. Read this and think about how you can think past the easy-out and really get at the social and economic forces behind the ‘global food crisis’ and why maybe, just maybe, biotech isn’t the solution (and, if applied as a corporate-owned solution without incorporating the many other ideas about sustainability and autonomous small-farming, a serious culprit as well).