THE TRUTH IS, you never really know how a Pedalpalooza ride is going to play out. Sure, people will be shivering and halfway drunk at the World Naked Bike Ride, and there will be more than one Aladdin Sane costume at the Bowie vs. Prince Ride. But part of the fun of Pedalpalooza is that the tenor of these parades can vary from year to year. Some rides will gallantly refuse to leave a member behind, while others (I'm looking at the entirely pleasant, tuxedoed leader of last year's Champagne Ride) will unceremoniously pedal away from Gold Dust Meridian without you.
These are our best guesses for the bike rides you'll want to hit during this year's festival. Check them all off, or pick your own from the full calendar. It'll be a fine time, either way. DIRK VANDERHART
THURSDAY, JUNE 5
Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride—It begins. Shovel all the angst you've built up since last year's Pedalpalooza into 2014's first, joyous outburst.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park, SE 20th & Belmont, 7 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 6
Superhero(ine) Ride—You're going to be dressing up a lot in the next three weeks. Set a precedent early. Prioritize tights.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park, SE 20th & Belmont, 8 pm
SATURDAY, JUNE 7
Pedalcar Karaoke III: Ride of Epic Ballads—We favor any ride that reimagines/perverts the bicycle's intended use. And we favor karaoke. WINNER.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park (of course), SE 20th & Belmont, 2 pm
So Much Nakedness—The storied World Naked Bike Ride has birthed (arguably too) many imitators. Various smaller naked rides populate today's calendar, as well as a Bikini Ride and a Fig Leif (Erickson Road) Ride. We recommend giving in to the peer pressure—to whatever degree you're comfortable.
World Naked Bike Ride starts at Normandale Park, NE 57th & Halsey, 9 pm; official afterparty sponsored by the Mercury, 2410 N Mississippi
SUNDAY, JUNE 8
Port-Tucky Derby—This ride aims to recreate all three stages of horse racing's Triple Crown. We don't know what that means, but we like it.
Ride starts at Peninsula Park, 700 N Rosa Parks, 11 am
Bizarro 122nd Avenue Ride—The guys at bikeportland.org kick off a series of articles on East Portland with a ride envisioning how 122nd Avenue might become less terrifying for cyclists.
Ride starts at Jody's Bar & Grill, 12035 NE Glisan, 4 pm
TUESDAY, JUNE 10
Grilled by Bike—See the Pedalcar Karaoke ride above regarding our fondness for perversions of the bicycle. This ride involves "rolling grills and maybe a keg bike." Beautiful.
Ride starts at Ladd's Circle, SE 16th & Harrison, 7 pm
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11
Foster Road Goes to City Council—Want to see improvements to SE Foster? Why not make your voice heard at a Portland City Council meeting this afternoon that will consider hefty changes to the treacherous roadway? There's a ride afterward, of course.
Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th, 2 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
Bowie vs. Prince Ride—An enduring Pedalpalooza classic, wherein Prince and David Bowie partisans preen and ride and (eventually) commingle. Team Bowie all the way.
Bowie Ride starts at the Fields Neighborhood Park, NW 10th & Overton, 7 pm; Prince Ride starts at Sewallcrest Park, SE 31st & Stephens, 7:15 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 20
Champagne Ride—A word of advice: If this bad boy swings through Gold Dust Meridian, keep your wits about you. And dress nice.
Ride starts at Ladd's Circle, SE 16th & Harrison, 6:30 pm
SUNDAY JUNE 22
No Hands Olympics—No one's impressed by your hands-free bike skills. Change all that this evening, by dominating the field in a panoply of events. Pride and prizes.
Overlook Park, N Fremont & Interstate, 7 pm
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
Loud 'n' Lit Ride—End Pedalpalooza the way you started it: bellowing unintelligibly atop your favorite steed and dancing your ass off.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park, SE 20th & Belmont, 9 pm