THE BEAUTY of the bicycle is the independence it offers. You don't need gas money or a MAX pass or a driver's license, and you're never caught in a traffic jam. A bike will get you where you need to be, on your schedule.
This month, though? Cast aside that rugged individualism. June's all about amassing as many fellow riders as possible, tethering yourselves together with a spirit of goodwill, and just sort of cruising aimlessly through town. Schedules are loose, if they exist at all, and destinations aren't a given.
With hundreds of "organized" rides to choose from in this year's Pedalpalooza, you should shoot for one a week at absolute minimum. A full schedule's included in this insert (and available at pedalpalooza.org), but if you don't feel like wading in just yet, here are a few we like.
THURSDAY, JUNE 4
Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride
An easy pick each year, and the perfect intro to the weeks to come for anyone who's never saddled up for Pedalpalooza. If the weather's nice, expect a ton of people—and a lot of unprepared motorists and spectators agog at the blocks-long bike parade dinging its bells in rapturous greeting.
Ride starts at Salmon Street Fountain, SW Salmon & Naito, 7 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 5
Beautiful in its simplicity, this evening ride is all about scouting the yards and porches of fertile Northeast Portland for as many cats as possible—ideally while wearing a cat shirt and whiskers. Scientific unknown: whether a throng of cat-crazy cyclists will just scare all the cats away. Be there to find out!
Ride starts at Purringtons Cat Lounge, 3529 NE MLK, 7 pm
SATURDAY, JUNE 6
Always Sunny in Philadelphia Ride
This potentially extraneous theme ride makes the cut because It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has managed to stay funny for so long, because a day-drinky ride is an appropriate tribute to that, and because organizers had the good sense to begin it at Paddy's Bar & Grill—the closest thing, in name, this city's got to the show's Paddy's Pub.
Ride starts at Paddy's Bar and Grill, 65 SW Yamhill, 2:30 pm
SUNDAY, JUNE 7
Oil Train Blast Zone Ride
These things can be political, too. Venture across the Columbia for this ride that'll show all the 'Couv stands to lose if an oil train should decide to explode while passing through. Ends with an optional protest of a proposed oil terminal.
Ride starts at Marine Park, SE Marine Park & Columbia, Vancouver, 11 am
Grilled by Bike
Take the edge off the morning's activism by biking from park to park, grilling as much as possible. Last year this ride involved "rolling grills." Ingenuity wins.
Ride starts at Laurelhurst Park, SE 37th & Oak, 3 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 12
Robin Williams Memorial Costume Ride
Robin Williams loved the shit out of riding bikes. Now you get to paint yourself genie blue, hop on a bike, and pay tribute to the man all at once.
Ride starts at Irving Park, NE 7th & Fremont, 7:30 pm
SATURDAY, JUNE 13
Sing-Along to the Movie Grease Ride
Incontrovertible fact: The best song in Grease is "Grease" by Frankie Valli. We're assuming the organizers of this ride know that, and will be pounding out that disco-rific jam at every opportunity.
Ride starts at Clinton Park, SE 57th & Woodward, noon
Pedalcar Karaoke IV: Disco Bike-Ferno
And since today's all about disco singing, pop into this yearly rolling karaoke show. Stationary karaoke is well and good, but not in June, damn it. Never in June.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park, SE 20th & Belmont, 6 pm
Loud and Lit Ride
This thing devolves into dancing insanity every year. Sometimes there's fire-jousting, or someone's toting along an enormous projection-screen television so everyone can play Mario Kart. Highly recommended.
Ride starts at Irving Park, NE 7th & Fremont, 10 pm
FRIDAY, JUNE 19
Dropout Prom Ride
Down with real proms, up with bike prom. This is your annual opportunity to paper over high school's lingering regrets, and it's a blast.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park,
SE 20th & Belmont, 9 pm
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
City Hall Rally!
This one's actually important. Cyclists are going to show up en masse to this morning's Portland City Council meeting to demand more and better bike facilities in the city. Go, if you can get away from work.
Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th, ride around building at 8 am, rally outside at 8:30 am, meeting begins at 9:30 am
SATURDAY, JUNE 27
World Naked Bike Ride
Because this is Portland, and this is how we do.
Ride starts at Colonel Summers Park, SE 20th & Belmont, 9 pm
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