• illustration by Leo Zarosinski

The official Pedalpalooza kickoff ride begins at 7 pm, but you needn't wait until this evening to get things started. Your first actual opportunity to participate in this year's Pedalpalooza? Drinking with a stranger—probably illegally—on the Eastbank Esplanade. (The Mercury doesn't necessarily endorse any individual event, by the way.)

Before you even consider hopping in the saddle, though, read our brand new Bike Issue, where you can find the Mercury's list of can't-miss rides, a look at how "America's Bicycle Capital" has flagged in recent years, and plenty more.

Now, for today's events, as listed in the full calendar:

Summer of Patrick! (21+)
Vera Katz Statue, SE Eastbank Esplanade and Main, 3 pm
Hi, I’m Patrick. Help me kick off the Summer of Patrick with some day drinking on a Thursday.

Feminism+Bikes 4 Everybody
PSU Park Blocks, SW Market & Mill, 5:30 pm
Spread some feminist joy by bike. Meet new friends. This ride will join the kickoff ride.

Cycling Sojourner WA
Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd, 5:30 pm
Come on out to celebrate the launch of Cycling Sojourner Washington, the latest title from Into Action Publications!

Pedalpalooza Kickoff Ride
Col. Summers Park, SE 20th and Belmont, 6 pm
It’s the opening ceremony, the inaugural calamity, the first fiasco of Pedalpalooza 2014. Dress up. Bring friends. Dropout Bicycle Club

PZS "BMX Bandits"
Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division, 7 pm
The Portland Zine Symposium’s annual bike-in movie will be the 1983 Australian classic “BMX Bandits.” 80s attire encouraged. Portland Zine Symposium 

Unicycle Polo (21+)
Alberta Park Bike Polo Court, NE 22nd and Killingsworth, 7 pm
Do you ride a unicycle? Would you like the chance to attack people with a stick, while unicycling? Just want to watch?

Backdoor Ride
Washington High School, SE 14th & Stark, 11 pm
Urban exploration! Private land is illegitimate, the backdoor is open. Hidden spaces beckon, begging us to come play.