Portland Parkways


  We barely had time to get the canopy set up and the line of Bike Fridays unfolded before the rush began.

What followed was nonstop Sunday fun.

Bike Friday Showroom Host Kirk Toy and I busted a move early Sunday morning to Portland for the Portland Sunday Parkways Downtown event.

It is the third of five events over the summer where the city of Portland shuts down a strategically laid out course to motorized vehicles and hands the streets over to cyclists and pedestrians.

The course connects a few city parks, and they have little fairs at each park with vendors. That’s what we did, setting up at Shemanski Fountain Block, just off the corner of Salmon and 9th Ave.

Kirk Toy (brown shirt) shows off Bike Fridays on a beautiful day at Shemanski Found in Portland.

Like I said, we just got things set up about 10 minutes before the 11 a..m. start, and a crowd already formed as Kirk began showing off the elegant fold of our Carbon Drive tikit.

I managed to click off two pics, and then it was a seemingly endless parade of interested cyclists.

The Portland cycling scene is so vibrant. The folks we talked to said they estimated the last Portland Sunday Parkways ride attracted about 40,000.

They were saying this group was a bit smaller, but the lure of allowing families and kids to ride safely on downtown streets that they would never otherwise be able to experience was enough to draw an estimated 30,000.

Kirk managed to sneak off and get some pics of the cycling when he was working on a bike, but I don’t have his photos yet. We’ll get them up soon.

But all we could see, from a few minutes before 11 until the streets reopened at 4 p.m., was an never-ending parade of cyclists climbing the gradual incline of 9th Avenue in the shade of a towering natural Oregon canopy.

It felt like we always had someone, if not two, sometimes three and at one point four individuals out on the road test riding our Bike Fridays.

And the number of proud Bike Friday owners who stopped by to say hi, or bring around a friend to check out our bikes almost matched that number.

More than anything, what we’ll remember most about Sunday is the passion. Portland just buzzes around bikes. All ages, all shapes and sizes. Folks rode tikits, Rockets, Tourists, Llamas and even tandems.

With the throng of families, the tandems brought a lot of interest.

Overall, it was just a great day to be hanging out with bike people.

Thanks Portland, see you Sept. 25 for the next one!

Portland Sunday Parkways, July 2011







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