Saturday, June 30, 2012

ride report: multnomah county bike fair

Sweetie and I rode our bikes across town to check out the Multnomah County Bike Fair, the final event of PedalPalooza, Portland's three-week bicycle festival. Although the forecast called for showers off and on through the afternoon, the high would be in the 70's, so we wore summer clothes and brought along only minimal raingear. The ride there was pleasant and cool, with a few sprinkles. I figured our clothes would dry at the event during a break in the drizzle.

The MCBF, now in its tenth year, was much smaller than in past years, and had moved to a small location on the grunds of the old Washington High School. I had skipped the event for a few years because of schedule conflicts and the last time I'd attended there were probably four times as many people there as we saw today. There were far fewer vendors, too. I know nothing about the organization of this event but I do know that the rain probably kept a few folks away. Granted, we did show up around 2:20, at the start of things, so the crowds hadn't really materialized yet. Plus, the opening band was horrid, a tiny and poor imitation of March Fourth Marching Band; they were loud, blatty and terribly out of tune. We took a lopp through the booths, said hi to a few folks I knew, and wlaked over to e nearby restaurant for some cheap Thai lunch. When we returned, the crowds had grown a little bit. We were happy to see that next up on the bill was one of our favorites, the Sprockettes -- the first ever all-girl punk bicycle dance troupe celebrating its eighth anniversary this week -- so we stayed to watch:

After watching their routine, next up was tall-bike jousting. Liz had never seen it so we stayed to watch a little of that too. Before the actual jousting began a fellow hopped on a tall bike and rode it around the arena as a demo on nonchalant tallbike style.                                                       

A few passes of tallbike jousters followed by the sounds of another awful band warming up, and we agreed we'd seen enough. We rode back up to NE Portland, stopping in at the home of friends to catch a bit of the prologue of the Tour de France. Finally, it was time to ride home; the cats needed to be fed and it would get dark. We left as a fine drizzle began. Half a mile on the drizzle had become rain and a few blocks later it had become a downpour. By now, we were soaked to the skin and we laughed and whooped out loud at the grand absurdity of riding through a summer downpour without donning raingear. We sped home through giant raindrops and called it a great day for riding.

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