Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Ride Report: Bike Happy Hour

BikePortland has been hosting a Bike Happy Hour since August, and the crowds have continued to show up every Wednesday evening. So I decided to try and get to one this afternoon and see what it was about.

What it’s about is friendly folks riding their bikes to a pub, hanging out and enjoying the vibe together.

And it’s happening every Wednesday from 3 to 6pm at Gorges Brewing in southeast Portland.

Riding in the city is something I haven't done much of in the last year. I went multi-modal both ways. Even though I was still a little post-Long Covid wobbly, I gloried in the beautiful blue of dusk, the quietness of residential side streets, and the crisp winter air.

(Photo: me with BikePortland founder and head writer Jonathan Maus. SO a nice to see him in real life again after all this time.)

I had a really nice time meeting new people, chatting up old friends and admiring all the love bike porn parked outside the pub.

On the way to the bus stop, I rode down Ankeny and saw that the old Citybikes Annex building was empty, the doors and windows freshly boarded up and a “For Sale” sign hung prominently out front.

I left Citybikes just over a decade ago, under a rather dark cloud (not mine). Things kept going downhill from there after I left. Owners left, the co-op shrank and eventually the Annex location was closed and the beautiful mural painted over.
The most recent dust-up, where three of the four remaining co-owners decided to close down the business and divide the proceeds four ways without regard for the contributions of the dozens of former owners who’d grown and run the business since 1990. I was too sick with Long Covid at the time and chose not to get involved. 
It appears the former owners lost their fight and the annex building is up for sale, for $1.4 million.

I rode to MLK and caught a bus that would take me back to my part of town. Even if I’d had a working headlight, which I didn’t, I wasn’t comfortable riding that far in the dark.
But I loved the darkening blue sky of dusk.

It felt so good to be in the world again. 
I MUST do this more.

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