Despite the weather turning to total crap immediately before and at times on this ride, the Pizza Ride managed to attract 24 hardy bicyclists, whose love of pizza overcame Portland's notorious rain.
The ride started at Wallace Park (NW 25th and Raleigh) at about 6.30pm and hit up two pizzerias in NW, Tributes and Escape from New York. We ordered pies in advance, and had them cut into 16 slices instead of the usual 8, so the riders wouldn't have to eat too much at one place. The first two stops whetted everyone's appetite, and we cruised downhill to Hot Lips in the Pearl. Once we arrived, the sky opened up, leading one rider to comment, "At least it's waiting to rain until AFTER we get to a stop!"
We chomped on some of Hot Lips organic, locally grown slices while waiting for the rain to slow down. On leaving, Timo got a flat and stayed to repair while the rest of Team Pizza headed east across the Broadway Bridge and then north up Williams to Pizza A Go-Go. After A Go-Go, we lost a few of the riders, as they had reached their pizza limit. But over 16 were still able to press on further north-eastward towards Bella Faccia on NE Alberta and 30th. We managed to pass the new mural going up in front of SCRAP, being painted by Bruce Orr (Mudeye Puppets) and Carla Forte!
By the time we got to Bella, the sun had set, so there was a special urgency to get things moving. Or maybe not. We took awhile at Bella, waiting for Team Timo (who eventually did arrive), and several of us obtained beers. Of note was the suggestive nature of Bella's front sign. The next time you go by there, take a close look.
It was almost 10pm by the time we left Bella Faccia. 12 hardy souls stuck through to the Final Stop of the ride, heading due south towards southeast. We made a small "bomb" down the Alameda Ridge at Regents Dr, and used the super-secret "Schuyler's Alley" to get over to NE 28th and Broadway. Ah, Schuyler's Alley, the great democratizer, since even the tallest person will be made short at some point.
Despite a run-in with a pissed off SUV driver on 28th, we were in high spirits for the last stop, Stark Naked Pizza, on SE Stark at 28th. Even though we had quite a bit o pizza in us, we scarfed down that last one in no time. Eventually, it was time to end our pizza affair, and the remaining dozen all went their separate ways into the night, completely full. Unfortunately, we didn't get to Stacatto Gelato for the after-ride desert of cannolis, due to all of us being too full and it being too late to catch Stacatto open.
Oh yeah! We had ballots to rate each pizzeria and find out which one is best. The outcome of the poll will be the subject of an upcoming email, but right now I can say that both Bella Faccia made strong showings and Escape managed to disappoint.
And a recap by the numbers:
- Miles rode: 9 (estimate)
- Time of total ride: 4 1/2 hours (6.30pm to 11pm)
- Total number of riders: 24
- Number of riders who stuck it out till the end: 12
- Pizzerias hit: 6
- Amount paid for all the pizza per rider (for the riders who hit all 6 spots): $7.40
- Flat tires: 1
- Utili-kilts: 1
- Pizzed, I mean pissed off SUV drivers: 1
- Alameda Ridge Bombs: 1