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Friday, July 15, 2005

Ride Report: The First Pedal Potluck Picnic, Tuesday 12 July 2005

I arrived at Hawthorne Hostel at 6:30pm, just on time! There was a gaggle of folks waiting (Timo and Ed) and everyone mulled around for a bit (while it was 6:30pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), it wasn't yet 6:30pm PBT (Portland Bicycle Time)) In the meantime I attempted to inflate my underinflated tires with Timo's pump. I managed to get the rear tire mostly inflated, and then I started to hear a great rushing of air. "That's funny," I thought, "didn't I just put air in the tire?" Turns out the valve stem broke, and all the air left the tube fast. Luckily Timo had another tube with him, and while he was replacing my tube (Thanks, Timo!) I gathered picnic supplies from the Hostel and attempted to grab interested hostellers. We managed to snag Sarah, an east-coaster staying at the hostel while biking between San Francisco and Vancouver. Also during the repair Ali and Organic Brian showed up.

At about 7:15pm my bike was ready and the six of us headed out into the city. The route headed northeast through the Sunnyside and Center neighborhoods, using quiet back streets for most of the way. The pace of the ride was casual, and everyone conversed with each other.

After crossing NE Glisan at 60th, we took a turn on NE Hoyt and into a pocket of the Center neighborhood off the beaten path. The area hemmed by I-84, NE 60th, NE Glisan, and NE 67th is filled with turn-of-the-century worker's housing and two diagonal streets that are "off the grid"--NE Willow and NE Vera. We rode on NE Vera (NOT named after our former mayor!) for its short one-block length, from the intersection at NE 61st and Oregon until it turned the bend and became NE Pacific.

We headed south on NE 67th up the short-but-steep hill and into the Fred Meyer parking lot, which was our provisions stop. The other 5 headed in for food while I guarded the bikes. And did our li'l posse look like a bike gang (as evidenced in the photo!) We went back up the hill a li'l was to the top, turned left on NE Oregon and then left again on NE 68th, and rode down to the turn at NE Hassalo. And there our picnic spot awaited us: The Rosemont Bluff Natural Area.

Maintained by Portland Parks and Rec, the Rosemont Bluff site is pretty forgotten about, and I only discovered it by stumbling upon it. It simply consists of the steep hillside running along NE 67th from Hassalo to Halsey, and the top triangle that sits against an apartment complex. The hillside is covered in trees (mostly Bigleaf Maple and Douglas Fir), vines, and not as much garbage as I would expect. There is an informal trail that scales the slope, leading down to
the Donald E. Long juvenile home. The top grassy area seemed little used other than a cut-through for the apartment dwellers on their way to Fred Meyer, as evidenced by the well-worn path cutting across the overgrown lot.

We all sat on the grass and got to the eating. The selection included: pasta-bean salad, chips and dips, fruits, make your own sandwich, various veggies, lemonade, and a li'l leftover homegrown wine from MMR. We hung out for over an hour, munching and talking. The passing apartment-dwellers pretended not to notice us, probably because they've never actually seen anyone have a picnic here!

After the sun set, we all went our respective ways, most of us heading back towards the hostel in Southeast.

And remember, the PEDAL POTLUCK PICNIC is happening every Tuesday from now until August 16th. Won't you join us for dinner?


  1. put these photos up on flickr. there's already an urban adventure league group:

  2. actually, it's got a better url:


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