MIDNITE MYSTERY RIDE
Friday April 14, 2006
If I said I wasn't nervous about leading this ride, I'd be a liar.
I did have this sweet endpoint picked for this ride, an easy cruise from the Clinton Street Theater. But weather and Portland Public Works conspired against me, so to plan B. But there was no plan B. I spent a soggy Friday morning riding around desperately looking for a good secluded spot with cover from the rain that would be easy to get to and that wasn't done before. And I was having no luck. Desperate, I found my way to the Portland State University Bike Co-op to confer with Ian. And his suggestion: under the Morrison Bridge on the Eastbank Esplanade. We'd have a)cover, b)seclusion (it's not visible to anyone that's not on the river, and c)ease, since it would be about a two mile ride.
Filmed by Bike came and went, several film shorts, two screenings, 500 in attendance and 100 turned away. Yes, it was a success. We grabbed the leftover keg from the fest and loaded it into Timo's trailer. Ian ran off to grab a tap (so we wouldn't have to use the bulky and dangerous pressurized system they were using at the show) and Ali got some beer cups. The clock struck midnight...and the crowd was there, probably sixty people in all!
We headed west down Clinton and then took a right onto 12th. Initially I planned to take a left onto Division and then another left onto 8th to get to Ivon and then the Eastbank Esplanade south of OMSI, but then I heard that train whistle. A freight train was approaching, and we'd have to cross those tracks. And those midnight freight trains are SLOW, so we'd be waiting there for 10 minutes until it passed. So plan C! Stay on 12th and then a left on Madison towards the Hawthorne Bridge.
We had some people that hadn't been on an MMR before, and I don't think they realized these rides are not about "power riding" but about chilling out, having fun, staying together, and getting to the end destination to party. So I had the ride getting ahead of me, not a good situation when you're the "ride leader!" I tried to slow 'em down by telling them to wait at the stop light, but they ignored it and just kept on going. While on the Hawthorne Bridge viaduct, I had to speed ahead to get their attention, otherwise they would miss the turn!
We went down the ramp to the Esplanade and it was a couple minutes to the endpoint. And then time to party! The keg was tapped, and the line was formed. Everybody had fun, hanging out and drinking. I was happy to see so many people there, and a diversity of people at that, many folks who are in the "bikey" scene but don't typically go to Midnite Mystery Rides.
The party ended about two am when the keg was drained. It was nice to be able to have a short ride home before 4am for once after an MMR!
and it was an MMR of firsts:
First one that I led
First one that happened directly after a FBB
First one with a keg (graciously provided by FBB and extra-graciously hauled in a trailer by Timo Landia. Thanks a bunch, Timo!) (also thanks Ali for grabbing the cups, and Ken for the extra trailer)
First one in a long time that didn't end up like 8 miles from civilization (not that there's anything wrong with that, but after FBB it's nice to be at a spot that's centrally located)
NOTE: MMR factoids listed above are true to the best of my knowledge.
For those who didn't make it, here is the map, so you can
relive the experience.