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Friday, July 06, 2007

Another report!
This one from Urban Adventure League operative "Brother" Carl Larson!

Name of Ride: Portlandia Obscura–Ephemera Errata Ride

Leader: Shawn Granton
Sidekick: Carl Larson

Date: 6/09/07

Start time: 11:00am (posted), 11:20am (actual)

Duration: 3 hours

Number of riders: 12

Synopsis of ride: Picture, if you will, a throbbing, hooting mass of
500+ bicyclists cramming themselves down Clinton Street, into the
industrial eastside, and into the Springwater Corridor. That's exactly
what was going on eleven hours before this ride started. The largest
Midnight Mystery Ride in history...and the Urban Adventure League
plans a ride to follow it the next morning. Daring. Bold. Stupid.

It rained all morning and by 11, it was a dull, gray drizzle. Twelve
hearty souls showed up. One is best known for dressing as a duck, but
opted for human raingear on this day. Another wore a fedora. Others
were brewers down from Seattle for an organic brewfest.

Our diverse and hearty crew assembled at North Portland Bikeworks
before launching into a tour of Portland that only Shawn Granton could
lead. First: a bramble patch off Mississippi that once was a street.
Then: an alley. Then: unfortunate street names (Haight and Failing?
They're next to Unthank Park.) Granton unfolded the story of
Portland's street grid, a tale of developers' whims, topography, and
painstaking reorganization. We looked at street names marked in
pavement 100 years ago, unimproved roads, odd parks, twisty streets,
exceptions to patterns, and curious names.

The bakery housed in what was once the Hollywood Library provided the
perfect opportunity to sip tea, have a sandwich, and, to an extent,
dry out. Wet jackets were hung up, maps unfolded, and friends made
before rolling on across I-84 and down to Coe Circle (39th &
Glisan). There, I bade farewell to this hearty crew and promptly took
my pants off. Next event: The Daytime Naked Bike Ride. Ah,
Pedalpalooza. Ah, Portland.

High points: One rider's discovery that a little park he'd never heard
of was just blocks from her house. 12 people in the rain after an MMR!
That time that the rain stopped.

Low points: Shawn only brought a pastry for himself and not his
sidekick (me). The weather was crap.

Would you do it again? That's up to Shawn, but I hope so. On a nice
day, this ride would draw quite a few folks.

If so, What would you change? Perhaps a little more riding and a
little less talkin', but that's just me.

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