Saturday, May 12, 2007

Midnight Mystery Ride - May 11th

Last night was the ever-popular and always fascinating Midnight Mystery Ride. As always, the ride started at midnight (duh) at one of Portland's fine drinking establishments. This month, the destination was Hayden Island, and I made it to the destination area but did not stick around for the festivities - since I live in Clackamas County, it's a LOOOONG ride home.

In fact, since I had to stop by work and finish a couple of things before heading home, it was longer than normal: 20 miles from the office to the ride location and back to the office, and I got back to the office at around 2:30am. It was well after 4am when I was finished and ready to go, and I was so wiped that I knew I wouldn't make it home. So, I crashed on the couch in the break room until 6am and then took my bike on Tri-Met until I got within a mile of my place.

The ride itself was great - lots of people I knew, a bigger crowd than normal, and an entertaining ride through the back alleys of N / NE Portland for a mile or more, all while watching a pair of tallbikes and a hundred plus riders try to negotiate choke points, avoid chains, fences, broken glass and busted pavement. I almost took a fall near Delta Park when I got into the gravel at the road edge on a turn, and once or twice I had riders cut right across my path really darned close. That happens, though - you've got to be prepared for it.

This is my fourth MMR, and one of the reasons why I love Portland. Sure, Amsterdam has 40% of its working people commuting by bike, but we have this incredible hodgepodge of cycling culture, and all the weirdness that ensues. It's part of what makes Portland such a vibrant place to live. I think it's great.

The start point, Amnesia, was pretty cool, and had tons of bike parking (they obviously know the score - cater to bikes and you sell a lot of beer). Barflymag says they have live bluegrass on Fridays, but apparently that stops before 11:30pm, or there just wasn't anyone there that night. The porter they had on tap was pretty good - I'll probably head back over there at some point to try the food.

Anyway, thank you Team Midnight for the Midnight Mystery Ride!

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