Community Cycling Center
1700 NE Alberta St., 287-8786, communitycyclingcenter.org, Sunday-Friday 11 am-7 pm, Saturday 10 am-7 pm.
The trippy mural on the northwest corner of the Community Cycling Center is your first hint that this isn’t the place yuppies employ to tune up that Cannondale for their June and July rides. Plastic bins brimming with used parts surround the counter, giving the sales floor the feel of a dingy record store. Refurbished bikes lining the window are marked up in price, but the DIY spirit of the Center and its surplus of spare parts—most under $20—is an excellent resource to turn your clunker into a freewheel polo bike in one afternoon. PETE COTTELL.
Repair Shop, 1914 SE Ankeny St., 239-0553; The Annex, 734 SE Ankeny St., 239-6951, citybikes.coop. Monday-Friday 11-7, Saturday-Sunday 11-5.
It’s almost true that you can stand in front of one bike shop in the Buckman neighborhood and hit another with a rock. If you had a good arm, you’d be able to hit one City Bikes location from the other. The Annex (734 SE Ankeny St.) is twice the size of the Repair Shop (1914 SE Ankeny St.), and they’re both humming all day. The former can be a tad surly if you’re a noob looking to get a flat fixed, but the turnaround is quick and bins of spare parts are worth their weight in gold for the do-it-yourselfer. The latter has a better selection of new stuff, but don’t count out their selection of used frames for your next freakbike project. PETE COTTELL.
Everybody’s Bike Rentals
305 NE Wygant St., 358-0152, pdxbikerentals.com, Daily 10 am-5 pm.
The only thing more “Portland” than a bike rental business in the basement of some dude’s urban goat farm is complaining when that business moves into a proper storefront. Sigh. Before it went all “corporate” on us, Everybody’s required that you call proprietor Dan Sloan, who would then call you back and get you set up (after letting you into his home, which was another phone call). Enough happy customers spread the word, and the operation moved into a commercial space with reliable hours. The prices remain friendly—$25/day for a commuter or $30/day for a road bike—and the fleet is still rebuilt from the ground up by Sloan himself. PETE COTTELL.
Portland Bike Polo
Alberta Park, Northeast Killingsworth Street & 22nd Avenue. Sundays 3pm-dusk, check portlandbikepolo.com or their Facebook page for exact times.
Unless you’ve played, it would be easy to lump Portland’s bike-polo scene in with their standoffish freakbike brethren. Show up at Alberta Park on a Sunday to watch a few games, and you’ll find it’s anything but. Wander within 30 feet of the retrofitted tennis court at the southeast corner of the park and you’ll get a hearty greeting from a gregarious, tatted-up ambassador of a sport quickly outgrowing its roots as an esoteric bike messenger dalliance. While two teams of three jockey for points in 13-minute rounds, players kill time between rounds just as anyone else at a park on a Sunday would: with lawn chairs and portable grills. If it weren’t for the court’s fence being plugged full of mallets—many MacGyvered out of thrift-store ski poles and polyurethane tubing—you might mistake the gathering for an Ultimate Frisbee afterparty. Anyone is welcome to join, and they even keep extra bikes and mallets on hand for first-timers. The rules, as stated on the group’s site, are simple: Don’t touch the ground, proper shots only, don’t throw your mallet and don’t be a dick. The jury was hung on the merits of freewheel versus fixie, but the tone remains friendly and the politics of gears are of little importance—just show up with a helmet. PETE COTTELL.
Midnight Mystery Ride
Various locations, visit midnightmysteryride.wordpress.com for meetup location. Second Friday of each month.
Don’t let the shroud of secrecy fool you: Midnight Mystery Ride is an egalitarian affair. Fixie dudes, BMX-ers, roadies and freakbikers enjoy the wee hours of the second Friday of each month navigating a clandestine tour de Portland. The route is only known by a preselected leader, but it always starts at a dive bar like Billy Ray’s or Lutz Tavern. The terminus is a location where riders can “sit, relax, and hang,” often around a bonfire, although residential areas are considered lame choices for the summer months. Ridership sways from the mild-mannered, slightly buzzed techies on a shiny Trek to characters like Diablo—an MMR fixture known for having a disco ball and a high-powered soundsystem attached to his rig. Using indoor voices in neighborhoods is encouraged, but beyond that it’s a crapshoot—just check the Wordpress site above and saddle up. PETE COTTELL.
Southwest 13th Avenue & Burnside Street, zoobomb.net. Sundays 8:30 pm.
For proof of how seriously Portland cyclists take their absurdity, look no further than SW 13th Avenue and Burnside Street. There you’ll find the Zoobomb Pyle, a heap of junked bikes used in the world-famous weekly outing to “bomb” Terwilliger Hill at reckless speeds. The scrapheap—ahem, art installation—was legitimized by then-Mayor Sam Adams at a ceremony in 2010. Since 2002, speed freaks have been convening in front of what is now an American Apparel to smash the city’s most treacherous hill on the tiniest, shittiest bikes possible. “Normal” bikes are allowed, but the thrill of zooming down Portland’s West Hills in a banana costume is minimized by a shiny Cervelo. Participating in Zoobomb is simple: scour bike co-ops and free piles for cast-off cycles-—preferably children’s models that are unfit for speeds above 10 mph—show up at 8:30 on a Sunday evening, and ride the MAX like a ski lift to the Washington Park stop. Careen down the hill at breakneck speeds. Wear a tutu and look as deranged as possible while doing so. PETE COTTELL.
Every June, shift2bikes.org.
Portland’s annual celebration of all things bikey is more than a decade old and includes a ride for everyone. Do you love Morrissey? Dave Matthews? Tweed? Plaid? Baby animals? Star Wars? Star Trek? Yoga? Zumba? Ice cream? The Sound of Music? Freemason architecture? Being drunk? Being naked? Being drunk and naked? There’s a ride for you. Don’t find one you like? Plan it yourself. This is also when the World Naked Bike Ride happens, so plan accordingly—whether to strip down or get the hell out of town, because the ride causes crazy traffic snarls along its route. REBECCA JACOBSON.