Over two hundred redheads rode west on the Burnside Bridge Saturday evening, biking fearlessly towards the glowing horizon as if summoned by the setting sun. Pedalpalooza called, and the gingers answered with the Third Annual Ginger Ride.
“We were born this way,” explained Ginger Ride co-organizer Benjamin Adrian, “and I'm just really excited for my people.”
In the true motley spirit of Pedalpalooza, Adrian's people took many forms. Bald spots were spray-painted, wigs were worn, and all-natural red locks blew boldly in the wind as Portland's redheads and their devoted allies, worshipers and doppelgangers undid Moses' finest work. The red sea parted cars on the Burnside Bridge and flooded Naito Parkway leaving nothing but the lingering smell of sunscreen in its wake.
Self-proclaimed “ginger supporter” Andrew Stoltz donned a twelve-inch red afro for the occasion. A wig, he said, “that's been in the family for years.”
Such enthusiasm bodes well for Ginger Ride's posterity. Co-founder Jessica Vredenburg has watched the event grow from six people in 2009 to well over two-hundred in three years. “We've got people rockin' Twizzlers on their eyebrows and construction paper in their hair,” she said. “All the creativity is really inspiring, and it just keeps growing.”
Ginger Riders cycled several rings of fire around Ladd's Circle in victory lap fashion before retiring to Apex for red drink specials.
Full Disclosure: The author of this article is a redhead.