For over two decades, Citybikes has run a successful, cooperative-structured bike business, and they’re ready to celebrate. On Saturday, July 9 friends and workers will take over the streets between SE 8th Ave and Ankeny to throw a six-hour birthday party, which will also double as a benefit for Bikes for Humanity and the Oregon Food Bank.
“We want to reemerge. We’ve been around for 20 years as a co-op, and part of [the party] is trying to rebrand ourselves, to say, ‘Hey, we’re here,’” Ashley Mitchell, an owner of Citybikes, says. “We also wanted to have a good time and bring people in from the community.”
The party will feature Migration Brewery, two DJs and a live band, a selection of crafts and games and food from Loretta Jean’s. Bike-gurus, such as the Bicycle Chiropractor, will be available to dispense crucial bike wisdom, from the proper bike posture to quick gear fixes. When the clock strikes 8 pm, fire dancers will perform (if things get out of hand, cool off in the rainbow bike sprinkler, which will be onsite).
“We were thinking of what would entertain ourselves, and what would people coming to a block party enjoy. We definitely wanted something with pyrotechnics, and also keeping our bodies cool and refreshed,” Mitchell says.
The event also marks the start of work on Citybikes new mural, funded by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Roger Peet designed the artwork, which will adorn the side of Citybikes’ building; the co-op views the mural, Mitchell reiterates, as a chance to stand out amongst the increasingly crowded landscape of Portland bike shops.
Party goers can enter a raffle to win a new KHS Urban Express bicycle, a commuter bike fit to the size of the winner. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Bikes for Humanity, an organization dedicated to providing those in underdeveloped areas access to bikes.
“We decided to make it a fundraiser because we don’t think that something that’s a big community event should exist in a vacuum,” Mitchell says. “All of us [at Citybikes] are pretty invested and do volunteer work outside of the co-op, and part of our mission is to help support other grass roots organizations.”
The event is free and open to the public, but attendants are encouraged to donate either $2-5 to Bikes for Humanity, or bring a donation of food for the Oregon Food Bank.Citybikes Block Party takes place at Southeast 8th Avenue and Ankeny Street, citybikes.coop. 3-9 pm July 9.