The Bowie Deep Dance Cuts Ride Brought Back the Spirit of the Now Discontinued Bowie vs. Prince Rides

A Bowie superfan organized the Pedalpalooza event and served as DJ of the backyard afterparty.

Pedalpalooza (Mick Hangland-Skill)

Pedalpalooza is a Portland institution, and this summer’s schedule is jam-packed with community rides catering to seemingly every demographic. Portlander Matthew Mathis has taken it upon himself to host an afternoon ride for fans of David Bowie dance remixes followed by a dance party in his spacious backyard, which took place July 8 on Bowie’s half-birthday.

Part of Mathis’ motivation behind hosting the Bowie Deep Dance Cuts Ride is to bring back a bit of the spirit of the now officially discontinued Bowie vs. Prince Rides but with no competitive element.

“They always struck me as needlessly competitive,” he says, “and I feel strongly that tributes should focus on a sole artist’s work.”

Mathis describes himself as the biggest Bowie fan he knows. He has created several hours worth of dance remixes over the years and served as DJ of the backyard banger himself.

“I’ve collected and listened intently to well over 95% of his songs,” adds Mathis. “I’ve read many books on him, and even got to work with him for an hour in 1995 when I’d invited him to where I was employed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

One of the reasons for Bowie’s enduring appeal, Mathis says, was his ability to forge meaningful connections with the public.

“It seems every person he ever met liked him and thought of him as extremely intelligent, creative and gracious,” Mathis says. “He was indeed about the most observant and absorbent antenna of a person I’ve ever met and yet quite perfectly normal and other-regarding.”

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