Every year, Portland hosts Pedalpalooza, a summer-long celebration for cycling enthusiasts with a program including themed rides, picnics and various workshops. The promotion of cycling is central to this festival, in a city that's already on its way to embracing the bike.
The idea of a summer bike festival in Portland first came about in 2002, when BikeSummer came to Oregon. Two years later, Pedalpalooza was launched, promoting the idea of having fun while riding bikes. Since then, the festival has grown significantly, and offers a multitude of events spread over three months, from the beginning of June to the end of August.
This year, once again, hundreds of different events are being organized, from themed rides through the city and its surroundings to lunches and various workshops. July 21, there will even be a "Speak French ride," at which riders can practice their French. The program says that there will also be food (baguettes, croissants and crêpes) and drinks (wine, of course), and even French music.
Most of the rides are free and open to all. This year, masks are required, and social distancing measures should be respected.
This type of festive event is certainly a good example for other large cities to follow, encouraging more people to take the plunge and get on their bikes, whether for traveling to work or for family outings on the weekend. Portland now has the highest bicycle commuting rate of any major US city. This really took off in the early 2000s, peaking at 7.2% in 2014. Since then, it has slowed a little, but Portland remains ahead of other major US cities.
Find out more about Pedalpalooza: pedalpalooza.org