Ride Recap: Bikes and Banjos, Pedals and Puppets

by Meg Hartley
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do you want to know the best way to spend a sunny February day in Portland? A Kidical Mass bike ride! We were a collection of parents with kids in bike seats, on longtails, on/in trailers, in wooden buckets and on their own bikes. The ride started in the southeast hills near Mt. Tabor, at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, and from there we headed down the hill to Laurelhurst Park. On the way, we saw a collection of plastic zoo animals chained to a horse ring in the sidewalk, a fake leg coming out of the attic of a house, huge, old trees, and an occasional chicken, dog or cat. Of course, we stopped off at the Laurelhurst playground for lollipops, snacks, and some swinging and climbing. There might have been a collective kid uproar if we hadn’t!

With the promise of more playground fun and a pig and chicken visit, we jetted away from Laurelhurst en route to Sunnyside School Park. This route took us through the Sunnyside neighborhood where we saw clowns painted on buildings, an old firehouse, a bicycle rickshaw, camilia bushes in bloom, and a funky house truck painted like a tiger. After visiting Poppy the resident pig and the chickens, no eggs were laid today, at Sunnyside School, we jumped on our bikes for the ride to see a puppet show by Mudeye Puppets, and dance to kid centric banjo music by Professor Banjo! (Thanks to Clever Cycles for providing ticket discounts to all.) YAY!

We had the support of many pedestrians, cyclists and motorists along the way, with many waves and exclamations of “Look at all the bikes!”. We even had a man with a movie camera film us go by! This part of the ride promised a rather steep hill, but we persevered, and despite mud and hills, we made it to our final destination and lunged inside for the puppetry and musical fun! After sipping steamers and coffee, dancing and singing, we all parted ways, with full bellies, warm hearts and a spectacular sunset, it was official that we had chosen the best way to spend this Saturday.

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