Tuesday, September 12

SHIFT Birthday Weekend

This weekend offered another HUGE amount of bikey fun. For those who think September is the time to put your bike in the garage, SHIFT came out to prove it isn't.
The fun began before the weekend even began with a special Breakfast on the Bridge. The wonderful Shifty folks brought a camping stove and pancake batter out to the bridge so our cycling friends could enjoy a hot breakfast on the way to work. Of course it was also a shameless promotion of all the special Shift Birthday events going on over the weekend. Dat was working hard as usual talking to people about all the fun that Shift has to offer. Carl did the safety thing, and Steph grilled up breakfast.
Then after work it was time for some mystery. The midnight mystery ride. (unfortunately I overslept, but it was supposedly very fun).
Saturday it was on to Maria Atkinson's bike breakfast. I met Maria at Pedalpalooza and she's been inspired to host her own breakfast bike rides. We were joined by Joel (who has his own coffee delivery), Michael (who occassionally does his commute to Swan Island by bike), and Amber (who was doing her first long distance bike ride). We had a great easy paced ride through Sellwood and down to the waterfront. We even took a dip in the Salmon Fountain. After leaving downtown, I lead the group over to the Exchange Cycle Tours for the free Saturday clinic. The group was impressed with the amount of work that Steven has done. So all of you who have bikes in need of repair, you are welcome to come by and take advantage of our services.
After the clinic it was on to the EcoTrust Salmon Festival where all the great shifters were hard at work (many of them for triple shifts) parking bikes. In addition there was a free service wherein a bike owner would get a picture of themselves with their bike and a sticker with the serial number of the bike. This looks very promising as a bike theft deterrent. We had lots of fun and for those who managed to avoid the man-eating Salmon, the day was largely uneventful.
The salmon festival has been a great annual event promoting ecological living and intelligent choices. There were many aspects of this festival which impressed me. From the closed streets (closed to cars that is, not people), the eclectic and entertaining people to the great music, and wonderful businesses (Environmental Building Supplies, Earth Advantage, Bioneers, and the Office of Sustainable Development).
Well after a power-packed Saturday, it was time for another chock full day. I headed over to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge where I got to enjoy unique views in an area normally covered with water. The wildlife was prolific and the scenery magnificent. Then I helped schlep supplies to the park where Dat was working overtime as usual getting the Shiftnic off the ground. (I swear he could run these events with one arm tied to his back) Then I headed out to Gresham for the Exchange Cycle Tours ride. We did a leisurely ride through Gresham and up to Powell Butte. The views were great and the climbing was adventurous. But we were all excited to head over to Laurelhurst for the great barbeque.
It was so much fun to connect with all of these great people that I see each month. SHIFT is the only organization that I know of which is successful at promoting a culture around bikey fun. There is no stigma about having certain gear, or being a specific type of bicyclist (commuter, roadie, 'bent', tandem, etc). Everyone is welcome here. The Birthday was a magnificent example of what a few dedicated people can do with enough incentive.
Thanks for four great years!

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