Eating My Way through Portland Parkways

Remember that old Go-Go’s song that goes:

This town is our town

This town is so glamorous

Bet you’d live here if you could

And be one of us!

I know that song was probably written about LA and in my mind’s eye I can see Belinda Carlisle belting it out whilst hanging her arm out the window of a vintage convertible under sunny LA skies, but somehow, it still describes how I feel about Portland, a town that is almost the exact opposite of LA: gloomy, wet, and cold a good six months of the year.

Still, this town makes me feel glamorous and lucky. Why? Events like Portland Sunday Parkways. Basically, this past Sunday the city closed down six miles of streets for bikers, walkers, strollers, and pogo stickers to rule the school! My favorite quote from the newspaper after the event was: “Cyclists outnumbered cars at some major intersections by more than 10 to one.” I confess to some good-natured “Walk your car!” razzing of the folks in those things called vehicles.

This was the first year Portland has tried a Parkways event and judging by turnout, I’d say it was a smashing success. There was even bike traffic:

Bikers waiting in line to get up ramp

Waiting in line to ascend the overpass ramp.

But mostly Parkways was just an excuse to get together with friends and punctuate a good bike ride with food (at least that’s how I saw it). The first food thing that happened–before we even left the house–was that we were accosted by a Clif Bar guy giving away free Clif Bar samples. He even had gluten-free ones!

Bikers holding up free Clif Bars for the camera

And there’s so many things you can do on your bike when you don’t have to worry about cars, like…

Cyclist talking on his cell phone while riding

…catch up with friends

Cyclist drinking coffee while riding

…enjoy a good cup of coffee

Men riding away on their bikes

…and butt-watch the opposite sex (my favorite).

But enough about that. The best part of Parkways was my pal’s BBQ post-ride. Here’s my favorite person under five right now pursuing a strawberry at the BBQ:

Small boy looking at strawberry plants

Hmmm. What do I spy with my little eye? Are those strawberries?

Small boy grabbing a strawberry

Gotcha, Mr. Strawberry! I’m the boss of you!!!

Small boy eating a strawberry with gusto

Mmmm! There’s nothing like an Oregon strawberry! Especially when it’s covered with dirt! Just like my face!

And my pal DL, ever the inventor, came up with this clever rig for the back of his bike:

Ice and beer-filled bucket on the side of a bicycle

The bike beer bucket.

Good times!


Filed under Cooking, food, Food allergies, Glorious Food, Gluten-free vegan

2 responses to “Eating My Way through Portland Parkways

  1. Kristin

    What a great post! I was wondering what that event would be like. Was the Clif Bar guy part of the event, or was that just a happy coincidence? What a magical thing: to drink coffee while pedaling…

  2. mjennings26

    Hi Kristin,
    Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment.

    There were several Clif Bar “guys” (and gals) all over the event handing out free samples. It just so happened that we encountered the first guy right in the driveway before we started our ride.

    Drinking coffee while pedaling is probably only safe (for me anyway) when the streets are actually closed down like they were for this event.

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