Monday, November 30, 2009

Giro di Portlandia

There was an alleycat last weekend, ironically named (I think) the Giro di Portlandia. There were only 4 stops, and less than 20 participants. You had to answer a trivia question about each stop. The first one was a song reference at NW 13th and NW Everett. It was a STOP sign that had been creatively vandalized to say "Don't STOP 'til you get enough". The next one I already knew about. It's a sign at the Portland Coliseum, funny that it's a track bike and not a BMX.


From there I went out to the Paul Bunyan statue on Interstate, but rather than slog up Interstate I went up to N. Williams from Broadway and rode that out and crossed over at Alberta. I could have humped it up that hill in my low 48x19 gear but I maintained a steadier faster speed by making that detour.


From there I went back to SW to the Ross Tower by the Tram Station. I got there by bombing Interstate to the Steel Bridge, which was UP when I got to it, and then dodged pedestrians on the Waterfront, and then went past the Cirque du Soleil site on Moody St. I should have done this one first or second. From there I went back down the waterfront to the Hawthorne bridge where a few kids caught up to me and passed me and headed up SE12th. Now I take this route all the time from the bridge to Col. Summers Park and the best way to do this is not to go up SE12th and then up Belmont, but zig-zag style thru that neighborhood, alternating climbs with flat sections and dumping you into the back side of the Park where the finish was. As I was getting there I saw the 2 dudes that passed me on the bridge coming across the park from the Belmont side, so I dug in and made it to the circle about one bike length before they did. For my efforts and correct answers I got 5th place! (more like 8th, but some got the wrong answers)
The prizes were some Hipster Cysts aka Knog Frog Lights.


Front and Rear


And a Knog hat


And a bunch of Knog stickers, that I guess I'm supposed to stick all over the place. I'm not sure I feel like doing their viral marketing for them. The were like little hipster cartoons with goofy hipster topical stuff written on them. The whole thing struck me as being insidiously cool, like one of their own had defected over to the dark side of advertising. Maybe I am projecting GenXs dislike of advertising onto the younger crowd, but I think if I was one of them I would find these stickers condescending, or at least an insult to my intelligence. Like they are going to suck me into their cool trip and buy their stuff cuz they are cool like me. Planet Bike doesn't resort to this sort of crap, but they have that "green" marketing angle. They are good lights, nice and unobtrusive, they don't really need this slick hipster marketing campaign to sell lights.

OK that was a bit of a tangent...Thanks to Miguelaron for putting this on, it was a fun challenge. And thanks for the Hipster Cysts!

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