Keep Portland Bike-Curious!
The Midnight Mystery Ride offers an opportunity to lead
cyclists to new explorations in ideas, rides and locations by bike.
It’s 11a on a Wednesday at PDXK Productions in January and there is a mystery being built.
We just didn’t know it at the time.
I am holding a throwback to 1967, the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour record cover and, having never heard the album in its entirety, I am rather amused by the psychedelic attributes of the cover coupled with the animal costumes.
“Yeah, I don’t want it anymore. You can have it or I will just toss it,” he replies.
I pause and the thought balloon appears above my head.
“You know Dan…” I pause, letting the thoughts collect in the balloon, “It would be really great if I did an MMR based off the Magical Mystery Tour.”
“What?” suddenly Dan’s interest is peaked and he protests, “Not without me!”
He proceeds to share with me about this particular album and the musical influence it had on him.
What I did know from the beginning conversations is that we were going to do it better, bolder and reinvest new love into a ten-year-old mystery.
We started building a mystery.
The idea was to make a remixed version of the classic Beatles album.
What if the Beatles did their tour on bicycles instead of by bus?
What songs would capture the psychedelic experience given by the Magical Mystery Tour?
Questions streamed and the inspiration turned into pure motivation to create something wondrous, mysterious, magical. This was going to be insanely great.
Schedules were coordinated and an email was loaded, readied and fired off to the Team Midnight.
Confirmed and coordinated, we prepared to ride at Midnight on the second Friday in March.
Costumes were themed, playlists were imagined, routes were rode and somewhere a graphic, website and video were created.
It was time to ride the ride and lead the bikes to the sacred awesome midnight mystery location.
It’s 11p on that Friday, the second Friday of every month. This is our month.
I am nervous, tense and had a gut full of rising excitement. I arrive to a sound system beating on the backside of BaseCamp with beats that cause me to shake my booty a bit.
I am reassured by my friends, Dan in particular that I simply need to keep calm and carry on.
It’s a bit past midnight. We wait and build up the mystery a little longer until the excitement reaches a climax.
“Welcome to the Midnight Mystery Ride,” I announce over the crowd, “We want to do things a bit different tonight. We have two leaders. I am the Walrus Coo Coo Kachu!
There will be another Walrus tonight. I hope you enjoy the ride.” The reaction is positive and I smile, continuing my announcement, “And if you can do it better, then do it better! Let’s ride.”
I roll south on SE 7th and the crowd follows me. Excited riders push ahead of me, glancing back from time to time to ensure that they are going the right direction. Future MMR Leaders, I muse to myself.
“I am no longer the Walrus! You have a new Walrus.”
Dan gets up next to me and shouts loudly, “I am the Walrus Coo Coo Kachu! I am the Walrus Coo Coo Kachu!”
Dan mounts his Disco Trike and the crowd starts to follow him. They get it. Good.
I relax and roll to a crawling pace, no longer required to lead the cycling many.
After a brief pause at the end of the trail we cross over the Sellwood Bridge and head north.
We scramble to our hidden stash of firewood and Dan asks for help hauling the load.
Music keeps pace with the mood for the night and soon we are in the light of the fire sharing smiles, beers and stories.
The night fades away and we soon wander home.
It’s good to enjoy a monthly mystery.
Do it Better, Portland.
If you want to keep Portland Bike-Curious & lead a MMR visit http://midnightmysteryride.wordpress.com/.
Images generously provided by Ryan Ramage of RL Ramage Interactive Media.
Djae Wonka graciously provided the soundtrack for the event. You can listen to his music on SoundCloud and hear the set played at the March MMR below.
Yellow DubMarine (Starts @ 33 minutes in.)
at midnight, we ride.