Ride for Pride with drag queens on World Bike Day

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Madi Carlson (The Street Trust) rides drag queen Poison Waters in the Pride Ride as Cory Poole takes a ride. Scroll down for more photos. (Photos: Taylor Griggs/Bike Portland)

Here in Portland, you don’t have to choose between a Pride Month rally hosted by local drag queens or a bike ride to celebrate World Bike Day. To The Street Trust’s first annual pride tower yesterday you could have both. Of course, I had to get in on the action, so I went downtown yesterday afternoon to check it out.

“Darcelle was the first person in Portland to ride a bicycle in 1932.”
— Poisonous Waters

We started the 1.7 mile ride at the South Park Blocks, where guest host and local drag legend poisonous waters presented the event and jumped in a tricycle carriage (operated by Madi Carlson of The Street Trust). Crossing the city center, we were lulled by the sweet tunes of the bagpipes of the unipiperwho is legendary in Portland for his ability to play his instrument while balancing on a unicycle.

Once we reached our final destination at the Cart Blocks, we were joined by a very special guest: Darcelle XVwho, at 91, is the oldest drag queen in the world.

“Darcelle was the first person in Portland to ride a bicycle in 1932,” Poison Waters joked. “We would have the bike here today, but it’s on display at the Smithsonian, and shipping would have been very expensive.”

It was one of the first Pride Month events in Portland, and it was perfectly timed for World Bike Day and the start of Pedalpalooza. It turns out that bikes, drag queens and bagpipes go together like rainbow sherbet.

Hopefully this becomes an annual tradition!

Check out more photos from the ride below, and thanks again to Poison Waters, Darcelle and The Street Trust (along with partner sponsors Downtown Portland and the Portland Business Alliance) for such a fun event!

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