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Oregon Manifest Bike Festival Growing

Published September 10, 2009

PORTLAND, OR (BRAIN)—Portland's unique, multi-faceted celebration of cycling culture, craftsmanship and competition called Oregon Manifest returns, larger and fresher, for 2009.

Expanded to six weekends (up from three days), Oregon Manifest 09 will feature a national bike design challenge, an acclaimed Danish cycling culture exhibit, bike racing, guest speakers and a pop-up storefront Bike Union–all highlighting the bike's influence on culture, sustainability and urban design.

Set to run from October 2 to November 8, Manifest 09– presented by Chris King Precision Components–will showcase nearly every facet of the cycling experience, from the craft of bike design to the athletic power of single speed cyclocross, from examining cycling's impact on sustainability to its influence on fashion.

“As one of two Platinum-rated cycling cities in the U.S., its natural that Portland would host a cycling festival with the broad sweep of Oregon Manifest,” said event director Jocelyn SyCip. “Oregon Manifest was created to celebrate the art, craft and community of bicycling, in turn engaging a wider audience with the cycling lifestyle. This series of events does not exist elsewhere and is the result of the cycling and creative communities coming together to develop something extraordinary and different.”

Three events headline the festivities:

DREAMS ON WHEELS DANISH CYCLING CULTURE EXHIBIT

Working with the Embassy of Denmark and the City of Portland, Oregon, Oregon Manifest is hosting the U.S. debut of the Danish interpretive exhibit, Dreams on Wheels. Developed by curator Thomas Ermacora and in collaboration with Danish designer and architect Jan Gehl, Dreams On Wheels showcases Danish cycling culture and Denmark's commitment to sustainability via urban design that promotes active transportation. The exhibit illustrates how cycling has affected Danish culture, analyzing the history and social development of biking as a viable transportation alternative.

CONSTRUCTOR’S DESIGN CHALLENGE

Oregon Manifest is seeking the next-wave transportation bike. Bicycle frame builders from around the country are challenged to design and build an innovative, modern transportation bike–a technical trial of engineering dexterity and fabrication mettle. Creative solutions for the everyday rider will be explored and exhibited before the public at the Oregon Bike Union. Some of the country's most accomplished makers of hand-built, custom bikes have taken up the challenge, including Igleheart from Wenham, Mass., Ahearne Cycles from Portland, and Curt Goodrich Bicycles from Minneapolis, Minn. Thirty-three builders will enter their purpose-built designs.

A prestigious panel of experts, including Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach, and Sky Yaeger, of Swobo Bikes, will judge the bikes on Friday, October 2, followed by an evening gala at the Oregon Manifest Bike Union. The entered bikes will be displayed and the builders introduced to the public.

"The transportation bike is a long-neglected segment of cycling, but one that's making a comeback,” SyCip said, “The Constructor's Design Challenge is a unique way to jump start the conversation about what constitutes a great, modern, all-around transportation bike."

CONSTRUCTOR’S RACE

To prove that the bikes entered in the Constructors Design Challenge deliver function as well as form, the bikes will compete in a unique real-world transportation test. Presented by Rapha, the UK-based cycling apparel maker with offices in Portland, the Oregon Manifest Constructor's Race serves up 77 miles of epic on-and-off road challenges inspired by the European one-day classics, such as Paris Roubaix. Design Challenge builders (or their designated riders) will brave dirt, gravel, elevation climbs, and urban technical trials on the secret route to bike victory.

While Dreams on Wheels, the Constructor's Design Challenge, and the Constructors Race, top the Oregon Manifest line-up, other Manifest events will also pique the interest of cycling enthusiasts.

Guest Speakers: In addition to a presentation by the Danish Ambassador, the rough and tumble world of Euro bike racing will be discussed by author Joe Parkin, who spent nearly a decade living in Belgium, learning Flemish and racing his bike professionally. Parkin chronicled his exploits in his memoir, A Dog in a Hat: An American Bike Racer's Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium. He will speak at the Oregon Manifest Bike Union (NW 10th and Hoyt in The Pearl) on October 16 at 7 p.m.

Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships: As if the mud, the barriers and the run-ups of cyclocross weren't challenging enough, single speed 'cross limits the riders to one gear, putting a premium on strength, suffering, and in the case of this particular event, spectacle. On November 8, the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship closes out the Oregon Manifest's six-week run, taking place at Portland International Raceway.

Ready to Roll Cycling Lifestyle Fashion Show and Concours D’Elegance Cycle chic is two-wheeling it to Portland Fashion Week! Fabulous meets functional on the runway of Ready to Roll, a cycling lifestyle fashion show. October 10, Momentum magazine in conjunction with Portland Fashion Week, will showcase bike style that performs on both the morning commute and at the evening’s big event. After the show, fashionistas can participate in a rolling Concours d’elegance presented by River City Bicycles that will wind it’s way through the city toward a dapper celebration at the OM Bike Union.

Family Bicycle Transportation Day: Want to learn more about riding with kids? This is the event for you. Come demo a huge selection of family biking products in a fun atmosphere at a single convenient location. Many easy and flexible two-wheeled options will be on hand, including bakfiet and other cargo bikes, trail-a-bikes, front-loading child seats, child seats options, bike trailers, tandems, electric-pedal assist electric-assisted bikes, accessories and more. In addition, more information and resources will be available on safe routes to school and work, tips on riding with children, and bicycle maintenance.

Topics associated with this article: Events

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