Before we begin, some items to consider:
- According to the Oregon Craft Beer website, Portland’s 56 breweries (76 in the metro area) constitute the greatest number of breweries of any city in the world.
- In 2012, Bicycling Magazine proclaimed Portland “America’s Best Bike City.”
- Although Portland does sport the smallest city park in the world, the city’s Vera Katz Park, at 750 square feet (my estimate, which includes a sidewalk down the middle), is darn close.
Okay. Now we can talk about the cocktail hour that Louise and I share almost every evening.
Here’s how it goes: around 6:30 we walk a block and a half to Vera Katz Park, take a seat on a bench, and sip our evening libation. This is a vestige of our nightly Puerto-Vallartan habit of settling under a palapa on the beach to watch the PV sunset, which never—not in six months’ residence there—failed to provoke awe.
It so happens that Vera Katz Park is across the street from the Deschutes Brewery Public House, which is one of the six stops made by BrewCycle Portland.
The BrewCycle is a human-powered pedaled contraption. Fifteen humans are required (although there’s a smaller one that only requires eight), all pedaling and yelping furiously with anticipation for their next stop. There are six stops in all, all breweries, the entire adventure requiring about two hours. The revelers pedal up to the front door, the cycle is parked, everyone tumbles inside for fifteen minutes of carousing, then it’s back on the cycle for another destination. (Video here. Watch it if you can’t imagine how a human-powered, fifteen-passenger bike works.)
Somehow our cocktail hour coincides with the arrival of the BrewCycle nine times out of ten. We cheer them on, people grab their cell phones and stop traffic to get a picture, the cyclists snap selfies, and just like that, three of Portland’s claims to fame have come together in one slaphappy moment: beer, cycling, and a tiny park.
I feel an episode of Portlandia coming on…