Gateway Mother’s Day bike ride a family event

Who would have guessed that a small community fair at Gateway’s 111th Square – and a neighborhood bicycle tour – would be met with such enthusiasm, and with such delightful weather …

Steve Hoyt-McBeth, SmartTrips Business Manager for Portland Bureau of Transportation, gets ready for the ride – with Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers, and the Mayor of 111th Square.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With our recent winter-like weather, there was some question of whether the First Annual Mother’s Day Ride, sponsored by 111th Square on NE Halsey Street, might be rained out. But, the sun shone brilliantly, and neighbors started to gather for the first-of-spring bike ride.

“We’re celebrating Mother’s Day, and the wonderful things that mothers do for us, with this event,” smiled Fred Sanchez, the event’s organizer. “It is sort of a spontaneous thing, bringing together the police department, service groups, and families who want to have a nice day together.”

The highlight of the celebration, Sanchez pointed out, was the neighborhood bike ride and bike fair today.  “It’s for everyone in the neighborhood to come and enjoy, who wants to join us for the ride. It’s a tour of the community.”

People gather to talk with neighborhood organizations and learn more about SmartTrips, before the fun ride begins.

Dan Bower of the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation fits a helmet, given free, to a neighbor attending the event.

Advocates bikes for nearly all uses
Representing a sponsor of the event, Steve Hoyt-McBeth , Portland Bureau of Transportation SmartTrips business segment manager, said that this was more than just a nice way for people to get together.

“The idea is to get people thinking about their transportation choices,” Hoyt-McBeth said. “Even though this is a ‘fun ride’, we hope people will begin to think about the trips they make to the grocery store, the library, the school. We hope they think about walking, biking, or carpooling.”

Not ever trip is a bike trip, Hoyt-McBeth conceded. “Some trips are for the bike; cars serve their purpose. We’re trying to get people to think about all of their choices.”

Two mothers – Ann Sanchez, Manager of Realty Brokers and 111th Square, and Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz – share good times at the Mother’s Day event.

Commissioner Fritz enjoys the day
One of the people attending the Mother’s Day event was Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “It’s a beautiful day in Gateway.”

Fritz said she came out to the event – sans bicycle – to lend her support. “The Sanchez family does so much good work for the community. When they asked me to stop by, I made plans to be here.

“Here, they’re publicizing the importance of bicycle helmets and learning safe bicycle riding. We want our children and adults to be healthy, to exercise and stay well – and be safe while they do it.”

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Cadets Maritza Delgado and Lily Rodriguez say they relish their time with Frankie the Frankfurter.

And they’re off!

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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