Laura Bliss is a staff writer at CityLab, covering transportation and technology. She also authors MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.
Baby, that was much too fast.
From the department of bittersweet Portlandia news: The city’s beloved Bowie vs. Prince bike ride will likely come to an end after its ninth annual convening sometime later this year.
Since 2008, cyclists have dressed up as the visionary artists and cruised around Portland blasting their iconic music for one freewheeling night every summer. “Pick your popstar allegiance and we'll meet up for the battle of Team Bowie and Team Prince,” instructs the Facebook page for last year’s event. “Bicycle dance party on wheels.”
But with the passing of Prince on April 21, and of David Bowie on January 10, the ride’s founder, Lillian Karabaic, believes it’s time to pack it in.
"I think this will be the final year for Bowie vs. Prince," Karabaic told KATU2, a local news channel. "We can use it as an awesome send off to both their lives."
Karabaic organized the Bowie vs. Prince ride in 2008 on a whim. According to her, about 500 people showed up that first year. She estimates there were 900 people for last year's ride.
The date of this year’s event hasn’t yet been announced. But the tone will probably be different from that of past years, pictured in these Instagram shots. "It's going to be a memorial ride," Karabaic said.