From the article:
Portland has spawned a new weekly bike ride that has all the trappings of Critical Mass without the baggage of politics, activism, or controversy.
The Thursday Night Ride is all about camaraderie, freedom, and fun — all the things an urban bike ride should be. Last night I joined about 100 people who showed up at Salmon Street Fountain. I was happy to realize that I didn’t recognize anyone. There’s a whole new crop of Portlanders for whom this ride serves as a welcome mat into the city.
“It was my first mass bike ride,” said Mike Ingrassia, who stood out from the crowd with his white blazer. Ingrassia runs a bike-powered marketing firm and also organizes the Rush Hour Alleycat series. He first discovered this ride back in June during Pedalpalooza. “It’s a great way to meet friends as an adult,” he added. “You can go up to someone and be like, ‘Hey stranger, want to go get tacos?’ and it doesn’t seem weird.”