Along with events with names like “Heritage Tree Tour,” “Vegan Pub Crawl,” “Sunny Nekkid Ride,” and “Axles of Evil Bike Polo,” Portland’s June 2008 bicycle extravaganza, Pedalpalooza, offered a unique opportunity to tour “Buddhas by Bike.”
Sponsored by Dharma Rain Zen Center, Pedalpalooza and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, with support from participating sanghas and the Van Hanh Restaurant, the tour de Dharma visited nine Buddhist centers in the Southeast sector of Portland.
According to principal organizer, Rich Koken Mackin, “The idea started when some of the folks at Dharma Rain asked me to put my publicity know-how to work to try and get more people in the immediate area connected to the thriving Buddhist ‘scene’…My first thought was how to connect Buddhism with bicycles, something I consider to be a major part of the neighborhood culture. With the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's "Day in the Park" and Pedalpalooza both coming up, the rest was just connecting the right dots and contacting the various centers.”
Included on the tour were Dharma Rain Zen Center (the starting point), Linh Son Temple (Vietnamese), Bodhi Tree Center (multi-ethnic Buddhist and language center), Oregon Buddhist Temple (Jodo Shinshu), Portland Buddhist Priory (Soto Zen), Maitripa Institute (Tibetan), Soka Gakkai International, Miao Fa Chan Temple (mixed ethnicity, Theravada/Pure Land), and Nichiren Buddhist Church (Japanese lineage, Western.) The ride ended at Colonel Summers Park where the Multnomah County Bike Fair was taking place.
Contributors: Rich Mackin, Julie Welch.
Photo: Kyogen Carlson