Portland’s “Alley Sweeper” Urban Enduro is a Go for 2015

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When it comes to the western states and motorcycling, California gets all the credit. But, Oregon has a thriving motorcycling community all of its own, especially in Portland — albeit, things can get a little weird up here, with influences like Moto Corsa, See See Motorcycles, Dirt Quake, and now Asphalt & Rubber.

On the vein of keeping PDX out of the norm, and reaffirming that there are no bad days on a motorcycle, we hear good news that the much-loved Alley Sweeper ride is back on for 2015.

For the uninitiated, the Alley Sweeper is an urband enduro of sorts, which takes place on the unmaintained alleyways within the Portland city limits. It’s part ride, part parade, part critical-mass….and usually more fun in the mud.

Because many of these alleys separate housing lots, they have been maintained to various levels of passibility, despite the fact that Portland law says that a vehicle should be able to pass through them at all times.

Some of these roads are smooth gravel and look like driveways, others are completely over-grown and are seemingly only passable with a machete, and many fall between the two extremes, as you’ll see below in the photos from 2014’s event.

Add into the mix that some local homeowners view the alleyways as their own property, and you see the inclusion of some “man-made” obstacles as well.

The negative response is mostly in the minority though, with many Alley Sweeper attendees abiding by the 15 mph speed limits of these alleys, and many homeowners and passers-by waiving to the motorcyclists as they ride thru.

For 2015, the Sang Froid Riding Club is no longer hosting the now seven-year-old event, with an informal gathering taking place in its stead.

Scheduled for Saturday, April 18th at 10am, riders are encouraged to meet at 64th and Foster, where maps will be available at Bar Carlo, Da’ Hui, and Pieter Café. Riders can then choose their routes from the available roads, with whomever they choose.

Just about any street-legal machine can participate in the Alley Sweeper, though if the Portland rain shows its face, like it did last year, knobby tires are recommended (I rode on a supermoto with race tires…it was interesting).

All A&R asks is that if you come out to participate, please ride responsibly and be a good ambassador for the motorcycling community of PDX. See you there!













Photos: © 2014 Ryan Phillips / 360° Photography – All Rights Reserved