Pedalpalooza: Tour of Southeast Portland Tiny Homes

Following is a guest post by my friend Tammy Strobel who publishes the Rowdy Kittens Blog.

Shift is an organization in Portland that brings people together for bike based fun. Every year Shift facilitates an amazing event called Pedalpalooza, that spans a 2 week period.

With 291 events, most organized by individuals, bikers of all persuasions are likely to find many events of interest. Nearly all events are free.

A few weeks ago Eli Spevak, from Orange Splot, LLC, organized a Pedalpalooza ride featuring tiny homes. A group of 150 cyclists gathered for the tiny home tour, in Southeast Portland.

Beginning of Ride

We stopped at six tiny homes and saw a number of different housing styles, including: a 14 x 8 gypsy wagon, a little house made of cob, a nanny’s house on wheels, a straw-bail tiny house that is being used as a detached bedroom, an urban village, and a cute little home that was converted from a garage to a little cottage.

Converted Garage

The homes were incredible and the builders relied on the following concepts when constructing the little dwellings:

  • Using salvaged and sustainably produced building materials whenever possible.
  • Using design to make it easy for neighbors to share resources.
  • Incorporating durable construction materials to minimize the need for ongoing maintenance.
  • Re-utilizing existing structures whenever possible.
  • Locating the structures to make it easy to live without a car.
  • Incorporating artwork and quality craftsmanship to make projects beautiful and unique.

Also, a few of the ride attendees mentioned that the city has reviewed a number of reports focusing on smaller homes; specifically that smaller homes are more efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint, in comparison to larger Leed certified homes that tend to be tremendously cost intensive.

Gypsy Wagon

The ride was inspiring and informative, thanks to Eli’s efforts. And I was happy to learn that the City of Portland’s Planning Department is fairly flexile when it comes to tiny house zoning specifics (e.g. waving fees, assisting in approving innovative designs, etc.).

Little House at the Urban Village

There is a lot of good news for all things tiny in Portland!

You can check out my photos from the ride by clicking here.

Straw Bail Tiny House

A Nanny's House on Wheels

The Cob Dwelling

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Michweek - June 30, 2010 Reply

How do I become a resident at the Urban Village? It looks pretty nice!

Cheryl - July 1, 2010 Reply

Seattle’s King county should follow suit on relaxing codes. A neat idea also to get together and sharing ideas.

Victoria Vargas - July 1, 2010 Reply

I’m sorry I’ll miss Pedalpalooza! Sounds like it’ll be over before my trip to Portland on July 17th. I love the Little House in the Urban Village photo. That’s one the cutest I’ve seen yet. Is the Tiny House Tour an annual event during Pedalpalooza? If so, I may have to plan a trip next year when it’s happening. 🙂 Great article!

Joe3 - July 1, 2010 Reply

I’d like more information on the Gypsy Wagon that’s in this article….anyone have a link?
I’m thinking Housetruck and shedding my small house.

Thanks, Joe

John Labovitz - July 1, 2010 Reply

The gypsy-wagon/housetruck is my project. I’ve been constructing it (with the help of a couple of metal & wood artists) over the last 9 months or so; I spent about a year designing it before that. You can read more about it here: http://polymecca.com/housetruck/index (The website’s not entirely up to date, but you’ll get the gist.)

–John

bottleman - July 1, 2010 Reply

more on the purple converted garage: http://bottleworld.net/?page_id=163

Viva La Tiny Revolution: Why We’re Building a Little House - January 19, 2011 Reply

[…] For more on Portland tiny homes, check out the post I wrote for Kent last year. […]

Lori - May 5, 2012 Reply

I’m returning to Portland next month and want to learn more about PDX city allowances for tiny houses. If you have any information, please email me. Thanks! ZenGrrrl (at) AOL (dot ) com

Logan - May 30, 2012 Reply

Head’s up everyone, there is another bicycle tour of tiny houses in Portland coming up on June 24th via Pedalpalooza. This tour will be different than the tour documented above as this one will held in a different part of town (North Portland). Here is the info: http://www.shift2bikes.org/cal/viewpp2012.php#24-2771

Portland small home survey | Accessory Dwellings - December 10, 2013 Reply

[…] collected from this project can serve as the basis for future small home tours (like the PedalPalooza tiny home bike rides from a couple years ago) and on-line sharing of images, plans and stories about these charming […]

Microcosmic | Sightline Institute - February 27, 2016 Reply

[…] should be, and how that size should be determined. Here’s a video of a recent bike tour of micro houses that was part of […]

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