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

11 thoughts on “Pedalpalooza: Tour of Southeast Portland Tiny Homes”

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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


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