Our ride started by noticing how there were a lot of places to get Bánh Mì sandwiches that also served bubble tea. Those things all start with the letter B so we could join in the great pedalpalooza tradition of alteration (See rooftop ride, recumbent ramble, and cryptozoology cycle). Thus the Bánh Mì and Bubble Tea Bicycle Bonanza was born.
We had a small but fun group. We had zines with tasting notes. I ate delicious food until I felt like I couldn’t bike anymore and then I drank a hibiscus flavored bubble tea, it was glorious. You can check out some pictures below but, the most interesting part of the ride was the conversation we had between Double Dragon and An Xuyên Bakery.
We didn’t plan it this way, but our ride happened right in the middle of a controversy around food, race, and culture. This article will catch you up and these ones provide a broader lens. Our ride touched on some of these topics because we were comparing sandwiches from popular inner east side bars, to more traditional shops near 82nd Ave. We had a great talk about this and I wrote a long reflection but then I thought, “does the internet really need another article about this?
I don’t mean to say this isn’t an important issue. A few people respond to this topic with “it’s just food, it doesn’t matter” and I find that a really unsatisfying response. Even worse, this response repeats the pattern of people dismissing or downplaying the concerns of people of color and anti-racist movements.
I just don’t think the internet creates the best dialogue. I encourage everyone to find someone who can push their boundaries in a respectful way and have an honest discussion about race, food, and appropriation. If you consider yourself white, try your best to find another white person to have this talk. If you don’t know anyone who can do this, send me a letter (2219 SE 68th Ave #635, Portland, OR 97215), I’ll totally reply.