Zoobomb

Zoobomb is a weekly bicycling activity in Portland, Oregon during which participants ride bicycles rapidly downhill in the city’s West Hills. Zoobomb began in 2002. Participants carry their bikes on MAX Light Rail to the Washington Park station next to the Oregon Zoo. From there, participants take the elevator to the surface and then ride their bikes down the hills in the vicinity. This process is often repeated several times throughout the night. ‘The people that are going 35-mph-plus have backgrounds in BMX, mountain biking, bike messengering or downhill skateboarding. I don’t know that people showing up for the first time understand this.’

There is an emphasis on unusual bicycles, first and foremost the children’s bicycles or ‘minibikes,’ but extending to tall bikes, swing bikes, choppers, non-functional bicycles, skateboards, etc. The event is treated in a very lighthearted fashion, including a large amount of socializing between rides. Riders often dress up in costume or decorate their bicycles. Though many riders bring their own bicycles, the participants maintain a ‘Zoobomb pile,’ a tower of minibikes anchored to a bicycle rack at the Zoobomb meeting point for riders to borrow. The pile has become a local landmark.[3][5]A legally blind person ‘The Blind Bomber’ regularly attends (on a tandem bike, behind a sighted rider). Though not technically a race, there is some prestige in getting down the hill first.

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