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Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing IX

Time for one more run before light rail stops running. Time to hang out on top of the hill. 80’s music plays out of a cassette deck and small groups of people sit or lay out under the night sky with the lights of Portland glimmering in the distance.

“Leave no trace. No beer cans. No cigarrette butts. We’re not coming back here,” someone calls out.

Pink Princess

Pink Princess

I’m a guest here. A welcome guest. Even at 48 with a touring bike and no adornments. I’m excepted.

Kat Marriner : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing VIII

Madness and mayhem

Madness and mayhem

I thought I was going fast enough. Certainly fast enough to feel the thrill but not feel unsafe. Then the bomb passed. At once I understood the true essence of zoo bombing. I was an interloper, a spectator, a poser. That man dressed in armor with his legs tucked behind him, leaning low on his handlebars inches from the ground, hugging turns and risking skin. THAT was a zoo bomber.

Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bomb VII

What a ride! The group gathers down by the light rail stop. The train comes and fulls with people and bikes and then whisks off to the zoo station. Back at the elevators. Even more people pile in. We arrive at the top for the second run.

Hell Run is announced. Hell Run? What is that. Well we soon find out it means bombing down a street forMAXing to the zoo a distance and then turning onto Highway 26. Oh My God. Adrenaline pumping. We are on the highway. 5o bikes racing back toward the city. A modified kids bike screams past me at at least 50 mph. Now THAT

MAXing to the zoo

guy is crazy.

Kat Marriner : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing VI

Streamline

Streamline

This is more beautiful than I expected. Streaming lights snake down the mountain, glowing red trails behind them. I’m near the rear of this train and loving every moment of it. After whoops die down, it’s quiet, peaceful, beautiful. Only the sound of wheels whirring and click-click-clicking along.

Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing V

Tail lights flashing we all wait at the top of the hill.  Instructions are given. All I remember is “announce on you’re right and on your left”. Then there is a count down. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Zoo Bomb!!! The cry goes out with joy and laughter and a group of adults are on their way, descending several

Countdown to Zoo Bomb

Countdown to Zoo Bomb

hundred ft on winding, semi-lit roads … bombing toward downtown Portland. This is more fun than I’d expected. WAY more fun.

Kat Marriner : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing IV

Can of sardines

Can of sardines

Room for me? YES! And the 20-somethings squeeze tighter making room for a woman their mom’s age sporting a full-size mountain bike with a zebra attached. They laugh good-naturedly as I doubt, then sure enough, I’m in and we rise to the top. The woman in front of me is wearing a backpack with a large patch sewn on with an image of a bike and the words “Put Some Fun Between Your Legs.”

We emerge into a glorious, still night, then wait for our friends in the second elevator. All together now, we finish the climb to the top on our bikes of many flavors.

Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing III

No need to pay your TriMet fare. No one checks on Sunday night I’m told. Then the train stops at the zoo station. Everyone off. A large group of adults is gathered, waiting for the elevators. Most with kids bikes. The type with a

Room for one more

Room for one more

coaster brake. One has a head of Bart Simpson mounted on it. Another is modified like a crotch rocket motorcycle. The elevator doors open and people and bikes pile in. It is full. over full. But no …. “One More” the crowd chants.

Kat Marriner : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombin II

Green jacketZeb is 8 years old and this was his first zoo bombing too. He thought it was fun … but not quite what he expected. Quite honestly, he thought we were going there to free the wild animals trapped in cages. He thought he would be a hero. Instead, he screamed, then hurled as we whipped around hairpin turns. Not the thing heroes are made of. No big cats will be in his debt. But then again, no kin will come looking to share his home.

Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing I

Waiting for MAX

Waiting for MAX

I’m 48 years old and I’ve just experienced my first Zoo Bomb. Exciting. Exhilarating. Speed. Thrills. And yet it was a beautiful, communal experience. Red tails lights floating down a hill.

You would think that all the premier events would be reserved for Friday or Saturday night … but Sunday is the night for Zoo bombing!

!

Willie Weir : September 15th, 2009

Zoo Bombing

Rogue writing

Rogue writing

The following posts are  a dual account of Portland’s Zoo Bombing , written in three minute bursts over beers at the Rogue Alehouse.