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Another Portland Blog

Monday, July 12, 2004

 

Blog encounters another late-night bike mob

Imagine you're sitting in a booth at the Goose Hollow Tavern on Jefferson. It's around midnight and your mind is giving way to the effects of multiple pictures of Henry's as a British gent is telling you why one of your favorite movies of all time is a load of crap. The place is shutting down for the night and its patrons are slowly trickling out. Then, out of nowhere, a hundred people on bicycles roll up to the bar.

These "pink elephant riders" only seem to show up when I'm about to drink, drinking or drunk. During Rose Fest last month, I encountered a mob of all-nude bikers during a late night stroll down to the Shanghai. I'd consider giving up the bottle but, fortunately, other people see them too. Plus, I've got photographic evidence to back up my claims.

As the mob lingered in the middle of Jefferson Street like a flock of starlings, I ran out to investigate. A man with a grey mustache enigmatically told me they were looking for geese and turned away with a laugh. "Are you Zoobomber," I asked his back. "Only some of us," he shot back.

I stood there staring at them stupidly, wondering if another question would yield a Chesire Cat-like answer. Eventually, someone else came clean. They were on what he called a "midnight madness" ride. They apparently do this all the time. On Friday they were on a late-night scavenger hunt. One of the clues was "Bud Clark. Geese." So that explained it. He gave me their listserv address and...I immediately forgot it.

If you aren't familiar with the Zoobombers, they're a local group that rides tiny bicycles at a million MPH through Washington Park. Over the past year, they've butted heads with police and Tri-Met officials in their quest for speed. Last September, their bikes were siezed by PPD and, more recently in an attempt to discourage them, Tri-Met considered closing the MAX line early on Sunday nights to put an end to their weekly rides. Despite it all, the Bombers have prevailed and their stack of bikes still rests comfortably on that bike rack outside of Rocco's.

And they all left as quickly as they arrived. Oddly enough, later that night I wound up lost in Washington Park.

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