midsummer.jpg (7331 bytes)hawthonrebrigde.jpg (14535 bytes)                                                                            2AM on the Hawthorne Bridge (front to back) Teddie, Michelle, Angie, Kim, Penny and Bryn.

What could be more fun then skating across the Hawthorne Bridge at 2am?, well how about skating it with 6 other  crazy skaters and pausing at midspan for a ritual spit into the river?   The Mid Summer Night City Tour was a blast.  An event NOT meant to miss next year so be sure to mark your calendar.

Bryn, Teddie, Penny, Kim, Angie, Michelle and Nancy met at the Rose Quarter fountains at 11pm, flashing lights, glow sticks, pajamas and excited smiles.  Hesitantly we check in and were greeted by the bikers with friendly smiles and a feeling of welcome as we were handed our maps and compared pajamas and lights with a group of two-wheelers.

The line up of bikers was huge, the tour started at Midnight and finally at 1AM we passed the start line and headed on our way through the city.  Ahead of us for miles were flashing red lights of the bicycles filling the roadways, and the sound of laughter, and occasional wolf whistles as a few topless bikers sped by.  Along the route we     were greeted positively by encouraging bystanders, as they spotted us on blades keeping pace with our pack of bikes.  Bryn in the lead danced on his quad skates and a easy pace passing bicycles as they shrugged and pumped on.

The road ways were smooth, fairly level and easy to navigate.  We skated with our pack for a few miles before splitting off and taking a shorter alternate route with the goal of avoiding Mount Tabor in mind.  We detoured through the lower eastside to Hawthorne and across the bridge down onto the waterfront just in time for the first pack of bicyclist to come up on us from behind,  we clapped and routed on the leaders of the pack as they whizzed across the bridge and down onto the waterfront.  We followed at an easy pace and made our way down to the Steel Bridge and up the ramps back to the Rose Quarter where they had 3000 donuts, apple juice, bagels and water waiting for the incoming mass.

It was over and it was nearing 3AM, the bicycles were still coming in when we spotted a lone skater cross the finish line.
(See Story Below)

Next year we hope you will join us in this awesome adventure!


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To Glow..........

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Penny skating the esplanade

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Or Not to Glow..........
Street Skaters at 1:30AM, Just taking up Space right down the middle!

kim.jpg (11800 bytes)Midsummer ride--the weather, the moon, the energy of the crowd and skating down the middle of Hawthorne at 1:30 in the morning lit up like Christmas. Let's not forget the donuts of perfection at the finish. Don't miss this event next year. The folks that skated Saturday Night still have the silly grin of kids that got away with something. A pj/costume and lighting contest with 3,000 entrants riding into the night with a police escort. What more could you ask for?

andrewfinishline.jpg (12296 bytes)Meet Andrew at the finish line after skating
the entire route................

Last year, the ride route went right by my house about 2 miles  after the start.  I'd never heard of the ride or anything, but I saw a lot of bikers and I had a little energy to burn, so I strapped on my old 'blades and headed out to join them (that's right, I was a bandit).   I went with the same attitude I always take; not really focusing on the destination, but rather on the trip, block by block.  I wasn't sure how rollerblades would compare to a bike in terms of keeping pace, but things turned out pretty well, and the next thing I knew I was back at the rose garden eating donuts .

This year was a bit different, because I knew it was coming up and all, so I had a little bit of time to "build up steam" and get ready for it (IMHO, the easiest way to do a long skate is to not prepare or think about it - just consider it 5-6 short trips back to back) which may have been a bad thing, as I started to get tense.  

About a mile or two after   heading out we started approaching Mt. Tabor.  I fully expected two separate routes, one that went over and one that went around, just like last year, but no such luck; this year I had to head up.  It took me about 2 or 3 rest breaks to get up to the top, where I cooled down for a few minutes w/ the provided water and apples.  I got lots of funny looks on the way up, and heard the now-familiar exclamation of "hey look, a rollerblader"  (I think they meant to say "hey look, a lunatic!").

As any accomplished rollerblader will know, the hardest part of a hill isn't going up - it's going down.  First, take the fact that the way down was a very long steep downhill route, add that it was bumpy, gravely, and rough, take away any lighting (that's right, pitch black, and I with no good flashlight), and add in a dash of bikers whizzing by at around 15 mph.  I stood on the side despairing for about 15 minutes trying to get a biker to help me down.   Eventually I used my dinky little key-chain flashlight to get from the left to the right shoulder of the road.  I used that same flashlight to proceed downhill doing a slalom-type speed control, until I was finally able to get a very kind courteous biker to let me grab on to the seat of her bike and brake the whole way down.   

From then on it was really smooth skating, it all passed in a blur.  I can't even remember the route we took.  The next real significant thing I remember is coming down woodstock and nearing 39th (one of the best places for any of you thrill-seekers).  There was an alternate route that turned south on 39th, but no way was I going to miss out on the woodstock downhill.   I go to the crest, tucked in, and sailed on down.  I'd estimate I got up to about 25, possibly 30 mph by the time I hit the bottom, it was a total rush.  

After that was the banana-orange-water rest stop, where I ran into some people I knew, and had to explain to them that, yes, rollerblades can keep up with bikes.  We headed back north until about Madison, and took that west.  I was starting to really fade around then, I almost gave up, but then someone gave me a map of the route and I saw it was just going over waterfront, which I was very familiar with.  Thus, I went ahead and went over the bridge, up waterfront, and back over the steel bridge.  Let me tell you, going up the steel bridge was a real push, as I had spent nearly all my energy in various foolish little "competitions" with the bikers along the entire route (though... it IS a real validating experience to say to a biker "passing on your left.")

        See you around

-Andrew Kent

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Penny and Kim, RAVIN' Light Show

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Michelle showing off her Night look

angie.jpg (12748 bytes)I had a great time Saturday night. Since this was my first outdoor night skate I was a little nervous. My nerves quickly vanished once we made it to the Rose Garden. It was so awesome to see all the   riders and skaters with costumes and lights. I was also a little worried about skating along with the cyclists, but they were all very nice and seemed to welcome us. It was fun skating with you guys. I will definately be back next year with my lights and glow sticks!

PS Thank you for the break lessons. They came in handy more than once!

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Teddie and Angie skating on the Esplanade

FUN! FUN! FUN! Angie and I had a blast last night. My goal is to devise a slightly longer route for next year that will stay with the bicyclists more. Perhaps we'll even be shown on the map. Better yet, perhaps they'll spot us with our own rest area! -- but maybe I'm jumping the gun a little on that last idea. :)"

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This is too much fun, Bryn after the skate and the donuts

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A break on the waterfront

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Bench break, (left to right) Teddie, Michelle, Bryn, Kim, Angie and Penny front




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Nancy skating, it was late I was all fuzzy