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Skate group on the East Bank Esplanade just before the Steel Bridge about 1:30am

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After hearing about this event all year, and all the fun I missed at last year's, what else could I do but check it out. Yes, it was as fun as promised. Oaks Amusement Park was a great place to start, with all the lights and activity and festive atmosphere.

Bikes were jammed all around the stage area where the costume judging was in progress as I arrived. Too bad I was late, because I would have gotten up there in my elf costume, with a green hat decorating my helmet. The two people who won each had a small bed sticking out the front and back of their torsos. How could they bike like that? I didn't see them after that to find out. There were plenty of other costumed bicyclists, many in pajamas and even several nude people riding bikes, which I heard about from another skater.

As we started the route, I counted at least 20 skaters, but couldn't see far enough to know if there were more. Many of us stuck together, but others joined their bicycling friends.

We heard many positive comments from the bicyclists. I think
they realized how much harder it is to ride on small wheels with no gears. (And some of us don't even have brakes!) Amazingly we were keeping up with many of them.

There were quite a few hills, which were both scary and exhilarating coming down. Not to mention the agony of skating up. Kim brought several students from her Community College skate class. I think they all deserve an "A" for participating!

Many bikes were decorated and almost everyone was wearing flashing lights of some kind or neon. Nancy and her daughter brought a whole bunch of neon glow necklaces and decorated themselves with them. It was difficult to watch the road with all the pretty lights to look at.

Speaking of the road, it wasn't the smoothest in all areas. I don't know if any skaters fell, but I came close a few times. Much of the route wound through Sellwood which was pretty interesting. Many people were sitting on their porches cheering or standing out on the curb gawking or shouting encouragement at us.

Along the route there were a number of rest stops staffed by volunteers offering water, juice, fruit, candy, bike repair, words of encouragement, etc.
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Seventeen miles later, we were back at Oaks Park, tired and hungry. Carts loaded with donuts were waiting, with the volunteers encouraging us to take extras. After that some of the skaters gathered at Bryn's place where he cooked up a hearty breakfast and we socialized. This started around 2:00 a.m. or so. As we were finishing eating, Andrew crashed through the door and collapsed on the floor.
He had taken the longer route, which included Mt. Tabor. He said it was a lot more difficult than he remembered from last year. A skater from Houston, Texas who had flown into Portland just to participate in this event, had done the longer route with Andrew.

Let's hear some other experiences. Out of 20 or more skaters, there should be some stories.




Maria crossing the Hawthorne Bridge, Bryn close behind


Nice to hear from you. I've recouped since the big weekend. It was a fast and tiring trip but so worth it! I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your hospitality in welcoming me on the skate. It was such a great time and nice to meet the Portland gang. carlmttabor.jpg (18854 bytes)

I was glad to have had the Tabor experience but I felt bad that I didn't get more time with the group, or to say goodbye. The split came up faster than I thought and I was a bit ahead at the time. Andrew wanted to know if I was coming so I had to act fast. You couldn't be more right about the 23 mile route...dang! The 2nd half wasn't a pleasant skate (even after Tabor the trails were rough), but I am so glad I did it... once. I would do it the same again, but if I'm back next year I'm pretty sure it will be for the 17!

The first half of the skate was the most pleasant skate I've been on, I loved being by the river. I also appreicated the fact that the folks were friendly. After the skate we went to the Hot Cake House and had a huge breakfast... wow, what an interesting place that was! Then it was back to Dan's with just enough time to grab my bags and speed off to the airport for the 6am. Actually I almost didn't make it with the security lines and all.

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The 23 miles was a great warm-up for the Hotter than Hell 100 that's coming up here in two weeks. I've not been on it but I guess it's as tough as it sounds. Many of the group will do the 50 mile (theres a 10k, 25 mile, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile). I guess theres several miles where they have to change into shoes and run over the roughest couple of miles on the 50 mile course. I'll be doing the 25 mile and see if I can survive. I've added a report to the end of this email that I posted for the Dallas gang to read, I hope it's ok. There's also a link to my pictures. They're not that good and most are way too dark, but at least I have some to mark the event. You're welcome to use any if they're usable.

Thanks again! If anyone gets down this way make sure they look up the Pegasus Flyers and join us for a skate.

-Carl, Dallas TX


Carl's Photos and Story Links check them out!   STORY     PHOTOS

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Tom from Seattle and Bryn at the KPTV rest area, Kim with her back to the camera

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Carl from Dallas, Andrew, Dan, unknown skater, Abigail and Tom from Seattle.

Hi Ho! I made a promise to do a write-up, and here it is:

It was still twilight when I met Sean at the Leipzig Tavern, a great, little place on 13 & Spokane Sts, just East of Oaks Park. Can you imagine the anticipation of the night’s activities while we sat by the picture window and watched the costumed, lit bicycles wizzing by in all directions?
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Just as soon as my other skate amigos showed up, Jeff and Zdenka, we headed out to the starting point. Oaks was a mass of bikes and people, but after penetrating the crowd, there was also a pocket of skaters sipping Starbuck’s samples and preparing to begin the route.

What a rush to be stroking along at the dead of night under the lights of the city while the rest of Portland slept (or tried to!). Then Dan appeared, as if by magic, after telling me earlier that he was too tired. Really, 4 hours of sleep the night before would keep you from this event? I didn’t think so!! Ha ha!

I really felt it to be a good, challenging route to take, other than a few rough spots in the pavement on a small portion of the route (oh, and I could hear protests at the foot of the hills from bikes and skaters alike).

SKATING HIGHLIGHT: A late party that was going on at SE Harrison St at the splitting point of the route. Their driveway was packed with curious on-lookers.

EVENING HIGHLIGHT: Breakfast at Bryn’s! I counted 15 at one point. Bryn’s special omelets, bloody marys, toast & coffee, and some really high spirits. I can’t believe the energy after such a long, late skate :-) Even Andrew was a chipper
contributer, who stumbled through the door and collapsed on the ground after doing the Mt Tabor portion of the route. What a great time, thanks for hosting, Bryn!

And cheers to everyone who came, for making this one of those rare nights to be remembered for a long, long time.



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Crossing the Hawthorne Bridge skaters keep pace with bicyclists

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Unkown skater, followed by Dan crossing the Hawthorne

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Jerry and Abigail at the KPTV Rest Stop

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Jerry, Tom, Maria, Sean, and Bryn catching their breath and snacking on fruit

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Julia's skate, left behind at the finish line and the end of the night. We are hoping it found it's way back home.

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Tabitha, my daughter, working on her bike with glow sticks before the ride

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Abigail and Tom visiting before the skate

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Nancy, Andrew and Tom starting out the skate


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Submit your photos and stories here



Breakfast at Bryn's, Bloody Mary's and Eggs

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Andrew after completting the entire distance
including Mt. Tabor, Dan (behind) holds up the wall at 3:30am


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Kim and her student

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Bryn settleing in, Tabitha rests on a soft inviting chair


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Jerry and Maria at Bryn's