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Pre-Turkey Day Melee

Where do North Westerners go to bomb hills when it’s raining for weeks and you don’t want to get wet? Parking garages, of course. The key to skating garages is hitting them at night when they are less likely to have cars. Even better, go on days like sunday or the night before a holiday. Riding parking garages the night before Thanksgiving has been a Portland tradition for many years now. I brought my camera along for the ride to share some of the experience.

With my board in my backpack, I rode my bike from NE Portland into downtown, taking the Broadway Bridge. I stopped to shoot a photo of the skyline through the bridge infrastructure and got this semi passing through instead. There was also, curiously, a shopping cart on the bike path around the halfway point across the bridge.

Raging semi.

Raging semi.

This is far from any grocery store. Just saying.

This is far from any grocery store. Just saying.

The first garage is called home base. We always usually meet there first at a certain time after the security guards have biked through and then go hit up some other garages. I arrived at the bottom of the “home base” garage fashionably late, hiked up one set of stairs to avoid any workers/security, and started biking up the floors. I could hear the skaters rumbling floors above as I rode up. Then, I saw a broken window of a parked car and it just made me think this garage doesn’t have the best security, which is why we skate it.

Just a few floors from where the skaters stop and take the elevator back up.

Just a few floors from where the riders stop and take the elevator back up.

As I rode up the rumbling, hooting, and hollering became more distinct. Then, riders zipped out from around a corner. I rode a bit further stopped to capture a few shots of the group diving into a corner.

Do Not Enter

Do Not Enter

Enter

Enter

I spot the assembled crew  at the top.

I spot the assembled crew at the top.

The group spent some time socializing in between runs. It was a pretty large group riding for the holiday bomb. This Pre-Turkey Day Melee was started many years ago by Billy Meiners, as I believe. Billy liked to get people together to enjoy downhill skating and this is just one of those community-minded things he did in Portland. A session like this one just requires that people show up, so we used to use PDXDownhill to promote it. Nowadays, it’s Facebook groups and word of mouth that gets people to the session.

Eric Hoang manuals around as riders line up for a run.

Eric Hoang manuals around as riders line up for a run.

Squad rolls deep. Jed Johnson is in the back riding on one foot for a few floors.

Squad rolls deep. Jed Johnson is in the back riding on one foot for a few floors.

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More Jed.

More Jed.

Dropping in for another run.

Dropping in for another run.

Skiing two longboards. He jumped off shortly after this, but I'd like to see someone go all the way like that.

Skiing two longboards. He jumped off shortly after this, but I’d like to see someone go all the way like that.

Turn.

Turn.

It looks slick, but it's pretty sticky.

It looks slick, but it’s pretty sticky.

Another example of the one footer.

Another example of the one footer.

More dropping in.

More dropping in.

Nearby is the Wells Fargo building, looking a bit ominous.

Nearby is the Wells Fargo building, looking a bit ominous.

Holy blurry panorama, batman!

Holy blurry panorama, batman!

Everyone took off for the next garage, which is a tad more difficult than the first mellow one. It has options to go left or right so you can go in a figure eight or a circle. The options and the pillars make for some interesting confrontations with other riders taking different routes than each other.

And they're off to another garage.

And they’re off to another garage.

A group waits for their turn to walk over to the garage elevator and not arose suspicion from the booth workers. A large group already left and they're waiting for the elevator to come back down.

A group waits for their turn to walk over to the garage elevator and not arose suspicion from the booth workers. A large group already left and they’re waiting for the elevator to come back down.

The one footer is for the kids.

The one footer.

Kurt Derow gets his mobile pole jamming on.

Kurt Derow gets his mobile pole jamming on.

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Skyline

Skyline

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Garage Noir N˚1

Garage Noir N˚1

Garage Noir N˚2

Garage Noir N˚2

Garage Noir N˚1

Garage Noir N˚1

It's funny. They look like able-bodied young men. Why are they all taking the elevator? I would imagine it's to save the energy for the riding.

It’s funny. They look like able-bodied young men. Why are they all taking the elevator? I would imagine it’s to save the energy for the riding.

Form

Form

It was time for another perspective. I went across the street for the following shots.

Squad! Eric Hoang of Daddies Board Shop is in the mix.

Squad! Eric Hoang of Daddies Board Shop is in the mix.

Levels on levels.

Levels on levels.

They are on a new level.

They are on a new level.

After these photos, I left early to go meet with family for Thanksgiving. I was very thankful none of us got hurt and didn’t get any visits with security (as far as I know). The newest issue of the magazine has arrived for many. I know I was excited to get mine the day after Thanksgiving. Subscribe to keep it alive and to get the Photo Annual.

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