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