Mini-bikers ride inside Lloyd Center Mall

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 4th, 2006 at 11:41 am

Canadians in Lloyd Center Mall

[Click for animation]

While in town for the recent Mini-Bike Winter Olympics, several Canadians went for an impromptu ride through Lloyd Center Mall. Here's an account from one of the riders:

"It was a pretty awesome experience. People were DOWNRIGHT OFFENDED that we were in the mall with our bikes, even though we were very respectful and didn't bump into people or anything. We could see some people physicallly freezing up or wringing their hands. The mall is supposed to be SAFE. They're not supposed to have to DEAL with these THINGS. They were nervous and pissed all in one and they wanted to lash out at us. A few people did. The security guards definitely did. We took the escalator, the elevator and some stairs. It was great."

Here's a bunch more great photos. Thanks to Ayleen Crotty the tip.

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  • joe March 4, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Looks very cool! Thanks for the link!

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  • ringer March 4, 2006 at 12:55 pm


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  • David March 4, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    don't know what I think about this, seems a bit childish if ask me.

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  • nate March 4, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    Way to go aye! That place needs serious flava.
    I hope our zoobombers can return the favor
    in a future trip to BC..

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  • george March 4, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    David, you need to let out your inner child...

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  • fixgear March 4, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    not that I love malls....but don't expect to be taken seriously if you act like a child...

    down with malls...down with safety (?)

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  • mall biker March 5, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    hey fixedgear, who said we were being SERIOUS in the mall? We were just trying to have a little fun, a little adventure.

    lighten up - life is too f'ing short.

    On the road on my bike, I'm one of the most respectful riders you'll see. I wave to thank drivers who give me the right-of-way, I stop at stoplights 90% of the time, I ride very predictably, I move out of the way for busses, and I let peds cross the street.

    You could call it childish, but I could call a lot of things people do childish - like costumery, riding in parades, the antics that happen at night on Cycle Oregon. But come ON, who doesn't love a little fun now and again?

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  • jav1231 March 6, 2006 at 5:38 am

    "You could call it childish, but I could call a lot of things people do childish - like costumery, riding in parades, the antics that happen at night on Cycle Oregon. But come ON, who doesn’t love a little fun now and again?"
    It's not just a matter of fun. Think about the tire marks that have to be dealt with. Think about the fact that YOU are in control of the bike but the peds don't necessarily know how safe, considerate, or "skilled" you are. This activity sets cycling back, not forward. But hey, it's all about you so who cares? YOU had fun. That's really all that matters.


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  • Nick March 6, 2006 at 11:54 am

    We have 3 online groups(facebook) on our campus dedicated to the hating of bikers(I hate bike riders on campus, Bikers scare me, I almost got hit...). Right now there are 102 people in those groups.

    25 people belong to pro-bike groups(I love my bike, Critical Mass, Vintage Bike, I wear my helmet...). Something is wrong with a lot of people.

    I don't understand why people think bikers are going to hit people. It's not like bikers are trying to hit people. They're going to get hurt as much if not more than the person they hit. Bikers avoid people simply because it's for they're own good. To the anti-bikers: LIGHTEN UP, USE YOUR HEAD, AND STOP SUCKING!

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  • revphil March 6, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    I didn't see anyone offended. Some of the shoppers were giggling or trying to take pictures, but most people were confused or indifferent. Maybe tall bikes would have scared them more.

    Everything about the mall is so calming, the second i got inside i felt an eerie sense of peacefulness... way cheaper than Prozac. Even the security guard who escorted me out was pretty cordial. Mostly it was just a fun time. next time we'll have to take the ice rink, damn Zamboni!

    for the record the mall is mostly carpeted. There were no tracks, cause zb leaves no trace, just a pie in the face on the way to the race.

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  • revphil March 6, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    from the MC3 blog http://mcthree.blogspot.com/

    chris has a brief "conversation" with a middle aged woman in the mall that we rode through:

    her: "is this critical mass?"
    me: "no, but i'm sure some of the people here go in critical mass"

    she walks away for a minute. then a minute later i start to leave and she comes back over and stands right in front of where i'm walking to take some pics and blocks me from moving. i stand for a minute thinking she'll move. nothin.

    me: "excuse me please"
    her: "oh, am i in your way?"
    me: "ya, why would you just come up and stand in front of me like that?"
    her: "now you know how it feels like during critical mass"
    me: "ya, but at least i asked and didn't just get mad at you and try to knock you down"
    her: "uh..."
    me: "now i understand your motivations... have you ever asked anyone at critical mass about their motivations?"
    her: "uh..."
    then i left.

    chris has another conversation with an older woman (originally from new york) in front of the sushi restaurant as we pulled up after the
    daytime zoobomb:

    "hey, is this those zoobombers?"
    "you guys are great! we see them ride past our house and we think it's really great."
    good to see some people appreciate other people having fun.

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  • Dabby March 6, 2006 at 4:25 pm

    I think it is great that a pedestrian in Lloyd center poked you about critical mass. She is right in her attitude, and critical mass is wrong in it's, (as a whole, not individual attitudes mind you)
    I wish I would have been there to laugh with her, oh, and to ride my bike through the mall with you, having fun..
    Ride Bikes Throw Bricks!!h

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  • Agent Lapis March 6, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    lloyd center has a longlist of things that aren't allowed inside; including riding bicycles, skates or skateboards, nudity and scaveger hunts.

    things i noticed WEREN'T on the list: hide and seek, sardines, stilts, twister, hopskotch, pogo sticks.

    it was pretty quiet, most of the time you could hear "'scuse me, 'scuse me" and some singing. ran into an excoworker on duty at eddie bauer.

    quite fun.

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  • fixgear March 7, 2006 at 10:34 am

    Mallbiker, et al:

    No disagreement that it was fun. I bet it was.

    Yeah, maybe I'm old, no fun, and square. I've probably said as much about myself. point taken.

    I guess I should have added some winky semi-colins to lighten it up..I think maybe YOU are being a leetle 'f'ing' serious. winky-winky.

    But more seriously- (again, stressing that I am not fashionable, or hip, or cool- well, I don't work in an office...) I guess I am concerned about the way 'enlightened' bicyclists try to do an ol'-hippy-freak-out on all those who do not ride bikes. Scaring people doesn't make them 'get it', it pisses them off. Last time you were scared, did you 'get' some point of view from the person who scared you? Jav1231 makes a good point. Fun isn't the issue- it's what other's see. Maybe they don't get it. Maybe all they see is this prick in the mall on his/her bike- not knowing if you can ride or not...if they are in danger or not. You don't know. But everytime you do something like that it takes people away from our cause.

    I know breakin' the law is cool. I skated, did graffiti, smoked pot, drank 40's and rode my bike in the halls. I guess at some point I figured that meaningful change didn't come from that kind of effort, it alienated people...thats all.

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  • mallbiker March 7, 2006 at 10:50 am

    1. We were not making a statement that those people should ride bikes. If we were, that would be a stupid way to do it. I wouldn't want someone driving a motorcycle through the park telling me to ride a harley.

    2. So what if all they see is a prick in the mall? That's *FINE*. It was interesting to watch the reactions, that's all those of us who attended have been commenting on. I wasn't trying to win people over. I was just having a little fun. I was NOT trying to be offensive, but sometimes you just can't please everyone.

    3. Flash mobs, people don't always get them, but they make an impact, they shake up people's boring daily lives and give them something to talk about. The people who do them have fun. They are not necessarily making a statement (from my understanding the original flash mobs had no political backdrop though they may be used that way from time to time).

    4. We weren't making tire marks. It's carpet and we were just riding along. The dirty feet of thousands of patrons make more marks than we could have ever made. Come on, are you really worried that we made a mark or two at Lloyd Center? Do you think about that when you bring your bike in a building for sanctioned indoor bike parking? Those concrete steps outside, you might be leaving marks on them. That's not fun.

    5. Re: meaningful change. I wasn't striving for meaningful change in the mall! I'm heavily involved in a lot of respectable bike advocacy actions and dialogues that make cycling accessible and welcoming. I help non-cyclists understand why we do what we do. I foster this open and cordial communication on a daily basis. In the mall, I was having fun.

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  • fixgear March 7, 2006 at 11:53 am

    muy mal biker

    Thats just the point. Everything you do has an effect on meaningful change. Fun or not. Everything you do makes a statement. Putting your actions in a larger context is what the criticism is about.

    Again, not disputing the fun of what you did. it looked fun! It is fun to ride indoors. I've done it too. Im not trying to be holierthanthou.

    thankyou for what ever bike advo work you do. I appreciate it. I appreciate any positive work, I really do.

    Frankly, I take issue with revelling in pissing people off, making them 'wring their hands', making them feel unsafe, encouraging people to 'lash out' at other humans (all from the first quote in the post). Think about that. Who are you to torture other people? Who are you to cause that discomfort and unpleasantness? So what if other people do it (and to you)...If you want to stop the cycle of people treating each other badly start with your own actions. AGAIN, put your actions in a larger context than your own fun-o-meter. When I say 'childish' I mean not thinking beyond how it feels, or what you want.

    thats my spew.

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  • notintheburbs March 7, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Fixgear, how is it that riding bikes in malls is "torturing other people"? Yes, it's childish and some people aren't going to get it, but you're making mountains out of molehills. If the mall bikers were riding through pushing people over, spilling Orange Juliuses (?) from the upper deck and shouting "F* the mall" the whole way through, that's one thing.

    If you want to talk about "positive social change", it's inevitably going to piss someone off somewhere. If you worry too much about offending people, nothing's going to change. I'm not saying all change should be voilent, but you're going to piss someone off.

    Frankly, you need to get a little less hippy and a little more punk rock. Punk rock looked revolting to the masses 30 years ago, but now people "get it". Sometimes that's how it goes, it might piss people off at the time, but years later people understand.

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  • fixgear March 7, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    maybe you're right- I'm making a mtn out of a mole hill. This makes me think about that old Dead Milkmen song: Punk rock girl. Do you get the irony here?
    Go back to the original quote on the adventure...call it abuse then. I think thats just orders of magnitude- same thing.

    I agree that change equals pissing some people off. As Malbiker said- it wasn't about social change...it was 'fun'. To reiterate, the idea that willfully negligent behavior can be couched as positive social change, or being 'punk rock', or hipster, is disingenous.

    If I bought for a second that riding a minibike (aka a kids bike) through the mall was an act of radical social disobedience and a method of substantive social change then what you say might hold some sway with me... The fact is the self confessed Mallbiker said it was just FUN. Go back to the first quote- the quote is about harrassing people- how is that anything but antagonizing? Its not a social change agenda, unless your agenda is to create more pissed-off people in the mall...How is it a punk-rock social change statement if no one else knows thats what it's about? People see that and they think its a bunch of hipsters on kids bikes breaking the rules. GET REAL.

    you can have the last word.

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  • Arnold March 7, 2006 at 4:39 pm


    So then, using your logic that you were just having fun, you'd have no problem with me driving my Hummer H1 thorough Pioneer Courthouse Square on a sunny noon hour sometime? Gee, that sure sounds like fun to me!

    While you and your buddies were having fun cruising the mall, you managed to set all cyclists in this city back a notch or two in the court of public opinion. It's hard enough gaining acceptability without this type of behavior. Your intent is not what people see; your actions are all that matter. I hope next time you're looking for fun, you consider doing so in a way that doesn't come at the expense of others.

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  • MallBiker March 8, 2006 at 10:38 am

    I think people are overreacting. It was a brief ride through the mall that lasted MAYBE 15 minutes. It was interesting to see people uncomfortable with our presence, but I certainly didn't expect that.

    Do I revel in it? I don't know. But I do find it interesting that those people can't loosen up a little. It says something about our culture when people have such tight comfort zones. I understand it, you know, mass media and everything around us tells us this is a scary big bad world and maintaining strong comfort zones is a defense mechanism.

    Making a mountain out of a mole hole? YES. I think people have blown this WAY out of proportion.

    Jay Graves and many other local bike advocates were just in Washington D.C. where they were asked to talk about Portland biking. It was amazing from all the accounts I've heard. People event got to meet with the president in the Oval office.

    Are we now doomed that some folks spent 15 minnutes in the mall? Hell no, we're fine. Keep riding.

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  • boozmob March 8, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    I love how this has turned into a big debate! GET OVER IT! WE RODE THE MALL AND WILL DO IT AGAIN!


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  • Name March 8, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    Arnold said:
    "...you managed to set all cyclists in this city back a notch or two in the court of public opinion."

    How do you know this? Without taking a poll or otherwise studying the situation in a comprehensive way, I don't see how one could come to such a certain conclusion.

    I would bet that for every person who would vote for set-back-a-notch, someone else would vote set-up-a-notch, while most would be indifferent.

    Change doesn't often happen without controversy. And I doubt that self-righteousness helps move us forward.

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  • Arnold March 9, 2006 at 9:27 am


    I don't "know" that all cyclists were negatively affected by the mall riders any more than you "know" that they weren't. But, generally speaking, most people look at activities such as this in a negative manner. Why do you think the mall has rules against bike riding, skateboarding, smoking, etc.? Because they know that most of their customers would rather not have to deal with these things while going about their shopping.

    Plus, your comment about change not happening w/o controversy...remember, this ride was not about making a statement. It was about a small group of "self-righteous-in-their-own-right" cyclists having some FUN, regardless of who else might be negatively affected. I find it hard to see how anything positive was accomplished by this. Show me how the mall ride brought about something positive and I'll be glad to change my opinion.

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  • Anti-drama Queen March 9, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Oh gosh, y'all, get over it. You're freaking out over one little prank. I'm sorry, but if anyone was "negatively affected" by these actions, they need to get over it. That includes shoppers and bikers. Everything is going to be okay!

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  • z o o b o m b k a b o o m March 9, 2006 at 12:08 pm


    Go be positive! It was a prank, it was fun, it was not meant to make people in the mall feel good.

    Now I am getting off the damn computer and going to bomb the hill! Its snowing don't you know!


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  • canadian mall bomber March 12, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    hell yeah. let's remember that malls occupy what used to be public space, the agora. they've made it private property where people have to follow rules designed to narrow their focus: consumption only. activities that interfere in that are forbidden. screw that.

    i rode considerately, joyfully, joked with the pedestrians. some of them looked up from the trough, some didn't, but space is a collaboration. they're all part of my family, even the security guard who bellowed "DROP THE BIKE NOW!!" bless his freaky heart.

    i understand the fun vs. endangerment debate. but solidarity is a way to worship the universe. transgression, accidental or intentional, actualizes us & demands our participation in our environment. even if our objectives clash, how great is it that we're all assembled on our respective adventures...

    not to get high falutin about riding bikes through a mall or nuthin. but everything has cosmic significance.

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  • Dan Kaufman January 29, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Here is link to Rev Phil's video version of this little shopping trip


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  • concerned citizen January 29, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    hey now, if it scares people away from shopping at the mall, it's fine by me!

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