Zoobomb celebrates: New rack will be official Portland monument

Zoobomb pile
The Zoobomb Pyle at
SW 10th and Oak
(Photos © J. Maus)

An idea nearly three years in the making will finally bear fruit later this month when Zoobomb holds an event to dedicate the new permanent home for their “Pyle” of mini-bikes.

As we reported back in October 2007, the Zoobombers worked with Mayor Sam Adams (then Commissioner of Transportation), the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) and the Bureau of Transportation to secure a $10,000 grant for the project.

The new rack will be an officially recognized and sanctioned work of public art. Or, as Zoobomb puts it:

“A new home for Zoobomb’s bicycle lending library and a monument to public space, bicycling,and free fun!”

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The existing location where Zoobombers store bikes used in their weekly forays up near the Zoo in Washington Park is at SW 10th and Oak (across from Powell’s). That location has become a well-known landmark for tourists and locals alike. In a press release issued by Zoobomb yesterday, they refer to their “bicycle library” (deemed so because they keep the bikes in good working order for anyone that wants to borrow one) as “one of the most photographed public artworks in Portland.”

Unfortunately, the existing, and technically unsanctioned location has also had its share of problems. The bikes have been impounded (mistakenly) by police, relocated by neighborhood request, and they’ve also been victim to chronic theft and vandalism. Now, the Zoobombers write, “it will have a safe and fitting home.”

The location of the new Zoobomb rack monument.

The “New Pyle” will be located at SW 13th and Burnside and the rack (and the bikes) will be an officially sanctioned piece of public art.

To create the new rack, The Zoobombers worked with local artists Brian Borrello and Vanessa Renwick. They’re keeping the final design under wraps until the event on Friday, May 29th.

The event will feature a special dedication by Mayor Sam Adams, performances by bike dance teams The Sprockettes and Chain Reaction, and a free bike light give-away.

— For previous coverage of this project, browse our “Zoobomb Rack Project” tag.

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