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First look at the new Zoobomb ‘Pyle’

Posted by on May 28th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

The official unveiling happens tomorrow, but I just came across the first photo of the new Zoobomb Pyle as it stands right now, fully installed, at the corner of 13th and W. Burnside.


Artists Brian Borrello (L) and Vanessa Renwick (R) stand beside their work — Portland’s latest public art monument.
(Photo: Kristin Calhoun/Regional Arts and Culture Council)

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Yes, that is a gold mini-bike.

I am so proud.

This is something you’ve got to see in person… especially once it becomes complete with the adornment of a pile of mini-bikes. Details on tomorrow’s official unveiling can be found here. (Animal costumes encouraged).

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  • Todd Boulanger May 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Wow!! Good show artists!

    (Does the tail light blink red?)

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  • amos May 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    freakin’ awesome!

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  • Serviceburo May 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Wow. I’m actually proud to live in this town at this moment. *Not Sarcasm*

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  • tbird May 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Nice work of “art”
    I have to ask: What’s the deal with the “pyle” Why stack bikes in a heap? I’ve never understood this.

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  • patrickz May 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    …the way this city makes me feel at home…I could sing!

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  • Snowflake Seven May 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I heart Portland.

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  • Eliza May 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    This is so …monumental! hahaha!
    I can’t wait to see it in person tomorrow.
    Can’t believe that fateful night seven years ago would lead to this! yaya!

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  • brewcaster May 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    solitary tear slowly running down my cheek.

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  • RyNO Dan May 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    ZOO !!!

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  • John Lascurettes May 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Mazel tav!

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  • Chris Sullivan May 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Cool design, Brian.

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  • t-b0ne May 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    oh… *sniffle* it’s beautiful!

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  • Scott Mizée May 28, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    very cool. nice job guys.

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  • Dutch May 28, 2009 at 5:05 pm


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  • Alexis May 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Wow way to spoil the surprise

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  • a May 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    honestly? pretty unremarkable, IMO

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  • wsbob May 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    People are going to want to climb that pole and touch the gold minibike with their hand. Is this Portland’s counterpart to Ireland’s Blarney Stone? Seriously, the thing looks fine…graceful. I’ll be interested to see the different forms created when masses of bikes are mounted to it.

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  • Racer X May 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I guess they should have put a little red hood over it before the unveiling?

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  • Racer X May 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    And perhaps there is a little surprise too – a mini MAX train underneath?

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  • pedalstrikeforceagentdown May 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    That is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time.

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  • jrdpdx May 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Wow, can’t wait to see it. It will be on the list of places to take out of towners. This is Portland!

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  • Marion Rice May 28, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    That makes my heart sing

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  • Dog-Eye May 28, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Well Done Guys! It looks great! Personally i am not a fan of gold, but that “cherry on top” looks amazing.

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  • sh May 28, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    The gold mini-bike at the top = brilliant!

    People, we live in a city that builds monuments to Zoobomb.

    We live in a city the birthed Zoobomb.



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  • efglez May 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I am lost for words!

    Congratulations on being able to get $10,000 on that art project with this economy!


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  • Doorman Dave R.P.B.C. May 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Congrats ZooBomb. Done Better. Making Chicago more jealous every day.

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  • efglez May 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Is going to look great with bikes on it

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  • Ashley May 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Damn. That is totally HOT. Fer realz.

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  • steve May 29, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Much better than I expected. I actually like it.

    Anyone know the over/under on how long before someone climbs up and breaks the gold bike off?

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  • tino May 29, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Totally awesome. I wanna touch it …

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  • Pj May 29, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Soon as rent’s due.

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  • girl-shawn May 29, 2009 at 9:30 am


    there were plans to sheath the pretty gold cherry-on-top, but a scant week before the unveiling, we found out that the gold leaf needed a month or two to cure, so the sheath would’ve needed to’ve been put in place without touching the cherry at all. Our design options for the sheath at that point would’ve taken too long to enact. Boo!

    Still, this sculpture is so exciting, and the fact that it isn’t sheathed shouldn’t keep you from attending the opening ceremonies today:

    4:00pm – Meet at the Holy Rack (10th and SW Oak)
    5:00pm – Parade to New Pyle at 13th and W. Burnside

    Pyle piling, speeches, Sprockettes, and more!

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  • Kt May 29, 2009 at 11:04 am

    That is very cool. Quite beautiful, too!

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  • minister May 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I like the statue but would’ve appreciated a diy effort without taxpayer money. That truly would’ve been zoobomb.

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  • Dave May 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Quite accidentally drove by it last night – it is an awesome site to behold, and it makes me proud to be a portlander.

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  • Carl May 29, 2009 at 11:47 am

    …and get a sneak peek at the sweet helmets Nutcase donated to us. They’ll be housed in “the chamber” and lent to our guests. Thanks Nutcase!

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  • tr May 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    happy zoobomb day!

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  • Zaphod May 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Seriously awesome

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  • Vance Longwell May 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    About time. Grats bombers and it looks really nice.

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  • justa May 29, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    stoked to see everyone keepin’ it positive

    way to go bikeportland readers!


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  • brewcaster May 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm
  • Dissent May 29, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I think Portland’s strong bicycling culture and reputation are great. I think the creativity within the culture is great too.

    That said, the whole zoo bomb thing is pretty dumb in my opinion. No disrespect to those who get off on it, but I just think getting lit and antagonizing TriMet and a bunch of the neighbors as a means of enjoying yourself is pretty childish and stupid. I guess I’m the buzzkill, but irritating others – even indirectly – is not my idea of a good time. Sorry.

    Probably not a big surprise that I think the sculpture is pretty dumb too. Zoo bomb will probably go the way of the dinosaur in due course. We’ll be wondering what this sculpture was for. It’s not like it’s such a compelling piece that it contributes all by itself. I’d rather the $10,000 go elsewhere. How about that proposed bike boulevard on Going? Or, if art’s the thing, I dig those cool artsy bike parking racks around town.

    And just for the record, I’m not a Republican, I like wacky Portland, I think Last Thursday is a much cooler event than say… First Thursday, etc. I’m basically your garden-variety liberal Portlander.

    But this thing… really? Not hating, but I’m just saying the whole zoo bomb thing isn’t that cool to me. I’m clearly in the minority here, and that’s fine.

    If people want to educate me on how zoo bomb positively contributes to a sustained effort to make Portland more bike-friendly I welcome it. I don’t get it.

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  • kernal loose nut May 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Dissent, have you ever zoobombed? If not you won’t get it.

    But i’ll try anyway . . . Zoobombers are some the most respectful, self-responsible partiers in this town. Zoobombing is super fun, especially on a mini. It’s about having a good time, riding fast, gettin a little crazy. It’s about community, and the Zoobomb community is ROCKSOLID. It’s a tight club and it’s open to new members, even you.

    We don’t antagonize TriMet or their riders. Most of the engineers and passangers dig us.

    “Zoo bomb will probably go the way of the dinosaur in due course.” My friend you are dinosaur-dead wrong here. What part of EVERY Sunday for seven years without fail do you not understand?

    i challange you to educate yourself. Come on out some sunday eve this summer. If it’s not for you, fine. But don’t dis what you do not know.

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  • Dissent May 30, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Nope, I haven’t done it so thanks for asking. Agreed that the most informed perspective comes from personal experience.

    There have been clashes with neighbors and TriMet so that needs to be acknowledged. It may be a “one bad apple” situation, as is usually the case in these situations. But those incidents are out there.

    Seven years running is indeed a long time. Not exactly statue worthy from my view, but cool.

    I’d rather see a statue in commemoration of the regular everyday folks who were killed by cars. To me those folks are martyrs at some level. Not to be antagonistic against those who drive cars, but going about your daily business on bike is honorable. How about a ghost bike statue? Now that would bring tears to my eyes.

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  • wsbob May 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I think that, shall I say…the beauty… of the choice to make the “..cherry..” atop the pole a mini-bike, is that even if the zbomb ever goes by the wayside, kids, upon seeing the cherry will continue to be inspired by it to want to bike. That’s transferable energy. Kids will look up there and immediately recognize that it’s almost exactly like their own bike at home.

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  • kernal loosie May 30, 2009 at 11:20 am

    “I’d rather see a statue in commemoration of the regular everyday folks who were killed by cars. To me those folks are martyrs”

    i agree 100% . . .
    and am working on deadlined project of this exact nature. Would you like to help?

    i need images of Matthew Shekel, Michael Tibbins, Kerin Holtz and any one else killed before them on their bike all the way up to Damien’s dad. It’s not limited to Portland accidents, those are just the one’s i know about.

    i’ll take help from anyone out there with this image collection process. Please send to
    include dates and any other helpful info.

    zoobomb is also about bikes and their liberating power, i forgot to mention that but i am sure you got that part of it.
    See you on the hill or in email-land.

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  • Barney May 31, 2009 at 4:41 am

    @ Dissent

    If you want money to go to a specific cause, work for it. Your monument idea sounds great. Seems like Kernal Loosie can connect you with that cause.

    It bums me out, though, for a pro-bike group to get some money and then someone immediately comes out and says, “The money should have gone to pro-bike Project X,” as if money only gets awarded to pro-bike stuff once a century and “we really screwed it up by celebrating pro-bike Project Y instead of pro-bike Project X.” Sure, everyone has their idea of the best way to spend tax dollars. But can’t we all celebrate the fact that money has been put toward pro-bike public art, regardless of how specifically it reflects your personal biking lifestyle?

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  • EndlessSummer May 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Vanessa Renwick is still in town? Cool. Damn, she’s still hot.

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  • KS June 1, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Who did the beautiful gilding work? Maybe I missed the credit, but if not could someone please provide it?

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  • Vanessa Renwick June 1, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    The gilding was done by myself,my daughter Montana Maurice, Elin and Nancy Thorn at Gold Leaf Restoration in SE Portland.Some pictures of the leafing here:
    Nancy owns Gold Leaf Restoration and is an avid cyclist, commuting from Vancouver to SE Portland daily. When I called her for leafing advice she enthusiastically gave me the low down, and then generously offered for me to bring the bike in do the leafing there with her assistant Elin and herself.
    I can not say enough good things about the woman. Need something leafed…go there!

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  • Dissent June 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    @ 46: I’d be inclined to support that memorial statue effort. Get the ball rolling, get to cover your efforts, etc. and I bet it would happen in short order.

    @ 47: I completely agree in theory that the bike community, like any fledging advocacy effort, needs to learn the discipline to unite more frequently, and deal with differences and disputes out of the public eye. That said, a forum like this invites people to say whatever they want.

    Relatedly, I actually don’t think of zoo bomb as a pro-bike thing. I think of it as a pro-silliness thing. I’m all for silliness, but not at the expense of others, e.g. TriMet, Police, neighbors, etc. I’m clearly in the minority on this thread, but ask every Portlander and I bet most say zoo bomb is sort of a stupid thing.

    For some, it’s an awesome, community-building deal with no intent to harm others. I get that. But most people probably don’t see it that way and I think we bicyclists have an obligation to show respect for all others. We’re not a fringe, renegade thing. We’re everyday people who happen to travel on bike. We want respect, so we need to show respect. And what comes around goes around.

    In that context, is zoo bomb an asset or a liability to the broader cause of respect for bikes? I think the latter. And because I question the event, I question the statue.

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  • wsbob June 1, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    “Relatedly, I actually don’t think of zoo bomb as a pro-bike thing. I think of it as a pro-silliness thing. I’m all for silliness, but not at the expense of others, e.g. TriMet, Police, neighbors, etc. I’m clearly in the minority on this thread, but ask every Portlander and I bet most say zoo bomb is sort of a stupid thing.” Dissent

    For quite awhile, there doesn’t seem to have been anything in the Oregonian or on local tv about conflicts between the zoobombers, the neighborhoods they ride through, and the police. Does that mean that all those troubles have been resolved some way?

    If they’ve figured out a way to have their goofy fun without bothering anybody too much, why shouldn’t they keep on? People are different…unnecessary barriers to keep them from being so shouldn’t be assembled .

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  • revphil June 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    zoobomb, like all the best things in life, is what you make it.

    Because of brian, vanessa, and countless supporters it was just made better.

    thank you!

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