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Mini-bike downhill race coming to Mt. Tabor this weekend

Posted by on June 21st, 2012 at 11:15 am


Small, but fast.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s only sanctioned downhill skateboarding race, the Mt. Tabor Downhill Challenge, will feature a mini-bike category. The event takes place this Sunday on the slopes of the popular southeast Portland park.

This is the first time the MTDHC has had a mini-bike category and to my knowledge, this is the first officially sanctioned mini-bike downhill race in Portland’s history. Veteran Zoobomber Gabriel Tiller says Zoobomb actually started on Mt. Tabor 10 years ago, so this event marks an anniversary of sorts and a return to its roots.

Event organizer Billy “Bones” Meiners says all bikes that enter must have have a stock, 16-inch frame and 16-inch wheels. Some mini-bikers add weight to their rigs to increase speed, so there’s a 10 pound limit on additional weights. Bikes are also allowed to have fairings.

Here’s more from Billy:

“For those of you not familiar with Zoobomb or Mini-bikes, the Mini-Bike race will feature people racing down Mt. Tabor on children size bikes (see photo below). The pedal/push distance will be limited so that people won’t be tempted to build a bike with a crazy gear ratio and pedal all the way down the hill.”

A few years ago I accompanied Team Zoobomb, a team of gravity-bikers from Portland, to Maryhill, Washington for the Festival of Speed held on the famous Maryhill Loops Road. I was very impressed with how fast these guys were willing to take their tiny bikes down a winding road just inches from the pavement.

It would be great to see more events like this held in Portland. Good clean fun on bikes. Anyone considering giving this a try?

— More info on the event at

[NOTE: I changed the photo in this story because the original one was confusing people. ]

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  • Racer X June 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Is there a Team Brompton out there?

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    • Carl June 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Ha! I suppose a Brompton with the chain removed would fit the restrictions but…you’d get your ass handed to you. These G-Bikes are FAST. My Brompton and I are going to enjoy the race from the sidelines. If you want to race, though, feel free to borrow my full-face.

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      • Carl June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

        Sorry to mislead. Looks like drivetrains and multiple-speeds are okay. A Brompton is arguably not a kids bike but the frame is designed for 16s and the wheels are (British) 16s, so you could probably get away with it…if you wanted to pull up the rear!

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  • DK June 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    What the heck is a 16″ frame? Measured from where to where?

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    • Scott June 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm


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    • Gabriel Amadeus June 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Not wheelbase, but a frame made to fit 16″ wheels.

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      • BURR June 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm


        Jonathan’s picture actually shows a 20″ wheeled gravity bike, not a 16″ wheeled mini-bike, that may be confusing to those not directly involved with zoobomb or minibikes.

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        • DK June 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm

          Thank you for the clarification.

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  • CaptainKarma June 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Orthodontists love these events.

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  • redhippie June 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I thought this was a Nimbus 2000

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  • dwainedibbly June 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Limit on added weights? That gives heavier riders an advantage. Cool! I didn’t know it, but I’ve been training for this since Thanksgiving! 🙂

    Looks like a blast and a half. Be safe, everyone.

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  • michael downes June 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    This looks like the hot ticket from a spectator point of view. Almost as good as bicycle jousting. The web site is a little vague as to the time. Anybody know?

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  • aaron June 22, 2012 at 8:39 am

    So to clarify… this is a mini-bike race, not a gravity bike race, correct?

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