Weekend Event Guide: It’s all about Mini Bike Winter

From Chariot Wars (left) to The Sprockettes (right) and the Cupcake Challenge (middle) — the 14th annual Mini Bike Winter gets top billing this weekend.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

photo caption
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Hard to believe this weekend marks the 14th annual Mini Bike Winter.

The event sprung to life during the Golden Age of Portland Bike Fun Culture in the early 2000s. The traveling Bike Summer event hit our shores in 2002 and went so well that locals wanted to keep it going. That led to the formation of Shift and “Mini” Bike Summer in 2003. By 2004, Mini Bike Summer had morphed into what we now know as Pedalpalooza and our friends at Zoobomb kept the “Mini” part alive by launching the first Mini Bike Winter that same year*.

None of that history really matters (unless you’re a cultural anthropologist or bike fun history nerd); but what does matter is that we continue to have fun on our bikes — even in winter. And Zoobomb is here to help us do just that. Check out the full slate of events below and have a great weekend…

Friday, February 17th

Mini Bike Winter – Dropout Bike Club Kickoff Ride – 9:30 pm at Colonel Summers Park (SE 20th and Belmont)
Grab your little bikes and your thirst for fun because it’s time for Zoobomb’s 14th annual Mini Bike Winter! The annual celebration — think of it as a tiny version of Pedalpalooza — features events Friday through Sunday. The Dropout ride will get things rolling in style. More info here.

Saturday, February 18th

Reach the Beach Training Ride – 9:00 am from TriMet Park & Ride at NE 96th and Sandy
The Portland Wheelmen Touring Club are leading this 30-mile ride that will cross over into Vancouver and roll along the Columbia. Get your legs loosened and strengthened for the Reach the Beach ride while sharing miles with a group. More info here.

On Top of Old Baldy Ride – 1:00 pm at the Ruby Junction MAX Station in Gresham
Join Puddlecycle for a ride to the top of “mysterious and possibly haunted Mt. Baldy, otherwise known as Grant Butte.” Ride leader Tom says there’s a great view from the top — which is also the site of a popular, witch-themed geocache. Includes steep/short section of trail to the top, so cargo bikes and trailers aren’t recommended. 6.5 loop. More info here.

Mini Bike Winter Freakbike Finals and Olympics – 2:00 pm at Irving Park (NE 7th and Fremont)
Think you’re a good mini bike or freak bike rider? Come out and compete (for fun) against the best at the Mini Bike Winter Olympics. Don’t miss a special performance by The Sprockettes! More info here.


Sunday, February 19th

Mini Bike Winter Chariot Wars – 2:00 pm at 3005 SE 25th
The final and climactic day of Mini Bike Winter will see gladiators enter the circle of doom with their homemade chariots. A beloved Portland event like no other. Who will captain the mightiest chariot of them all? More info here.

Mini Bike Winter Tour de Bomb – 9:00 pm at The Zoobomb Pyle (SW 12th and Stark)
This is the ultimate test of mini biking endurance and a chance to earn bragging rights on The Hill. Classes for mini bikes (16-inch wheels), skateboards, freak bikes, and an open class for regular bikes. Bring MAX fare and a full-face helmet and pads if you’ve got ’em. More info here.

Did we miss anything? If so, give it a shout out in the comments.

For more fun events, including great stuff next week and beyond, visit our full events calendar.

*There’s a good chance someone will refute my historical recap of Mini Bike Winter. I welcome corrections and apologize in advance. I started the blog in 2005 so this part of Portland bike history pre-dates me!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Ghost of Bill Clinton's Past
Ghost of Bill Clinton's Past
5 years ago

These guys are an intimidating sort at first glance. Battle vests. Nontraditional grooming practices. Fingerless gloves. Visable Sweat Marks. Etc.

However, in my experiences dealing with them, they are welcoming and soft hearted. Don’t tell them I said so.

Have fun ev-re-1