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Zoobomb’s Ben Hurt Chariot Wars – Photo Gallery

Posted by on February 19th, 2018 at 11:03 am

Charioteers attempt to disable battlecars and bikes amid firecrackers and rowdy onlookers.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This past weekend was the annual Mini Bike Winter hosted by Zoobomb.

One of the many events participants competed in was the Ben Hurt Chariot Wars. The Chariot Wars have a long and glorious legacy and are the showcase event of the three-day Olympics. The winners get an iconic trophy and major bragging rights. They also get to make up the rules.

Speaking of which, here are the official 2018 rules:

1. Have fun, dammit. It’s fun to fuck up your friends, but remember that we ARE friends.

2. To be eligible to win, a team will consist of two people, one charioteer and one steed, a bike/trike/kickscooter/unicyclist and a chariot joined together by a hitch.

3. Battlecars may enter but may not win. If there are enough entrants, we propose a separate battlecar expo demolition derby, which would be hella sweet.

4. If any team member loses contact with their chariot, they’re out. If your chariot is disabled, you’re out. Participants cannot be tethered to their vehicles in any way. Cheaters are out. Goon Squad has final say.

5. Spectators are not to fuck with chariots in any meaningful way. You can hand someone a fallen weapon. Glitter/shaving cream balloon bombs, okay. Chili-flinging, gross, but okay. Build a chariot if you want to fight.

6. No chemical/biological weapons. Smoke bombs are okay, as is blood from a wound sustained in battle, but please don’t bring pipe bombs or months old piss, rotten eggs or expanding foam. This applies to spectators as well as charioteers.

7. If a battlecar is in the arena but not participating in the battle (like the hot tub), they are not to be fucked with.

8. Weapons must be padded. If you want to use an unpadded weapon ONLY against chariots, it must be painted bright orange. If you don’t want it used against you, don’t bring it

9. Goon Squad can and will blacklist spectators from the party and Sunday events if these very simple guidelines are not followed. Goon Squad has final say.

10. Deal with it.


This year’s battle was held adjacent to the Eastbank Esplanade under the I-5 freeway near the Hawthorne Bridge. Here’s what it looked like:

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • bikeninja February 19, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I have an idea that would decrease congestion and improve our city. Lets have DMV subcontract the replacement of out of state drivers licenses for newcomers to the Portland Bike Community. Then in order for a recent arrival ( retroactive back 10 years or so) to get an Oregon Drivers License they need to participate at least once in The Ben Hurt Chariot Wars, Zoo Bomb, Thursday Night Ride, or Midnight Mystery Ride.

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    • Nobody February 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Haha, great idea! Lead them to think it’s legal in oregon to operate a vehicle while drinking and then give them a state drivers license! (I jest).

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  • J Ryde February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

    So great to see you out there on Saturday. It seems the “Wheel of Doom” was a hit too. Thank you for these wonderful photos too.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      You’re welcome J Ryde. Thanks for being cool to Everett. He wasn’t really feeling it. A bit scary for him without any other kids around and with me galavanting amongst the fray. I need to get him out to more stuff.

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  • Jim Lee February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    The lead photo shows a BikeTown machine!

    Is this legal?

    Text Leah Treat.

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    • felix February 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

      I checked the terms of service. It says Chariot Wars and Zoobomb are 100% legal on BikeTown machines….

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