When something – a product, photo, event – aligns with the zeitgeist, results can be explosive. In a world of instant info, here’s what happened to the Stumptown Birkie web site the week it snowed.
This is from the first gathering on Friday. And there is going to be another Oregon Field Guide story about the sprint races on Saturday.
2.14.2014 Stumptown Birkebeiner Takes Over The Streets Of Portland OPB
How do you plan for a future event that may not happen for years – or ever? It sounds a little crazy, bit it is definitely possible. After seeing how successful this year’s Stumptown Birkie was (and BTW, the first time anything at ALL was done to organize or get the word out this go round was the day before it snowed), the wheels started turning. What could be done with a little more advance preparation?
What if we could get permission to groom a section of Leif? Or SW Kingston, which is closed to cars already when it snows. What if we could organize a real cross town race that went all over Portland, or one that looped around the neighborhoods above Wallace Park? As anyone who was out skiing yesterday can attest, you could have had a real ski race in a lot of places in Portland. The possibilities are endless. But advance planning before an actual snowfall is upon us will be necessary.
So if you’d like to be in the loop on Stumptown stuff, or just hear about what’s happening, regardless of whether you want to do more than show up and ski, please join our newly minted list.
Also – that guy you may have seen filming out there? He’s with OPB’s Oregon Field Guide. Sounds like they will be doing a piece on the whole escapade at some point. Join our list and be the first to hear when it’s coming!
Hello everyone! As the snow turns to sleet or rain or whatever it is, I think it might be time to call this year’s edition of the Stumptown Birkebeiner a wrap.
And what a year it was. The turnout was tremendous. Thank you for being a part of it. Nordic culture is clearly out there waiting to happen in Portland. This was the year it caught on. And I think we’re all agreed that this needs to become a regular thing any time it snows.
So add this to your mantra: “Any time it snows enough to ski, meet at Powell’s at 9 AM.”
With any luck, that won’t be another five years. But you never know. And that’s part of why it’s so special when it DOES snow in Portland.
Keep the rock skis at the ready, and sooner than you know it, the city will once be going into lockdown – so that we can ski.
Day 2 of this year’s surprise stealth hit Stumptown Birkebeiner was madness! Sprint ski racing up and down NW Raleigh in perfect conditions with more snow falling? Yes, that is what we had. You couldn’t plan it any better. To top off the bounty, after the race a few of us skied through Washington Park and up Montgomery to the top of Council Crest, where it was officially blowing a gale. Zip back down for some warm drinks at Salt & Straw on NW 23rd. Skiing in Portland does not get any better than this, does it?
Here’s a few pics I got. Post yours to #stumptownbirkie.
Saturday – Meet at Powell’s at 9 AM again!
Well, folks, if you missed out on today’s stunning second ever Stumptown Birkebeiner, you will not want to miss out on tomorrow’s. Because we’re taking it up a notch. Oh yeah. And we need you there to keep the nordic flag flying proud.
Now that we know that the number of people in Portland who actually think it’s pretty darn cool to ski on snow-covered city streets is above single digits (I neglected to get a count today – but we’re calling that turnout an official CROWD), we’re going to work this snow in Portland thing for all we can. The snow gods are for the moment smiling on our project, and have even promised to send more of the white stuff tonight. So are you ready for tomorrow? Here’s what we’ve got lined up…
First, to get the formalities out of the way, yes indeed, the Stumptown Birkebeiner is once again ON for Saturday, Feb 8 at 9 AM at Powell’s. Ta da.
So it’s an all new day 2 just for you. But in addition to the fun tour through NW similar to what we did today, Saturday is also going to have some real bona fide sprint ski racing right here in Portland, Ore-gone. Because it’s the Olympics, people. And let’s things going here.
Starting at Powell’s, we’ll make our way to Wallace Park in NW Portland (Raleigh and 25th). If you want to skip the intro, you could optionally just go directly to Wallace Park to meet us. But because we want to start this new Portland tradition of “when it snows, meet at Powell’s”, we’ll still have a crew there at 9 AM to pick up folks. Depending on how much snow we get tonight, it could be a little dirtier getting through the Pearl tomorrow. But on the other side of 405, the snow is good.
Meanwhile, over at Wallace Park, we’ll have a sprint course set up on that nasty hill on Raleigh from 25th to 27th or 28th or so, and looping back. If you’re familiar with sprint racing, that’s what we’re after. Skiers of all abilities are welcome to participate. As it so happens, we have a bevy of elite skiers in our midst (you saw of them out there today), and these nordic machines are preparing to put their visors down and show Portland just how exciting fast ski racing can be up close. With the real Olympics kicking off imminently, come celebrate our precious and climate-challenged sport (which, as I don’t need to remind YOU – is the very best one there is) with a community gathering of the nordic tribe. Bring cow bells, your Scandinavian heritage clothing items, flags – you name it. We’re turning this into a neighborhood nordic block party. And it is going to be simply awesome.
So that’s where we are. If you would like to contribute to our swashbuckling program of activities, we do need a few things to keep the troops happy. Namely food, drinks, etc. If that is your department, and you think you could bring a few treats along to share – well, we won’t stop you. The “plan” is still evolving here. But if you have any great ideas in that department email me with suggestions. We may have a power outlet we could plug stuff into for hot drinks etc. A big pot of veggie chili? Hmmmm….
There may be some additional info published later today, such as a course map. But this is most of what you need to know. Tomorrow. Stumptown Birkebeiner Olympic Festival. You. Skis. Sprint racing in Wallace Park. Maybe some hot food. Any questions?
Note that this event (not unlike cyclocross) is a lot fun to spectate. Even if you don’t plan to race, come stand on the hill and watch people suffer as they try to sprint up it!
LET’S GET IT DONE FOLKS!!!! Or as the US Ski Team’s Simi Hamilton has been known to say to himself while V2-ing up some endless climb: “HARDEN THE [REDACTED] UP!!”
Go Norway! Go Sweden! GO USA!!!
9:00 AM – Meet at Powell’s City of Books (NW 11th and Couch)
Ski to Wallace Park
9:45 AM – Stumptown Birkebeiner Olympic Festival at Wallace Park (NW Raleigh and 25th)
* Sprint racing
* Nordic cheer
* Food (we hope)
Things you can do to make day 2 amazing:
* Be there
* Spread the word on Facebook or Twitter
* Bring Scandinavian flags on poles to wave
* Wear outrageous ski suits and lycra
Wow, people. INCREDIBLE TURNOUT!!! The intersection at NW 11th and Couch looked like the starting line for the real Birkie this morning at 9 AM. Total chaos! Didn’t get a full count, but we must have been like 50 people.
Thank you so much for coming and keeping the urban ski culture alive in Portland!!
Seemingly every media outlet in town was also there, so keep an eye on your TV or screen (in between skiing).
I did not get many photos. But post yours and tag with #stumptownbirkie
In other international news, our Twitter account has been reinstated!! Hell yes.
Next up: Tomorrow we are on again. Stay tuned.
Stumptown Birkie lives!