Filed under: Parody, Practical Jokes and Mischief
‘Ben Hurt’: Portland bike warriors smash and crash
by Nigel Duara & Terrence Petty
February 21, 2012
Portland, Ore. — Looking like punk gladiators, teams of young adults on junk bikes pulling chariots made of junk parts frenetically chased each other around a makeshift arena, slamming each other and swinging away with foam clubs.
Spectators tossed beer cans, flour and smoke grenades. Firecrackers popped and obscenities flew during the battle, called the “Ben Hurt Chariot Wars.”
And then, toward sundown, the grown-ups arrived. Seven police cars pulled up and told all 400 or so people they had to leave because they were trespassing on railroad property. They complied. But the contest was over anyway.
Victors had already emerged: Jon Penfold and his teammate Nick Schlabach. Falls, collisions and smashed wheels eliminated the other teams. Penfold’s and Schlabach’s chariot, armored with a bubble-shaped metallic cage, was the last one still able to maneuver.
“You attack, and then run. Attack, and then run,” said Penfold, 29. “It’s a war of attrition.”
Asked later on how he felt after winning, the 26-year-old Schlabach said: “I wanted to puke.”
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