Portland’s Unique Zoobombing Scene – Grown-Up Racers Riding Tiny Children’s Bicycles

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A group of bikers in Portland, Oregon, share the most unusual love of children’s bicycles. Several riders take to the hills of Washington Park every Sunday with a single mission – to speed downhill on tiny kids’ bicycles, after the sun goes down. Seasoned bikers ride at the front of the pack, while beginners follow their lead. They all take off at the same time, at the countdown ‘Three, two, one – Zoobomb!’

The unusual hobby is called ‘Zoobombing’, and it was born in Portland, one of America’s most bike-friendly cities. The ‘zoo’ denotes the fact that participants start at a spot near the Oregon Zoo, from where they speed downhill, while ‘bomb’ is a term used to describe biking downhill at very high speeds.

In zoobombing, the most glorious riders have the smallest wheels. The ideal size is the 12-inch, designed for use by three-year-olds. Those who aren’t comfortable with wheels so small prefer to ride 16 and 20-inch wheels. “On a tiny bike, you feel like you’re going faster,” said April Cox, a 16-incher who has been zoobombing for the past nine years.

zoobombing

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A Sport Called Motoball – It’s Like Football Only with Motorcycles

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What do you get when you combine football and motorcycles? The answer is Motoball, a motorized sport generally unknown in America, but fairly popular in Europe. As you can guess, it’s no dainty game. Right from the noise and fumes, to the daredevil stunts that players perform on their motorcycles, Motoball is a truly hellish, cutthroat version of soccer. The relatively unknown sport is largely played in Europe, where many countries even have national teams. Some of the best Motoball players in the world are from Russia.

A Motoball match is played on a regular football field, complete with goal posts. There are two teams of five players each – four riders and a goalie, who is the only one not riding a bike. The players on motorcycles chase a large ball that is 40 cm in diameter and weighs about one kilogram. As the bikers speed towards the ball, they stop the motorcycle with just one foot and draw the other foot back to kick the ball. The matches are officiated by two referees, assisted by two linesmen. A match is split up into four 20-minute periods.

The goalies stand in a red area that is marked as a driver-free zone. The rest of the grass, mud or concrete field is pretty much free for the eight riders to tear after the ball, at speeds as high as 65 miles per hour. Expert maneuverability skills and lightning-fast reflexes are key in Motoball matches, as is the ability to shoot the ball accurately from the motorcycle seat. There are a few rules set in place for safety, like no smashing, but that doesn’t keep the players from getting hurt.

Motoball-sport

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The DTV Shredder – A New Breed of Extreme All-Terrain Vehicles

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What do you get if you combine a skateboard, a jetski and an ATV? That would be the DTV Shredder, a new toy for power sports enthusiasts created by the guys at BPG Werks.

Designed to appeal to a variety of extreme sports fans, the Shredder is a personal vehicle unlike any other you’ve seen before. The steering is done via a skateboard-like platform mounted on top of two sturdy treads, by leaning into the direction you wish to go, while the handlebar offers much needed stability. The board is the only component that moves, while the rest of the machine stays fixed to your body. It has a 196 cc, 4-stroke gas engine, patented dual-CVT drive system that keeps you from having to shift gears, 13 horse-power and a top speed of 30 mph. The guys at BPG Werks say they limited the Shredder to 30 miles per hour because that’s the top speed most people feel comfortable at standing up. After that, it’s just plain scary. Weighing just 200 lbs, the DTV Shredder can be folded and fits in the trunk of a medium-size truck, which makes it more practical than motocross bikes or ATVs. It can be ridden all year long, on any kind of terrain, unlike most other power sport vehicles.

DTV-Shredder

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Dancing with Death – The Train Surfers of Soweto

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There’s no sea in Johannesburg so the poor young men from the inner city of Soweto get their kicks by surfing high-speed commuter trains. This dangerous pastime has claimed many lives throughout the years, but despite several initiatives to put a stop to it, train surfing remains pretty popular.

South Africa is considered the birth place of train surfing, with reports of people performing stunts on top of moving train cars dating back to the early 1980s. From here, the extreme hobby spread all around the world, from Brazil, to Germany and Russia, but Johannesburg remains unique through its variety of styles. The most common and least dangerous form of train surfing involves climbing on top of a car, jumping off as it starts moving and climbing back on again while it’s in motion. Then there is side surfing, with the wannabe stuntmen running alongside the train on the passenger platform as his friends keep the door open, or swinging out the door when the train passes through a tunnel and running on the walls. Another one has daredevils get under the train while it’s moving and kicking the gravel with their legs. But the most lethal of all is surfing on top of the train while trying to dodge power cables and bridges. All the different moves have names like Matrix, 2020, Gravul or Svandals.

train-surfing

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England’s Shin-Kicking Championship Is a Painful Affair

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Sometimes described as an English martial art, shin kicking is a centuries-old combat sport in which two participants kick each other in the shins until one of them falls down. Needless to say there is a lot of pain involved.

The origins of shin kicking are lost in the mists of time, but some experts say it started as a variation of wrestling, at least five or six hundred years ago. The brutal sport has been a part of the famous Cotsworld Olympik Games since the 17th centuries and it’s still practiced today. The rules of shin kicking are very straightforward: the two combatants grab each other’s collars and start kicking until one of them falls down. Although pushing or pulling is permitted, contestants have to kick their opponent in the shins at least once before they hit the ground for their win to count. Matches are won by the person who wins two out of three rounds. As you probably know, shin kicks really hurt, so participants are allowed to stuff their pants with straw in order to cushion the painful blows. Still, the organizers of the annual Shin Kicking Championship say the pain is so bad that the vast majority of participants never return. This year, Zak Warren, the previous champion actually defended his title, but it’s a very rare occurrence.

Shin-Kicking

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Ukrainian Spider-Man Performing Vertigo-Inducing Stunts Claims Fear Does Not Exist

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26-year-old Mustang Wanted (not his real name, obviously) got the nickname “real-life Spider-Man” after he spent the last decade climbing atop some of the highest structures in the former USSR, and taking unbelievable photos of himself dangling on one hand or tiptoeing on metal rails.

Ever since he was just a child, Mustang Wanted had a taste for extreme sports, and among his first hobbies were practicing the Brazilian art of Capoeira and “throwing battle axes”. Now, the former legal adviser from Kiev satisfies his adrenaline cravings by scaling sky-high structures, performing unbelievable stunts and sharing photos and videos of his achievements through social media. Some of his most famous exploits include doing push-ups on a metal tower at about 300 feet above ground, and dangling by one hand from a metal crane 150 meters up in the air. Just watching this stuff is enough to make most people’s hands sweat, but the young daredevil says for him fear does not exist: “Sometimes I think that I’m a robot. I do not feel anything.” His only real concern is getting caught by the police, who have on occasions disrupted his plans. Death is certainly not his biggest worry while balancing on metal beams and offering his fans a bird’s eye view of urban Ukraine and Russia, and even says he would rather die than suffer an injury that would end his “skywalking” career.

Mustang-Wanted

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Extreme Athlete Attempts Mary Poppins-Inspired Umbrella Skydive

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Remember Mary Poppins, that lovable nanny played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 movie adaptation of P.L. Travers’ children books? Growing up I always asked myself if floating around with an umbrella was possible in real life. Now, thanks to the stunt of extreme athlete Erik Roner, I finally have an answer.

I remember wanting to climb on to the roof of my parents’ house to test out Mary Poppins’ umbrella-powered traveling technique, but as crazy as that sounds to me today, it’s nothing to the stunt pulled by Erik Roner. The famous daredevil teamed up with camera maker GoPro to conduct a “retro-tech” experiment and see if Mary Poppins was actually more than a delightful fairy tale. Using a sturdy garden umbrella instead of a parachute, he jumped out of a hot air balloon, over Southern California. “We’re gonna see if an umbrella actually slows you down, like Mary Poppins’ does…What am I thinking?” Erik says before detaching the umbrella from the supporting balloon and starting his descent. For a few moments, his umbrella flight seems quite smooth, but the pressure of the air ultimately turns it inside out and tears the fabric to shreds.

Mary-Poppins-experiment

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Extreme Mountain Unicycling Is as Crazy as It Sounds

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As if coming down the side of a mountain on two wheels wasn’t hard enough, thrill-seekers have come up with an even crazier sport – extreme mountain unicycling. Saying this sport is dangerous and difficult is probably a huge understatement.

If you though unicycling was just a goofy pastime, and out previous posts on Cycle Ball and other interesting unicycle sports haven’t changed your mind, this one definitely will. Extreme mountain Unicycling is all about climbing dangerous peaks and then sliding and bunny-hopping all the way down without falling into seemingly-bottomless chasms. Not really my idea of a fun time to be honest, but I have to admit watching the likes of Lutz Eichholz cycling their way down the Dolomite Mountains, in Italy, on one wheel is pretty cool. The young German and his friend Stephanie Dietze garnered the support of Adidas sportswear, who sponsored their trip and provided a professional cameraman to record their unbelievably dangerous feats.

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Footbrawl – A Sport That Combines Football, Martial Arts, and Rugby

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Footbrawl is a controversial team sport invented during the late 1980s, in Australia, as a training aid for martial arts students. Despite violence concerns, footbrawl has been growing in popularity and may soon become an internationally played sport.

New Martial Arts Football, or Footbrawl, is a full contact sport in which participants have to fight to score and survive the game in one piece. As in many other sports around the world, the main goal of footbrawl is to get the ball into the net and score more points than the opposing team, only that’s not as easy as you might think. Combining elements of mixed martial arts, football, rugby and even ice hockey, footbrawl is a unique game that gives “footbrawlers the chance to let off some steam without any serious injuries, and offers spectators an unforgettable spectacle of non-stop thrilling action.

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Ultimate Tazer Ball – The Sport That Lets You Taze Your Opponents

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If you’ve read or watched the Harry Potter series, you’d know that Quidditch has Bludgers that are hurled at opponents to make them lose control of the ball. While this could be fatal in real life, no one’s ever thought much of it since it’s only make-believe. But what if there really was a sport where players were armed with weapons to cause serious injuries to their opponents? That, my friends, is exactly what Ultimate Tazer Ball is all about. The weird sport actually allows players to use stun guns on members of the opposing team.

I watched a few short videos of the sport being played, and in my opinion, there’s nothing fascinating about it beyond the use of the stun guns. The ball used by the players is actually pretty huge, like a beachball, which makes it look like grown men running behind a kid’s toy and trying to stun each other in the process. Menacing expressions are adopted, which I’m guessing is to provide the audience with some entertainment while in reality, nothing much is going on. But again, that’s just my opinion, so let me tell you the rules of the game, and then I’ll let you be the judge.

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Calcio Fiorentino – The Ultimate Manly Sport

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Imagine a sport that’s a mix between soccer and rugby, with absolutely no rules whatsoever. Man, that’s got to be brutal! And that’s exactly what Calcio Fiorentino is. It’s the ultimate sport to prove your strength, power and courage.

The game originated in Italy during the 16th century in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Florence. The words Calcio Fiorentino can be loosely translated as the Florence Kick. True to its name, the game was devised by four of Florence’s most prominent noble families. Their intention was simple, to be able to show off their physical prowess to their enemies. In those days, spectators of the game were limited only to the ruling class.

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Groin Ball – Fun to Watch, Painful to Play

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Groin Ball is a crazy game that supposedly originated in Japan, is played by men, and obviously involves the hitting of testicles.

Curious to know how the game is played? Well, we’ll tell you. Two teams involved in a game of Groin Ball each consist of two players – a ball thrower and a target player. The target players of each team face each other, holding on to the other’s shoulders. Their feet need to be shoulder-width apart, all through the game. A supply of tennis balls is provided to each of the throwers, who have to hurl them between the legs of the target players, aiming of course, at the groin. The balls hit the ground and then bounce up to smash into the groin of the opposing target player.

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Bossaball – Volleyball Meets Football on a Trampoline

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There is no dearth of bizarre sports in this world, new ones are probably being invented everyday. One of the latest additions to the series is Bossaball. Sounds like baseball? Well, it’s nothing like that. Bossaball is in fact, a cross between volleyball, football and Brazilian capoeira, and it’s played on a trampoline.

Bossaball is a sport fast gaining popularity on the beaches of Andalusia. The concept of the game was first developed between 2002 and 2004, by Filip Eyckmans, a Belgian living in Andalusia. It was first introduced in Belgium and then Netherlands, before it was brought to Spain. Bossaball consists of two teams of three to five people, who toss the ball across a net, similar to volleyball. However, the players are all on trampolines. This lets them jump at least 12 ft into the air, allowing them better access to spike the ball. The ball can be touched with any part of the body. You can even double-touch a ball with your hands or your head. Only one player of a team is allowed on the trampoline at once. The others play on the ground.

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Hockern – Germany Reinvents Sitting as an Extreme Sport

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Hockern is a game from Germany that can be classified under bizarre sports. Bizarre, because it involves a lot of things at once – sitting, dancing, spinning, and it’s hard to tell what it is exactly.

A typical Hockern player would do something like this: sit on a specially designed stool called the Sporthocker, twirl it in the air, do a handstand, and then swiftly sit on it once again. The game was introduced three years ago by a couple of young German entrepreneurs who head the company Salzig Sporthocker. Of course, there are rules to this seemingly haphazard sport. No move is actually considered a move, unless it ends with the player sitting down on the stool. So basically, its a lot of gymnastics at the end of which the gymnast sits down. Some of the common moves from players include spinning the stool on the floor and then balancing on it, tossing it in the air and quickly sitting on it where ever it lands, or simply having a friend slide the stool over to you across the floor and sitting on it as soon as it reaches you.

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No Snow? No Problem, We’ll Just Ski on Rocks

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Although it’s December and the skiing season is officially open, there is no sign of snow in the Tyrol region of Austria. But that’s no reason not to ski, at least not for those brave enough to practice the winter sport on a rock-covered slope.

45 kilometers west of Innsbruck, near the picturesque village of Haiming, skiers have found the perfect place to test out their skiing equipment, even though there’s not one white patch of snow in sight. The brave daredevils climb a rock-covered slope on foot and descend on their skis, leaving a cloud of dust behind them. The rocks aren’t as smooth as snow, and they obviously do a lot of damage to their equipment, but the avid skiers don’t seem to mind, as long as they get to practice their favorite sport. Falling of your skies during a descent on the rocky slope of Haiming isn’t what you’d call a pleasurable experience, that’s why only experienced skiers are advised to try their luck here.

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