Riding Against the Law

December 17, 2012

Blake Hicks Tron Bike flatlandBlake Hicks is an energetic, likable man, with a youthful appearance and delightful smile.  You’ve probably seen him practicing his trick bike maneuvers near the Portland Saturday Market, Salmon Street Springs, or performing at a variety of venues around town.  He is as hard-working and honest a guy as you’ll ever meet. But, yes, when he rides, he’s riding against the law.

One sunny fall day back in early October, Blake was out riding along the waterfront.  He stopped and put down his bag so that he could practice some of his flatland bike tricks.  While he was practicing, an elderly couple put $10 next to his bag.  Blake was not soliciting tips, asking for handouts, or advertising himself as an entertainer, but when these folks innocently dropped some coin in his purse, the park ranger took note and told Blake he had to shut it down.

Blake Hicks Tron Bike flatlandYou see, in the left-wing playground that is Portland, OR, there exists some archaic interpretation of City Code 14A.50.040 Conducting Business on City Property or Public Rights of Way that means Blake can’t ride in public spaces, because the park rangers deemed him to be “conducting business” whether or not that’s his intent.  About 15 years ago, the city hammered out the “Street Musicians Agreement”, which provides guidelines and exceptions to allow street musicians to perform on sidewalks and public spaces—hell, even panhandling is covered by Freedom of Speech—but unless Blake starts riding with a ukulele, he’s gonna keep on riding against the law.

See more of Blake Hicks at his YouTube Channel, Blake Hicks 007, or go directly to the Blake Hicks vs. Tron Bike video link that has over 1.5 million views to date.


Megabounce Tron Bike Blake Hicks

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