11 thoughts on “Grant Park, 1950

  1. Wonderful photo! It’s bicycles, but the spirit and energy of the event reminds me of soap box derby races in the 1950s at Peninsula Park. Those were the days!

  2. The only place in Portland I recall where the “Soap Box Derby” was held in Portland were on the slopes of Mt. Tabor Park since the cars were gravity propelled.

  3. The Portland bicycle derby was held a Grant Park 8/27/50, and was sponsored by 21 independent bicycle dealers at Grant Park bowl. Races were open to ages 19 and below, and competition was divided by age and sex, and tricycle, small & large bicycle. There were contests for riding without shoes, riding without hands, riding backwards & forwards, and trick riding. This was the second year of the derby and more than 200 competed, member dealers donated more than 250 prizes,1200 ice cream bars and 4 new bikes were will be awarded as prizes, along with Gold & Silver trophies
    (Oregonian 8/22/50 page 24 & 8/29/50 page 8)

  4. I rode my bike in this bowl many times, but not in a race. I was two years old when this was held. This shot is looking north on the east side of the track. You can see the roofline of the swimming pool building behind the popcorn truck.

  5. Fun with no fenders, gloves, chainguards, helmets, spandex, hi-techy alloys…
    Such horrors !
    As its supposed to be.

  6. Now who was the winner of this race? His handle bars are shaped like the latter 10 speeds would have in the near future for all to ride.

  7. You’re right, Dennis. Mt. Tabor Park was the site of the soap box derby. I must be thinking of some other race held at Peninsula Park, ’cause the soap boxes are gravity propelled. I recall seeing a soap box derby race in the ’50s, so it must’ve been Mt. Tabor. So many years ago, but still exciting to recall. Thanks!

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