RIP Grease Bus

For five years, the Grease Bus has served the Portland snowboard community with an affordable and environmentally friendly way to get to Mt. Hood Meadows, but this season, founder Mike Parziale announced it would no longer run. This news came as a sad shock to Grease Bus regulars, who even started a hashtag (#bringbackgreasebus) (the ultimate modern movement.) Since we have our finger on the pulse here at Yobeat and Mike on speed dial, we set out to get THE TRUTH!

For those of you not in the know… Grease Bus was a small business masterminded by Mike Parziale and sponsored by brands such as Vitamin Water, Nike Snowboarding, Clif Bar and more. But since we know you hate to read, here’s a video:

So yeah, it was cool as hell, but it was also a business, and one of the benefits of having your own business is that you can choose to no longer be in business, which is exactly what Mike did. However, don’t believe us, we asked Mike to spell it out in detail.

Why are you moving on from the Grease Bus?

A number of reasons, but I suppose the main one is that over the past few years it’s gotten more and more difficult to deal with all the government regulation we face. It actually adds to the cost of the business substantially because it effects our insurance rates. Our insurance has gone up by 500% over the past 5 years. This is because each year we face a different level of government oversight and the insurance providers see that as a risk. Very exciting stuff, but basically if the City of Portland says that you’re now “technically” a taxicab you have to pay the city $5000 in fees and then watch your insurance rate bounce up as well. It’s awesome.

I think a lot of people assume you’re in the “snowboard business,” but why don’t you spell out some of the headaches of being the “transportation” biz?

During the first two years of Greasebus if you asked me what I did I would say I drive a bus to the mountain and snowboard all day and then drive back, it was amazing. During the last two years if you asked me what I did I would say I get forms emailed to me…

Oh shit Maegen is going into labor, gotta go.

And that, kids, is called life happens. Happy Birthday, Elsa Mariah Parziale, who entered the world at 5:17 am on November 29th, 2012. #ripgreasebus

19 replies
  1. A
    A says:

    Mo money mo problems. Suits don’t like to know they’re missing out. Cool shit, it’ll happen again. Props to dude for doing it.

    Slap my face for using “props.” Ugh.

  2. Dunfee
    Dunfee says:

    Wait, so you’re telling me the city of PORTLAND slammed something inventive and environmental with red tape?? Did no one tell the lesbian mayor about it?

    PERM AND FERKY says:

    Its a bummer to hear that MIke has to dispose of the bus. It was an excellent way of transporting riders to the mountain in the most environmentally way possible. Thanks mike for the fives years of service! Gov. Regulation give small businesses to much hassle. We can all relate insurance issues with resorts inability to build proper parks…*cough* Meadows.

  4. nw4life
    nw4life says:

    Now it makes sense why they were charging $20 to drive up there when it started as $15
    Mt Baker has a bus for employees that is free on the days you work.
    The gas version of grease bus is $15 from Bellingham but only runs on weekends.
    Bellingham needs a grease bus 7 days a week entrepreneurs. Until then I’m carpooling.

  5. Mike Parziale
    Mike Parziale says:

    Ha! Thanks Brooke. I didn’t realize that would get posted when I didn’t get to finish answering the questions. We’re hanging in the hospital and the girls are sleeping so I wanted to get to one question I missed, which was what will you miss about Greasebus. In no particular order…

    – Snowboarding with the crew that rode the bus. Always fun to meet new people this way and some days there would be a dozen greasers all riding together, great community vibe.

    – Going to Canada with the crew for the Olympics / getting kicked out of Canada with the crew and sneaking across the border with Mulcahy at 3am with a broken ankle. Good times.

    – Weekly pizza parties with the crew at the office.

    – Being able to work with such a great group of people and making sure they all had boots from Nike, a ninja suit, a snowboard, goggles, a helmet and Clif Bars, tons of Clif Bars.

    Alright, I gotta go breastfeed or something.

  6. eddie b
    eddie b says:

    Sad to hear, I have had countless good times on the bus and always found the staff really fun, down to earth shredders. Interesting article too, I’ve heard a bit about how Portland government is unfriendly to business but this makes it kinda personal. Maybe something our fair city could work on? Also, congratulations Mike!

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