Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Riding around the city I have been feeling a few things I need to get off my chest. Call them Bikettiquette or my own pet ppeves, but just hear me out.
1: Stop Signs
Dearest Cars, you cannot get mad at us bikers for running stop signs if you always let us go for it. I always yield at a stop sign, and if someone has the right of way, then I let them go. But if you just EXPECT us to run the stop sign, by you pausing, you are giving us the right of way. Which, I am thankful for because it takes much more personal energy to stop and go on a bike as opposed to pushing your foot on a small pedal. I think it is very courteous of you to give me the right of way. I just wish we could put it into law so we can all know what to do at the intersection in question.
This is not just for dorky commuters. While I don't see the need for signaling a stop unless I know some motha effer isn't paying attention, I see the true slick awesomeness that these alert signals have on my ride. Bikers: if you cant hear my chain coasting and you don't know I am behind you, take out your ipod because it's CODE BLACK:ninja time. Your life depends on it. But my life depends on your awareness. I am behind you and you are slow, but you are also turning right when I can pass you. If I know where you are going, I won't make you wish you wore a helmet.
Sometimes I signal if no one is there. It's good exercise. It's a dance. It's sexy.
3: Exiting your car
What the fuck. Seriously. Have you ever thought to look out the window? This is a city. Not the country. There are crackheads and tourists and, yes, bikers that have to survive in a treacherous 3 foot margin in between one ton metallic moving things. How in the hell can you be mad at a biker that you hit with your car door? Why is your first reaction to be angry at us? You didn't sustain the injuries for which we don't have insurance.
BIKERS: Why the hell do you think it's okay, in the heat of adrenaline before any of the aches and pains have set in, to NOT get the insurance information of the driver at fault? Listen, I know you are alive and you are thankful for that, but what about the chiropractic adjustments you need to get back to normal instead of sucking it up and having over 50 suck? What about a new bike because yours was cracked and is no longer safe? Seriously, you need to snap out of it and get out your show flier and tagging marker and at least get their license plate as they casually drive off.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR DOORING! DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!
Dear Bikers: PLEASE be thankful when a car stops opening their door when they see you.
Please be thankful for when a car lets you have the right of way at a stop sign.
Please be thankful for the car that goes into the other lane to pass you.
Remind yourself of all the good drivers and try to pay it forward.
Again, I may even break these rules from time to time, but I think we need to be on the same page and get a better groove going. We can coexist. It may be better with separate but equal streets. Why must you hold on so tight to streets when we could keep your car drives less stressful for you if we were free to swerve so slightly (that slightly that drives you insane) in our own boulevard?
It would be better if we didn't have to breathe in all the exhaust of the cars, ma
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thanks May Z for the great meeting of the minds!
The Age of Bike Dance
Wielding BMX bikes, a unicycle, a trike, colorful wheel parasols, and whips made from inner tubes, The Derailleurs take the stage to perform “dance on, with, and about bicycles.” Their moves include lifting girls mounted on bicycles, twirling wheel parasols in unison, BMX tricks, gliding across the stage on flaming bicycles, and mostly just moving to the music. The image put forth is a quirky mixture of fly girls meets a group of teenagers on stage at a middle school talent show.
They perform choreographed moves in unison, but their real essence lies in the varied dance styles that each girl brings to the group. Agent Double00* explains “everyone adds their own flavor to the group since we all come from different backgrounds. And everyone has their own bike trick that they like to do.” For example, Agent Double00's special trick is called “The Get Down, Get Up” which involves bringing the BMX to a stop, dropping the handles down, and pulling them back up again. Among their ranks lies a ballet dancer, a breakdancer/double-dutch aficionado, a sexy vixen, a unicyclist, and a bicycle acrobat, not to mention the fire dancers. With all these forces combined, they form the Derailleurs, the all female bike dance troupe hailing from the Bay Area around San Francisco.
This motley crew of girls appear on stage in their own unique individualized costumes, matching in color only. Like street gangs, most bike dance teams have their own colors; the Derailleurs have claimed turquoise and black. In their mismatched outfits the group takes on a misfit style eschewing the nature of the group. They really are just a random group of women with lots of sass, bubbling with enthusiasm, a love for bikes and a drive to dance, who have come together in this new form of bicycle enjoyment.
And they are one of a larger community of bike dance groups that span across international cities, from the B:C:Clettes in Vancouver, Canada to The Spokes from Manchester, UK. Of course it all started with the Sprockettes from Portland, Oregon in 2004 and it just keeps growing. Agent Chaos exclaimed at the end of our interview, “Japan is a good place to have a bike dance team start up” and she, like the other girls are excited to meet a new dance team from this side of the world.
*Bicycle dance team members generally adopt Agent names, like spies.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Gacharinco! - Bicycle Dance Team Nagoya
check it out!!!!!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
"On another note, some exciting things have happened in Roanoke since I
came back from Oregon. 1)Ciclovia has been adopted as a Parks and
Recreation program, so it would be insured by the City (yeahh), I
will continue to be the organizer and mostly in charge of fund
raising. 2) Roanoke has established an official StarBomb ride
(inspired by ZooBomb , it got pick up after the Movie Veer was
showcased here few weeks ago). We also have a zoo on top of Mill
Mountain which also has a Neon Star, so instead of calling it ZooBomb
they’re calling it StarBomb . I don't personally have the fear to
do it, but the crowd was huge and they had a blast. Check out the
facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.
Andrea Garland, MS CE
Roanoke Valley-Allegheny Regional Commission"
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
More Tweed photos from Seagravy!:
Friday, September 18, 2009
People look really good in tweed.
Any the participants were great at doing what we wanted. With smiles.
I couldn't stop smiling.
Mustaches always make for a good time.
Here are some photos I found today: (thanks flickr.com)
Gary Fisher starting the game with the mallet throw:
The Crowd celebrating the goal:
thanks Russel Daniels
Friday, September 11, 2009
My wifey in a coma went to Tennessee on saturday.
I missed her departure.
We have been filming short films with the Derailleurs, so I have been starting to think "in movie".
I wanted to have one long shot of Hollis' journey from the room to the airport transport.
I wanted to get everyone who loves her to line the hallway, the elevator, and the exit.
I wanted them to be smiling, standing tall, and maybe whisper-chanting an uplifting phrase.
The night before I left for Burningman, I slept the night in the hospital with her.
I wish I could imagine it very intently, right next to her, and somehow transfer the image into her mind in the form of a memory.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
My "Modern History of Bicycle Dancing" doesn't include , at all, trick bikes and track standers.
While I believe these to be future Olympic Sports, my goal for focusing on the "street style" dancing is because it is a newer phenomenon.
I focus on this sector because it sprung not from years of gymnastics, but from the zeal to express the love for the bicycle. The videos listed below are what I have drawn inspiration. They do not neccessarily prove me wrong, just one sided.
I digitally DARE someone to come up with a trick-bike-gymnastics-inspired bike dancing history.
I would love to see it.
Here is what was written on Craigslist in Washington DC:
Bike dancing is the traditional name for “trick riding” on fixed gear bicycles. It isn’t new, it isn’t from Portland and these German Ballerinas can do it far better then those kids from the Sprokettes.
This blogger is totally wrong…
As is NPR…http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5613188
With this new fast technology, things spread far a wide so quickly.
That is why I am stoked to run into the LA crew keeping it creative.
Check out this post:
September 16th 6:30pm
Dolores Park Tennis Courts
Dear Friends and all the hirsute able,
The Derailleurs are teaming up with SF Tweed Ride and SF Hardtop Bike Polo for a special night of movies and your chance to be in one.
Derailleurs will be filming a scene from our upcoming movie.
The scene is supposed to be back in time, so bring your cruisers and derby caps.
MUSTACHES ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED.
Our performance is fairly short. We might perform it twice or thrice for all the detailed delight.
Then off to the movies with the dapper riders.
Our movie has the intention to give a shout out to local bicycle badassery.
That means we want you to come out in full, handlebar mustache effect.
Find those suspenders, bloomers, and blouses.
You will be a VIP at the screening!
For more background info:
See you there!
ps: If anyone has lightning we could use, send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
9:00 pm at Dolores Park
10:00pm we ride
Chicken Fight Drag Racing
This collaboration has been spawned by The Derailleurs recent movie production. We will be filming scenes for our upcoming release, slated for viewing in October. We want to give a big shout out to bicycle culture in San Francisco, so you are encouraged to represent your local flavors.
Did we mention there will be prizes for the winners of the competitions?
The ending point is a rent party at FUNLAND, Cyclecide's recent mini-putt putt endeavor on Bayshore Ave. and it totally lives up to it's name.
Mayhem, Blood, and Glory!
See you there.
$5-10 s.s. benefit for Funland
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
I am looking for team mates.
"So you may have heard me or someone else talking about Camp Tipsy, and may want to know more about it or want to be invited. OK. Your now officially invited. It’s really fun. Funny. Stupid. It’s about embracing your commitment to leisure, while thumbing your nose at the leisure class. It’s a boat building contest. It’s a camping trip. It’s a fundraiser. And it’s really the best event I have ever thrown. It’s a little over 100 miles north of SF, in a little reservoir near the town of Ladoga. You come, and camp out. Car camping. You can bring a boat. Or not. We bring like 20. Row boats, canoes, paddle boats. Inflatables. We will likely build a small dock this year. There is a huge lake. You camp right by it. It’s gonna be super hot. The water is great to swim in. We have a common kitchen you can use with burners and grills and all that. We have enough tables so that 150 people can eat at once at 1 table.
But the fun part is the boat building contest. Did you know that you can build a “boat”? You can. There is a contest. You can win. How can you win a boat building contest if you have never built a boat before? Simple: the top prize is for the worst implementation of the worst design. So if you have ever felt like these fancy pants over-achiever types have been dominating the landscape in our community doing the alpha male one-upmanship crap… this is your chance to make ‘em all look like they’re trying too hard.
Lemme ‘splain… you can, and should, build a boat. Once in your life. How? Well it’s easier then you could possibly imagine. A truck inner tube is a boat. Sure it is. You won’t win the contest, but I’m just sayin’… you can do what Spy did last year and blow up some balloons and put them in milkcrates and flip ‘em upside down and paddle away with a broom. And it totally worked. Ms. Reecy inflated garbage bags with an air compressor and put a piece of plywood on ‘em. That didn’t work out as well, but it was funny and quite regal when she went down with her ship. Styrofoam offers like 25 lbs of ‘lift’ per 1 foot square. You can glue milk cartons closed and put them under traffic control signs and paddle away with flip flops. Old coolers. A dumpster. Wood has been disappointing in my career as an art guy: it’s doesn’t burn or float as much as you want it to… but it doesn’t sink. So with a little help it’s a good building device. But you can totally do it. People will be there to h elp, if you wanna come a few days early and put the finishing touches on. We bring a proper shop out there.
And we have a bunch of boats… you can borrow ‘em. We built a huge barge that we yuck around in as well. It’s a bar, made of drift wood. We’ve got giant clams. A bunch of paddleboats. And of course the hot tub boat. It’s an effort, but it’s worth it. If you never get to simply muck about with boats, you’ll love it. The lake is huge, but not so much that if the wind strands you on the wrong side you couldn’t walk back in an hour or 2. You can easily swim across it. Kids love it there. There are other boaters and campers, but they stay away from us. There are far less of them there on the weekdays.
I’ve been building propulsion systems for HUGE junk boat trips every summer. Camp Tipsy is the fundraiser for the junk boat project in the Adriatic Sea in Europe summer 2010. But don’t be confused: Camp Tipsy is a donation based event. The camping is free. You are under no obligation to pay. But if you’d like to see us continue to do boat stuff, you’ll be SUPER generous. If you come to Camp Tipsy for a few days and enjoy all boats and the entertainment and the food and stuff, you should kick in like $100 or more if you’ve got it. Or pay nothing, and use all the resources and you’ll have something to complain aobut in the future when I can’t do these things anymore because I don’t have the financial support. But in any case, there is nothing enforced. You can do whatever you want and no one will ever know. Last year 50 people paid for Camp Tipsy that didn’t even show up. So there ya go. The junk boat project this year cost $200,000. That’s what it takes to make mind-blowing in ternational cultural exchanges between artists. ALL art exchange programs were eliminated under the Bush administration after 9/11 when they made it impossible for people to come to the USA under an exchange visa not affiliated with an accredited educational institution. So, for example, when we tried to bring Thai puppeteers to Burning Man 4 years ago we failed. Spent thousands and still failed. Hundreds of hours and phone calls and 2 trips to the Thai embassy in Bangkok IN PERSON. Just for your 411. Art for all purposes indeed.
We go up to the campgrounds on the 23rd. The event is both weekends, July 25th and 26th, and August 1st and 2nd, and the week in between as well. The contest is on Auguest 1st at 4:00 in the afternoon. Thanks for reading, chicken."
It is with a proud voice that I announce my return from Portlandia.
I was blessed enough to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony for the People's Bike Library of Portland. It all started when I flew in on the 29th, turned on my phone and it was 11:12.
The sun was warmer than the Austin heat I came from. We gathered in the parking lot of the Red Light, in the shade, then spilling out into the median of nutsack island.
There were people dressed as a bat, tiger, bunny, bird, duck, gator, bear, kitty, yeti, rhino, etc.
I could tell a few people put some major effort to finish new bikes or top coat the newest facelifts. The Duck brought a boomin sound system, and dBuny jacked his into the matrix for ultimate bang. Triple tall bikes and shoe-brake brakes. New choppers, Minis with golden pegs, chicks with tallbikes, longboarders, lowriders. Stencil Station for free commemorations.
As we all congregated on the empty pile, RACC (Reagional Arts and Culture Commision) said some thanks, and Shantastic and Handsome Dave spoke on behalf of Zoobomb through Captain Fun's notorious megaphone. Mayor Sam Adams stepped up to the platform and spoke about the horror of some of the earlier proposals, his satisfaction with the final one, and and appreciation for the bicycle advocacy that zoobomb insgtigates. He made the correlation of the urge for more enviornmentally suitable solutions, the health benefits, and the pure fun of bicycles.
Then, at the urge of the crowd, we counted down from 10 as is the custom at the top of the hill prior to zoobombing. He snipped it and the jungle roared.
Handsome Dave asked me to pass him the first bike to be placed on the pyle.
I pushed through the crowd and handed it forth, bowing in honor of the golden b(eye)cycle winking in the sun.
As I retreated to the crowd, my whole body was shaking. My hands were in disbelief. I paced in a circle and half-sigh/half-laughed and this darn smile was holding me so tight, I felt like the kiln was burning it into my clay, smile-shaped cheeks forever.
Prior to my arrival, my whole mantra has been:
"Go shake the Mayor's hand in front of the Zoobomb Sculpture."
In that state of ecstatic release and akward urge to cry I rushed up to the mayor too early, while he was talking to someone. I started something then stopped as I saw, but he must have sensed my thick soup of exceeded expectations and turned quickly to shake my hand and return to the conversation. I even stolidly studdered something and turned away disapointed in my lack of patience and nija-like awareness. What a great lesson.
People walked around, checked out the vault, secured the chain, and put the helmets and lights into the cave and locked the door.
Sprockettes took over the street while furry animals danced in the crosswalk as a shield. The pink lights in the night sweated hot in the sun and performed three songs with their first performance of the season.
As the sun sliced angles from the roofs, we danced and chatted and stenciled a new begining.
by gabriel amadeus
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Scraper Bike King is continually tweeting away the psalm of the scrapers.
In this one you see the clear graduation to a unified team, with matching jacket colors ala the traditional bike club (Black Label, Rat Patrol, Hell's Angels, etc.) and riding formations.
Scraper Bike Movement is growing!
I am still surprised I don't see more wheels in SF scraped out.
I am considerably amazed the hipsters haven't found yet another way to accessorize their bikes.
Scrapin' is super cheap and I bet it will catch on this year with the economy on the gutters and people unafraid to be inventive with less.
I give a loud Holla! to the Trunk Boiz for starting a positive outlet for creative and physical pleasures. And for instigating bike awesomeness in the ghetto. I used to live in West Oakland. It was hard and dangerous, and I was baffled at the attention to bling and namebrands. These kids out causing trouble could be kept entertained for hours scraping out a wheel and then taking it for a spin. Perfecting tricks. Getting hyphy on the Bike. I am so down with that. Instead of gun violence and hate crimes.
In fact, I hope there is a renegade crew of youngn's that takes the bike dance movement to a new level and blows all the rest of the existing teams out of the water. They could raise the bar for the future of bikedancing. I can see it now...
Last year The Derailleurs semi-renegaded the Scraper Bikes for Life Ride to Silence The Violence. Jino brought the soundsystem and we caught the kaleidoscopic clan careening around Lake Merritt. We chased each other in intersection circles. I swear each of those kids with a trike had a sound system. Everyone had fresh paint and matching clothes.
We got to the park and the sound system jammed out while the dj's got set up.
Apparently no one knew we were going to dance. And apparently the sound system for this world famous dj didn't show up either. So with the small amount of politeness, they used Jino Pedalnoise's BOOMIN' speakers and we set up our scraper parasols. Curious kids would walk up to them and marvel some of the designs. They didn't know what to make of these funky white cousins of the Scraper Movement busting in with the biggest sound system to save the day.
The dj really didn't want us to dance even though we were doing him a favor. He turned the music off after the first song. Uhm, excuse me?! Can I get a Hell NO!! Bite the hand that feeds him grumble grumble...
We didn't know what to make of it either. There was a tension on both sides. It's like we didn't speak each others languages. I didn't want to be cliche and I didn't want my inner gangsta to come out in my speaking patterns, for fear of being insulting. But I have been so down since, like, the fifth grade, or something.
Then Harrison come by with his Golden Tallbike and Wick was there with his twin frame and they let the aloofly excited boys try their luck on this extension of heaven. The Derailleurs busted out the Double Dutch ropes and made a communication bridge with the little ones between the people on the other benches and the wacky turquoise ladies in Mad Max mentalities.
We played our show to the quiet audience.
I don't think they knew that it was okay to yell vulgarities and swoon and hiss and cheer. They didn't know what to think of us. They might not have know that they could treat us like they would their own homies and clap and shake off the smile in a nod to the chest.
These kids threw basketballs at us multiple times until Sailor, one of The Brakes, confiscated the ball until the end of the set. He also gave them a good scolding that you can hear on one of the videos.
To be honest, this wasn't our strongest shows. I think it was the third. We were growing. But the kids were being little punks and riding through our show on their bikes. Oh well, make the best of it.
After the show we retired to the trees, waiting for the weirdness to wear off and the food to arrive. After the food there were some amazing acts, with some sistas that were awesome and of course, our chance to see The Scraper Bike song LIVE~! So Exciting. I got on one of the cars parked there so I could get a good view. Started jumping and the owner came by and kicked me off, and handed me a card. It was their manager and he was a great guy. At the end of the night we had a few moments of filming for a new video featuring a 4 year old singin,
"Went from a car to a bike to a scraper bike."
Hollis and I did a synchronized parasol dance and we snuck our way into a 2 second clip in the movie. I'll try to find the video.
Then a grip of kids started possying to east Oakland and away with them went the golden tall bike. We had to appeal to Thee King himself and ask for it's speedy return. We knew it would show up as an object of interest and if he found it, the prize for it's return and the punishment for it's disappearance was a free lesson on how to make a tall bike.
About five days later Harrison got a call and they organized a drop off for the recovered object of desire. But the captor didn't fess up and the lesson was postponed indefinitely.
We should really set up a workshop day where we make a crap ton of mutant bikes for the colorful Oakland kids to scrape out and rock.
While we were waiting in the park for news on the missing bike's whearabouts, this aswesome kid was showing off his bike tricks for us and we showed him a few to practice. We spent a good 45 minutes with him, giving him tips and encouragement. He left and then came back twenty minutes later with a solemn look on his face.
"I just found out that my grandma died 45 minutes ago."
Oh that just crushed us. A few of us went up to him and gave him a big hug. A huge hug. We let him know that it was alright to cry and be sad. It was a heartbreaking moment. It was an honor that he wanted to share the news with us, because we had been with him, giving him positivity, when such a sad thing happened. It was symbolic of the last brick to fall of the frustrating wall that we had been chipping away at all day. The terrible situation brought our differing lifestyles and languages into the same sphere in a unification with the same fate we all face.
My thoughts go out to that sweet, sweet boy.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Isn't that imaginative? I am looking for pictures.
ps. On a Cutthroat related tip, I welcome Quinn Vaughn Archibald as the newest purebread Cutthroat to be brought into this world by founders Zach and Noelle Archibald!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It is about to be bikedance season and The Derailleurs are looking to gain 1-3 new dancers.
Do you have the drive and ambition to join our group?
1. Able to make practice 1-2 times a week for 2-3 hours each.This is not including shows, which we get a headcount of availability before we commit.
2. Confident to dance. This doesn't mean you have to be a ballerina. Many have started bike dancing without any dance history. You just need to be able to learn and spend extra time remember the sequences if it doesn't come naturally. This means that you aren't afraid to try out new ways of bodily expression.
3. Be a Team Player. The world of dance has many shades to it. The Derailleurs is a DIY group more concentrated on the adventure than the grandeur. While we do like to have amazing dancers join our folds, we would like them to want to be a part of the organizational aspects and the future goals, instead of just showing up to dance. We want you to be fervent about bicycles or dance or both. No primadonnas.
4. Have something to throw on the table. This is very broad, but we are a collective of able women, and we are looking for more collaboration. Do you network, do PR, know lighting, stage manage, sew outfits, spin fire, play on the trapeze, build bikes, jazz dance, capoeria, gymnastics, acrobalancing, etc
We want you to have the ability to bring new ideas or work on existing ones with us.
Does the idea of Bike dancing excite you?
Do you want to join our team and help continue to puch the boundaries of Bicycle Dance?
More info on bike dancing:
Eliza sks Agent Chaos
Friday, April 24, 2009
I have this faint pink bike tattoo on my wrist from the first event of the first Cycle Slaughterama. Everyone thinks its a stamp. I won it on The Cutthroats team for the 6 pack relay. Awww, memories. The first one took place in a culdesac in Oregon Hill. 100th Monkey Zach dug up his backyard and made a dirt ramp with a volcano fire pit and bleachers and a sky chair. I stayed for a month and the water got shut off the first week I was there. There are so many moments I should write down about my nightingale exploits on the edge of the south.
Slaughterama 6 from Dj Granger on Vimeo.
Co-conspirator of the Swimming Cities Project, Chicken John Rinaldi is adding junk boat tierra firma to the bay area map of radicalness.
Start amassing floatables.
Does anyone feel cutthroat enough to be on my team?
Here is a blog about the event:
photos from Chicken John's flickr.com
Bicycle-dance section of the Marienthal Workers’ Athletic and Sports Club on the tennis court in the Herrengarten park behind the workers’ Altgebäude boarding-house
Photo 192?, original 8,8 X 12,7 cm
Source: Archives for the History of Sociology in Austria (Graz), Walter Dienstl: Marienthal-Gramatneusiedl picture collection, call number 43/429
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
a 40th birthday celebration of Cyclecide's Auggie!
Wednesday April 22nd
Bike ride to different stops with surprises along the way.
WEAR: Animal Print or Safari Gear.
The Brakes from Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
The Derailleurs from right here.
The Derailleurs will be performing at 21st and Shotwell, a stop along the way.
Come for the whole ride or show up at the polo courts for the bikedance shows.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It feels likes ages ago yet it was just a week.
I attended San Francisco's recent Young Blood Inaugural sun. April 12, 2009. I was so excited to see this Greater Cascadia bout! I feel like I might fight someone for the title of number one sfbikepolo fan. I was exposed to bike polo in Portland in the magical year of 2002. That is when many awesome things happened in the Portland bicycle history. This is a tangent, but two thousand two was a year that not only Zoobomb, but Axles of Evil bike polo, Shift to Bikes organization, and C.H.U.N.K. 666 held a Chunkathalon. Midnight Mystery rides. Everything came out of the year of Bike Summer.
Since then, it has been my viewing pleasure to witness many a West Side Invites, Slaughteramas, Dead Baby Downhills, and NACCC's. Also local teams gearing up with the new bully, Seattle giving Portland a run for their money, introducing us to it, I hear.
There has always at least been a MEGA rivalry between Portland and Seattle. Witnessing how my new homefront held up was key. And I was thougoughly impressed. Kim and Laird with precision shots, and Xian with an ungodly left handed lean.
I spent my first five years being a professional fan of Cascadia bike polo. My friend and I lived mere blocks away from the Sunday games, and frequently went over, Sparks in tow, picking up mallets to make fire spinning routines with while we were cheering on the carnage. These days we just sat in the bleachers and discussed the playing like a fine wine tasting mixed with the set of an urban, street-slanged lisp and sudden outbursts of fury/acclaim.
I was cheering on my homie Casey on Team Cascadia because I know he has mastered the snake style. some have come close, but none have harnessed it like he has. He was one of the original Portland bikepolo kids, and you can tell he has been putting in his work.
I found myself cheering for LA's 818 because I have a thing for cholos and they had some fine latinos representing so-cal. Then of course, who I had thought would win, but didn't, was the bikeshopcrewcrew with Xian, Laird, and Kim's team. They had been practicing and scheming. The last few weeks at polo the courts were tense and huddled, with know teams who used to be together, now beefing up their skills as a team to dominate all. I heard so many little whisper circles about playing styles and tendencies. Bike ninjas honing their skills of awareness for tournament.
I had spent the late night hours before the morning's event using a nose hair trimmer to carve lightning bolts into Xian's sideburns. We also gave him a double handlebar. It took three hours and three girls hacking away. Maybe in hindsight he should have rested up instead of entertained four girls wanting to play beauty parlor. Oh well, the ride there was B E A utiful! Sunny spring day, prizes lined up at the bbq stand, shade perfectly fell on the bleachers for the diehard fans and quick outers.
That is why bike polo players don't have numbers. Because everyone wants both teams to win. We're all homies. If you travel more than a state to play one of the bloodiest, underrated extreme sports, then you are family. Kindred Spirit.
That is what I saw on Sunday. Each team took turns cheering for their homies, then their victors.
I am beginning to see certain moves that really help if you can pull them off in polo.
I will keep them secret until I decide I won't ever play. Until then I will keep them for my own future polo exploration.
I had a fabulous turkey burger, donated towards some chilled beers, and helped carry the champion crystal mallets with large feathers and ninja scroll wrapping, to the prize pile. yeah. That sounds important, huh?
I am going to do some self hazing to prove that I am the number one bike polo fan.
Look for wacky stunts incredibly terribly pulled off.
Probably will manifest in cheers and slang for when people score. Idioms, if you will.
If you think of any, let me know.
And tons of stomp claps. After all, this area birthed hyphy. Let's make like gentrifiers and collectivize culture.
Anyway, the gladiators threw their mallets around, rolled out of the impossible, held every whimper back even when the sun was beating down on the sprinting steed legs. Oh it is my most favorite sport. In fact the only one I am truly able to yell uncontrollably or say funny ironic/moronic thing towards. It is sexy as hell. The stop and go, the ball play, the gnarly wipeouts and incredible leans. Oh it is such a turn on. Some ladies have a thing for football players and I thought I was above that. But now I am knee deep in yearning for the sport. No matter who is playing, as long as it plays. It might become like a nervous person and their chill playlist on I tunes. Protective and addicted. I look so excitedly forward to Monday nights where I can watch my new velofam get better and craftier at this sport that has only caught sail in the last few years. And most of that is due to the awesome network of bikers who are always pleasant to be around, no matter where we are from or where we are going. There is a common place that brings us comfortably close to each other, separated by pedals from another saddle.
Check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcas/sets/72157616521440044/
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
May 29th, 2009 history will unveil a new level of Rad America and The People's Bike Library of Greater Portland will get a new home.
City Commissioner turned Mayor, Sam Adams, has facilitated meetings with the Regional Arts and Culture Committee (RACC) to secure a competent fabricator and a visionary artist as guidance. Zoobomb was awarded a grant to accomplish this task.
This is why Portland rocks so hard. The Zoobomb team sent their voted representatives to meetings, visionary quests, and seances. Throughout this process, the only way to get a proper Zoobomb vote is to go to the hill and have a meeting under the stars. I love the stories that led to the final design. 100th Monkey and I got to attend an initial meeting with a few representatives before we both took off on different adventures elsewhere. There were drawings to pass around and structures to discuss. I felt so civic!
Now nearly 3 years later, we will have an induction weekend including a parade with the old Pyle put on a platform with many people carrying it on foot to the new area, 14th and Burnside on a swell of concrete on a weird angled street. Yipee!! There will be a plaque, a storage vault for helmets and lights, and at the top a bike, a mini, all tricked out Zoobomb style. Oh joy!
Here are some pics: