Time To Get On That Burning Man Bike!
10 To Dos for your bike BEFORE you leave for Burning Man.
Are you heading out to Burning Man 2014? If so, don’t wait until you get to BRC to ride your bike! Bicycles are the primary means of transportation in Black Rock City, so now’s the time to get on your bicycle! Over the years, I’ve written a number of posts about bikes and Burning Man, and so here’s 10 reasons why you need to start riding NOW:
1. Your body needs to get used to cycling everywhere. The more you ride, the easier it will be to ride the necessary distances to get to where you want to be in Black Rock City. You will still likely be saddle sore. One friend was so sore she went to a doc in Reno who had a hard time believing she had not been raped. My hands were bruised for weeks–and I wore gloves almost the entire time.
2. Your bike probably needs work. You’ll find out what by riding it–and by taking it in or giving it a tune-up yourself. NOW. You’ll still want to bring an extra tube or two JIC.
3. By riding around town NOW, you’ll see what else you’ll need for your bicycle to be your primary mode of transportation for as many days as you’re out there. Do you want a basket? A trailer? A pannier? An umbrella? A milk crate on the back to put ice in? How are you going to attach everything? Give it a test drive!
4. Ride DAY and NIGHT –especially at night. Get used to riding around/over/through obstacles and in sand and loose dirt. Get those muscles in shape!
5. Don’t be a DARKWAD. Light your bike. Then add more lights. Pack backup lights. Bring ducktape to tape a light onto your bike after someone steals your light. Bring a backup flashing read light to replace the one someone will likely take. We love MonkeyLectric lights but evidently someone else thought they loved it more than we did and removed it–and the dang thing was screwed and ziptied on. Get reflective. More here: Let’s Go Ride at Night.
And no, this does not mean putting a thousand glow sticks on your bike.
6. Bring a lock. And a back up lock. Be prepared to use it or risk losing your ride. Last year someone stole our bike that had the trailer bike attachment so our kid could ride around with us and at night we could tow him when he got tired. You can imagine how bummed we were about that. We spread the word around the neighborhood and lo and behold, it showed up a day or so later down the street.
Never lock a community bike–those are the bright green ones that are there for the COMMUNITY. That means everyone. So share.
7. Pimp your ride. Decorate your bike. Wrap it in fabric. Fur your bike. Paint your bike. Make sure everything you apply is going to stay on your ride and not MOOP the playa. Here’s some ideas on how.
8. ID your bike somewhere. We used labels and we wrote on the bikes in sharpies. That way if you leave it somewhere, or someone leaves it somewhere for you, someone can return it to you.
9. Give your ride a SONG. More cowbell! or at least some sort of bell so people will hear you coming. Don’t be too obnoxious, especially on those late night rides through BRC.
10. Go on and prepare for group rides at Burning Man: Pink Heart Ride with Halycyon (noon Thursday 8:45 and the Esplanade), Artery rides to see the art (find out when and sign up at the Artery on the Esplanade near center camp), Naked Ride (be sure to hydrate before AND during AND even though it’s a naked ride, wear a hat and search for shade!) to name three.
And once you’re out on the playa, please ride by The Camp of the Space Wanderer, check out our 200′ mural, our Space Wanderer Dome, and see our other ride–a 26′ 1974 Zenith Television. We are located on Rods Road just past center camp at Cinnamon at 545 or so.