(photo from this year’s SantaCon NYC)
If you see what appears to be a pedicab, rolling through Time’s Square with some erotic dancers on the back, lit up, sliding down a pole…you haven’t had one too many at the Hawaiian Tropic Club.
Nope its Andrew Katzander and his poleriders!
Here is my Q and A with Andrew…creator of this marvelous contraption.
Name, Age, where you live.
Andrew Katzander age 44, live in Manhattan
(question I ask everyone) What bikes do you own?
2008 OM Flyer has been my main ride for the last year. I also
have a Bianchi SASS, A 1958 chrome Schwinn Olympic Track Bike,
and a One-Off mt Bike by Mike Augspurger. (all for sale except the OM)
My son age 6 rides a 16″ DK General Lee and for distance we have a
Tell us about your Pole Rider bike in detail…How was it constructed?
Who made it?
PoleRider is built on the chassis of a 2008 Cycles Maximus Work
Trike. ThePlatform is integrated into the cargo bed and the Pole mounts
securely to a flange. The prototype used until Dec. 2008 was built by me
and a 2 friendsthat are also industrial designers. The new version, on the
street now was built by methis winter. Construction is in steel and
What were some of the challenges it took to make this bike?
The biggest physical challenge was probably getting it back and
forth over the bridge to and from the studio/shop in Brooklyn where I
was working on it. It weighs over 500 lbs. because of the ballast needed
to prevent tipping. Keeping it safe and stable was the biggest design
Were you a pedicab driver before? What lead to the pole rider bike?
Yes, I rode a pedicab for a while and but I prefer PoleRiding.
What inspired you to do this?
I was riding along the west side bike path along the river past the Hustler
Club. I looked up and the just Idea hit me. It was a 1+1=10/ Reese’s Peanut
Butter Cup moment that I didn’t have to write down to remember in the
morning. I told a couple of friends who also love bikes (and women) and we
knew it had to be done.
How does the pole rider bike light up?
Light and sound run off of a series of 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries
which double as ballast. I can go for an entire weekend without recharging.
The speakers are marine equipment in case of rain.
Who has performed on your bike?
I have a team of dancers that I work with, Some more often than
others. Paris Hilton has not been on yet. The PoleRiders are professional
athletes, acrobats, aerialist and dancers who perform with amazing
strength,flexibility and showmanship. They are also bicycle racers,
bike commuters and regular bike riders themselves.
–Marlo has performed on MTV and VH1 with artists Diddy, Pharell, Nelly,
Fabulous, and on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 30 Rock and The
Unusuals. She is a fitness model, contortionist and trainer who has
appeared in Shape, Fitness, Runner’s World, AM New York, The Daily
News and Nike promotions. Marlo has a nationally available Pilates
workout video series and she teaches pole dancing classes at
Shokra Studio 212-696-9642
–Ariel is a go-go dancer, model and licensed esthetician who is quickly
making a name for herself among the worlds top fetish photographers.
When she isn’t PoleRiding, Ariel can be found dancing regularly at parties
and clubs around New York City and Philly.
–Nathalia says Poleriding is one of the few things that burns off all of her
excess energy and satisfies her desire to be moving. She finds it be
incredibly sexy and an amazing workout. It’s a form of art and very
amusing at the same time.
–Amaris Sky also of Groove Hoops is the latest addition who joined
at the Dance Parade and saved the day when another dancer couldn’t
What was the inaugural ride like?
The first ride was with a dancer named Playjoy who I met
through an ad on craigs, looking for a pole dancer for the Halloween
Parade. We rolled through Alphabet City and it quickly became apparent
that this was going to be a hit, We stopped by the club where she was
dancing that night and she changed into an outfit. That’s when things
got crazy. There was a pack of drooling boys on BMX bikes following
us around and people started running out of bars to watch us go by.
Later, after dropping her off, I just rode around for the rest of the night
picking up dancers along the way. At one point two drunk girls were
fighting for a turn. It was a very surreal experience and without a doubt,
the most amazing bike ride of my life. The official launch was the Halloween
Parade. By then I met Marlo and she brought along some friends and students
from her pole class to join. All I can say is, that was a crazy night…
Whats a typical night like for the pole rider bike?
Actually we have only been out a few times. After converting
PoleRider to a rolling version of the North Pole and Santas sled for
SantaCon it was too cold for PoleRiding. We did the Dance Parade
last weekend and A shoot for German/Euro TV this week. Other
than that, its been mostly just practice runs. There is really no typical
night but lots of cheering and Cameras flashing have become a regular
thing. A lot of women ask to jump on for a quick spin or a photo op.
What kind of press have you gotten about this bike?
The coverage has been really amazing. My first ride with Marlo was caught on
video and posted on YouTube. Within 4 days it was posted on the very
radical Skateopia website out of Ohio.
It made the rounds of cycle blogs around the world as far
as Hong Kong (HKFixed) Then
posted it and it was another exponential explosion which led to an article in
the Post and countless magazines as far away as China. Then I did some live radio interviews
in the US, Australia and Columbia. All this was last year. This season we are
making a documentary and we shot a story for German Euro TV. We
just also did a shoot for Intersection Magazine. HBO is shooting us next month.
Describe people’s reactions to this thing coming down the road?
Usually their mouths drop open and I see them mouth the words WTF. Then they
smile and cheer. Other times they start frantically pulling out their cameras and cell phones
to get a picture. People sometimes run outside of restaurants, bars and buildings and watch
us til we are out of site. We get people shouting from windows and fire escapes. Thursday
afternoon we had a construction crew cheering and wistling from scaffoding on the side of a
How do you find performers for the bike?
First, and ad in Craigs, Then word of mouth. I have a PoleRiders Facebook
group and a lot of dancers all over the world are now fans and are waiting
for Poleriders to expand to their country. I am still looking to add to the
NYC team since this is still a part time gig and plans sometimes happen last
minute. I like to go on a test ride out of traffic so the dancers can get
used to the ride and see if they like it. So far everyone loves the feeling.
You must have a million, but is there one good story you could share about
I think the funniest thing is when we roll by a tourist bus and the dancer
is doing a trick right at the level of the bus windows. Also Rolling in
front of big trucks is fun when they start honking their horns.
Can anyone pole ride on a bike?
Join the team or ask me for a ride. Don’t just jump on. That really freaks
me out. I like working with experienced dancers that can do tricks.
2009 plans for the polerider bike?
I am setting up in London and would like to expand to other cities around
the world especially Vegas, Miami and Amsterdam. I would like to do a
reality TV show with a novice dancer who learns tricks as the season
progresses and we go on the road. Polerider can be converted to a tent
shelter in a few minutes so I can go cross country. I would like to go to
Future plans for the polerider bike?
I want to start racing them. I have a vision of bringing bike racing back to
Madison Square Garden with PoleRiders. There would be points awarded for
style as well as speed so striking a balance between reducing weight for
speed and having enough ballast for stability will be a key issue for the
teams. This will be a great opportunity for sponsors.
Anything you wish I’d asked you?
If you want to mention that we are sponsored by Bern Helmets.
They make asuperior product and I would not say it if I didn’t really believe it.
I chose their product for the team. We are also Sponsored by R-Pole, Pole
Passion in the UK, and the international Miss Pole Dance competitions.
PoleRiders are available for advertising, events, parties, promotions,
parades group rides, film and video. We have sponsorship packages available
and can do a full branding setup. Picture the RedBull cars. We can even
place a product model high on top of the pole.
Kids: “Dont try this at home” We worked out a lot of potential hazzards
If you think you have what it takes and want to be part of the PoleRider
team please contact PoleRiders clubhouse today at 917 232 3448 to set up an
audition. We are not accepting any more applications for pilots at this
I hope that PoleRiders inspires more people to ride bikes and we promote
safe cycling. Contact us at email@example.com and check out the site
(under Construction but in the last round of edits and going live soon)
www.poleriders.net and the blog poleriders.blogspot.com