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Alleycat in San Francisco

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more info at skidaddeliscoalleycat.blogspot.com

Bicycle Lanes removed, then put back, arrests and now a protest ride

So there has been an ongoing war for space in South Williamsburg Brooklyn. The battle seems to be waged over an over abundance of mini vans from the Hasidic community who feel a privileged right to the neighborhood they predominately inhabit and need a place to put their rides…so much for car pooling and what kind of Mini Van would Moses drive anyway? They are not happy with the amount of bike lanes put in by the city and what has recently happened with Kent Ave.

The other urban bike culture blogger had something to say about this:
“This is exactly what’s happening now in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the young, newly-minted urbanites known as “Hipsters” and the religious sect known as “Hasidim” have been living side-by-side somewhat uncomfortably for the past decade or so. Recently, this discomfort has manifest itself in the form of squabbles over bike lanes. “Hipsters” want them, and “Hasidim” don’t. The city, of course, is Mom and Dad, and when parents seem to favor one crying child over the other you can bet the spurned one is going to throw a tantrum.”

So the saga goes like this:

Tuesday, December 1st, Streets blog reported that the DOT removed 14 blocks of bike lanes on Bedford Ave.
SandBlastingInProgress3

Then Monday, December 7th, a group of concerned citizens and one Baruch Herzfeld, a local bike-shop operator and member of the Hasidic community to matters into their own hands and repainted the lanes, once again, according to streetsblog.org
They also took news into their own hands and made a video about it:

which has over 34,000 views on Youtube.

This spread to lots of news agencies and blogs including:
Huffingtonpost.com
the NY Post
and Gothamist

Then, Tuesday December 8th, those who were re-painting the lanes got charged with Criminal Mischief in this story from Streetsblog.

This Sunday, December 13th, there will be a political action by Time’s Up,

Time’s Up! Bicycle “Funeral Procession” & Vigil for Bedford Ave Bike Lane
Sunday, December 13, 2009
2pm – Meet on the Brooklyn side entrance of the Williamsburg Bridge
3pm – Ride will end at a Vigil for the bike lane at Bedford Ave & Wallabout St

Join Time’s Up! Bicycle Clown Brigade in a New Orleans-style bicycle “funeral procession” as we mourn the removal of 14 blocks from our beloved Bedford Avenue bike that was ripped out from under us.

Well meet at 2pm at the entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge and ride through the Williamsburg bike lanes, ending 3:00 pm at a vigil for the Bedford Ave bike lane at the corner of Wallabout Street & Bedford Avenue.
Non-cyclists, bike lane supporters are encouraged to join us at 3:00 pm at the vigil to draw attention to the danger cyclists face without safe, protected bike lanes.

Harnessing the power of the cycling community & supporters, we will end the vigil with a mock ceremony to resurrect a section of the missing bike lane between Flushing & Division avenues in South Williamsburg.

Mayor Bloomberg is pandering to motorists who prefer free parking over safe bikes lanes for Williamsburg’s large cycling community and back peddling on his promise to green the city. We need to join together to tell him bike lanes need to improved, not removed!

Dressing for the occasion is optional but strongly encouraged.

For more information go to:
Time’s Up

Seems really ironic and sad. The entire world is gathered in Copenhagen for a massive climate change summit to come to some kind of an agreement on reducing carbon emissions and carry out the work of the Kyoto protocol, and meanwhile in NYC we are squabbling over 14 blocks of bike lanes and how inconvenient it is for motorists to have to give a little room for the zero cabon emitting bicycle. Wahhhhhhhh. Hey lets have a cleaner planet, but don’t take away the parking of a supposedly pious religious group who feels the need to drive everywhere (badly)

Holiday Gift Guide Part 2

In keeping on with our Holiday Gift Guide, here are some more ideas and some things I may have left out:

Outlier made locally in Brooklyn is on the cutting edge with making high fashion clothing, functional and fashionable for cycling, work and play.

Now they are re-inventing the classic dress shirt:
OUTLIERLightBlue-Flat

A little write up on it from Outlier’s Tyler Clemens:
“This is quite simply a better men’s dress shirt. We started out with a basic task, how could we make a shirt that moved better on a cyclists body, but we wound up with something a bit more subtle. A buttondown shirt cut to fit the body better and open up a range of motion constrained by traditional shirt construction. An experiment in form, the Outlier Pivot Sleeve Shirt.

The basic challenge was straightforward, when you lean forward on a bike a buttondown shirt stresses. It pulls uncomfortably taut across the shoulders. The sleeves pull up exposing your wrists to the cold, and the tails pull out of your pants, leaving you either untucked or with a blooming blouse of a shirt. Our solution is the patent-pending Pivot Sleeve, a completely reconstructed buttondown that retains the traditional look and feel of a dress shirt while working equally well both on and off the a bicycle.

From the front it looks like a well cut dress shirt. Like a good stage show, the magic takes place in back unseen by most. The underside of the pivot sleeve flows seamlessly into the back of the garment, creating an extra side panel. By removing the rear arm seam you can move your arm forward without restriction. It opens up a whole range of arm motion, move your arms forward or up and your shirt stays in place, cuff at the wrist, no cutting at the shoulders, your shirt tucked in properly. The extra side panel created by the pivot sleeve gives the shirt a strong form, the extra fluff found in most modern dress shirts is gone, this is how a shirt should fit.”

$120.00
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How about the “Best Winter Cycling Cap” from Fabric Horse
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$40.00
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Check out some rad hats and chalk bags from Trackosaurusrex.com outta LA.
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Denim work hat $25.00

and

SmallRunChalkBags
Chalk bags $25.00
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Missionworkshop.com out of San Francisco has a sweet waterproof backpack.
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Check out this video:

Day in the life of the Vandal Cargo Pack from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

$225.00
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Check out Karl Anderson and his designs at Partybots.org
True Romance T-shirts:
il_430xN.79192964$25.00
and some handmade paper journals:
il_430xN.108681112 $5.39
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BTW,
Etsy.com is a web site allows you to have your own web store and its filled with over 230 pages of bicycle related stuff, like t-shirts, books, and more. Here are just a few things I found:
A Giraffe riding a tallbike from dark cycling clothing
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Vintage Bicycle Charm bracelet from Kimari Jewelry
il_fullxfull.79151768 $29.98
and some hoodies from Vital
il_430xN.95366562 $40.00
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I forgot to post this a while back (sorry) but Anne Wolfe is making her own bike racks in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
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I asked her about this project:

“A grant came from a local group, through SEEAL and the EPA, to make bike racks out of recycled materials. Seeal.org I worked with 2 other artists to come up with concept – a bike rack/fence around a street tree. The other artists had to drop out of the project, so I took it from there. I have a stash of tubing (we live in an old warehouse, so I have the space for a lot of crap, which comes in handy.) A local steel supplier had the cool shapes, which are cut-offs from plasma cut disks. So there are 3 like this one, in different colors, in the downtown area.

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Since then, the city has hired me to make 2 more bike racks, which are more like the standard “wave” bike rack, but also made of recycled steel, which are by our first local urban garden plots. The bike racks have been used a lot since they were installed early in the summer, and the city of New Bedford has expressed interest in more. They just put in a bike lane on a street near my place, so I think they’re heading in the right direction.

I’ve been doing metalwork since the mid-90s, and I’m a 41 year old mom of a 2 year old.
She also prints bikes on mugs and other kitchen items at her ESTY site Acero Studio
il_430xN.108908182 $32.00
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Maybe giving someone some reflective gear is a nice gift:
Life08
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More at the Fixie-shirt.com
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For “Everything Fixed Gear” check out the web store eigthinch.com
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Don’t forget to support your local bike shops.

Here (NYC) we’ve got King Kog 455 Graham Ave, Brooklyn. They got great stuff like this brass belt buckle with the King Kog Gorilla logo:

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$40.00

and don’t forget they’ll be having an art auction on Friday, December 11th:
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They also sell exclusive Laek House designs from Ethan Benton.

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Here is a little about them:
Press Release:

“Welcome to Laek House.

We’re super proud to show our new shirts and color-ways for the Holiday season. Laek House marries cycling to t-shirts with an eye towards the past, present and suggested future.

If you’re not familiar with us, here is some background;
1. We’re based in NYC, Brooklyn to be specific, and have been working at this since 2005.
2. Everything is hand screened and produced within New York City.
3. We have a long running collaborative project with Velocity to producing ELVS rims. The ELVS rim is a black retro-reflective finish that can be applied to every rim in Velocity’s catalog.
4. Our monthly giveaway series Asphalt, produce in collaboration with blogger supreme John Prolly.
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Some t-shirts from fellow blogger Lockedcog.com
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and outta Seattle: Zlog Blog
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Talia Lempert has been painting bicycles for years. You can see some of her work on her site: Bicycle Paintings.com She also makes great t-shirts, onsies and even coloring books for the kids.
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She’ll be at the Brooklyn Flea’s Holiday Flea Market. 20 East 4th St @ Lafayette. in Manhattan.

Hi Friends!
Join me at the Brooklyn Flea’s Holiday Market – Gifted!
I’ll be there, selling all kinds of good gifty stuff
Prints, sketches, small paintings, T shirts and my handmade cycling caps
all this week, from Wednesday – Sunday
and then Dec. 20-24

It’s fun to be inside with so many cool vendors
selling beautiful handmade stuff, varied and awesome
as well as super classy vintage.
It’s open 12-7 Wednesday-Sunday
AND There’s an afterwork party
Wednesday night from 6-9
with Other Music DJ’s and Brooklyn Brew Shop beer.
Hope to see you there!

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and Hector Rodriguez of Faction Cycling in Chicago has a whole line of cycling jerseys and t’s:
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This image includes: (from Hector)
Works Share the Road jersey
With all their arm-flailing and flipper-kicking, roller bladers can be a real nuisance. Before you don The Beast and your battle axe and take it to them, consider this more polite approach.

Centaur Share the Road jersey
With all their arm-flailing and flipper-kicking, roller bladers can be a real nuisance. Before you don The Beast and your battle axe and take it to them, consider this more polite approach.

Road Scholar Cap
Vintage Houndstooth Stripe Cap
Houndstooth check is made by alternating four dark bands and four light threads in both warp, and weft, woven in a simple 2:2 twill, two over and two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. Okay, we have no idea what that meant either. All we know is that houndstooth is what professors wear, and professors are smart, and you can at least look smart in this sophisticated lid.

Meet Members of the Garmin-Slipstream Pro Cycling Team, Thursday-December 10th

Saw this on NYVelocity.com

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Roller Races event to support the CRCA juniors, youth development program of the New York Century Road Club.

Special guests include Team Garmin with Timmy Duggan, Tyler Farrar, David Millar, and Jonathan Vaughters.

It’s being held at Santo’s Party House at 96 Lafayette (between White and Walker) in Manhattan.

Entry fee is $20.

That’s Thursday, December 10 starting from 7 to 10:30 PM.

Race, Party, Drink, Passout, Race, then Race again. NYC December 18th and 19th.

Looks like its a couple of Day’s of events:

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Friday, December 18th,
Roach House Bicycle Club presents Partycat:
Registration 7:30pm
@ Lit Fuse Cyclery
409 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn. $5
9pm Race
After Party at 1226 Putnam Ave, Brookyln.

Then:
Saturday, December 19th,
How the Grinch Stole Christmas 2 race,
Registration 2pm, Race at 3pm
Tompkins Square Park, NYC.

Then, That night:

FrostbiteX1
Dan G is throwing an alleycat race in NYC December 19th, to benefit the Tokyo Bike Messenger Association and to help recoup some of their financial losses in hosting September’s World Messenger Championships.

More info:
Email Dan fasttimes@samuraimessenger.com

You can also help out by buying a t-shirt from the DCBCA (District to Columbia Bike Courier Association)
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These shirts are only $10.00. Find out about them here.

Happy (belated) Birthday

4123651144_86576d7e78(picture by GageDesoto)
Just want to send a Happy Birthday to Chris Thromann, (His actual birthday was December 6th) winner of this year’s Cranksgiving 11, alleycat champ and organizer. Proud member of NYC’s cycling community.

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Oh and he just happened to ride his bike across the country this summer.

Staten Island has Critical Mass

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Don’t count out this borough of NYC.  Staten Island’s got it’s own critical mass on the first Friday of every month.

They meet at Borough Hall and Richmond County Courthouse

130 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, NY‎ -7:00pm


View Larger Map

Keep track of what’s going on at their facebook group page.

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1

72446817_adc653ac93_b (picture by: Erik Jaeger)
It’s that time of the year again: Getting up at 4:00 in the morning to get down to the mall in hopes of snagging a new flatscreen without getting trampled; wiping off the beer stains from your Santa suit and parading along with 500 other drunks in the annual Santacon; Holdiay parties, and do we still have to include Kwanzaa in a list when we wish someone “Happy Holidays?”

I dunno, seems like in these times of 10% unemployment, we might all be re-evaluating gift giving but If you are going to dole out presents to those cycling fanatics out there, here are a few suggestions:

shirtinstudio
My good pal Stevil Kinevil, of the awesome blog all hail the black market, has been hard at work making hats and t-shirts. Give him some support. I hear he’s not quite up to speed with his store but you can still make arrangements with him through paypal. These t-shirts make great gifts for the bicycle culture enthusiast in your life.
I bought mine:
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Printing by Stoker Ace who also has lots of other great shirts to choose from.

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Here is a totally unique gift. Danielle Baskin of Belle Helmets makes one-of-a kind custom painted bike helmets. She can paint just about anything on a helmet.
BikePhotoBooth-11-09-48(photo by Keiko Niwa)
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Open Bicycle in Boston has been doing some product testing and found some Iron clad gloves that will resist fire. Now that should keep you warm in winter.
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How about some sweet toe straps from Hold Fast
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Track bike boutique in Lower Manhattan, Chari and Co has some great products including Wool caps:
Chari and Co
and this two-way fleece neck warmer/cap
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and for the undecided they are offering gift cards
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Outlier makers of great cycling fashion has some special public showroom hours from now till Christmas. Thursday’s 6-9pm and Saturday’s 1-5pm. 364 Leonard St, in Brooklyn.

Check out their Leather Braided Keychain:
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How about a messenger style back pack from Under-the-Weather
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Michaud Apparel makes stylish panniers you can take right into your business meeting:
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Pearl Izumi was really good to me this year and I wanted to give them another shout out. There new P.R.O. series of cycling apparel is some of the most comfortable gear I have ever rode. A nice pair of big tights makes a great gift.
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How about belts made out of recycled road tires at retiredbelts.com
Picture 162

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Check out some great products like these unique racks from ridepdw.com
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http://www.ridepdw.com/goods/cargo/payload

For the Ladies Chrome Bags have their Vanya knickers,
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and check out Ibexwear.com
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Magazine subscriptions make great gifts so how about:
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Track bike culture aces, Cog Magazine

or

Urbanvelo.org
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If you’d like to give to a good cause you can by a $30.00 t-shirt from worldbike.org and support an incredible program giving bikes to people in developing countries.

New iPhone App TALL BIKE Joust and iPod Touch Giveaway

I’ve been talking about a few subtle hints for those paying attention but now the bomb has dropped.
First off, if you haven’t figured out already, there is a new iPhone game coming out day one next year, featuring artist and tall bike aficionado, Ryan Doyle.
BC_Card1

More on this new app can be found at the website: Bikeclubgames.com

Ryan’s been busy at the Miami art Basel showing off his skills as the world’s greatest joustman and demonstrating a few of his ridable art pieces including the Regurigitator and Hell-o-copter.

The master mind behind this game is Fredric King, who made the documentary B.I.K.E. back in 2007 for Fountainhead films. He’s teamed up with Curious Pictures for the creation of a truly unique app which allows the participants to command a tall bike in several urban settings and try and defeat various opponents through the bizarre sport of tallbike jousting.

I was able to interview Fredric King and find out what inspired him to make this app and bring the world of freak bike culture to iPhones everywhere:

Name, Age and where you live?
Fredric King. Age 51. Lives in NYC

What lead you to making a film about tallbikes, Black Label and eventually Ryan Doyle? In what order did that come about and talk a bit about the process?

After I finished my first film “Streets of Legend” that won cinematography at Sundance and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, I was searching for a new project. Anthony Howard was slated to be the lead in a film I was developing at the time called Blue Valentine. His co-director on “B.I.K.E.”, Jacob Septimus, was an associated producer on my first film. They both came to me with a trailer for “B.I.K.E”. that had the 3 elements that I like in a picture: action, a love story, and a kick-ass sound track. I think Tony Howard is a huge talent both in front of and behind the camera. In all of the films he’s made, he is the star — they are unpredictable and elicit an emotion. The challenge on “B.I.K.E.” was embarking on a project with a narrative arc with no set ending to the film, so after shooting for 1 year and ½ and compiling 385 hrs of footage, the task of editing the project over the next two years was the enormous feat. Doyle is one of the main characters and was someone I came to know and respect by watching the dailies.

What interested you in mutant bike culture and tall bike jousting?

How could I not be… it’s fascinating.

What inspired you to make a iPhone app about tall bike jousting?

I spent a couple of Halloweens during the shooting and production of the film at the Bike Kill where hundreds of wild unbridled youth performed extreme Ex-game type feats that would make a skateboarder look like a sissy. It’s a natural extension of the film. Tall Bike Joust is the first of 3 games I intend to make.

Talk about how the game was developed and what lead to certain details like choosing the other cities for tallbike jousts to occur?

Freak bike culture and my movie touch upon serious social and environmental concerns that I have deep feelings for. The underlying theme for the game embraces sustainability and anti-consumerist values. I grew up in New Orleans so it was natural to have a post-Katrina setting; Minneapolis and Reno are very strong BLBC (Bike Label Bike Club) chapters; New York is where Doyle and I both live; Amsterdam and Hong Kong embrace bicycle culture in Europe and Asia.

How did you get involved with Curious pictures?

I was introduced to Lewis Kofsky, a partner at Curious Pictures, at a party that Doyle was DJ-ing at about a year ago. Lewis and Doyle have spent several years together at Burning Man together, Lewis had caught wind of our intention of making a video game. At the time, I wasn’t aware that he was one of the producers of the Beatles RockBand video game. The rest is history.

What was it like working with Doyle in the making of the game?

A match made in bike heaven. I’m a producer who likes to make things and tell stories. Doyle’s artwork creates a unique design language for our game and he’s the Tall Bike Jousting Champion of the World, which brings authenticity to the project.

How was he with the motion capture experience and were there specific challenges in making this game?

Doyle’s persona is one with the bicycle whether he is jumping on to a Tall Bike, cruising down the boulevard or being toppled to the ground. His actions seem effortless almost poetic. The game is truly unique with very ambitious 3D art for the existing platform. Once we realized the 3D engines that were needed to run the game did not exist as off-the-shelf modules, the schedule and budget went out the window to achieve the quality that Doyle and I want to deliver to the user. Curious is pushing the limits of the iPhone platform. I think we are defining the possibilities what can be done with this medium — building tall bikes, creating jouster attributes, there are so many details to the game that will blow your mind.

Are the masses ready for an app about tallbike jousting and what do you think will be the impact on bike culture in general?

Frankly, the masses have no idea what Tall Bike Jousting is, but every time we screen the movie or talk about the impending game, it captures people’s interest and imagination. The gang at Curious pictures are amazingly talented and have exceeded my expectations. The end user will experience a game like no other at a price point that is unheard of for a game of this magnitude.

You may have faced difficult challenges with exposing a sub-culture like mutant bike clubs to the mainstream in the B.I.K.E. documentary. Do you foresee similar hurdles as far as acceptance with the iPhone app?

I’ve been criticized for making the film and exposing its dark, tragic nature. For me a worse experience would be to make a film that doesn’t evoke any feeling at all. I’ve met the most creative and generous people making and distributing the movie. We support advocacy groups be allowing them to screen the movie at festivals, museums and galleries around the world. Ultimately the positive feedback outweighs the negative and I think it partially inspired my daughter to study environmental science. I don’t foresee any negative backlash from the game. I think people are going to experience it and enjoy it.

What do you hope people walk (ride) away from the iPhone app? Do you think this will inspire more tall bike welding, mutant bike club formations, tall bike jousting in the xgames 2030?

I hope that the app will inspire people to become more creative and aware of the waste in our culture. There’s a whole section in the game called the Club House that allows you to weld, repair and recycle parts for your tall bike. Doyle and I felt strongly that the game shouldn’t be tied to a culture of waste and that the underlying theme would embrace the bike club’s message of anti-consumerism. I don’t know about Tall Bike Jousting in XGames 2030, but I hope there’s Tall Bike Jousting on Xbox in 2010!

What are future plans for video games with mutant bike sports?

Tall Bike Joust iPhone app is a litmus test to see if gamers are interested in this culture. If we’re successful, peer-to-peer jousting is obvious, with two additional games already being conceptualized. Stage II would offer these 3 games as downloadable modules on the PC platform with console gaming and social networking capabilities down the road.

Anything you wished I’d asked you?

When I was a kid, I remember the feeling of freedom I got from riding my bicycle through the streets of New Orleans. When my brother and I were about 10 years old, I remember flipping my bicycle frame and building a very rudimentary Tall Bike. Doyle’s experiential artwork and outlook on life give that same feeling of freedom and possibility. Making this game has given me that feeling again.
Ride Ur Bike!

Here is a little video with some behind the scenes footage of Doyle involved in making of the app with motion capture:

BBNYC Contest to win an iPod Touch:

Ok, now for the contest part:

In promotion of this new app, Fredric and his crew want to give away a few prizes including an 8 gig iPod touch, loaded with the tall bike joust app and they are allowing this blogger to come up with a contest. Rules and instructions for winning this prize are listed on a separate page through under the heading– contest (found at the top of the page) The contest basically involved taking some bike related pictures over the next 4 weeks, scoring points and the person with the most points wins.

Good Luck.

Freak Bike Culture in Miami gets regurgitated

Freak Bike Culture is alive and well in Miami for the Art Basel, this week thanks to Ryan Doyle and his hell-o-copter and regurgitator:

This is part of an art exhibit and the promotion of a new iPhone app coming out about tall bike jousting.

Here is a message from game producer Fredric King:
“Greetings from Miami and Art Basel. We are defiantly making waves down hear with Doyle’s Regurgitator. I think the one thing that has saved us from getting busted by the cops is that we’re directly under the flight path of the Miami airport so people think the noise is just a “very” low flying jumbo jet. Yesterday – Doyle, Irish Mike, Ian and Zarah took a tour through Miami Beach on their Tall Bikes and people were cheering them on. Here’s a link to my Youtube video of the Regurgitaor in action. Enjoy it and please share it with your friends.”

Stay tuned to this blog for more about the game and a special prize contest for the chance to win an iPod touch.