Wow, I was bummed out today. I got all hot and bothered about “bike culture being for sale.” I thought we had another hot button topic about weather an art space could actually have classes on building mutant bicycles for more money then you could buy a bike. I thought there would be lots of fiery responses on the issues of public space and selling out. Instead a few people told me I was just whinning. What fun is that? Last time tallbikes came into question I had major newspapers calling me up and asking, “whats with these mutant bike gangs that are terrorizing the city?” It was fun pretending to be an expert on a fringe sub culture of a sub culture that barely existed, then watch how the New York Times and the Village Voice blew it all out of proportion. So I ranted and it went flat and there were no discussion about to be punk rock or not. damn. Then, right before the day was up…Sweet vindication.
The supposed teacher of this Tallbike class wrote in:
“hi. this is carlos valpeoz, the person who, i guess seems responsible for this mess. first of all i don’t feel like i should justify this situation because i have nothing to do with 3rd ward anymore. i only feel compelled to write this response because since i have lived in brooklyn i have been very involved in bicycle culture. your argument, mr. green is completely valid. you elaborate mostly on exploiting bicycle culture. this class has never existed, does not exist, and will never exist…at least under my instruction. when i was dealing with 3rd ward, the purpose was not to exploit a culture which i am fully immersed in, but to offer people an opportunity to create and design at a place which seemed to not be run by business men. it was never about building tall bikes so that the affluent brooklyn scene-ster could swing their dick around. i was fooled into thinking that 3rd ward really cared about maintaining a strong community in this seemingly exploited city as opposed to just making money. i had absolutely no idea that they were still running this class. i have nothing to do with 3rd ward anymore and do no agree with their mentality, prices, and all of the above. my appologies. carlos.”
Whos whinning now…
Carlos, please email me off the blog. I’d love to talk more about this and thanks for taking the time to respond.
May 15th, 2007 | Category: General | Comments are closed
So 3rd ward in Bushwick, is this big art space offering space and classes. They have office space available, a wood shop and a metal shop. They have studio space for photographs or perhaps an insert stage for film and video purposes. They also offer classes…cool things like electronics for artists and introduction to MIG welding. They have passes that for $300.00 a month you can have access to all of their facilities and make the art of your dreams. Add another $150.00 and you can have a desk.
They contacted me about their new class in May called: Mutant Bicycle Mechanics and it reads something like this:
Teachers: Carlos Valpeoz & David Messinio 6 classes on Tuesdays 7-9pm Price: $450.00 + $40.00 materials fee. This course will introduce students to an entirely new aspect of bicycle culture. The focus is to allow the students to fully understand the mechanics of a bicycle while allowing them to build their own mutant bike out of raw steel and recycled bicycle parts (i.e. tall bikes, tricycles, chopper bikes, tandem bikes, bike carriages, etc.) Students will be persuaded to conceptualize at home, bring in their ideas, rationalize, and create whatever is feasible in class. With the aide of introductory machining and welding processes, students will be able to use their imagination and response to raw and pre-existing material to create a form of transportation that is aesthetically sound and entirely functional. A 6 day shop pass will be included in the price of the class so that student can work on their own during the term of the class. This course is an introduction to mechanics of bicycle components, bicycle maintenance, welding and light bicycle fabrication. People with any or no experience in these areas are encouraged to attend this class.
huh? I dunno about you but this seems a little weird. I mean, I’m all for putting more bikes on the streets that are colorful and cool but sounds to me like another large whiff of “Bike Culture is for sale.” How can you have a class on bike culture…Is 3rd ward going to have classes on being a squatter and dumpster diving and how to be a radical anarchist. For $450.00. You can buy a bike for cheaper but it won’t be as cool and people won’t think your part of some bicycle gang.
I guess instructors Carlos Valpeoz & David Messinio must be design majors in radical mutant bicycle building. I mentioned many of these points to 3rd Ward, in a length, heartfelt email that reminded them about the vandalism of Brooklyn Industries and offered advice to not to be so blantant about this kind of thing. I asked them, why can’t you just have welding classes and people will build what they want.
They didn’t respond…which pisses me off even more, especially because their original contact email was warm and inviting and told me if I had any questions to get back to them. They must be far to busy figuring out how to package culture into a $450.00 class.
Well folks, welcome to the future of NYC living…when all of our public space is sold off to developers and real estate moguls and all the culture makers and artists will be left with is spaces in which you have to make your art for large sums of money.
To be fair, these aren’t radical prices for 6 days and lab time for welding classes but they didn’t take my advice and they don’t want to respond in a community sort of way so I can only assume that they are just interested in money and want to sell off our culture because its cool and sexy from all the hard work we did FOR FREE!
So, maybe bad press is good for them…they got a plug anyway…but remember you can make Tallbikes for free in the few remaining FREE spaces we have left until Bloomberg sells them off or Ratner evicts them with eminent domain.
One is the Freegans…What is Freeganism? Freeganism=living beyond capitalism. In a society of massive overconsumption, enormous quantities of usable resources go to waste. Through dumpster diving, squatting, guerilla gardening and other strategies, freegans transform waste into resources to meet real needs, allowing us to live our values of ecological sustainability, cooperation & sharing while reducing our contribution to capitalism’s abuse of humans, animals and the earth. contact the freegans about bike building by calling Janet (347) 724-6954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Freegan website
Also, as part of Bike Month, Time’s up is offering a welding workshop FOR FREE on May 27th at 49 East Houston. The class won’t be enough time to complete a tallbike, but you can get time on a welder and TIMES up is always open to promote bike culture for the right price…FREE.
I will be leading a class on May 25th, 2007 called: “Critical Mass bicycle riding” Here students can learn how to avoid arrest by the police and how to freely assemble without a permit…while in the friendly classroom of the streets and a safe environment filled with 40,000 cops all on crack. Maybe they can bring their new shiny $500 tallbikes and choppers to the event. Probably won’t because its cool to make bike culture but not cool to participate in it.
I am also working on some new ciriculum called: How to live in an unaffordable city and a history class on how we have lost all of our squats, community centers and free spaces so Bloomberg can get rich. Look for it soon. All classes are $500 + $150 fee for me to buy tallbikes at Walmart, made in China and promoted on MTV’s new reality show…Radical Bikers gone wild.
But this is only a small inkling of what is going down this week.
Here is the run down:
May 16th, Wednesday
Bikes Rock…opening night party/rock show.
Solar1 23rd and East River-NYC
Bands: Mates of State–Parts and Labor and Team Robespierre then bike ride over to the Opening Night Party @ Studio B 259 Banker Street. btwn Calyer and Franklin 10-4 Free with Gang Gang Dance and DJ’s from Black Label Bicyle Club. ——————————————————- May 17th, Thursday Joy Ride–an art show inspired by the bicycle Curated by Festival Director Brendt Barbur hosted by Fountainhead Films…creator of the movie B.I.K.E. 6-12am 33 West 17th Street near 5th Ave. Art by:
Gina of King Kog Amy Bolger Swoon Michelle Gondry Shepard Fairly Daze Peter Sutherland… and many many more… A picture from the Joy Ride art show in Tokyo…to inspire.
Then an after party… ——————————— Then its movie time!! All Screenings at the Anthology Film Archives 32 2nd Ave. at 2nd Street. in Lovely Manhattan, USA
Here is Brendt warming up the crowd at last years BFF in Tokyo…
May 18th, Friday
Programs 1-3 7pm, 9pm and 11pm Featuring the New York Premiere of Monkey Warfare Attractive woman on bikes and SUV’s on fire…what more could you want?!?! here is a clip from Youtube
———————————- May 19th, Saturday… During the day…two Alleycats… One is in New Haven CT…cool flyer And here in NYC is the 3rd annual Bridge Battle…
Meanwhile Trackstar is hosting Track Bike events out front of the Bicycle FIlm Fest…
at 1pm there will be a BFF bike Parade to the Track events…the site is TBD and will be posted on the BFF website. Oh my god…bikes riding together…the apocolypse is near…oh wait…they have a permit. Whew.
There will be films screen while all this is going on at 1:30pm, 3pm and 5pm…see BFF program for complete schedule.
Then Messenger night, where you will all see TRACK KAIJU…I command you!! ———————————————-
Sunday, May 20th
More movies including this one…Eat!, Sleep? Bikes! Four friends embark on a 508 mile non-stop 46 hour bike ride through Death Valley, Ca. on fixed gear bikes…
Last Fridayâ€™s Critical Mass riders made use of their wheels, ingenuity and MetroCards. After several dozen cyclists assembled in Union Square, many wearing copies of the Constitution with the words â€œMy/Our Permit,â€ they quietly marched down the stairs of the Union Square subway station. There was a frenzy of MetroCard swiping as cyclists lifted their bikes over turnstiles. Transit police stopped several riders, claiming they had entered without paying the fare. Ultimately, only one cyclist was given a summons for nonpayment of fare and allowed to proceed.
They took the Downtown Lexington Avenue express train. Several got off at the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station, then got back on, prompting the train conductor to announce over the loudspeaker, â€œYou got to make up your mind where you want to go.â€ They got off at the next stop, Fulton St.
Mounting their bikes, they pedaled down Broadway to Battery Park, up the West Side Highway and through the West and East Village. For the first time in recent memory, police did not escort or chase the ride.
The only incident occurred before the ride started when cyclist Jamie Favaro was riding up Fourth Ave. en route to Union Square. While pedaling up the bike lane, she was sideswiped by a car. Favaro said the driver lowered her window and asked, â€œWhy arenâ€™t you in the bike lane?â€ and continued without stopping. Favaro was not injured.
â€œItâ€™s one of those things that happens to bikes every day,â€ she said.
May 9th, 2007 | Category: General | Comments are closed
On Sunday, May 6th was the kick off of a three city velodrome tour where bike messengers compete for tickets to the world championships in Dublin Ireland. Messengers from the East Coast came out to race on the Kissena Park Velodrome in Queens.
Congratulations to Kym Perfetto (NYC) and Peter Bradshaw (Boston) for wining first place and getting two tickets to the Ireland for the worlds in August.
Just to clear up a few things…Kym is a working NYC courier, I rode around with her on Thursday for a few runs in between teaching two spin classes at NYC Sports club…this is why she won, because if she is not riding her bike for work, she’s training on her bike or teaching on her bike or just plain on her bike.
Also the picture of Team 6 racing was not taken at Sears…duh…it was taken at JCPenny.
and there will probably be a reality show about messengers soon beacuse atleast 3 production companies are trying to pitch the ideas to the networks, so hurry up and get your team together and get your pictures at Sears Portrait world.
Here is a video we don’t like to see of a crash between Dagga and Beth O’Brien.
I hear they were ok…here is a picture of Dagga smilin after the crash which I hope is a good sign. Riding on the track can be dangerous, so you have to wear a helmet and sometimes you crash and get right back up and buy a new helmet.
there was also an alleycat race hosted by Felipe which was a great way to get back to Brooklyn from all the way out in Flushing, near the track.
It looks like the Nations fastest courier, Austin Horse, won.
and here is a picture from the new reality show coming soon to fox…”Drunk Messenger.” The guy with the bucket won the prize for best bucket on your head during an alleycat.
A great art show is opening tomorrow, and it is great because it is all about bicycling in NYC! It’s the perfect way to start the summer. Why I Ride opens tomorrow and runs through June 3rd, and organizers Carol Wood and Elizabeth Stuelke say it is going to make the NYTime’s Friday events list. Woot!
The show has four locations throughout the lower east side: Lower Eastside Girls Club gallery/cafe 56 E. 1st St.