Bike Safety and other helpful tips!

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
XS
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Bike Safety and other helpful tips!

Post by XS » Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:04 pm

The playa tire thread got me started on some bike safety tips. Muy Importante!!! Then Chai Guy contributed some golden nuggets on safety as well. Thanks Chai Guy. Well done mate.

I'll try to reiterate some key points made. Please add your own suggestions, pesonal experiences, or tips we may have missed. Safety first, unless you're at Thunderdome.

BIKE SAFETY TIPS!

Ride slowly. Speed kills, or a least can horribly mame. I've seen too many accidents with folks just goin' a wee bit too fast and taking a bad spill. Beware the unforseen divot, sand trap, micro dunes.* Slow down enjoy the show.

(*Thicker tires are preferred, slightly deflated. Better traction that way.)

WALK, don't ride through any camps! Beware hidden guy wire, rebar, sleeping burners.

Wear your blinkies at night. Illuminate yourself, your bike, and the path before you. EL WIRE ROCKS! There are even LED rigs that attach to your spokes and spell out messages while you ride. Like "don't do drugs." Or more like... "please share drugs."

Bring a lock and use it to avoid anyone from 'borrowing' your bike. I prefer a keyed lock, that trying to remember a combo number.

Decorate your ride, not just to participate but to identify your bike from 30,000 others. Put your exclusive stamp on your ride. Pimp that ride!

Don't bring a real nice, high quality, spanking-new, shiney-ass, straight outta the box..... bike. The alkali will begin corrosion immediately.

I bought a little thrasher, girlie bike at goodwill for ten bucks. Seriously. Looked like it had already been to the playa. All painted hot pink and shit. 10 bucks! Invested a bit in a larger, more padded seat for my bulbous ass. Worth every penny. Plus it keeps me from riding too fast.

Attach a bike basket for those quick runs for ice and camp Artica. But don't carry any carbonated bevies, or beer in the basket, the bumpy ride will shake 'em up and you'll spritz all over yourself and anyone near you.

While carting your bike to and from the playa, TIE IT DOWN! Rope, bungies whatever you have to do to keep from sharing your bike with the cars and trucks behind you.

That's as much as I can think of at the moment.

Please add your own precious tid bits of info and helpful hints.

Much love to all the children of the playa.

XS
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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:46 pm

This guy is calling for bike locks. If your going to steal your ride this year you better bring your bolt cutters. You asshole know who I'm talkng to. Yes people your bike will be stolen if you don't lock it. So don't come crying to lost and found if there was no lock on it. The rangers hate to hear of lost bikes. They simply don't have time to look for you.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:29 am

REiterating about blinkies/light/LEDs/el wire.

There will be little to no moon this year. As a former ESD member, I've riden shotgun at night on playa--and it's scary to think that there's an unlit someone coming at your truck. Playing chicken with rangers, medical folks, fire folks, LEO, and mutant vehicles is a pretty petty reason to fork out $250.
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Post by Lassen Forge » Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:53 am

Good topic! Thanks for putting it here!

One thing you must do - Bring a patch kit and tubes and a pump. You will get flats. Or... get solid tires (like Amerityres) and don't worry about flats. They ride a bit hard, but compared to being stranded across town having to change a tire, well... I'll take a hard ride ot none at all (or worse, carrying the damn thing back home!)

Bring tools. Enough to fix what ails your bike. And get to know your bike so if (or when) something does break or go bad, you can fix it. (Remember Radical Self Reliance, tho nothing radical about fixing your own ride!)... ANd grab some of those BBQ joint hand-wipes, so you can get the grease off your mitts, so you don't get to relive the greasy hand experience every time you go for a ride.

Speaking of - tune the bike up *now*. Things will go out out there, but no need to spend playa time fixing something you could have done earlier (and closer than Reno for bike parts!!). DON'T get heavy handed on the grease - it's not only messy and moopy but Dust and grit and crap attracts to it. Minimalism is better.

Tattoo and personalize the hell outta it. Make it stand out. Not only will it look cool out there, but it'll help you distinguish your green 26" huffy from the couple hundred dozen *other* green 26" huffy.

Get a simple combo lock, and program it with something stupid simple (last 4 of your ssn, your telephone area code, a number you henna tattooed on the top of your left foot, whatever) so when you're ripped or blasted or wasted or fried or just zoned and zonked you can unlock your bike. I don't like the key idea because - well - do you know how easy it is to lose a set of Car Keys in a city in the desert when you're in 100 degree heat in a duststorm? Where nothing is familiar? And you're camped a mile from Artica? Now, imagine doing that on Tuesday Morning, and your bike is locked over at the Man 'cuz you were checking out the carousel action there (and you're at Neptune and 8:00 or some other outer reaches place) with some dinky little obscure (and buried in playa dust) bike lock key. Thanks, I'll tattoo the number on my right arm.

One other thing (from when I was a kid on a bike in a desert)... IF you have a nauga or leather saddle, put a cloth covering on it. Helps prevent burning tushie syndrome. Helps protect the saddle. And if you have a gel saddle (like I get) be prepared to replace it - the heat is *not* it's friend. Might want to cover the grips too - that damn black cushy plastic gets hot and sticky and icky.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:40 am

There will be a few bike repair stops listed in your what where and when. Stop by and gift a little time. You may need some repair later.
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Post by Wakawaka » Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:55 pm

If you didn't wash your bike and lube your chain/gears after last year (like I didn't), check your chain, it may be in need of replacement. I just looked and mine's all rusted and unhappy.

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Post by MissNev » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:37 pm

This may sound like a no brainer, but I speak from experience...apparently I had no brain last year.

It is NEVER a good idea to speed across the open playa on your bicycle while holding onto a fast moving golf cart! I fell not only once; but yes, I was stupid enough to try it again and fell AGAIN. Bad, bad, bad. It took weeks for the bruises to heal, but they made for some interesting pictures for my camp mates.

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Post by AntiM » Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:03 am

We used little bottles of dry lube on the bike chains, but I can't rememer the brand name. Worked like a charm.

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Post by robotland » Thu Jun 09, 2005 7:09 am

It's kinda like the key-under-the-mat securitywise, but up under the seat's a good place to stash that bikelock key.....And a little piece of folded-up tinfoil to boot. Unwrap and loosely cover your bike seat during those longer stays at Center Camp, and no frya you booty!
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:13 am

OK, crew. So far we've got:

Bike
Spare tires
pump
patch kit
lock
tool kit
cloth seat cover
handlebar basket.

Did I miss anything? Besides hydration pack, a few gifts, and a sturdy kilt that is all you need for a fine day of exploration on the playa.

Men: I really mean that about the kilt. I was gifted one last year by my Scottish friend Dougaldutch and it is my prize posession for playa daywear. I'm sure a skirt would do as well, but women should not be alone in the joys of an undercarriage breeze on a bike... truly!
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Post by robotland » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:20 am

Agreed....I'll be premiering my Workman's out there this year, and look forward to the refreshing breeze while putting behind me the irritation of constantly untangling my sarong from the gears! May have to look for a girl's bike, or learn to ride sidesaddle....and how the hell do girls cross their knees like that?!? Mr. Robo don't hinge like that!
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XS
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Man-i-skirt instead of a Sarong

Post by XS » Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:49 pm

I'm making mini skirts for men for the playa this year. I call 'em Man-i-skirts. While the UTILIKILTS are totally awesome, and I love and wear sarongs on the playa and at home, I'm digging the Man-i-skirts. They won't fall off, get tangled in your bike gears, and the fabrics are lighter, breezier, sexier (IMHO).

Check 'm out on my tribe profile:

http://losangeles.tribe.net/template/pu ... d9&r=10025

I have a bunch more that I haven't taken pix, or posted yet. Coming soon.

Oh, yeah. This is a bike thread.

Safe and sane kids.
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:59 pm

Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:Men: I really mean that about the kilt.
Hey that sounds cool. Where can I get one online?
It's what you make it.

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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:51 pm

DallasPlaya wrote:
Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:Men: I really mean that about the kilt.
Hey that sounds cool. Where can I get one online?
Robotland has a great suggestion and I happen to get the same model for my birthday! Whoopi! Try www.utilikilt.com and make sure to follow their sizing guidelines closely.
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Post by AntiM » Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:24 am

I had better results in ordering a utilikilt for larry by calling them after I'd done all my decision making online. The first time I did the sizing just the way I was supposed to, they sent a kilt two inches too big. We didn't catch the mistake until after he'd worn and laundered it. He made a bigass belt so it is alright, but it slips on his skinny hips from time to time. Went much better the second time when I spoke to a real live person.

The workman's is a much heavier kilt and can take lots of abuse, but does occasionally cause um, chaffing in delicate areas. larry lives in the damn thing, that's why the second lighter kilt for running around in rather than the canvas armor of the workman for camp construction/destruction.

And learn how to sit in a skirt dangnabbit!

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Post by robotland » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:29 am

Aye, 'tis a beefy garment to be sure....I might bring my old homemade kilt too, just for a change. I found a PERFECT Utilikilt belt at the hardware store, for cheap....3" wide leather tool belt. And used Procion dye to customize my UK to a lovely forest green....

Bike blinkytoys, available at (sorry) MalWart- "Spokey Dokes"....blinky LED balls for the spokes, 3' EL wire widgets with a nice little driver on 'em for cheap, (8 bucks!) and marginally impressive sparky things....
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Post by jbelson » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:16 am

I ended up bring 4 bikes last year for my campmates and was able to buy 4 locks for $11 @ walmart that had programable combo locks. We put all the bikes on the same combo so it was easy to remember when you had to take a different bike (remembering a bunch of combos is a pain).

Also, biking at night on shrooms might be fun, but watch where you're going. It's easy to look all over the place at all the pretty lights, but thats when you steer into an art car or someone walking. Nothing ruins your night like a broken arm.

Also, a light permantly attached to the bike is a good thing. It's hard for people to see you at night.
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Bike Rental?

Post by JWarner » Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:20 pm

Isn't there a bike rental outlet located on the playa? I seem to remember hearing about one when I was at BM 2003, but can't find any references on the site. I'm coming from Prague this year, so I need to arrange for bikes ASAP. Can anyone point me to any good resources?

Thanks!!

*J*

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Post by Lassen Forge » Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:53 pm

jbelson wrote:... Also, biking at night on shrooms might be fun, but watch where you're going. It's easy to look all over the place at all the pretty lights, but thats when you steer into an art car or someone walking. Nothing ruins your night like a broken arm.

Also, a light permantly attached to the bike is a good thing. It's hard for people to see you at night.
A good tme to remind...

NEW MOON THIS YEAR!!!

What does that mean? Means the Playa will be **DARK** this year , no moonlight reflected of the Playa floor...

MAKE SURE...

(1) Lights on your bike. Keeps art cars from forcibly adding you to their art...

(2) Lights on your bod - Keeps Bicyclists from picking you up as a "skewered" addition, right before they get added to the art car...

(3) Lights on your camp. Keeps the unlit-bicycle-added art car (with complimentary skewered unlit burner) from deciding your 20x20 tent is really just more road...

Similarily... Make sure ALL guy ropes are flagged, and/or reflectorized, and/and are lit up somehow. Wouldn't you feel kinda crummy when someone who is lost and dazed and spaced trips over one of your shade's guy lines, and while it's falling down in pieces on top of your no-longer usable tent, the tripp-ee falls into your kitchen assemblage, destroying your cooking facility *and* runs theirselves through with that kewl flagoost upon which your banner proclaming your space as "Dark Force Camp" once flew... Right before getting picked up by the lightless bicycle...

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Post by Chai Guy » Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:02 pm

"J"

There is NO bike rental on the playa. I've heard (but not seen) that a person was selling bikes on the side of the road somewhere between Reno and BRC. I would not count on this kind of thing happening again, or being open when you pass by.

You might look into boxing your bike and checking on the plane with you. Not sure what the extra cost would be for an international flight, but I don't seem to remember it being to expensive when I once had to ship my bike on a domestic flight. The cost savings on buying vs. shipping might make it worth it.

My other suggestion would be to either purchase an inexpensive bike at either Goodwill or your favorite Big Box Retailer, wally world, tarje', etc. though bare in mind that there is a good chance all the used bikes will be sold out due to other people with the same idea.

When you're done with your bike you can donate it back to Goodwill or take it to the bike collection station off highway 447 if they are there and open and will accept your bike. (forget the town they were in last year).

Please DO NOT "gift" your bike to the playa, DPW or on the side of the road. A bike is a very big trace.

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Post by phil » Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:33 pm

JWarner: Check here for info on bikes, maybe some are available:
http://pedalplaya.tribe.net/

They may know of a guy in Reno who provides bikes (maybe in Sparks, my memory is hazy).

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Post by JWarner » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:19 pm

Where should I go if looking for someone with space on a truck going from L.A. to the Burn?

Thanks,

*J*

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Martiansky
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Post by Martiansky » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:41 pm

What kind of bike locks are the best to use?
If there's nothing to lock it to do you just lock the wheels up?
What about people taking the seat, does that happen?

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Post by unjonharley » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:50 pm

I'm thinking I could take in a couple wayward bike at the end. I have the time to work then over. Then find a home with a burner the next year. Guess just putting up a sign would do the trick.
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Re: Bike Rental?

Post by HughMungus » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:45 pm

JWarner wrote:Isn't there a bike rental outlet located on the playa? I seem to remember hearing about one when I was at BM 2003, but can't find any references on the site. I'm coming from Prague this year, so I need to arrange for bikes ASAP. Can anyone point me to any good resources?

Thanks!!

*J*
Last year we went...somewhere (pedal camp? re-cycle?) and they loaned us a couple of bikes. This year, due to my unnatrual height, I'm bringing my own 22.5" bike.

Regarding the bikes-for-sale-on-the-way-in, I posted about that here: http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... highlight=
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Post by phil » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:31 pm

Where should I go if looking for someone with space on a truck going from L.A. to the Burn?
I'd look in L.A. :->

Louise and I have been bringing bikes for some years now, and we've never had a flat. We use chains and key locks (we keep the keys on our wrists), and we free lock the bikes to each other facing in opposite directions when out and about and to the van when in our camp.

Bikes absolutely get stolen, kindly lock your bikes. I've run into people whose bikes were stolen and the description is "a naked guy with tattoos and a shaved head," to which I reply "I _saw_ him!"

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Post by nollij » Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:10 am

Wakawaka wrote:If you didn't wash your bike and lube your chain/gears after last year (like I didn't), check your chain, it may be in need of replacement. I just looked and mine's all rusted and unhappy.
The best dry lube I've found for playa use is PROLINK. Not all bike shops sell it, but they should. I don't like white lightning (too waxy, builds up dust) and milspec also picks up too much dust.. T9 is ok, but only if you have time to wait after lubing it... PROLINK folks, remember it.

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Post by nollij » Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:25 am

Martiansky wrote:What kind of bike locks are the best to use?
If there's nothing to lock it to do you just lock the wheels up?
What about people taking the seat, does that happen?
My vote is for the U-lock with the combo on the barrel. I bought mine at Mike's Bikes in san rafael, CA. I've used it for 2 years now, and although someone stole my buddies bike and my backpack, my bike didn't get stolen (long story).

Just lock the rear wheel to the frame. I can't think of anyone who's going to want to steal your BM Beater if they have to CARRY it.. if they still want to steal it, you brought too nice of a bike! You can also lock to friends bikes.. give them the code, and they can leave your bike locked up for you if they decide to move to the next party down the street... keys are easy to lose: if you must bring a key lock, make sure you leave and extra key to the lock in your CAR (they just pray you don't lose your CAR keys!)

I've never heard of anyone stealing seats... though if you were ULTRA paranoid, you could run a cable through the seat rails and lock it onto the frame.. I see no need.

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Post by heyman » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:27 pm

i am coming from the east coast and need to rent or borrow two bikes......any ideas

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Post by Martiansky » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:51 pm

heyman wrote:i am coming from the east coast and need to rent or borrow two bikes......any ideas
Rummage sales along the way perhaps?
I picked one up for ten bucks. I'm changing out a few parts for comfort's sake like a gel seat pad and taller handlebars. Then adding a few decorations so I can find my ride in a crowd, hopefully.

I got a combo lock but it's only 2 feet long. Just long enough to go through the back wheel and frame. Hopefully a deterent for a would be thief.

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