Naked City

Carnie Klowns Commit Cyclecide

Living up to mottos like "too dumb to die" and "no brakes, no problem," the Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, a San Francisco-based road show that features a selection of outlandish homemade bikes, a pedal-powered carnival, and punk-rock mariachis Los Baños, rolls into Austin on Friday, undaunted after a semi – whose driver fell asleep at the wheel – slammed into their tour bus earlier this month.

The fun and games begin Friday evening as Los Baños open for Austin cosmic-rock virtuosos Pong at Room 710 (710 Red River). Cyclecide's main event, the free-admission Bike Rodeo, takes place 1-8pm Sunday at Cafe Mundi (1704 E. Fifth). Cyclecide founder and "fearless bleeder" Jarico Reesce promises attendees an experience like no other, with traditional rodeo attractions à la Cyclecide – like bicycle barrel racing, performances by the Rodeo Klowns, and a full pedal-powered carnival midway including a Ferris wheel, carousel, and the scary spinning Cyclefuge, along with Cyclecide's freakshow of Frankenstein-ish bicycle creations.

"We take bikes [that] our wonderful disposable society throws away and turn them into alter-cycles," Reesce said. Making a special appearance, the rocket-armed Homeland Security Bike will join other two-wheeled phenomena like the fire breathing Chupacabra Cycle and the Tall Bikes, featured in death-defying jousting matches. "Modifying bikes seems contagious," Reesce said.

Indeed, it's not uncommon to see such homemade monstrosities roving the streets of Austin. On their fourth national tour, "spreading the message of the reconstituted bike with freakish alter-cycles, messy klown makeup, and beer, lots of beer," Reesce says he hopes the Rodeo will inspire people to do something interesting. And while Reesce maintains that Cyclecide doesn't like to preach political or ideological values, it's apparent that its efforts have furthered the cause of bike culture in our auto-centric society. Cyclecide has pioneered a one-of-a-kind pedal-power vaudeville, captivating individuals and bike clubs coast to coast, who have in turn proliferated Cyclecide's homespun engineering techniques, recycling, retooling, and mechanically transforming America's has-been bikes.

Reesce stressed the empowering nature of bike mechanics and how they can serve as a gateway to more complex enlightenment. "Einstein discovered e=mc2 while riding a bike," he said, also noting that Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Wright brothers all rode and worked on bikes. "The principles of mechanics are all associated," he said.

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Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, Jarico Reesce, Los Baños, Cafe Mundi

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