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.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond
  • Naked City

    Education commissioner Shirley Neeley reverses her decision to make it easier to waive the 22:1 student- teacher ratio in elementary classrooms

    Naked City

    Student accused of murdering piano professor may proceed to trial

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Daniel Mottola
Bicycle Master Plan Gets a Tune-Up
Bicycle Master Plan Gets a Tune-Up
If it's May, it must be Bike Month

May 22, 2009

Critical Mass Arrests
Critical Mass Arrests
Pride or policy?

April 10, 2009

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

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

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle