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JRS VOLUME #12; ISSUE #24

Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 12, Issue #24: THE BIKE EDITION
August 11, 2008

Before we start this issue, we just have to share: the newest Burning Blogger, John Curley, is living among the DPW while they build Black Rock City, as we speak; he's doing an incredible job of documenting the construction of the city, literally from the ground up, and his work is simply top notch. You really should check it out:

http://tinyurl.com/6995sd

Onward!

Now, even if you're not bringing a bike to the playa this year (le what?), you'll still find valuable information in this edition ... so do read on.

Guess what? Black Rock City is bigger this year. To give you a sense of it, our perimeter fence has grown from 7 miles long to 9 miles long. Now, all you geometry buffs have probably already figured out that's ... well ... a lot bigger. The inner playa is much bigger too ... the distance from the Man to the Esplanade Road has grown from 2,200' to 2,700', making the length of the Esplanade itself 2,500' longer. Getting the picture?

Right, so you know how having a bicycle at Burning Man is usually essential to your enjoyment of the event? Because there's so much to see and do? And it's all pretty spread out over a large area? Yeah, well, this year that's truer than ever. In this issue, we give you the full rundown on everything you need to know about those invaluable steeds of the playa: bikes.

19 days 'til the Man burns. Nine ... teen. Good lord, we're in the teens.

-PQ
(Associate Rabbit)

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BIKES: THEY'RE NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE
+ IF THERE'S JUST *ONE* THING YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THIS JRS ...
+ WHAT KIND OF BIKE SHOULD I BRING?
+ WHERE CAN I GET A BIKE?
+ BURNINGMAN.COM SEZ: BIKES ON THE PLAYA
+ COMMUNITY BIKES
+ DON'T WANT YOUR BIKE TO GET STOLEN? OK THEN ...
+ BIKE REPAIR ON PLAYA
+ GOT A BIG THEME CAMP? PROVIDE BIKE RACKS!
+ DISPOSING OF YOUR BIKE AT THE END OF THE EVENT

UNSUBSCRIBE?:
+ Want to unsubscribe from the JRS? Srsly? OK, here's how: http://tinyurl.com/2rwqzx

{================================================} =BIKES: THEY'RE NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE== {================================================}

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IF THERE'S JUST *ONE* THING YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THIS JRS ...

... it's that you really really absolutely MUST LIGHT YOUR BIKE AT NIGHT. Did we just scream that? Yes, we did. And we're not talking about weak-kneed piddly lights either ... get good ones that you can see from afar. A headlight and a taillight are key, too.

There's a lot of people running around on playa at night, and guess what? If your bike isn't lit, THEY CAN'T SEE YOU. Riding around on an unlit bike is just asking to get whacked, and nursing a broken collarbone is a less than ideal way to spend your Burn. Without a headlight, you might not see that dude sleeping (read: speed bump) on the open playa. At the very least, it's a lot easier to find your bike amongst the acres of bikes if you light it uniquely.

So please, if you take just *one* thing away from this JRS, it's this: light your bike. Srsly.

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WHAT KIND OF BIKE SHOULD I BRING?

With the playa surface being the way it is (occasionally playa serpent bumpy with sporadic soft and deep dusty spots) it's best to bring a beach cruiser with fat tires, or a mountain bike. Thin 10-speed type tires will make for tough travel.

It should be in good shape enough to survive, but keep in mind the playa turns any bike into a rustbucket in short order, so don't bring your multi-thousand dollar mountain bike if you don't plan on either having it destroyed, or doing some serious cleaning and restoration work on it after the event.

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WHERE CAN I GET A BIKE?

Say you're flying into Reno, or you don't want to haul a bike for most of your drive. Well, there are plenty of places in Reno offering playa bikes for rent and sale. They include:

Black Rock Bicycles
7550 Hillview Dr – 775- 972-3336
The only bike outfit in Reno primarily catering to Burners. Brand new durable cruisers for women and men at great prices, for rent or purchase. To make rental arrangements, visit http://www.blackrockbicycles.com . To buy a bike or bike-accessories (lock, bell, lights, basket, rack), Black Rock Bicycles has also teamed up with three local Save Mart supermarkets to sell new cruisers at the stores, now and through the week of Burning Man. You can also find Black Rock Bicycles for purchase at Prism Magic Clothing. Locations:

Save Mart Supermarket
525 Keystone Avenue, Reno, 775-786-2150
195 West Plumb Lane, Reno, 775-786-0138
565 East Prater Way, Sparks, 775-359-9450

Prism Magic Clothing
2161 Pyramid Way, Sparks, 775-356-5577

Kiwanis Bike Program
2605 Comstock Road - 775-746-9310
Normally a bike program to benefit kids of all ages, the Kiwanis Bike Program receives large numbers of bikes from the region year-round, including bikes deposited by Burners for recycling -- and they set aside used bikes in good condition for Burners to purchase. Visit http://www.kiwanisbikeproject.org to purchase and arrange pick-up, or visit the Save Mart supermarket at 525 Keystone Avenue (next to I-80) in Reno during the event. Get them while they last!

Reno Bike Project
250 Bell Street - 775-323-4488
A used-bike seller and community bike shop operated by many Burners, selling used bikes in good condition at great prices. Get them while they last! Check out the website http://www.renobikeproject.com for further details, or email renobikeproject (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tell 'em the Rabbit sent you. And then they'll go "Huh?"

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BURNINGMAN.COM SEZ: BIKES ON THE PLAYA

The best information about bikes at Burning Man -- including what kind of bike is recommended to bring, how to maintain it, how to be safe and keep it from being stolen -- can be found in your Survival Guide (which you've read, right?), and also online at the Burning Man website, riiiiiiight here:

http://tinyurl.com/cctsr

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COMMUNITY BIKES

What are Community Bikes?

Once again, an anonymous donor has given a generous kick-start to help Burning Man and the Black Label Bike Club from Reno present the Community Bike program, a fleet of community bicycles available for anyone who needs a one-way ride. Community Bikes are easy to spot because they are painted BRIGHT GREEN (with no visible brand and/or the words "Yellow Bike" painted on the frame).

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using a Community Bike:

- Community Bikes are for temporary use by anyone without immediate access to their own bike. This is not YOUR loaner bike for the week. Bike rides are only a one-way, temporary guarantee.

- If a Community Bike breaks while you're using it, use Radical Self- Reliance to get it repaired for the next person. Check with Playa Info at Center Camp for a repair camp if you can't Do-It-Yourself (DIY).

- NEVER LOCK A COMMUNITY BIKE. The bike camp team will cut any locks from community bikes. Don't bring a Community Bike into your tent or RV, and don't take it home when you leave the playa.

- Community Bikes are meant for short trips. Grab a community bike, make your trek, and then drop it off where you found it, or leave it in an obvious public place. Do not keep a community bike in your camp.

- Community Bikes should be treated with respect, as if it was your own. Be nice to the bike. Don't trash it, vandalize it or part it out! It's a shared community resource. And don't forget personal hygiene ... pants are required while riding a community bike.

We heart the Community Bike program. Let's keep it working.

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DON'T WANT YOUR BIKE TO GET STOLEN? OK THEN ...

This is a simple one. If you don't want your bike stolen on the playa, then always lock it up wherever you leave it. The unfortunate reality is that bicycles get stolen because they're unlocked. THE MAIN CAUSE OF BIKE THEFT IS AN UNLOCKED BIKE. This has been the case for years and years. The only bikes that should never be locked are GREEN Community Bikes.

(The Community Bike program is not the cause of stolen bikes, by the way. There were no more stolen bikes during the first year of this program than there were in previous years.)

And for what it's worth, you can always sharpie your name and camp address on the frame of your bike, and maybe some kind soul will find your bike and have the presence of mind to return it to you ("stealing" tends to be of a spontaneous and ultimately temporary nature more often than not). We'd guess the odds of that happening are actually pretty good: the great majority of Burners are good peeps.

Burning Man is not responsible if your bike gets stolen. We're supposed to say that, I think. Either way, we're not.

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BIKE REPAIR ON PLAYA

The key concept when it comes to bike repair on playa is self- reliance. You should bring everything you need to service your own bike, including basic tools, a bike pump and extra innertubes or a patch kit. Your mom doesn't live here (or maybe she does, but she's probably not a bike mechanic; or maybe she is, but she probably thinks its time you fend for yourself, anyway; she told us so).

There is at least one bike repair camp on playa, but (and maybe this is trite), we're not going to tell you where they are, lest they become your first resort and get swamped. They should be your last resort. Anyway, they provide NO parts, ONLY tools. So, but again: self-reliance. Key concept.

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GOT A BIG THEME CAMP? PROVIDE BIKE RACKS!

If your theme camp is planning on attracting the masses, do everybody a favor and provide some bike racks! Strewn bikes can present a public safety hazard, considering how hard it is for Rangers and emergency service personnel to respond quickly to a situation when they have to wend their way through a thicket of tossed bikes. Information about building simple and effective bike racks can be found on Burningman.com:

http://tinyurl.com/6k2dwt

(We think we seriously said "personnel" there, of our own volition. Weird.)

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DISPOSING OF YOUR BIKE AT THE END OF THE EVENT

The absolute least cool thing you can do with your bike at the end of the event is to abandon it on the playa. Way. Way. Uncool. Our hardworking crews are forced to round up all the abandoned bikes at the end of the event and dispose of them. Lots of bikes. Lame.

If you really don't want that bike anymore, that's cool, but please ... recycle it in Reno. Wait, I can do that? Yes! And not to mention all of them bikes will be donated to the Kiwanis Bike Program for Kids in Reno. Nice. Beats ditching them on the playa, right? Same result, only with postive Karma. OK, so where? Here:

Whole Foods Market
6139 South Virginia Street, Reno
775-852-8023
Friday, August 22 through Wednesday, September 3
Open 24 Hours

Save Mart (formerly Albertsons)
Reno:
525 Keystone Ave (back), 775-786-2150 (Open thru Sept. 6)
195 West Plumb Ln (back), 775-786-0138
10500 North McCarran Blvd, 775-746-8882
Sparks:
565 East Prater Way, 775-359-9450
9750 Pyramid Lake Hwy, 775-425-2700

And may we just add ... big props to people in the community who help make programs like these happen.

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{====================================================} ==============ADMIN ON AND OFF THE JRS============== {====================================================}

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Soundtrack for this JRS: Earlimart, Grizzly Bear, Reverend Horton Heat, Architecture in Helsinki, Tin Hat Trio, Teki Latex.

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