Posts in bicycle

August 17th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World

An Eco-Burner Homecoming: AfrikaBurns to Black Rock City by Bike

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices.  (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Next week thousands of people will be boarding planes and squeezing into cars crowded with camping gear bound for one location: Black Rock City. This attraction to one of the most inhospitable, creative and challenging places on earth baffles some and inspires others. Why spend so much time and energy on one week in the desert?

Kayden Kleinhans invested that and more in his preparation for Burning Man. Bicycling for 49 weeks, through 15 countries, Kayden’s journey started last year at AfrikaBurn, where he collected songs, remembrances and dreams from members of that community at their Temple in a leather-bound journal. His mission: deliver this precious cargo from their Temple in Tankwa Karoo, South Africa to our Temple in Black Rock City on a humble bicycle.

Yes, he is on a bicycle (its name is Little Ms. Sunshine).

Yes, there’s an ocean separating both Burns (a plane helped springboard him over the Atlantic Ocean to Buenos Aires, Argentina).

And yes, he is alive to share his story.

Special delivery from the Temple at AfrikaBurns with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Special delivery for the Temple of Whollyness with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

As he peddled into Death Valley, California three weeks ago, he sent this update, “With less than 1000 km left to go, wild horses couldn’t stop the journal and its magical contents from making it to the playa.”

Given his dedication to cycling up the Americas solo with his gear, fighting heat, cold, injuries and loneliness to complete his mission, it’s difficult to believe that Kayden has never set foot in Black Rock City. 2013 will be Kayden’s first year at Burning Man.

AfrikaBurns 2012 in Tankwa Town, where it all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

AfrikaBurn 2012 in Tankwa Town, where this all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

The call of home, that commitment to principles of radical self-reliance to leaving no trace resonate whether or not he felt chalky playa dust between his fingers. As the Founder of the Global Wheeling Initiative, a South African-registered NGO highlighting climate change, he hopes to draw attention to these concerns through his journey, one of several he’s made bicycling across continents. His onboard computer and carbon calculator calculates the amount of CO2, which would have been emitted, if he was traveling in an average-sized America 2008 model car.

Kayden calls his journey, “a double edged project that was not only carrying the prized cargo but also drawing a comparison between the motor vehicle and the bicycle as a means of transport.”

49 weeks of cycling, 20,000 carbon free kilometers and 3 tons of CO2 saved with Little Ms. Sunshine later, he peddled into Reno a few days ago.

You have the opportunity to join him in this project. He invites Burner bicyclists to participate in the final leg of his journey to Burning Man. His invitation:

Reno to BRC by bicycle, 3 days and 2 nights “SELF SUPPORTED” bike ride covering 125 miles. Guided by Kayden Kleinhans on his final leg of the AfrikaBurns to Burning Man by Bicycle Project.

This will be an exercise in self-reliance and all required food and water for the 3 day expedition will have to be carried by the cyclist. Bring camping/survival equipment, a bike in good working order and a positive “Can Do” attitude.

Your Burn starts when we roll out of Reno on the morning of the 21st! You should have your ticket to Burning Man squared away ahead of time. Due to arrive at BRC on the afternoon of the 23rd. Arrangements for early access will have to be made prior to arrival through the necessary channels. Do not apply if you are not capable of completing the journey on your own accord.

Meeting point is the Anabella’s Zen Art Sanctuary, 12245 Spruce Lane, South Reno.

Contact: Kayden at globalwheeling dot org here: kayden (at) globalwheeling.org
Website: http://www.globalwheeling.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/globalwheeling

Up for the challenge? Write to Kayden and meet him in Reno with your bicycle.

[Editor's Note: Cycling on Route 447 is very difficult and dangerous, and this undertaking should not be taken lightly. There is a 20 mile stretch of 447 where the shoulders were washed away by flash floods this year, and NDOT is doing work to repair them ... in some cases, the shoulders are soft or non-existent, and the road is reduced to a single lane. Please be careful out there!]

Only one week remains until he cycles down Gate Road, finally completes his journey and enters Black Rock City to deliver the journal to the Temple.

Thousands of Burners will follow his bicycle tracks in vehicles of all sizes from all over the world. Where are you traveling from? Tell us how you’re coming home.

Snapshots from the US leg of his journey:

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Sedona, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Sedona, Arizona is a gorgeous place to rest (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

August 16th, 2010  |  Filed under Metropol

The Bike Culture of Black Rock City

[Matt Roth is Deputy Editor of Streetsblog San Francisco, and a rabid bicycle enthusiast working towards the realization of a world full of bike-friendly cities. This post is part of the Metropol Blog Series.]

Photo by Michael Holden

Photo by Michael Holden

Anyone who has lived in a relatively flat and congested city can tell you the best way to get around is on a bicycle. The Chinese, the Dutch and the Danish know it, and increasingly Americans are coming to understand there are few modes of urban mobility as convenient and healthy as putting the fun between your legs and pedaling where you want, when you want.

As the legions of urban bicycle riders grow, city planners have begun to take note and have carved away precious space from several generations of begrudging motorists who have long believed streets were their sole domain. Politicians now boast of how many bicycle lanes they have added, sometimes buffered from traffic, sometimes painted green, red or blue. Some cities have instituted bicycle sharing systems, where a fleet of public bicycles are maintained for use by anyone who signs up and pays a small fee. The newest bicycle trend to gain popularity in cities around the world is the ciclovía, a car-free event where roads are opened to bicycles, skaters and pedestrians for the day to enjoy streets as public space for recreating and socializing.

Bike Arch by Ilana Spector and Mark Grieve, Photo by Waldemar Horwat

Bike Arch by Ilana Spector and Mark Grieve, Photo by Waldemar Horwat

Black Rock City, more than any other urban area, has been given over completely to bicycles, making it unquestionably the highest bikes-per-capita metropolis anywhere on the planet. The playa is the perfect place to ride, flat as a board and expansive. The prohibition on driving anything but art cars beyond the Esplanade makes Burning Man an enormous week-long ciclovía, and makes bicycles of the ultimate utility during the event.

Kinetic Sculpture Race, Photo by Christian

Kinetic Sculpture Race, Photo by Christian

As with most everything else on the playa, a simple bicycle, with one wheel in front of the other, would scarcely begin to capture the experience of participating in Burning Man, nor would it be very cool. Though the dynamics of bicycle engineering haven’t changed much in a hundred years, Black Rock City has spawned a menagerie of innovation, still pedal-powered, but only vaguely resembling a “bicycle.” There are giraffes and fishes, camels and glowing eyeballs, carriages adorned with mastodon bones, tall bikes five frames high, and an number of kinetic sculptures belching plumes of fire and smoke from their steel innards. Whimsy trumps utility and getting to the destination is less important than preening like a peacock along the way (a twelve-foot tall fire-spewing peacock, of course).

Read more »