Cindy already thinks that I have too many bicycles. I only have 2 and a unicycle, but I am constantly lusting and desiring more. I really do need a road bike and a fixie would be nice, but because we are semi-nomadic, I will concede that I do need to limit my bicycle consumption.
However when I told her about the dusty and corrosive conditions that are the Playa and also the bike-thievery, which is apparently another Burning Man thing, she completely supported me getting a "Burner Bike"
Because Skye wasn't able to go this year and really, really wanted to, I decided that she should help me choose and then decorate the bike. We chose this beaut and then sticker-bombed it and laced a bunch of El wire around it to make it glow. Then I outfitted it to accept the Bike Blender and the Burley.
Bikes - A Prologue to Burning Man
One of the last bits of news before my week long disconnect was that Lance Armstrong had decided not to contest or fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charges against him. As I drove onto the Playa, it was still unclear as to whether he would be stripped of his 7 Tour wins or not. Ironically weeks later not much has changed.
Up in Mammoth, I had just purchased and subsequently worn "clipless" shoes and then proceeded in crashing hard when I couldn't get my feet out of the pedals.
The point is, I had been getting back into biking and/or bike related things were on my mind before getting to Black Rock City.
One of the first things I did after setting up my camp was get my bike out and assembled.
Of Burleys and Blenders
On my first ride out I hooked up the trailer, AKA the Burley, its name brand. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep it hooked up as it adds a goodly length and weight.
However after doing an ice run for the Wonder Lounge and helping a bike-less fellow haul his ice to his camp as well, I realized it was well worth the extra-effort. The Burley would be there to assist in Mooping the deck of La Llorona as well as helping me haul ample amount of water and gear around the desert.
The blender however never made it out, more trouble than it was worth, although they did have a Bike Blender at the farmers market and I scored a smoothy from it.
To Bike Or Not to Bike....
On my first evening out on the Playa I decided not to take my bike. I figured it would be a pain and what if I wanted to get on an art car.
That night I ended up running miles in my big, stomping boots, trying to keep up with new friends who were on their bikes. I didn't go out without my bike after that. Ironically a few nights later I ended up losing my camp mates as they waited for me to find a place to stage my bike so we could all proceed on foot.
Clearing My Head
After one particularly hard morning, due to a particularly hard and long evening, when I finally was beginning to feel human, I decided to take a ride out to the edge.
It was awesome.
I would make many trips out to the deep Playa after that.
The sense of space. The expanse.
It reminded me of when I would get out in the open ocean far away from shore and begin to feel tiny and insignificant, a good shock to one's ego to put life in perspective.
The one time I actually went to check out Thunderdome, unicyclists were dueling.
That takes some skill.
Of course there are ways of getting around Burning Man aside from walking and biking.
There are the famous art cars, which are usually pretty packed and can be hard to score a ride on.
I was able to hop on a really fun looking one complete with a slide only to find out it was done for the night. At least I could to ride for a block before being jettisoned via the aforementioned slide.
One of my camp-mates was looking for someone heading back to LA with room to take her and friend's stuff back.
I had plenty of room in my van, so I offered it up.
And for that I was gifted a ride in a small plane over Black Rock City.
My pictures and video don't even come close to the real thing.
I was awestruck and speechless for a good hour after coming back to earth.
I had never been up in a plane of that size before and I certainly had no idea that on my first trip out to Burning Man I would end up flying over it.
It was amazing to see the size and scope of the event from a bird's eye perspective.
Rambling, A Rambling I'll Go
On the last day I finally got around to setting up the GoPro on my bike. It was bright outside making it hard to see what was on the screen, so I got way more of my bike's basket than I would have liked, given that I would have liked to not see it at all.
Also the sound is mostly the rattling of my cup in said basket.
It's also way long and editing would have taken forever and honestly it's a lot of random encounters, none earth-shattering and yet it gives a sense of how very much there is to see at Burning Man and how it seems to go on and on and on.
I wouldn't try to watch the clip in its entirety. It's over 20 minutes long, but do hop around, you might be surprised by what you happen upon.