A month ago I did a little post about the bike I was planning to take to Burning Man and the heap of bikes in a dust lot in Reno that I picked it out of. I never did get to ride that red Specialized because the friends who took it up to the event early sent me a text saying that it had a totally busted tire and to just grab another one from the lot. So I did. They gave Big Red away. There’s a lot of gift giving going on at Burning Man. So, I picked out another bike, a beautiful silver cruiser. I didn’t have much luck with bike number two either. It turned out that under Silver Lightning’s sparkly coat was a bright lime green finish, meaning that she was a “yellow bike”, a shared community bike, and I got busted by the crusty yellow bike police. While the loss of this second bike nearly broke my heart, I knew that she had community duties fulfill.
The thing that people say about absolutely NEEDING to have a bike at Burning Man is totally true. Black Rock City, the town that exists for just one week of the year in the Black Rock Desert, is a big place and a bike comes in handy for getting around to all the many things you want to see and do, plus when everyone else has a bike and you don’t it just sucks. It was a great pleasure to just cruise around in the open desert at night all lit up on a bike, avoiding pedestrians, other cyclists, and art cars, and trying not to get lost from my friends. I learned that when going to the massive parties in the club districts at either end of the city, it is imperative that you leave your lights and EL wire on and blinking or you will spend a good chunk of time looking for your ride.
So, on that sad sad morning when Silver Lightning left me, what did I do? After a few moments of feeling sorry for myself, I remembered that Susan, the lovely lady from Reno who had let me pick my first two bikes out of that pile had had the smarts to pack an extra bike in her RV, just in case. At the time back in Reno, I thought she was crazy, but I was blessing her that day out in the desert. I just walked over to her camp and picked up the spare bike and took the opportunity to borrow her kids trailer and hauled some water back to my camp. Bike problem solved and hydration provided! I even inherited some EL wire to light up that last bike, I’ll call her Lucky. So, I rode Lucky through the potholes and fluffy patches of dust for the rest of the week. I cruised around with new friends to the perimeter fence and airport, to various bars, parties, and burns. I checked out art and participated in Critical Tits, the largest group ride at Burning Man with around 5,000 riders, women only, tops off.
It was such an amazing week that was filled to overflowing. If you haven’t been to Burning Man and you have friends who have and they don’t stop talking about it, just forgive them a little. There’s just so much going on and it’s tough to describe. I was so into experiencing it that I didn’t take many photos. There were tons of crazy bikes lit up in crazy ways, some super tall, others with antlers, or unicorn heads and ponytails. I did however document the parking lot at the casino hotel I went to after the event. There were cars with crazy dusty bikes all over.
Good ole Lucky served me well and is now is storage in Reno. Hopefully I’ll get to ride her again, perhaps even next year.