The Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo began in 1996, when members used bikes not just for transportation but for art, music, and performance. Discarded bikes rescued from the dumpster became extra-tall bikes, double-decker bikes, chopper bikes, and pedal-powered machines, including the “Suburban Intruder” Lawn Mower Bike, a Rocket Bike, and the Chupacabra. What began as a club grew into what SF Weekly called in 2003 “an in-demand troupe of welders, musicians, clowns, and general nutcases roughly two dozen strong.”
They made use of their widely varied skills. Club members created Rodeo-style comedic skits and stunts, featuring their metal steeds and riders as clowns, rustlers, and beauty queens. They rope audience members into the show, encouraging them to compete in contests of bike-riding skill, such as barrel racing, piñata-bashing and tall bike jousting, often accompanied by their own mariachi-country-punk band “Los Banos.” For the past ten years, the independently owned and operated Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo has toured around the US and down into Mexico.
Flush with success from the rodeo show, they created the nation’s first and only pedal-powered carnival midway. First came the exciting Dizzy Toy, followed shortly by the Pedal-Powered Ferris Wheel, the nostalgic Bicycle Carousel, the charming Flight of the Bumblebee, the cacophonous Axe Grinder, and more. They’re still building, and they’re still devoted to the idea of the bicycle as a piece of interactive kinetic sculpture that can entertain, startle, and excite.
What they bring, perhaps, is a message of levity during politically and economically stressful times. What they will meet, most likely, will be blank stares.” San Francisco Chronicle April 2003
This year at the Faire, Cyclecide will have three of those midway rides plus a whole pen of hacked and mutant bikes for your riding pleasure.
See you Sunday, Cyclecide!