One year after getting prematurely busted by the NYPD, Bike Kill returned, in all of its raucous, pedal-pumping glory, to a parking lot in Long Island City on Saturday. As in previous years, a patch of pavement filled with mutant bicycles, courtesy of Black Label Bicycle Club and the greater art bike community, quickly become the site of a freewheeling joyride and rambunctious party—“The Purge for bike punks,” as one six-year veteran put it. Beers and bottle rockets were launched at the sky, steel drums and dirty Timberlands were reimagined as viable wheels, and the six-person swinging chariot/kinetic bike sculpture/death trap (barely) survived another year.
Saturday’s pounding rain and gale force winds seemed to amplify the rowdiness; the thrill of surfing on the trailer of a tandem chopper while dodging soggy pita only made better by the presence of large puddles. We were initially a bit worried about the weather, but as we huddled under the Pulaski Bridge searching for signs pointing to the not-yet-disclosed location, a stranger in waist-high waders appeared suddenly to ease any concerns. "Bike Kill is like punk Christmas," she explained, guiding us toward a nondescript lot surrounded by waterfront high-rises. "Punk Christmas doesn't get cancelled." (It helped that the NYPD steered clear for the entirety of the day, unlike some of the previous fourteen Bike Kills).
The storm had mostly cleared by the time the tall-bike jousting portion began, though the Armageddon giddiness of it all was hardly diminished. As night fell, the first two contenders mounted double-deckers and raised PVC-pipe lances (blunted by foam Hulk hands), while a man in a Jason mask pounded a severed doll’s head into an oil can. On the first charge, the jousters missed each other completely, though the remaining 100 revelers hollered all the same. As far as bacchanalian postindustrial mayhem goes, the purgers were remarkably supportive.
Enjoy some video of the festivities below—we'll see you next year.
Lmao someone brought a citibike pic.twitter.com/g1V0r2WBGD
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) October 27, 2018