Center camp Bicycle repair

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Center camp Bicycle repair

Postby jbelson » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:02 am

I had totally forgotten about this experience untill just now.
It was friday afternoon, people were inside working. Apparently there was a sign that said closed, but it was on the ground and not visible.
I tried to ask a question, but as soon as I said "excuse me", I got yelled at "NO!". I said "but...", and heard "WE'RE FUCKIN CLOSED. GO AWAY! AND DONT THINK ABOUT COMING BACK TOMORROW!" This sentiment was given to me by 3 people there, at the same time.
I was a little stunned. I never receive that kind of treatment in the outside world. I walked away, not wanting to further spoil the good time I was having.
At camp, 2 of my neighbors told of a similar experience.
I understand that they might get overworked, but if they get that crazy by it, please do us all a favor and let others do it.

Oh yeah, I found the other bicycle repair @ 9:00, and they had the little wrench neede to tighten my handle bar, which I did myself.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:41 pm

the bike camp guys can get a little cranky, it is part of their shtick, But it is also that they are overworked, don't take it tooo personaly but, DO NOT GO IN IF THEY ARE CLOSED! That is how they warn people that they are cranky and need some "alone time" I have heard firsthand they have a lot of trouble with theft and vandalisim (particularly towards the end of the week) and that is another reason why they are so defensive. If you are really in a pinch and can't find another bike repair camp, (you did the right thing finding the other one) look for someone with a camelback, a decent bike and a friendly smile (like me), veteran cyclists usualy carry at least a few basic tools on them at all times, I felt like a nitwit because I had no tire levers ( ride a racing bike to commute with in the "real world" so I dont need em) , so I went to bike camp waving my double barreled pump and carring my tube and wheel so they knew I was not an idiot who was going to waste their time, and they were very nice to me. Good gifts to show you how much you love them is a good tactic too, I made a friend for life when I offered an overworked recycle camp (the two are together) guy a backrub on saturday, I am not kidding, we have gone riding every week since we got back.

Part of it is the bicycle culture thing, I am generaly a pretty nice person, But I ride a bike in real life and years of "get off the road bitch" "retard"( because of my helmet ) getting run off the road, getting Ice and hot coffee thrown on me, parts stolen off my bike, people who think it is funny to open car doors in front of you, yell at you, crap like that (and it happens almost every time I ride)
even though I am following all the rules of the road, has made me pretty bitter, and don't even ask me why I don't "just drive a car." It is a moral thing with me ( and a lot of other cyclists ) besides liking the freedom and economy of using a bicycle instead of a car. Anyway, part of SOME (not all by any means, and there are a lot of different factions that feel differently) hard core Bicycle culture is the agressive, defensive "rudeness" you experienced, and it is part performance art, PARTICULARLY WITH THE BICYCLE CAMP AT CENTER CAMP. I wouldn't take it personally. It wasn't directed at you, ( although I'm sure it was extremely disconcerting and seemed like it was directed at you ) It is part of the experience, and a lot of it is an act to keep away "tourists". My advice would be next time, play along and/or bring some really good gift to catch them off guard and show your sincerity, it will be a lot more fun, and you might make some new friends.
Last edited by Angry Butterfly on Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Postby Kinetic II » Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:32 pm

I've heard stories like Angry Butterfly's but while open, the Bicycle Repair people have been very friendly and helpful for two years running. And I am still amazed at how they take stuff that off playa would be scrap and make it work.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:43 pm

Ailchinn wrote:I've heard stories like Angry Butterfly's but while open, the Bicycle Repair people have been very friendly and helpful for two years running. And I am still amazed at how they take stuff that off playa would be scrap and make it work.


Which part of my story? All the bad stuff ( like getting shit thrown on me) I was talking about has happened to me in "real lfe", I guess I wasn't clear enough about that. The Bike guys are great when they are open they were very nice when I showed up with all my gear and gave me a lever to use right away, I LIKE the bike guys ( gender nutral form of "guys") I thought I was defending them.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Bikey-bikey...

Postby Blenderhead » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:06 pm

Ha! That story reminds me of the bike techs that volunteer for the AIDS rides. Excellent volunteers, extremely proficient and helpful, and cranky as all hell. But they played punkrock ALL the time, which kicked ass after a couple days of disco fever.

You can put together a very simple repair kit (that most road bikers carry on their person at all times, like Butterfly said) for pretty cheap. If you're going to have a bike out there, you definitely should bring the following:

1. extra tubes (at least one per bike)
2. tube repair kit
3. set of tire levers (to get your tires off/on the rims)
4. bike pump (the smaller ones will be fine for the playa, you don't need to crank your psi up to 100+ for this "event")
5. set of allen wrenches

Oh yeah, one more thing:
6. LIGHT: being invisible at night may be good for ninjas, but it's not good for you. See and be seen, or you may end up with some injuries you would rather have missed out on.

Also, a bike lock (my friend borrowed my Kryptonite cable and used a simple padlock this time, and it worked fine) if you don't want your ride to disappear.
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Postby jbelson » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:27 pm

My thing is that I didn't even get the question out of my mouth.
I respect what they're doin and all, but they were still dicks!
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Postby blyslv » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:37 pm

We dropped some tubes off at the camp and invited a few over to our bar. Two virgins showed up, a little tentative, but flattered (I hope) that they had received an invite. They came over and drank and we had a really good time.

I'm sorry they yelled at you, but they are probably the best people in the world to have yell at you.

Bike people ROCK!

(Angry Butterfly -- I bike commuted for about 8 years in DC, all those things happened to me as well.)
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Postby starfive » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:46 pm

yes some of them are dicks. but some are totally cool people. i know both kinds that have worked there. i actually heard that they were selling stuff to the tourists on one of the last days last year. i was appalled. but i also know one of my campmates worked there most of the week because she enjoyed it and she's one of the nicecest people i know.

last year i went there and found a tube, as mine had poppped. my campmate helped me fix it. this year i did a little research before going and was prepared.. of course nothing went wrong with my bike this year..
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Postby III » Wed Oct 08, 2003 5:12 pm

>they were still dicks!

if you had been properly prepared, you wouldn't have had to deal with them.

think of it as a gentle evolutionary nudge.

(yeah, pedal camp gave me a hard time way back when too. the year after, i was working side by side with them).
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bike

Postby unjonharley » Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:10 pm

I had an old bike around the house. I didn't want to just throw it away. I took it apart and put it in a bucket. I went to center camp and offered a buchet of bike to bike repair.You'd of though I
pissed in there coffee. But the two hottei that come up after me were treated great. I went away figuring fuck, I'll write BM org.and bitch. Later in the week I ask the guys at 9:00 bike repair if they wanted the parts. They not only wanted the bucket of bike but thanked for my gifting. Think i will go down to St Vinnie's and get a $6 beater. I'll take it apart and give another bucket of bike in o4 That way I can gift alot of folks.
/Running to catch the last basket of the day
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:23 pm

heh heh, there are factions of the bike community just like any other, the two camps kind of represent what you see out in the real world, of course, I am neither of the two extremes, or both depending on how you look at it, Like sometiimes i am friendly and want EVERYBODY to ride and sometimes want to scare fools off the damn road, I think most of us are somewhere in between. But I think taking it as a lesson and bringing your own kit is the best idea yet.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:30 pm

Ahoy, Captain Goddammit here! I'm from (and a founder of, with Captain Conundrum) the bike repair shop at 9:00 - Johnny & the Playa Cruizers Chassis Lube and Body Shop... happy to see a few good reports about the camp! We're not "bike people" off-playa at all, but we contribute by fixing the freakin' things. Here's a little tip; if you see the cabin cruiser artboat docked at the shop, margaritas are sometimes available while you wait. SOMETIMES even chartered playa tours.
We come prepared to fix almost anything, not just bikes.
We fix artcars, bloody marys, election results, whatever.
Thanks for the positive feedback, now I guess it's time to hear from somebody we pissed off!!
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Postby jbelson » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:38 am

CAPTAIN GODDAMMIT You guys were kool!!! I'm not sure who helped us, but we gave them a BM button that we made. After the repair, we also got a shot of lavender (I think) for our spray bottles.
Yeah, we smelled good.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
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Postby Tiahaar » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:45 am

Funniest bit about the center camp bike group is their pants required sign...every time I walked by I snickered...worn kilts, skirts, g-strings, metal, paint, hell even a hideous coat liner but never yet Pants at Burning Man.

Get that green SLIME stuff in your tubes before the trip!!! It's worked for thousands of miles in my bike tires.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:57 am

I like toughies better than sime. On My racing bike I had 3 flats in a week, the last one was a half inch wide gash in my tire and I ended up hoofing it (I carry extra tubes, but an extra TIRE?!) so I switched to kevlar. Worth every penny.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Postby Tiahaar » Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:25 am

Yes Yes Kevlar belted tires are sweet (and $$, I still slime the tubes to protect from this annoying pointy caltrop seed that is everywhere down here and pokes into everything). The two times Slime failed me...once when a tire liner managed to rub a hole in the tube (???? my fault for bad liner install perhaps, now do Kevlar tires instead) the other when I ran over a freekin box opener blade sticking straight up out of a pavement crack, blew the tire and green slime went everywhere. Looked like I'd been hit by an alien : )

Went with wood wheels on my BM trike, so no flats!
Burning Man 2003-13; Desert Carillon, Ulaume's Chimes, Iron Native, Black Rock Solar, Portal Collective, Center Camp Café Stage Tech
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Postby hoodreau » Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:38 am

Bike Camp was a bit short with me, too. I appreciate they do a lot, but being decent to people is a nice thing as well. They are advertising themselves as a place to go for repairs. They need to be ready for people to come asking. A better, more obvious "closed" sign would help out a lot. As well as a table outside with some cheap tools wired to it.

On the positive side, though, I wandered over to Jazz Camp and borrowed their wrench. What incredible people! I came back that evening to hear the music, which was fantastic at 4 AM on the way to bed.
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:19 pm

ha ha! the alien thing happened to me too.
I took the road less traveled, and now I would like to go back and find the paved one.
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Postby jbelson » Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:18 pm

Yeah, It's like Puck from the real world S.F. was running shit over there.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
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Postby Angry Butterfly » Sun Oct 26, 2003 6:09 pm

Ok, yeah, thats the culture see? A lot of them are like that... It's a shtick that is what my post was about. And there is even this big schisim between the road bike south bay commuters and the san francisco messenger punks. It's just for giggles, don't take it so seriously...
http://www.loficustoms.com/
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