Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bikeblogger opens foot, inserts mouth

You never know what comments will create interest. Sometimes it's good to know who's out there, but I hate creating unnecessary controversy with speculative comments.


It was a mistake for me to suggest such nonsense. I mean people often say to me, "hey, you can make money with putting ads on bikeblog." Why the fuck would I want to do that? is free for now so be it and ads and banners on the internet are down right obnoxious.

In response to the Blacklabel comment...I made reference to, an institution I will admit I hold near and dear to my heart and would never want to offend..."Alright, I'm a groupie Dammit!" (but I do have a tallbike) I thought I would post a comment made by one of Black Label's members. (it's in the comments section but do to my posting, it's necessary to display)

"Black Label had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with putting tallbikes in store windows. Black Label would never commodify bike culture. In every event we have held or participated in, Black Label has encouraged the re-use of discarded goods. We have never sold a custom bicycle, nor will we ever. Instead we have openly shared design techniques, held welding workshops, and thrown kick-ass events for everyone, for free.

In everything we do we try to encourage active participation and the support of DIY ideas. These window displays are selling those principles without the actual work.

Please change that speculative comment, that Black Label was involved.

Its great that recycle a bicyle is getting donations. But why not show FUNCTIONING bikes that were recycled by kids and now are for sale? it would be great if the store fronts were turned into sales points for worked on bikes. INSTEAD, we have huge NON-WORKING bikes which probably will not be recycled when the displays get changed.

Reuse the excesses of society. Do It Yourself. Ride Safe.

-james stache, blbc ny

ps. mike thanks for your constant support for the bike scene, either being at our events, alleycats, cm - keep it up."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

right on from black label. ...wait a second, weren't they in a COKE COMMERCIAL!??

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the entry on wednesday regarding the comments about the brooklyn industries bike display, I'd like to clear up a few misinterpretations.
james stache implied that the bicycles displayed in the windows were non functioning. If he had bothered to call and ask someone at the company office (right here in sunny williamsburg) he would have learned that the tall bikes were indeed functional. How do I know? Because I helped put the bikes together. I was there when we dragged the rusty, disused and incapacitated frames out of a lot on myrtle ave (mere blocks from last fall's bike kill in bed stuy) and I was there to help weld them together. We were so concerned with achieving operational tall bikes that I didn't even mind wading through two feet of snow, freezing my ass off, to break enough chain for everything to work.
Some of the older frames required us to scour scrapyards and the back lots of bike shops for compatible hardware. We patched old tubes with rubber cement. We tried to use whatever recycle a bike and the local bike stores were throwing away. Outside of a few of the nuts that were used to hold the bike tires on, everything was built from recycled and throwaway parts. The tubes and tires that were cut up and used for the display were fished out of trash piles. We even made the tassels out of dollarstore duct tape. While this was my first venture constructing tall bikes, and I do not claim to be an expert, I'm confident that the bikes, whose parts and welds are all very solid, are most definitly ridable. I thought that this was the DIY attitude that Black Label has encouraged. I'm sorry if you don't like the way the bikes were constructed. We purposely made this an in house project because it was something that we beleived we had to do ourselves, in the spirit of the movement.
James's posting also seems to imply that we were selling the tall bikes. I'm not sure where this idea came from, but we certainly didn't hang any price tags on anything, nor did we ever imply that any part of our window displays have ever been for sale, or that we were turning ourselves into a custom bike shop.
Thursday morning, I came into work to discover that the windows of the stores with bike displays were covered in graffitti. Our locks were jammed with metal fillings. "Bike culture not for sale" was etched into the glass. And I do mean etched- we're going to have to replace all of those windows, with the total cost of damages in the several thousands. This is supposed to be the spirit of bike culture? Bike culture fascists who damage small buisnesses? Buisnesses who are donating to pro-bike non profits?
Furthermore, there seems to be some kind of reoccuring implication that Brooklyn Industries is some sort of giant, evil corporate identity that is ripping off local bike culture. Are you kidding me? A brooklyn based store paying homage to a very brooklyn movement? Run by people who were educated in brooklyn and live in brooklyn neighborhoods? Four of the five guys who worked on the bike project went to school at Pratt Institue, just like James Stache. And as far as DIY goes, there is hardly a project that BI has done over the last couple of years that we haven't done almost completely indepedently, and I mean everything from designing the clothes to building and renovating the stores. We have an inhouse woodshop that builds the majority of the fixtures. We sheetrock, we spackle, we poured the cement footers that support the damaged window panes. We build the walls for the display areas. We contribute to window displays, make the signage, and unclog toilets. What needs to be done in a small, family run company, we do.

If people in the bike culture had a problem with our displays, they didn't ask very many questions about them. The most I heard was a guy from CHUNK 666 who called and gave us the address of the CHUNK website, like I had never seen it before. If people had a problem with the display, constructive criticism would have gotten us all a lot further.
Public response to the damage done to the windows has been surprise and bewilderment. "What? Why would someone do this? I thought you guys were promoting bike culture." Me too. The only thing that damaging windows accomplishes is further alienation of the bike culture, which seems to be just what cyclists do not need.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black Label wasn't in a coke commercial or involved with it. The tall bikes in the commercial were made by Cyclecide in San Francisco. Do some research or at least lose the attitude.


9:48 PM  

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