Love it or hate it, it’s Burning Man season, which means our fair city is about to be flooded with everything Playa-bound: the people, the fur, the rented RV’s. And while much of the Burners are prepping their art cars and modified pop-up vans, a fair share of hardcore Playa folk are putting the finishing touches on another form of desert transit: The Burner Bike. From the slice and dice choppers to the glitter-covered top tubes, we bring you portraits of four long-time local Burners, their favorite desert bikes, and their tips on how to Playafy your ride.
EDDIE VALTIERRA (14 years at Burning Man)
(photo by Molly DeCoudreaux)
Origin of bike: Two years ago my Burning Man bike's pedal fell off and was beyond repair. Thankfully, a girl who had come to Burning Man from the UK and could not take it home, gifted me her bike.
Accessories: Last year I spent hours bedazzling my bike and adding pink faux fur. The only new additions this year are the cupcake antennas.
Advice for last minute bike builders: Decorate your bike because you can easily recognize it and lessen the chance of it getting stolen or accidentally taken.
Tips for riding on the Playa: Always have lights on at night and watch out for grooves of loose playa dust.
Most important in a Burner bike: Comfort, style, and a nice basket!
My boyfriend is headed to Burning Man for a week and wants a BM hall pass. I’m not a Burner and have no problem with him going alone, but I’m not sure about this. He says everyone does it. But we’ve been monogamous for over a year and I feel it could greatly upset our connection.
He Said: It was Burning Man; it was a Las Vegas weekend; it was Mardi Gras; it was a high school reunion; she was crying and I felt for her; they wanted to see what the Power Exchange was like; I was really drunk; I did it to get even with you; I was tripping; it was Thailand; it was months ago now; it was a work Christmas party; it was a mistake that made me appreciate you more; you know how Italy is; she was gay but curious; I didn't know the massage came with a happy ending; he reminded me of you; BART wasn't running and she had a hotel room; we just finished that big work project; I think he spiked my drink with something; I was sound asleep and she crawled into bed with me; you would have done the same thing; it was a bachelor party; it was therapy; she wanted to make her ex jealous; OK, I needed the money.
The more I hear about bike accidents the more excited I am about stylish bike safety. Wearing a Bern helmet and bike lights are not enough. And with Burning Man less than a month away, channel your inner playa baby with some tricked out bike accessories that help ward away potential road damage.
At NightLife, enjoy a performance by CHEER SF, a "quirky workout attire" costume contest (Add a tutu and some sparkles from your Burning Man bin for this bit!), partake in a yoga session with Lululemon, and zumba your way through tunes by DJ Kap10. Then, indulge in some guilt-free carbo-loading before the SF Marathon this Sunday.
If donning your platform shoes to last weekend’s Decompression party didn’t satisfy your inner Burning Man or if you’re just curious about what exactly goes on at the desert festival, head to the "Burning Opera," How to Survive the Apocalypse, which is playing over the next two weeks at Teatro ZinZanni. The vaudeville rock opera tracks the story of three first-timers who head to the desert and are never again the same.