Be a Bike Punk

One might notice hundreds of them at a time, ages 9-99, on the last Friday of every month, or whenever they choose to get together. When alone, they fly down the street atop their art and joy. Some "bike punks" even refuse to use any other means of transportation, bicycling through extreme distances and conditions. While not all of these bicyclists can be defined as "punk," they believe themselves to be extremely individual and predominantly intellectual. Some bike punks even ride across the country.


  1. Buy a bike. Of course, you can borrow one from a friend, but how will you be able to call it your own? A bike punk values their bicycle almost as much as their own life. Do not steal a bike. Only go out and buy a really expensive bicycle if you are serious about this. Lock it up. You earn extreme credibility if you find one in the trash or at a thrift store/flea market and do something unique to make it your own. You can paint it and add accessories (baskets, flowers, horns (literal animal horns), fake fur, bells, etc.). If you are talented with welding and inventing contraptions, use these skills to create out-of-the-ordinary tandem, tall, oblong, and unique bikes.
  2. Get Committed. Sell, give, or burn your car away. If you don't have one already even better. Bike punks don't drive internal combustion engines without extreme guilt and malice.
  3. Learn bicycle safety. This cannot be stressed enough. be careful of driver doors swinging open, "right hooks", cars turning at intersections, and being visible at night. Red flashing LED lights clipped on your bag are always de rigueur.
  4. The bicycle is your primary form of transportation. Even if your destination is {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} away, bike there. Some of the most hardcore of bike punks have ridden across the state, and even country.
  5. Bicycle rain or shine. While it is desirable to bicycle in the warmth and sunshine, a bike punk will move through rain, sleet, and snow.
  6. Critical Mass. Every last Friday of every month, the Critical Mass ritual occurs in cities all over the world. Find out when your city has it and where people convene. There, you will meet fellow bicycle enthusiasts. If you live in a small town, ride to the nearest city to participate. If this is not possible, then create your own form of bicycle activism and bicycle communities.
  7. Optional: Clothing. Well, clothing is optional. Bike punks consider themselves to be persons of different subcultures, mostly left of the dial. This includes: nudists, hippies, hipsters, punks, homeless people, utterly insane, etc. You can see that these all overlap at one point or another. Tight pants are recommended, usually rolled up past the ankles displaying socks and shoes. Unique hair is a must, be it dreadlocks, spunky colors, or fun hats/helmets.


  • Be creative. If you don't have a basket, use a plastic milk jug container. Decorate and personalize your bicycle.
  • Prepare for weather. Always layer when cold. If you get warm, you can remove clothing and put it in your basket (recommended).
  • Make bicycle friends. They will be there to ride everywhere with you, give you bike parts, drink Pabst with or lend out tools.
  • Be safe on the road and watch out for angry or unskilled motorists. Remember that they are sharing your road with you.
  • Have a back-up bicycle that you are also attached to, or one bike for cruising and one that is faster for long distances.
  • Tattoos and piercings are welcome.
  • Use your bicycle as a form of activism for any cause. You can put stickers or flags on it to express ideas.
  • Plan bicycle trips to places you have never been to (especially on a bike!)
  • Learn how to care for your bike. Sheldon Brown has a good free info site. Go to a local bicycle shop and learn how to replace tires, tune up, and fix your bike.


  • A true bike punk does not indulge in corporate America (except for bicycle parts from corporate America), be it chain stores, fast food restaurants, expensive stuff, or popular music. Think of yourself as different, not giving in to anything.
  • Beware of being considered a "spandork" by avoiding "yellow jackets" and spandex.
  • Do not spend too much money on things, unless you want to be extremely flashy.
  • If you are a wuss, do not bother considering yourself a bike punk. You must be adventurous and in tip-top shape, well good enough shape to ride a bike and be up for anything dangerous.

Things You'll Need

  • Bicycle
  • Motivation
  • Sense of humour

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