While I was down in Melburn (Melbourne) for a week performing the Bio Bike at the Sustainable Living Festival (SLF), Bike Rave Melbourne Pink Flamingo 2018 was held. I couldn’t believe my luck! Sarah came with me (her on a flower bike, me on the Bio Bike) and we had far too much fun. To the Melburn bike riding community: you are amazing, I miss you and thank you!
What is a Bike Rave?
For many people, bike raves are the most fun you can have on two wheels! Bike Raves usually follow a route through city streets while pumping out tunes from ‘sound’ bikes. There is usually a theme for each Bike Rave. Any and all riders are welcome (that’s the point!). They stop at predestined locations for a while to socialise, recharge, catch up and have a boogie – GOLD! Bike Raves are highly anticipated, well attended and wicked fun.
Bike Rave Melburn – Pink Flamingo
On Saturday, Feb 10th I rode in the Melburn Pink Flamingo Bike Rave. It was awesome. I would say there were at least 200-250 riders and I was blown away by the variety in the ages and styles of the riders (and bikes) that attended. There were young and old, families/individuals/groups of mates, tall bikes, cargos, art bikes, commuters, fixis, burlesque performers, couriers, bike polo teams.. the list could go on and on – there was everything (and everyone) imaginable!
It was wicked cruising Melbourne city in a massive gang of cool katz with cool music.
Riding along Southbank just after 7 pm meant that the Bike Rave were passing all the cafes, restaurants and bars at dinner time – on a Saturday night. They were packed. It was hilarious to see the reaction of diners and this massive line of pink, fluoro-wearing bike ravers passed them by!
Pedestrians and tourists stopped to gawk as well. People in cars were honking. At the lights halfway through, I got chatting to a father and son who were out riding along the Yarra River and convinced them to join us for an hour, which they did -and they had a ripper time and said they would be back.
I rode and chatted with heaps of people along the way. I love riding near the massive speaker bikes. Because I was riding the Bio Bike, people were offering me drinks all night (bless!) of which I only accepted once we had stopped. Navigating bollards (wings up!) and some of the tighter walking bridges was a little tricky, but other riders were happy to wait, helped out if they could and looked out for me on the road and footpaths. Bloody awesome!
It was super safe and super fun. And I danced my arse off!
I got extra kudos when bike ravers heard that I had come all the way from Brisbane for the event (well.. and the SLF). The Bio Bike was a smash hit – and I got extra points for flat-packing it down into a bike bag and travelling with it from Brisbane. Talk about bringing it to the party!!
I caught up with some familiar faces and also met some wicked new people. Everyone was super welcoming, happy and up for a chat. As the night wore on, lights were turned on. I saw packed dinners and food being shared along with drinks, compliments and laughs.
Around 8.30pm, some of the families started to filter back home, leaving the ragers to push on. The later it got, the more people were looking after each other, until we reached our final destination at Flagstaff Gardens where everyone parked it and hung out until they decided it was time to go home.
Bike rave with an added purpose
Bike Raves are usually free events – but for this particular rave, organisers invited punters to bring along a cash donation for charity Bicycles for Humanity, which they collected throughout the evening. Given my PhD research and predilections of supporting community and international development projects – I was super impressed. Go Melburn!
Here is the official Melburn Bike Rave FB link.
How does the Sound/Music work?
Bike Raves are DIY events. You grab your MP3 player/phone and download the mix (for Pink Flamingo it was a curated a 4-hour mix). The mix is usually full of pumping party tunes to keep the crew bopping and dancing all night long and specifically made for the bike rave. KUDOS!
Just before you leave the meeting place there is a countdown so everyone can sync their music to begin at the same time. This means that where ever you are in the rave you are all listening to the pretty much the same thing (plus or minus 10-15 sec). It also means that if you arrive late, join in or miss the countdown, you can ask another rider what timestamp the track is up to and sync it that way.
For the Pink Flamingo Bike Rave, people had a range of sound setups. Some of the organisers, couriers and Christiana bike owners had especially large speakers setups. They were wicked! There were a few of these rigs dotted around and they really pumped out the tunes. They were awesome fun to ride with if you didn’t have your own music on board.
Other people had basket, booms or computer speakers zip tied to their bikes (or themselves!). There were some pretty impressive creations and some speakers were integrating into costumes, helmets and bikes.
Having a consistent power source and charging batteries was a key consideration for most speaker setups (as was size/weight).
The music for the ride was great! I’m still listening to the track now!
Image above: Soundcloud
Where we went
Meet-up: Bike Rave Melbourne – Pink Flamingo 2018
Start: Saturday, February 10, 2018, 6:00 pm
Finish: Sunday, February 11, 2018, 12:00 am
Meet at: Riverside Skate Park, Alexander Gardens (parkland opposite side of the river from Birrarung Marr), Melbourne, Australia.
After meeting at Riverside Skate Park, we headed off at 7:00 pm.
Here’s the route we took.
Other interesting titbits
There are a few videos on Youtube of the event – here’s an example:
Here is some of the info the organisers released before the event. I really dug their straight shooting and fun style of communication and promotion!
If it’s nice out, we ride. If it’s cloudy, we ride. If it’s raining a little, we might ride. If it’s pouring, we don’t ride. Our speakers will get messed up. If you aren’t sure, show up anyways. Someone will be there from 5:30 pm to let people know if the ride is cancelled.
Pink Flamingo. Now that your bike is a shining beacon, time to fix yourself up. Dress in anything that’s pink. Flamingo, Pink, Flamingo, Pink, Pink, Flamingo. Pink. Flamingo. Sqwuak. One Legged Stand. Beaks Out. Pink Flamingo.
There are a few rules that we would like you to follow to ride the rave. This makes it safer for everyone and avoids problems on the night. We’ve never had an issue in the 6 years of running this event, so let’s work together to keep it that way.
1. Wear a helmet.
2. Get working bike lights.
3. Watch out for each other. If someone falls over, pick them up and see if they are ok.
4. Don’t be a dick to the public or Police. The public will most likely be confused. The Police have been quite understanding over the last few years, so don’t be rude. This could ruin the event and any future events.
5. Be safe and sensible when we are crossing at red lights.
6. Clean up after yourself – bring a plastic bag for your rubbish, we are not your parents – we ain’t picking up your shit.
7. Have fun
A massive thank you to the organisers, the riders and Melburn general public. A great time was had. Safe, super fun and a wonderful way to bring riders together and show city Melburn how fun riding bikes can be.
More Bike Raves, please!