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Blinking Man: Rave Ride
October 19, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
If you haven't checked out a Blinking Man ride yet, you're in for a treat this month. The "Blinking Bike Posse" puts on a group cycling romp through the downtown Las Vegas streets several times a year. The overall goal is to promote bike awareness, while reducing carbon emissions.
It's been compared to Critical Mass, but the pub crawl aspect of the ride is what draws a huge crowd. The Blinking Man events are also themed, so each ride is bound to feature the best costumes on two wheels. Their next event features a "rave ride" theme.
Blinking Man Q&A:
ArtsVegas caught up with co-founder and organizer Graham Kahr to get some insight:
What’s the history behind Blinking Man?
Blinking Man began with a small group of our friends riding bicycles around downtown. We lit up our bicycles so that cars would see us coming. We thought it would be cool to create a community event to get others riding bikes together because nothing brings out your inner-child more than riding your bike. The first ride had 35 riders and the last event broke 350, so the growth has been fun to watch.
What can we expect from the “rave” theme for October’s event?
You can expect DJ's and dance parties at every stop along with more food trucks. The great thing about Blinking Man is that it's up to the people who show up to decide how it looks/feels. We set up the route, the date, and some basic entertainment, but the riders are the people who really own it. Expect mobile DJ's this ride too. Our friends at Epyk and Meticulous are planning a great show for everyone.
Given the increasing popularity of Blinking Man rides, are you getting nervous at all? What if the critical mass hits a critical mass?
Part of putting on the ride is constantly teaching riders about biking safety. We are taking some precautions such as creating an LLC to protect ourselves but also working with local bike groups to marshal the ride. It's everyone's individual responsibility to stay vertical, but as a strong group we can help keep each other safe. For the most part, authorities have been okay with the ride as long as we follow bicycle law (i.e., riding in one lane, signaling, stopping at red lights, etc). It's up to all of us to start and end as a mass.
Where do you hope the ride pedals to in the future?
We aren't planning on changing the route to leave downtown Las Vegas, but we have seen others take the concept to other cities. That's pretty inspiring for us. Our biggest hope is that the ride inspires community biking and people tell their friends. We have never collected donations or dollars for Blinking Man and don't have any plans to commoditize the ride. We have talked about gathering a sponsor or two in the future to cover promotional costs, but never for a profit.
Any hints as to the next theme, so we can get our costumes ready?
The next ride will be April 19, 2014, which is Bicycle Day, so that could probably give you some basic clues. But we are definitely most focused on the Rave Ride at the moment.
Photo by Khanh Nguyen.