Pies fly during Ninth Avenue bike ride
Friday, March 21, 2008
By Jefferson Siegel
On Saturday the West Village-based environmental advocacy group Time’s Up! held another of its ongoing series of clown bike rides, intended to call motorists’ attention to the law prohibiting standing or parking in bike lanes.
The ride on March 15, also know as the Ides of March, took on the theme organizers dubbed “The Pies of March.”
After pedaling from Bleecker to Mott to Prince Sts., the ride continued up Sixth Ave. and, turning west in Chelsea, soon arrived at the new Ninth Ave. bike lane. At 21st St., two cyclists dressed in white coveralls, intended to resemble the icons that appear painted along bike lanes, spray-painted stencils featuring the traditional street symbol of a cyclist, only wearing a clown hat. They then dubbed the path “Love Lane.”
The ride concluded with an after-party at Eyebeam, the art and technology center on W. 21st St. near 11th Ave. After catching their collective breath, the cyclists emerged from the exhibition and research space to stage their own passion play commemorating the Ides of March.
Caesar (portrayed by cyclist Stephen Wisker) was confronted by Mayor Bloomberg (cyclist Benjamin Shepard); after telling Caesar that the city was safer with more bike lanes, Bloomberg recreated the betrayal of Caesar. However, instead of stabbing Caesar with a knife, his downfall came by a pie in the face. Several, actually, as other clowns followed with a barrage of soy and dairy pies to Caesar’s face.
During the course of their two-hour ride, the clowns saw a half-dozen vehicles operating in bike lanes. They issued three fake tickets, including one to a Con Ed truck, as the authentic-looking summonses reminded violators that it is against the law to block bike lanes, with offenders risking a $115 fine.
At Eyebeam, the exhibition “Feedback” will run until April 19. It surveys artists, designers, architects and engineers on the topic of sustainability, and presents their responses: 19 projects varying from public art and industrial design to DIY energy solutions and software tools. Eyebeam is located at 540 W. 21st St. between 10th and 11th Aves.