Handbook For the Uninformed
A Virgin's Guide to the Big
Though many of you may be BWR vets, many others of you,
or the friends you bring, will be Virgins. With this
in mind, I have prepared this small summary to help you understand
and prepare for the night's activities:
I. REASON FOR EXISTENCE:
There is none. Forget it. I came up with it, but don't ask
me why. I don't know.
II. BIG WHEELS:
Big Wheels are not mandatory for participation in the AAMAMBWR.
If you really can't get a Big Wheel, I'd be happy just to
have you along with us. But please don't expect to have near
as much fun as the rest of us.
A) We have been trying to adhere to a policy of having only
plastic Big Wheels (as opposed to metal trikes). For two reasons:
1) Safety First!. Plastic absorbs shock very well. And
shock absorption is key (head-ons, stairs, power jumping,
2) They make that cool sound.
B) There are two different kinds of Big Wheels out there
to be had: The official Big Wheel made by Empire, and Playskool's
Power Cycle. The Playskool model is a lot more like the Big
Wheel we knew and loved. They flex a bit more, but the axle
won't bend as easily, and they can be out of the box and under
your butt in under fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, Playskool
stopped production of the masterful Power Cycle in 1995. If
youre lucky enough to find one, it will be used.
I'll tell you now, Empire Big Wheels suck. One
good jump and the axle likes to fold up, and the bucket seat
is virtually unadjustable. The best you can hope to do is
substantially beef up the rear axle by any means necessary.
C) There are several other kinds of ride-on toys out there,
so don't be afraid to shop around. In addition to new Big
Wheels, also check out your local Goodwill, Salvation Army,
and other thrift stores for used Big Wheels. Captain Chaos's
used Big Wheel has seen action in 3 BWR's in addition to the
unknown miles accrued by its previous owner. But of course
His Big Wheel is blessed with Super Powers.
D) As a general rule of thumb, your Big Wheel will not fit.
For the average adult (and I use that term loosely), the standard
Big Wheel will be almost entirely unridable. The obvious solution
would be to forget the whole ludicrous idea and stay home.
We are not here for obvious solutions: modify the hell out
of it. Some advice:
Do what you must (short of chains) to get traction on your
front wheel (i.e. fasten a bike tire over it with deck screws),
Modify rider position to avoid butt-burns on the rear wheels
(a simple riser to lift your cheeks over the smokin
Replace the stock axle with hardened or cold rolled steel
(available at hardware stores dont forget the
little caps too)
If you can get your mitts on some extra wheels, double
them up on the axle and make a dually to distribute the
Most of our structural failures occur within the 1st 5
minutes of the official start of the ride when we ride down
the 4 steps of the West End Tavern. At a minimum
your Big Wheel (structure and add-ons) must be able to survive
this. Thank you for indulging me in this engineering aside.
And bring lots of duct tape. OK, that's it, no more advice.
Along with modified Big Wheels go modified attitudes and
modified personalities. Feel free to dress appropriately.
IV. DAMAGE CONTROL:
Please keep in mind that this is my show. And my name is
plastered all over it. If the cops need somebody, they come
looking for me. We are a fun bunch of people, & our primary
concern is having as much fun as possible. We've never hurt
anyone or anything, so our cooperation with anyone with even
the vaguest amount of authority over us is paramount.
V. RIOT CONTROL:
Remember running the Gauntlet of Death in 92? And getting
shut down by the cops? And how dangerously close we came to
jail time? These pretty vivid thoughts have prompted me to
set some ground rules to help us police ourselves better:
Please limit the riding of Big Wheels to people who are actually
on the Big Wheel Rally. Our biggest, most damaging problem
was with uninvited, unknown riders.
You are responsible for your own Big Wheel. It's amazing
how people haven't thought of one in years, and suddenly have
to have your Big Wheel immediately. I suggest any anti-theft
device you can imagine (locks, alarms, bodyguards, etc.)
We need permission to ride through restaurants in
Boulder. While it makes perfect sense to us, piling into
a place unannounced during the dinner rush may be greeted
by the overworked manager with less than enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, during our escapades, we are more than likely
to encounter a few Drunken Buttheads. Drunken Buttheads are
a sorry lot that are deeply hurt and jealous that they weren't
invited to be part of the festivities. Needless to say, they
exhibit a total lack of any character traits that would even
consider them for invitation. One of their finer cultivated
traits is that of Stupidity. Under the premise of "helping",
several of our members have been pushed on their Big Wheels
so violently that they were knocked to the ground or out into
traffic. Be aware that these mono-browed, Neanderthal, knuckle-draggers
are out there, and we will inevitably meet some.
There are no rain dates. We are not the kind of people that
are concerned with such petty things as rain, tornadoes, sleet,
blizzards, hurricanes, etc. But this is Colorado, and there
is no such thing as predictable weather, so be prepared for
UPDATE: I used to think this was a
very witty and clever thing to say just to prove to people
we're hard core. That was before it actually
did snow on us. It sucked. I won't ever
do it again. To that end, I've decided to run the Rally
in July instead of May and October. Also, if the weather's
going to be bad, you bet your booty I'm going to move the
Check back here, and stay tuned. Captain Obvious,