September 30, 2003 11:12 AM   Subscribe

This new film [25MB, QuickTime] documents the 3rd annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, in which a bunch of crazed fools raced headlong down San Francisco's Lombard Street (aka: the crookedest street in the world) on Big Wheels. Good drunk fun! Here are some pics for the bandwidth-challenged.
posted by scarabic (22 comments total)
The event itself was back on April 27th, but you know how long these spare-time video projects take to get edited together. Easter Sunday is the traditional date. Look for it next year!
posted by scarabic at 11:14 AM on September 30, 2003

Damnit. Another reason to move from NYC to SF...
Thanks for the link!
posted by Busithoth at 11:24 AM on September 30, 2003

Sadly, I missed that race. As you know, I have a pretty full roster of Big Wheel competitions, and sometimes the good ones fall through the cracks, often because of scheduling conflicts. This one was clearly rife with serious, dedicated professionals like myself. I think I could have learned a lot from them. Maybe next year.
posted by squirrel at 11:33 AM on September 30, 2003

I want to see them go UP Lombard St.
posted by fijiwriter at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2003

It's too quiet!
posted by squirrel at 11:39 AM on September 30, 2003

*turns up volume*
...oh, wait.
posted by squirrel at 11:41 AM on September 30, 2003

aka: the crookedest street in the world
Lombard isn't even the crookedest street in San Francisco.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:41 AM on September 30, 2003

hah! mere childs play.
posted by stbalbach at 11:42 AM on September 30, 2003

Big Wheel, schmig wheel. Real men -- dangerous men -- would have made that epic trek on their dual-stick-steering Green Machines. I had one of these in 1978, and I was far and away the baddest motherfucker at Hahn AFB.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:45 AM on September 30, 2003

I'm quite sure your Green Machine would qualify for the "plastic wheel" category, making you elligible for the grand prize.

In other words (ahem) BRING IT, you BAD MOFO!!
posted by scarabic at 11:58 AM on September 30, 2003

Sorry, ROU, the Cheetah was badder by far. I can't find an image on the web, but they were designed like a three-wheeled chopper--extended front forks, low seat between the back wheels. The rider propelled himself by pushing pedals that pulled cables out of some sort of rotary turbine in the axle. It screamed. Although the Green Machine handled better, the Cheetah was faster. I think they stopped making them in the early 70s because too many kids were getting smeared.
posted by squirrel at 12:21 PM on September 30, 2003

There is also a series of soapbox races down Bernal hill commencing on Easter Sunday that run through the summer. Good times.
posted by 2sheets at 12:21 PM on September 30, 2003

Not to rain on the "SF is for the cool kids" parade, but I was expecting a street full of hundreds people on big wheels. Instead, I got eight hipsters and a guy in a santa suit. Sorry, not impressed.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:09 PM on September 30, 2003

I don't think anyone intended the race, the film, or this FPP to be any kind of "San Francisco is hipper than thou" statement. People seem to be picking up on that. I live in Berkeley. The filmmaker is from Concord. Where's the problem?

monju - many humble apologies.
posted by scarabic at 1:19 PM on September 30, 2003

Was there a cool kids parade?! I know news travels slow to the south, but most of the hipsters left San Fancisco in 2000, heading for warmer climes, cheaper rents and, uh, JOBS elsewhere.

Also, don't be sorry, monju: I wasn't impressed by Houston, but I'm sure they get their kicks anyhow. Your lack of being impressed won't stop us, either.
posted by squirrel at 1:40 PM on September 30, 2003

I apologize for being snide in my earlier comment. I didn't mean to imply that careening head first down Lombard on a Big Wheel didn't look fun, only that I was misled by the FPP into thinking that hundreds of people were doing this. It's my own fault really, and my only explanation is that Houston has made me bitter and jealous. Although the cost of living to salary ratio is quite nice.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:38 PM on September 30, 2003

Thanks, monju. All I promised was "a bunch of crazed fools," and I think I delivered ;)
posted by scarabic at 2:48 PM on September 30, 2003

A stirring display of derring-do with my morning coffee. I salute you, brave gladiators. Ave! Ave!!
[I am not gay]
posted by planetkyoto at 4:37 PM on September 30, 2003

Well, then you're not welcome in GAY CITY, mister. Keep moving, nothing to see here, show's over.
posted by squirrel at 6:25 PM on September 30, 2003

That was the best thing ever. Like Pirate Day and the Lebowski Fest, I wish I was there participating.
posted by mathowie at 6:35 PM on September 30, 2003

The part with the Santa "spin-out" (at about 6:24 in) is pretty funny. You gotta wonder what was going through that guy's head as he almost wiped out after he had already crossed the finish line.
posted by Rattmouth at 9:31 PM on September 30, 2003

Having been almost crashed into while filming, I can tell you what was running thru his head, my friend...grain alcohol.

But I don't think the event would work nearly as well if it weren't the case. :-)
posted by ctp at 10:00 PM on October 16, 2003

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