Tall bike jousting rolls in Bywater

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Tall Bikers stunt ride and joust on Japonica Street on New Years Eve.
  • Peter Wilson
  • Tall Bikers stunt ride and joust on Japonica Street on New Year's Eve.

By Peter Wilson

Tall bikes are increasingly visible downtown. Hard-core riders weld together frames to create stacked 10-speeds and other souped up or reconfigured bikes. There also are infrequent but intense tall bike jousting events cropping up in Bywater. One of the brutal sport’s founding groups is the Black Label Bike Club of Minneapolis, which has affiliate groups in New York City, Austin and elsewhere. (See the amazing 2007 documentary B.I.K.E. for a rough ride through the Brooklyn and Minneapolis scene.) There is a loose conglomeration of jousters in New Orleans, which tall bikers from elsewhere refer to as “Nowhere.”

Members of clubs from several cities held a joust on Friday, Dec. 31, on Japonica Street near the Claiborne bridge. The first matches were more like bungee duels, as two riders were chained together with rubber tire loops slung around each riders’ body. The competitors then sped past each other in opposing directions, ultimately yanking each rider from his bike. There also were more conventional jousting bouts with lances. And cyclists engaged in stunt riding, racing through a small bonfire of burning Christmas trees.

More photos after the jump.

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