Thursday, November 29, 2007

Biking to a Different Beat


This has nothing to do with my personal experience of bicycling. But I'm always telling people who bitch about trying to bike in traffic in NYC that there are a million different ways to enjoy riding in this city.
It doesn't have to be about exercise, or efficient transportation, or 'being green'.
It can be about exploration, or community, or I guess, even about rockin' the beats.

This is an excerpt from today's NYT.
For the full article, go here.
For the phat photos, go here.

Published: November 29, 2007

A new biker gang is roaming the streets of Richmond Hill, Queens. This crew of mostly teenagers can be seen riding along 103rd Avenue just west of the Van Wyck Expressway. The bikes roar, but the booming sound has nothing to do with engines — because there are no engines. They are ordinary bicycles, not motorcycles, although these contraptions look and sound more like rolling D.J. booths. They are outfitted with elaborate stereo systems installed by the youths.

“This one puts out 5,000 watts and cost about $4,000,” said Nick Ragbir, 18, tinkering with his two-wheeled sound system, with its powerful amplifier, two 15-inch bass woofers and four midrange speakers. It plays music from his iPod and is powered by car batteries mounted on a sturdy motocross bike.

The riders are of Guyanese and Trinidadian background. In those countries, turning bicycles into rolling outdoor sound systems is a popular hobby.

“It’s really big where I come from in Trinidad,” Mr. Ragbir said. “When I first came to New York, I started with two little speakers. People here thought I was crazy because no one here has really ever seen it, except maybe for some Spanish dudes with a radio strapped to their handlebars.”

He added: “People say, ‘It’s the next best thing to having a system in a car.’ But it’s better because you don’t even have to roll down the windows.”

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