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Cyclecide – The Heavy Pedal Punks

By Christopher Ashley

Le Tour de France is the greatest race on earth, but it’s serious business.  The whole retail cycle of components, products, and new bikes is born from every pro team’s hunt for jerseys and wins.  And the excitement inspires millions to ride the bikes they love – but who will love a bike when its owner decides it’s time to say “goodbye”?

Heavy pedal punks

Cyclecide described themselves as The Heavy Pedal Bike Rodeo, and they’ve terrorised the streets of San Francisco with their Frankenstein creations since 1996.  They started out by dumpster diving for discarded bikes.  Their mission – to give each discarded bike a new identity.

The circular saw and welding torch are Cyclecide’s tools of choice, but the biggest tool is really their imagination.  Cyclecide are known for splicing frames together to build tall bikes, swing bikes, and bike-themed fairground attractions for all the family to enjoy…


Everything starts with Cyclecide’s Paul De Plumber, whose official job title was San Francisco dump’s Artist in Residence.  In a bid to reduce landfill, The City employs artists to repurpose anything they found that could be of use to the creative community – including finding new purpose for unwanted bikes.

Turning trash into treasure requires imagination, and Cyclecide have repurposed bicycles into lawnmowers, and pedal-powered fire-fighting machines.  Founder, Jarico Reese, pointed out that Cyclecide’s mission is more about putting a smile on your face than creating practical bicycles.

Watts on the bill?

To Cyclecide, performance isn’t about how many watts your cadence can sustain over 100 miles.  Cyclecide are actively involved in bringing their creations to the masses, whether it’s a lone cyclist on a swing bike burning through town, or participating in underground tall-bike jousting tournaments.

With the ever-increasing threat of warehouse regulation looming over their collectives, artists like Cyclecide often have to return to the shadows to continue their work.  But we love the thought that whenever a bike is trashed, it might find someone, somewhere, who will bring it back to life.