Slow Bikes, Fast Art

Story & photography: Chris Riesner

On the 18th of August dudes and gals came together from all over the bay area to race head to head against each other in a striving effort to be crowned; slowest on two wheels. This fiasco of fun was the 5th annual Slow Bike Race and went down at the Sandbox in San Francisco. The evening started off with local artists; Ben Kellgren, Kyle Emery-Peck Ben Sutter and myself (Chris Riesner) showing some recent works. While things were still a bit slow at the art show a few of us hit up Paul Brays private bmx ramps to shred. After some quick tranny flow runs and out of control flips (Mike Payne hitting the roof on a barrel roll!) we went back to the party where 3 kegs of local beer (thank you Drakes Brewing) had been tapped and flowing for free.

With brews in hand and anti-speed on everyones minds people began signing up to race. There ended up being 64 contenders all of whom had ridiculous alias race names such as “whistle biscuit,” “gravity porn” and “space man” (see photo of list below). The race was setup in a bracket system with two person dueling heats. Rules being pretty basic such as no fixah’s, no feet can touch the ground and if you make it to the finish line first you’ve lost. These basic rules make for an extremely simple yet competitive race.

There were a variety of different contraptions being raced from bamboo frames to purple road bikes with 20 inch wheels. But it came down to who had the balance and stamina to move real slow and real straight. Whittled down form the long list of 64 racers was a finale race between two; Captain Ahab (aka: paul Bray) and Yarrmon (aka: Derek Yarra). On home turf, Captain Ahab won the race and was given the gleaming gold watch (that some dude found in a rental car) and will forever be known as the SBRV’s slowest rider.

The evening started with an art show featuring work from Ben Kellgren, Chris Riesner, Kyle Emery-Peck and Ben Sutter. Here’s Woodward West’s former BMX director Ben Kellgren (far right) showing his wood panel stippling art.

While things were still mellow a few of us took some runs at Paul Bray’s private ramps. Coulburg Kanawah getting nostalgic with a downside footplant

Kyle Emery-Peck helped build the ramps and has no problem shredding the super quick street spine

Mike Payne made it down from Woodward West for the weekend. He just about hit the ceiling on this flair out of a 3ft quarter!

The race track

Ben Kellgren with the list of all the the racers

The nights very first race with The Hammer vs Spaceman

Loyal fans show support with some good ol’ cardboard signs

Shops with a Fist (aka: Jessica Destoppeleire) going head to head with Rheemer (aka: unknown)

With flowing drinks racers got a bit more daring here’s Johnny-Two-Dicks {aka: Mike Payne} handle bar scuffing against T$

Johnny-Two-Dicks {aka: Mike Payne} taking home a win in his first heat


Kickstand vs Captain Ahab (aka: Paul Bray) in the final heat

Psyched crowd

Captain Ahab (aka: Paul Bray) stunting on his victory lap!

Captain Ahab (aka: Paul Bray) took home the gold (watch) as SBR V champion!

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