THE PREFUNK: Death-defying bike jump

By Matt Driscoll on August 20, 2010


Facts are facts - and the fact is the weekend starts tomorrow... or at quitting time today, for those who take weekends seriously. Most nine-to-fivers have two-plus days of freedom ahead of them, awarded by the capitalist religion we adhere to, and you'd be well-advised to take advantage- even if my handy-dandy iPhone weather ap is calling for crummy weather.

With that, here's another installment of The Prefunk: a weekend primer for you and your liver, with a picture of an alcoholic household pet thrown in for good measure.

Death-defying bike jump for Second Cycle

Saturday, Aug. 21

Certainly, we all remember that point in college when one of our esteemed professors invited us into an alley to watch him/her strap on a helmet fit with sparklers and jump a bicycle through a wall of glowing neon tubing?

Wait. What? You don't remember that?

Well, if you went to the Evergreen State College you just might. But, better yet, even if you didn't go to Evergreen (or aren't currently enrolled) you can still watch and experience the magic as Galen McCarty Turner - a Tacoman, a bizarre artist, a bit of an eccentric, and a professor at Evergreen in the school's neon program - rides his bike over a death-defying multi-inch jump and through a wall of glowing neon tubing this Saturday, in the alley of Sixth and I Street, all for the benefit of Second Cycle, Hilltop's independent bike co-op. And by "benefit," I mean it's a fundraiser; this isn't just an act of insanity Galen is undertaking to raise moral Second Cycle - though it's likely to have that impact as well.

While we're on the subject of memories, many will recall the jump that started this all - last year's man-on-bike vs. wall of neon showdown that saw Galen McCarty Turner barrel through a glowing display of gas and glass he'd crafted himself. Those on hand no doubt still have fond memories of the cape sporting Galen's moment of triumph, and the karate-chop, pelvic-thrust celebration that followed.

This year's event promises to be just as memorable. Here's a snippet of hype from Galen (or Gaytron's) press team:

On August 21the second Bike Jump will take place in the alley of 6th and "I" Street in Tacoma at 8:00pm. The Bike Jump is 3 inches of sheer terror, a life-defying implosion of rare stimulated gasses combustigated from 90,000 volts of raditude. In layman's terms, Gaytron will be jumping a bike through a wall of dirty, handmade, panty-melting neon tubing set up in the alley. The performance has been heavily promoted as a public event and is a fundraiser for 2nd Cycle, Tacoma's Independent Bike Co-op located in Hilltop. Bike Jump T-shirts and limited edition event prints (printed on Brown and Haley Cherry Mountain Bar packaging sheets) will be available for purchase during the gathering. Merriment will commence after the neon is swept from the street.

PREFUNK: Here's the thing - "Gaytron's" fateful jump will happen less than an hour after the Music and Art in Wright Park festival concludes at nearby, well, Wright Park. So, you can warm up all day with heavy helpings of some of Tacoma's finest rock - both old and new - and this quintessential Tacoma experience can bleed right into another: watching Gaytron barrel through "rare stimulated gasses combustigated from 90,000 volts of raditude."

Also, you can snag a few drinks in the Hob Nob's bar between said spectacles. It's as though the stars have aligned.

See you next week.