Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Sprockettes take over the streets

Posted by on September 18th, 2005 at 11:20 pm

Sprockettes at the Clownhouse 9/17
Sprockettes at the Clownhouse 9/17

The Sprockettes put on a great show Saturday at the Alberta Clownhouse. It was Danica‘s first time seeing them but I think she slept through it. Oh well.

After the show I listened while a freelance writer from Venus Magazine interviewed them for an upcoming article. Having seen them many times, it was cool to finally learn more about the ladies behind all that pink. Turns out, they’re just regular chicks who share a love for riding bikes, getty funky in the streets, and spreading positive vibes about women through music and movement. I’m glad they’re starting to get noticed.

By the way, they’re hoping to embark on a college tour…so If anyone out there’s got a diesel bus they’re not using I know what you can do with it…

See more of them in the rest of my photos.

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10 Comments
  • Brandy September 19, 2005 at 5:53 pm

    OK, why is it cool to show your asses and be bitchy to all other women who ride bikes?

    What does showing your ass have to do with bike activism or feminism?

    Why does almost every sprockette show up in a car?

    Feminism and bike fun are about so much more than being a sex object.

    Learn how to be nice and be actual activists. And put on some clothes.

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  • Jonathan Maus September 19, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Brandy,

    I have edited your comment it because I don’t think it’s cool to bad mouth someone in such an indirect way in a public place. If you have a beef with the Sprockettes, you should contact them directly.

    I don’t appreciate name-calling and insults on this site. Please be more considerate next time you comment. Thanks.

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  • Agent Bunny G September 26, 2005 at 11:13 pm

    Brandy,
    I am sorry you have had bad experiences with the Sprockettes. What exactly happened? How were we bitchy to you?

    As far as “almost every sprockette showing up in cars” usually one Sprockette will drive to performances because we have a lot of props. While I agree it would be rad to just do it by trailer, we also have to get all those little bikes there, and honestly, it’s pretty hard to ride a mini bike more than a mile (although I’ve done it). And actually, only three of the Sprockettes currently even own cars, so I don’t thing it would be possible for us to all show up in cars!

    The Sprockettes are far more than sex objects and if that is all you see us as it’s a damn shame. We practice hours and hours a week, choreograph all our songs, and are very committed to the group. Being sexy doesn’t turn us into objects. As women, we have the choice to be sexy and have fun. We are happy to talk to anyone about who we are and what our values are. Our song “SOTI” (sexy on the inside) is all about how you don’t have to fit a particular image to be sexy.

    How does being a sprockette fit into my feminism? Well, for me, it’s all about hanging out with an incredible group of smart, creative, and committed women. We work together, make art, and have fun. I don’t actually consider us activists- just advocates. But that’s my personal opinion- ask the other Sprockettes and you’ll get a dozen different answers.

    My question for you is this: What does insulting other women have to do with feminism?

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  • Agent Lapis September 27, 2005 at 10:48 am

    “Ok, why is it cool to show your asses or be bitchy to all other women who ride bikes?”

    …uh, ut’s not really. that’s why i’ve been known to wear up to three pairs of underwear at once (lately anyway). as for being bitchy to all other women who ride bikes, that’s not cool either and i’m curious how you got that impression and what we can do to change that.

    “what does showing your ass have to do with bike feminism or feminism?”

    it doesn’t really. dancing avec bicycles has everything to do with both. we are a group of strong women from a variety of backgrounds that work hard collaberatively on all matters concerning the team. we print our own shirts, wrench our own bikes, make our own costumes, choreograph songs of our own choosing to artists (sometimes local) of various genres.

    “why does almost every sprockette show up in a car?”

    that i can’t answer fully, i do nearly always show up in a car and can explain my reasons. we have many props now and i took charge of keeping track of them. when i don’t collect them or delegate collecting myself, things get lost. most of the time when a person sees my car, it has the bulk of our props inside, including 7-foot-long bird wings, flags, streamers, t-shirts, a boombox, costumes and often a bike or two. i don’t own a trailer and it would be difficult to find one that could fit all this with my mini too. i have had a series of back problems (mostly better now, thankfully) that made riding more of a distance bike extremely painful for awhile. i’m game for experimenting with bike trailers though, do you have any suggestions for models or a builder?

    “feminism and bike fun are about so much more than being a sex object.”

    thankfully our audences have gotten a little less ‘dudical’ lately, because it was getting to be a little unfun for awhile. if being a sprockette was just about being a sex object, iu wouldn’t be one. you want sex? look at suicide girls. i like riding my bike, i like dancing. that’s all. i like to go on rides (and have led a couple too) and participate in breakfast on the bridges, zoobomb and critical mass. as for feminism, where would one go to get involved?

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  • Agent Crash Course September 28, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    well since you asked:
    1. i, personaly, am very comfortable with my ass and my own body, this took me a long time- i am a full figured girl- if it was more accepted i would walk around with no clothes on when it was hot. i’m not trying to be a sex object just a person. as for the second part of your question it is not my policy to be bitchy to anyone male/female, biker/non-biker, however there have times in my like that get angry or annoyed and i am not always nice.

    2.i ride bikes every day, i want other people to ride bikes. i am not sprockette to be an activist if influeces or inspires people i am happy. as far as being a feminist- i am not an anytrhing, i live how i feel and i don’t think that being a sprockette or anything we do compromises me ideals- of which i have many.

    3. i think this has been suficiently gone over, i would like add that i am 27 and have never had a licence, because i don’t want one.

    bike fun is about fun, i have fun when i ride bikes and i hope you do too. and being a feminist is has such a broad definition, i guess we just don’t fit into yours.

    well thats about it, if you would like to have a conversation in person i’m sure that any of the sprockettes would talk to you. just ask. i would actually raelly enjoy it- i an always interested in peoples opinions.

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  • agent pulse aka emy September 29, 2005 at 12:38 pm

    well brandy!!!!!
    now now dear!
    i have definitley been either jealous, or mean before, but those are definitley human traits that i do not try to posess.
    maybe you should try communicating your feelings by using different outlets, such as painting, exercising, singing, screaming, or maybe you should just go on longer bike rides!!!!
    maybe you need to sit and meditate, and do some inner work.cause it does seem to me that you have some pressing issues you need to let out in a more constructive way!!!!
    hhmm maybe instead of being so reactive, you and be PROactive, and take all that anger and jealously, and turn it into a song, or a poem or something, or maybe start a rival dance troop.
    that might be fun!!!!
    see hear brandy you are generalzing!!!!, the sprockettes are not mean “to ALL bike riders”….
    infact some of the sprockettes are avid bike riders, so their is proof right there that your statement is incorrect!!!! and besides the sprockettes I personally can name a few avid bike riders that i am close friends with, thus making your statement false AGAIN!!!!
    sure i will admit there are some people in portland that i (personally) do not get along
    with and it might just so happen they ride bicycles too!!! but that doesnt mean that ALL the sprockettes are mean to girl bikers, just me… so i hate to point this out again, but yes… you have made another false (generalized) accusation,
    and brandy ( if that is even your real name!)!!!!
    unfortuantley i do not have a liscense either, in fact im scared of driving cars so. . . . nope, not most of the sprockettes drive to performances or wherever ( and by the way who cares!)
    well… i think i have written enough.
    oh wait one more thing.
    just because YOU or other people view us as sex objects does in NO WAY mean we try to portray that kind of image.
    Unfortuantley our society penetrates sex into everyone minds thrugh TV, magazines,movies etc…. so people are easily mislead to believe that when they see a woman.. naked. . scantily clothed or whatever, that she is trying to be a sex object!!!!
    which in most cases is not true and is a very harmful way of thinking!!!
    so that is society and the worlds problems. not the sprockettes.
    i can only speak for myself but i do feel liberated when i can but on some booty shorts and not care about the cottage cheese around my thighs and dance my ass off!!!
    i wish i could be naked and dance, but alas because of the way that you and other people view woman, it is considered sexual and there fore illegal!!!!
    i dont care what others portray me as!
    all that matters is that im love myself and the others around me, wearing booty shorts are not!
    and that is really all that matters.
    to each his own. . ..
    maybe you should try loving yourself and your body more brandy!!!!!
    or maybe you should be a sprockette.
    yours truly!!! emy

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  • agent trouble September 29, 2005 at 2:13 pm

    brandy darling…i think that any opinion you have is valid – it’s the way you feel. it’s okay to not like us. i knew that eventually someone out in the ether wouldn’t love the shit out of what we do or just not get it. (my uncle, for example, thinks it’s immature and he can’t understand what good dancing in the streets really does)…and i’m suprised it took over a year for someone to openly question our motives, mode of operation, etc…so, no hard feelings, but i did want an oppurtunity to respond to a few of the remarks…

    it did sorta hurt to have a bike girl call us sex objects. as a feminist, i’ve felt that those sort of remarks or ways of thinking are exactly what perpetuates that whole “she deserved it, did you see what she was wearing” crap. i’m a woman who deserves to be treated like a human being no matter what i wear. it’s my intention, as a sprockette, that girls would walk away from a performance feeling fly as shit and confident about themselves – especially their bodies, in this day and age of teenage diets and mass media manipulations about our bodies. as mentioned earlier, our first ever dance was to a song about those issues exactly – check it out…S.O.T.I, by romanteek in olympia! i’d like us girls to not hate on eachother…we’re in the same tribe of folks trying so hard to curb the car addiction amongst a lot of opposition…there’s a lot of work to do, and all of it needs to be in our own creative ways…

    and then the car note……girl, we didn’t get into bikes after forming the sprockettes, the sprockettes were a brain child of zoobomb and shift brainstorms a year ago. we were all riding in the rain during winter, patching tubes, doing errands, going to work, and doing the bike flava long before sprockettes…we are not car people, that hypocracy just would not fly in the sprockettes and it’s ridiculous to imply, because it’s so not true…like the others have mentioned – 3 cars, 14 girls – and only a handful of them with licences. just today, i bought a car – making this one the fourth sprockette vehicle. the car is a diesel mercedes, and i’m converting it to run on veggie oil with some magic new friends who tour via veggie school busses. furthermore, i am openly and gladly sharing it with the between 15 and 20 people that i share space with at the nightmare collective. we are in the same tribe, we are fighting the same fight…and lets not stop…there truly is a lot of work to do.
    if you do want to discuss this stuff further, or maybe try and reconcile anything that may have hurt you, or maybe just dance with us… please feel free to come to a practise…they’re always in the NE on sundays at 6pm at irving park…
    no hard feelings – keep fighting and standing up for what you believe in and i will too!
    agent trouble

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  • agent mange September 30, 2005 at 11:07 am

    Sprockettes!!! First I just want to commend my girls for responding in such a positive way. I know I tend to have an attitude that is a little less than pogressive when me, my girls, and my ideals are being attacked, especially on the internet. It looks like Brandy has had oppertunities to see us perform, therefore formulating this opinion of us that she gladly shares with anyone who will listen, unless it’s with us, to our faces, at the performance. This is the first time I have heard that anyone has had a sour opinion about the Sprockettes, and it suprises me. Mainly because everytime I talk with any female that has seen the performance they gush about how much fucking fun we are having and that its an inspiration to them. For myself, before meeting the Sprockettes I had a diffucult time wearing scant clothes. My attire usually consisted of: Undies, bra, tank top, t-shirt, hoodie, tights, bloomers, leg warmers, skirt, and shoes. when I started hanging out with these amazing women and saw how they rocked what ever the fuck they wanted to, despite their imperfections, and it was so liberating to be able to put a skirt on, and not feel bad that i (thought) I had chubby thighs. I got over that fast because I was surrounded with beautiful supportive women that I grew to trust and left my insecurities behind. I’m tired of wearing every item of clothing i own at once because Im self concious, and i think ive done enough of that, thank you very much. It takes a lot of work to get to a place where you know that you have a beautiful body and you can choose to show it off or not. Thats my business, not yours. Unless you want to be my styliest for hire, but I’ll tell you right now I aint got a lotta bread to pay you with. In closing, i dont have a permit because i dont believe that i can be active in the bike community while i secretly have a legal driving card hidden in my wallet. To prove it, im offering you an invitation to ride mini bikes along side me to the very next performance the sprockettes have. i gaurentee it will be fun. i am known to laugh loud and sing about how much i love my bike along the ride. i also make it a point to say hello (or ahoy hoy) to every biker on the road, so they know im aware we’ve got the same plight. unfortunatly most of them dont say hi back. But i think together, Brandy, we can change that. How could anyone not respond to two beautiful ladies on minis being friendly, answer me that!!! find me at the park and well set up our date to ride. thanks for the imput, and remember, youre Sexy.On.The.Inside too!!!

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  • Brandy October 18, 2005 at 7:50 pm

    Well, it’s good to see that you can all talk the party line. Whether you are full of crap or not, it is great that you believe in what you do.

    Ask some women how they see you, ladies. The answer might be disturbing. I know I am not alone in my opinions. I’ve seen you ladies be too bitchy to other people too many times.

    Thanks for the well-considered responses. I’m not sold, nor am I interested in riding with you. Sorry, but I don’t want to associate myself with that brand of pseudo-feminism.

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  • Agent Lapis November 3, 2005 at 10:56 pm

    Brandy, if there’s anytime you’d like to meet up and discuss this one-on-one, I’d love to hear your input. I will be the first to confess of not always being aware of others’ opinions.

    We have had problems within our orginization in the past, but rarely have any input from the outside. You are the first to give us any negative feedback (at least as I’ve seen).

    You don’t have to roll with us or even like us. That’s not our problem. We’re busy tring to create something new and I’d hate everyone to like everthing (this aids a little thing called diversity).

    On feminism though: I thought that feminism was about Choices, Empowerment and Supporting One Another. The rest of the definition varies from person to person. I was never comfortable much with people before joining the Sprockettes, and associating with other women? Forget about it.

    I believe that participating in the community at large (in my case, a large portion of that is representing myself as a Sprockette) is one of the most feminist actions I can take in a world run by men. I’m not there for them. I’m not there for you. I’m there for me.

    (Hey Jonathan, could you forward Brandy my email address? I would love to discuss her problems with us off of this comment board if she’s willing.)

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