Saturday, August 04, 2012


TWT and The Child needed some to experience some art.  It needed to be a one-time event (even if this was the fourth installation of this event (see below)).  So we headed off to Tacoma for Bike Jump the Fourth by Gaytron the Imploder.  Gaytron is the alter ego of neon glass artist Galen McCarty Turner.  Galen created two hundred feet of custom neon tubing through which Gaytron the Imploder would ride his BMX bike.  Gaytron has done this for the past three years on the first Saturday in August.  This was going to be the fourth such jump on August the fourth, hence Bike Jump the Fourth.

A crowd gathers.  The event officially started at 9:00 p.m., but I knew from word of mouth that it was usually about an hour after the beginning of the event that the actual bike jump took place.  Gaytron connects pieces of the framing and neon tubing while the audience watches.  It also seems that its a good excuse for hipsters, local artists, and spectators to drink cans of Rainier beer and smoke (as especially noted by The Child).

Testing lights/teasing the crowd.  The "Bike Jump" sign lights up for the first time to the hoots and hollers of those gathered.

Fully operational.  Gaytron tests the various connections and works the crowd.  He is quite the showman.

Lighting helmet sparklers.  An assistant fires up a blowtorch and lights Gaytron's helmet.  The assistant also lights "rocket" fireworks on the back of the bike.

The bike shoots past in the dark.

Post-impact.  Gaytron the Imploder has just crashed through the neon and onto the pavement.  But then he is up with arms raised in a "V" for victory to the cheers of the crowd.

"Bike Jump."



All in all, it was a spectacular event—part vaudeville/circus act, especially with the accompanying soundtrack and DJ; part stunt; part performance art.  If there is a Bike Jump the Fifth, we will be in attendance.

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