Bicyclists Sow Seeds and Stencils at Closed Businesses in Santa Cruz

On August 1st, more than a dozen bicyclists went on a “mystery ride” to tour the hallowed out remains of businesses along Soquel Ave., Water St. and Mission St. in Santa Cruz. Mystery rides, where the route is not known by most riders, are usually organized in advance by one or more bicyclists as a fun, creative and safe way to enjoy a community bike ride.

Seeds were sown after cyclists rode around the dirt lot on Ocean and Water, where a Shell station once conducted their dirty business. The next stop was on Soquel Ave. where there was once a Wienerschnitzel. At this point, the question was asked, “Who knows what these businesses have in common?” Someone stated that the businesses were related to a failing car culture, while someone else theorized that maybe the commonality was that the businesses sold hot dogs. Stencils painted onto cardboard were placed along the fence guarding the abandoned Wienerschnitzel as well as one protecting an empty car sales lot. The final stop was an out of business Shatzki gas station on Mission Street.

You can learn more about the August 1st mystery ride by checking out the announcement:

Going Out of Business ride! A group bike tour of a failing economy….
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/07/21/18518307.php

And checking out a report by Anonimo:

“Part protest against car culture, part living art project, and part prank, the group of about 20 bicyclists visited the sites of former gas stations, drive thrus, autodealerships, and more, planting wild flower seeds, and other decorations depicting a deteriorating economy and hopes for a greener, wilder future. “Property is Theft”, “My heroes carry guns in the their minds”, and “Community Garden Coming Soon!” read some of the signs posted outside fenced off buildings and pavement cracking open with weeds.”

Continues at:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/04/18522794.php

The next mystery ride, BikeHeart -The Battle for Santa Cruz, takes place Friday, August 8th. People will begin to gather at 5:30 at the corner of Cooper and Pacific. A version of the draft notice reads as follows, “Gear up as the battle for Santa Cruz begins to defeat the dragons of excessive car parking garages while fighting for a bike friendly Santa Cruz.”

You can read more and get a flier at:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/06/18523438.php

…get off the internet! go ride a bike!

Crossposted at Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.