It was a beautiful fall day at Evergreen Cementary in Bushwick where several hundred eager bikers cloaked in wild costumes were gearing up for the 14th annual fall ride Bike Kill on Saturday.
Before the ride could even get started, cops had put the kibosh on the event, saying they had permission from the property owner to do so.
“The cop I asked said that they were shutting it down and the owner of the property agreed,” Bushwick Daily photographer Phil Buehler said. “I heard from some of the organizers that the owner gave permission two years ago and again this year.”
Phil had come to take pictures of Bike Kill for our story. Although he was probably pissed off that the event was cancelled—it was his Saturday, after all—he wasn’t about to go home empty-handed.
“I then snuck around back to see if I could still get in and went through the cemetery and made my way onto the roof,” Phil explained. “Unfortunately I couldn’t get down from there.”
Phil wasn’t the only one willing to brave the woods and the holes in the fence to get to get a look. Natalia, an indie director whose film “Bare” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, and her friends Kendall, Rosalina, and Florencia also mounted the rooftop.
Some people had left their bikes inside the cemetary before the authorities showed up and had to convince the cops to let them in to retrieve them.
“I eventually made my way onto the site when the cops let my friends from Jersey—Mike and Devon—get Mike’s five bikes which were still inside,” Phil recounted. “Mike’s a regular at Bike Kill and brings some crazy bikes. One of the bikes he brought this year was a steam roller … unfortunately not to be ridden this year.”
While the cops snuffed out Bike Kill this year, some riders, who were not to be so easily vanquished, went to a parking lot near Home Depot in Bed-Stuy to perform one of the gathering’s signature events.
“While the crazy bikes weren’t there,” Phil told us, “they still did bike jousting.”