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Spoke cards

on August 9, 2009

Once used mostly by messengers for identification in alleycat races, spoke cards have blown up. Although you still get them in alleycats, I now see all sorts of different decorative cards, birthday cards, and gang membership cards.

In its bio on spoke cards, Wikipedia has this hilarious explanation on why non-messengers put cards in their spokes: “Other city riders sometimes fix spoke cards to their wheels as an affectation of messenger culture.”

The next two weeks the Missing Link is hosting free workshops on bike beautification–“DIY Bike Bling.” Monday, August 10 is all about wheels, so spoke cards, spokey-dokes and scraper tape. Thursday, August 13 is streamers, pinwheels, and ribbons, and Tuesday, August 18 they’re making top tube pads. All the classes start at 7:30 pm. So, for the affection of messenger culture, join in and make some cards.


  1. Lincoln on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    The second from the bottom is my bike. I was issued two citations for running red lights by a police officer in Emeryville who was never at a vantage point that enabled him to see what I was able to see in my forward line-of-sight. I contested both and though it required that I wake up super early in the morning to go stand in that long line outside… once to put in my plea to the judge and the second time to attend the court date — for which the issuing officer failed to appear, resulting in an automatic dismissal in favor for the defendant — ME! So, not only did I not have to pay over $600 in fines, but I got two “personalized” spoke-cards to rock. I’ve ridden past the same officer on a few occasions. I always wave and he pretends to be too preoccupied talking on his radio to see me.

    (Parking ticket for a bicycle?)

  2. Keeping it Wheel on August 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Hey Lincoln, Thanks for the story. That’s crazy–for just a bit of drama you got two free spoke-cards! Soooo worth it.

  3. Lincoln on August 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Ha! Ha! Emeryville cops are bored… I think the most action they get called in for is an aisle clean-up at IKEA.

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