Since we stopped printing earlier this year, capping a nearly 35-year run with our August issue, we’ve been wrapping up print operations and removing the physical artifacts of our presence—our iconic red racks—from the Bay Area motorcycling world. This has resulted in a few sadly humorous emails, readers writing in to tell us things like “I read every issue from cover to cover, how come there’s no September or even October issue yet?”
Along with our oft-misappropriated “ride fast take chances” credo and flyin’ eyeball logo, our red magazine racks have been representative of our “thing,” a piece of what ultimately, perhaps unintentionally became extremely recognizable CityBike “branding” in nearly every motorcycle shop in the greater Bay Area.
We know people love our red racks. They’ve spontaneously gone missing now and then, and we had a particularly intriguing case of rack theft back in 2015, when Tokyo Moto’s killer “spare parts” custom rack was jacked from out front of the shop, apparently by some crackhead who then tried to hold it for ransom, or maybe it was jacked from the original crackhead and the second crackhead tried to hold it for ransom. Hard to say.
Anyway, an anonymous, heroic reader saw the rack in the Tenderloin, grabbed it from the crackhead and defended it until SFPD arrived. You can read the rest of the rather bizarrely epic story in our December 2015 issue, starting on page 4 of News, Clues and Rumors.
So as we went from shop to shop reclaiming our red racks, we weren’t totally surprised to discover that some shops wanted to hang on to their rack as a reminder of the good old days of Bay Area moto-culture, or perhaps simply as a convenient, sturdy shelf. Hell, one of our longtime readers, Jeff, helped with picking up racks in exchange for being able to keep the red rack from Sonoma Raceway “for sentimental reasons.” He has it in his living room.
No shit. In his fucking living room.
Get a CityBike Rack of Your Own
Instead of simply, sadly scrapping all these stout steel remnants of the golden age of independent moto-journalism, we’re offering them for sale to our readers, in case any more of you would like an iconic red CityBike rack for your shop, porch, garage, living room, or wherever.
We have lots of different shapes and sizes of red racks, from normal-sized newspaper racks like used to be in front of every grocery store back in the day, to huge, tall, really, really heavy ones. Some of them have cool promo stuff on them, some of them have birdshit—you choose.
Pricing: Yes, the racks do all say “free” on them, but that doesn’t mean the racks themselves are free, duh. However, pricing is gonna be pretty casual: nice racks… let’s say $50. Beaters? $20 or $30. We may eventually sell off a couple of the few sweet custom racks like the one on the milk crate, but those are likely to be kept by members of the Wrecking Crew.
Proceeds will go directly into the tanks of press bikes, and help make up for that one deadbeat advertiser that still owes us a bunch of money.
If you want a rack, check out the photos and complete the form below. You’ll need to be able to pick up the rack at World Headquarters in Oakland. We’re not gonna ship ’em, although I suppose if some wealthy newsprint fan wanted a pallet of racks for his or her Museum of Kickass Things, we’d be willing to accommodate such a request.
Please be reasonable with your expectations. These are magazine racks. Some of them have been indoors and are in nice shape, others have been outdoors for many years and have a hell of a patina. No bluetooth, wifi, or traction control, but you may get a spider or two. No charge for arachnids, and graffiti, stickers, or anything else stuck to the rack.
Gimme a Rack