The crew now churns out custom-made bikes for themselves and friends with 6,000-watt stereo systems, flashing lights and DVD screens housed around the bikes’ steel frames or towed by homemade trailers. The bikes can weigh up to 500 pounds, with around 10 speakers and subwoofers and two amplifiers all powered by car batteries that the crew receives gratis courtesy of a sponsor. The music, which plays off of CDs, mp3 players and cell phones, includes everything “from the 70s and up,” Anil said, the thump-thump of one of the $8,000 bicycles reverberating from the street in front of him. That includes hip hop - lots of hip hop - disco, and Chutney and Soca music, indigenous to the Caribbean.
‘Stereo bikes’ rock south Queens
Even the police are impressed.
“The bikes are pretty cool and the workmanship that’s gone into them - lotta talent right there,” Zorn said.
The admiration of New York’s Finest is not lost on “Future Shock.” In fact, Nicholas said his crew has never had a run-in with the cops because of a mutual respect.
“The cops, they like us. They like what we do. They’ll stop us - literally stop us - and ask us to play our songs.”
Well I'm glad to hear the cops, who are getting complaints about the noise, are encouraging the kids to make more noise.
Unfortunately, some neighbors cannot concentrate with noise blasting from the bikes on weekend afternoons and evenings. An elderly woman held a hand to her ear, struggling to hear above the din of the bass. “I think the noise is bothering the whole community,” she said very slowly, enunciating every word before walking back inside.
Zorn said the dynamics of Richmond Hill are different from Trinidad, where houses are spread out and loud music does not have such an impact. Here, he explained, one set of speakers can affect 200 houses.