Friday, January 14, 2011

The inaugural San Francisco Bike Party

photo c/o a friend

For three years now, San Francisco bike culture has been nipping at the heels of our neighbors in the East Bay and San Jose and that ain't right... Now, thanks to the work of some seemingly anonymous, tireless souls, San Francisco has its own Bike Party!!

The first ride took place last Friday. Beginning at Giants Stadium in Soma (yay Soma) it leisurely made its way through the city before ending at Civic Center. Check out the map !! Some pals and I wimped out from doing the whole ride due to the chilly night (ok, yes we are wimps-it was 45 + o - degrees with the
ubiquitous mist...feel free to mock) and started in the Richmond-about 1/2 through. We were thinking ok, starts at 8--they should be out there at 9:30. 7 miles in 1.5 hours..sounds reasonable. Bike Party took its sweet time and rolled in at 10:20...this is the spirit of Bike Party! Come in the beginning, take your sweet time and enjoy yourself!! We took time we are going all out (hopefully it will be a tid bit warmer).

When the San Francisco Bike Party rolled up it was pretty surreal. We're out in the Richmond ghost town and then all the sudden a bike brandishing giant speakers blasting Missy Elliot rolls up--with about 400 bikes in tow!! Pretty crazy.. There was lots of spirit-lots of colorfully lit spokes, lots of colorfully dressed bikefolk. All the regulars of the SF Bike Culture were in attendance: Bubble Bike, Trike speaker-man etc. Check out the impressive flickr stream..

While it had many elements of Critical Mass (the party vibe, outrageous dress, all-around characters)--it was definitely a different feeling. More respectful. The organizers had someone posted at every light and stop sign on the route--encouraging riders to stop and stay in lane. This is an integral part of San Francisco Bike Party and with all of the sparks flying between bikers and drivers these days it is a refreshing change.

Hopefully this was the first of many San Francisco Bike Partys, with the turnout, I would say this is a given. Fun was definitely had by all and the positive energy was contagious! I leave you with this photo of the San Francisco Bike Party making a pit stop in the bandshell in Golden Gate Park...happy weekend!

photo c/o a friend

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