San Francisco Bike Party #1, the birth of a party. Took place in San Francisco, this past Friday (This will be celebrated on every 1st Fridays!).
Theme: ♥Happy birthday!!
The start The ride started at the ballpark right at 3rd and King. It was quite conmemmorative, since SF was the city to win the baseball word series last year, right. Continuing with celebration, I arrived shortly before 8PM, the starting time and there were already hundreds of bikes and people all around the corner. Did someone say party+bikes+fun?! We were there.
I decided to let the emotion and commotion sit-in for a few weeks, before I wrote my personal view. I do solo rides and group rides. I personally like to hang in the back of it all and chill out. I don’t like big crowds, but I love being part of big rides, if that makes sense.
flat! Before I even thought about what is what or where the route was headed (which was available previously, and posted on the SFBP various page links) I got a flat. Gaahh!!–really?! But thankfully, V+W and their tire tools+skills, these guys were on to spot to help and Frenchie’s rear wheel was fixed and off we went, back on the road in a matter of minutes. Gracias!
Embarcadero We caught up right after everyone had arrived to the Embarcadero/North point break area. People were dancing, I ran into a bunch of friends, more people dancing. So far the energy was nothing but positive, everyone seemed in a great mood and good times were to be had. And more dancing. Friday nights are the new disco.
Ghiradelli square / climbing Polk street. After riding the Fisherman’s wharf and Ghiradelli area near the water, I was way in the back-back of the bus, so I didn’t even know a little stop happened there. I knew the map, so I was thinking there was just a little bottleneck going on. DN has an awesome shot of that [here]
It was funny to me that someone around the internet called this hill between the stretch of Polk/North point and Polk/Pacific street “gruelling.” Yeah, they are a little steep, but come on, hundreds of cyclist bike this route any given time.
However proud moment we ALL made those hills. Yes. People and SF with bikes ROCK!
Pac heights via Pacific street. Crossing pacific heights was pretty nice. Pacific street was very quiet, and the only complications that I saw during this time, were cars getting caught in the middle of the ride wanting to make a left or right turn, but each encounter, was a peaceful one. I didn’t see anyone go crazy or annoyed by the full-use of lane by hundreds of cyclists during that stretch. Mind you that area is rather quiet, and very little traffic on a Friday night, with maybe the exception of crossing Van Ness.
Alta Park How can I describe the big smile in everyone’s faces. Once everyone got to this view point, everyone seemed to at least forget that we had ridden up some steep hills. So awesome, the fog was barely there, the city lights were shinnning and the playground turned everyone into a big bike happy kid. So beautiful.
Laurel heights into the Inner Richmond This stretch was really quiet. Riding westbound on Sacramento > Arguello > Clement, was SOOO smooth and nice. We encounter almost no traffic.
Golden Gate Park We had a little rest stop at Golden gate park. The night’s temperature had dropped to maybe the mid-30°sF and I think many people started to head home or to catch public transportation (BART or CalTrain) after this spot.
Heading to Civic center via Pandhandle/Fulton This was pretty easy as most of the route is downhill. Either was getting later and the ride started to thin out just a bit, but the fun continued. We ended the ride at Civic Center where closer to midnight, a patrolling cop approached us and asked “are you having fun or what”. Was a little odd but he was actually really nice. He then nicely asked we keep the sound down and he moved on. Cool.
Given that my personal experience during the first bike party presented me with 2 flats -one before even starting the ride, and one on my way home-
Some of these are pretty obvious, but can’t hurt ti just throw them in. Here are some basic tips, according to me:
++ Bring at least one spare tube for your bike and maybe your flat kit/tools as well.
++ Some cash for Muni/BART in case of a mechanical issue, or need to take public transportation home.
++ Keep in mind the ride is later in the evening, so plan ahead in case you need to stop by a store, or get some snacks (I’m always thinking hungry-emergencies and carry some granola bars just in case)
++ Drink water!!
++ Bring your blinkie lights
++ A charged phone (ahem… I’m really bad at this stuff)
++ I also carry some band aids and stuff, mainly because I know I’m clumsy, and I will probably be the first one to use them. Sometimes even bringin tissue could aid someone’s sneazing attacks.
++ Wear comfortable clothes and it doesn’t hurt to layer up. You can always start to take stuff off as you go.
++ Enjoy yourself!!
The SF Bike Party #1 was successful and peaceful, and that is my opinion. I cannot wait to see what it will grow into, and to continue to demonstrate that groups that come together with an idea of an event, brainstorm, organize and peacefully promote something as beautiful as it is to just enjoy oneself on a ride and ride as a bike community, potentially becomes an amazingly fun monthly event.
Speaking of amazing, this event and its organizers are in **need** of volunteers. This couldn’t happen without a little help from everyone, now head to the volunteer survey the SFBP recently posted. The mission statement, “how we ride”, forums and other info, can be found through their website:
// sfbikeparty and facebook page
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Next bike party gathers at 7:30PM this Friday Feb. 4th
Meets at Civic Center
Theme: ♥ ♥ ♥ LOVE YOUR BIKE ♥ ♥ ♥
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