Wednesday, February 2, 2011

San Francisco bike party #1 - January 7th

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.

at the ballpark
bike parteeeey
+all the bikey ladiessssss are ready to par-teeeeey
m is for mocosas
double troubles
klaw y yo
with the Klaw 
triple rouble 
more ladiessss! with Amber y Lauryn
la bola
I was so happy to run into Chrisitine, I had previously met her briefly a few months ago, and she is a sweetheart! (far right) 
Hola Christine! here with Duby + Ayuchi. So fun =)
bikes everywhere!! about 500 were estimated at the starting point.
bike party es boring
tweeting update headquarters. Nio y 'Deep

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.
dance dance
dance dance
twin towers lens club
Twin towers lens club. **you must be taller than 6ft +red hair to be in their paparazzi crew...
 a present for you
Happy birthday! a present for you
sweeny y dan
Sweeny y Dan

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]
Up we go
Up we go
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! 
hannah and company
Here is Hannah and her friend, kicking butt up Polk street. Cold? says who?!

 polk street
Rocking Polk street.

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.
alice y yo
ran into Alice and her pretty red rivi
everyone's birthday
everyone's birthday
bike lane invasion
pacific heights
pac heights
singing along. ride along
this duo was singing-along the whole way. so cute.

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.
 this way
a volunteer - this way.
peeps, on Jackson and Scott - entering Alta park via its northwest corner.
chicas on  hill
chicas -- what hills?!
butterpals =)
reesie y butterbill
bien alta up there
the view ♥!!!!

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.
las fukcyeaaaaaas =D
Ran into KT
all smiles!
reflective bill
A reflective ButterBill in Laurel Heights

 this guy and his skull. the mouth moved up and down, was so funny. He got it in disneyland =)
santa year round
santa rides year-round
are we there yet!?
are we there yet?! all 'what if' questions kick in where an xtracycle is there. We've seen it all.
cargo cargo
cargo cargo

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.
el árbol
la bola
Jill and her bubblelands =)
new homies form sanjo
San José is in the house. The homies from the south of the Bay. That kid kicked butt the whole ride!
dial M for marky marks
Dial M for marky marks...
what are you two up to?!
did someone say whiskey?!

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.

bike partttyyyyy
on Oak.
Aimee y Dave
Ran into Aimee and Dave, representing the East Bay.
downhill. We are almost there.
civic center
And the ride peacefully ends at Civic Center.
It was close to midnight.
civic center
civic center

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Next bike party gathers at 7:30PM this Friday Feb. 4th
Meets at Civic Center
Theme: ♥ ♥ ♥ LOVE YOUR BIKE ♥ ♥ ♥
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

the end
And that is all for now, thanks for reading +see you at the next BIKE PARTYYYY!!


  1. Look like your're really having fun.. :). Wish i was there.. sigh..

    Take care Meli.

  2. bike party again this friday!
    great post meli!

  3. wow~ it looks like you guys had such a fun time!!

    i'm so jealous that the weather in SF seems so mild right now?

    for us up on toronto, canada? we just had more snow!

  4. 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.

    So true!
    Four years ago I was in SF during Critical Mass. After going round Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf, the ride started to climb at the spot you mentioned. Suddenly a chorus of "a hill?" and a LOT of folk getting off their bikes.

    Me? I had just finished a two week tour of the Pacific Coast from Tillamook, Oregon. Lotsa lotsa hills, fully loaded bike. Now here I was on an UNLOADED bike, and this hill felt like nothing. I think I shouted, "COME ON, SAN FRANCISCO! YOU PEOPLE LIVE HERE!" as I powered up the hill. I felt like Superman. (It was the only time I ever felt this way on a group bike ride!)

    Sounds like the Bike Party is lots of fun and off to a good start! The tips you list are good, especially the "get your snacks, etc. beforehand" point. We've been doing the Midnight Mystery Ride in Portland for eight years, and that indeed is an important point.


with coffee in hand, sincere thanks for your readership ×