Saturday, February 5, 2011

follow through and bike parties

What comes before Bike Part B? BIKE PART A! BIKE PARTY!

I had such a stellar time at the San Francisco Bike Party last night. One defining characteristic of the ride is that participants are encouraged to follow city bicycle laws. It is very easy to feel the power that comes with a large group of cyclists, and take advantage of the ease at which we could fully take over the streets. This ride prides itself on stopping at stop signs and red lights. I witnessed many fellow participants reminding other participants to ride on the right hand side of the road, to get off the sidewalk, or to allow cars to have a turn through an intersection.

Accompanied by bumping sound systems, the group of 200+ riders cruised along a preplanned route. Stopping at red lights led to packs of 20-50 cyclists traveling together on each block. It was easy to reconnect with friends at each of the 3-5 different designated dance party locations.

One of the main reasons I rarely participate in critical mass is due to the anger and disobedience I witness between bikes and cars. That vibe seems to influence riding style, and I feel less safe riding in such a large group of anger bikers. SF Bike Party did an impressive job of maintaining their dedication to leading a ride that followed the rules in order to improve the relationship between cars, bikes, and streets. And I had a lot of fun!

Today I am off to do a site visit at Longfellow Elementary School and Monroe Elementary school for YBike’s Community Hubs. Project. Community hubs is an event that happens at 11 schools throughout SF on select Saturdays and will involve many cool youth and family bicycle activities. We will have a bike skills area, a safetyville, a learn to ride area, a bike swap, bikes for sale, family bike rides, and so much more. Come out on Feb 12th to play bikes! We will be at Longfellow Elementary School, in the excelsior, from 10am-3pm. Email if you are interested in being a volunteer!

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