Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bike Party 5/11- Dare I Say The Best Yet?

Of the two East Bay Bike Party rides I've been on...Yes, definitely the best! The May route featured larger, wider streets, a downtown Oakland start, a People's Park party stop, and a Lake Merritt finish with a live band. Having one Bike Party under my belt, I was better equipped this time out with the Kaptein Dolphin for smooth rolling comfort, better refreshments, 5 lights including the dynamo light covered with blue and red gels pointed at the front wheel for an aura of color as I made my way through the 14 mile urban landscape. This is a close to pure playtime as I've had since I was a kid.

At party stop #1, I catch up with Iris, my Zero Waste Lunch cohort from work

A group I seemed to be leading, so I turned around to see who was in it. Apparently a Ninja warrior princess?

Nice crotch protectin' and reflectin', styling bike too

Ogawa Plaza assembly point, around 8pm

I seemed to be within earshot of this mobile boombox for much of the ride. The owner did a super clean build on it, custom cabinet paint, neon lighting, car stereo drivers, and very little cabling evident. It could rock so hard at times I had to drop back 50' or to obtain a comfortable listening level.

Best seat for Bike Partying? Could be, depends on what you are there for.

Latino style bikes were proudly on display. Note micro tunes player

Another hard rocking sound system, this guy built a cabinet with powerful woofers and simply strapped it to the "skateboard" deck of his Xtracycle. Music is what drives Bike Party and much of the talk at the stops was who was rocking the best tunes. Reggae Guy seemed to get a lot of praise, but I didn't encounter him. The piece of bread was to attract....what? Night Owls?

Slimm Buick: bike artist. I've seen him riding around Alameda on a small bike with large cow horns

11:45 PM. Indy style band Caldecott was entertaining the riders at Snow Park at Lake Merritt. The actual scene here was pretty dark, and people were but shadows, (go back to 1st pic) so when I took this shot of some dancers I had no idea what I would get but I think this woman expresses the mood of the party.

I haven't tried to describe how much fun this ride is because I can't. It's something you have to experience. It's not for everyone, especially those who adhere strictly to state and local ordinances pertaining to motor vehicle law, helmet advocates, or those who think cycling should be a safe and sane activity done only in the daytime. I can say the local citizens, including motorists, seemed to embrace the impromptu rolling light and music parade through their 'hoods. Only you can decide for yourself.

Ride On My Friends,


  1. Loved reading your most current post as I always have others in the past. Sure sounds like fun for many.

    I'm too serious about safety and helmets to enjoy something like that, but so glad to know you and others did because it really does sound like fun.

    You're a more confident, experienced and stronger rider than I am so this is definitely something you'd be more comfortable with than me.

    Riding at night in the same direction with appropriate lighting, helmets, and clothing with a group of people is something I could do.

    Can't wait to read about the next party,

  2. Could I ride my Swiss Army bike on this ride? No hills please. Gotta be slow paced too.

  3. @McSweeps: Think flat. Flat as a Swiss pancake. And slow enough for a Euro cruiser like yours. Add as many lights as possible.

    @Debi: thanks for comments. There is a certain amount of letting go required concerning other rider's safety, ie, no helmets or lights, wearing black clothes. Its their choice after all.