Reflections – The Science Ride

Bike Partiers: Thanks for making last night so special!

During the summer months, we typically hope for hot weather on BP day – in hopes that we will have a huge turnout and a fun ride. The weather was a bit cooler Friday, so we anticipated a smaller crowd. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The Science Ride proved to be an extremely fun ride and a joyous night. As always, one of the great things about Bike Party is that it’s absolutely free (Science: Microeconomics). Our summer rides are always bigger and we estimate that the turn out was 3000 + riders (Science: Statistics).

The atmosphere at the start felt magical and filled with great spirits… fueled by the bicycle trick competitions presented by Pops Fabrication, an abundance of clothing vendors, and a performance by the Japanese drum group San Jose Taiko. This truly set us up for a very special ride. The costumes, and what not, where a little on the thin side, but in any case, we had a full moon to lead us through the night (Science: Astronomy) which is always a welcome addition.  This month, in addition to traveling through downtown, we rode through West San Jose and Santa Clara (Science: Geography). It’s been awhile since we’ve ridden through Santa Clara, so we were excited about this month’s route!

During the first leg of the ride, we were met with a great number of families and partying spectators that cheered us on. It’s always fun to see children on the side of the road yelling “Bike Party” and waving at us. The first regroup was cut short 🙁 by the SJPD, but we made up for it at the second regroup 🙂 with a great party and a Jousting performance that included fire on ice (Science: Chemistry) which was a nice touch. The food (Science: Biology) vendors were out in full force all night. So much food to choose from!  Even at the very end, there was a Hot Dog truck that took care of tired but hungry riders.

Santana Row proved again to be one of the highlights of the ride, as shown by all the amused and smiling faces of spectators and people dining (Science: Sociology).  The music trailers always add fun to the ride and there seemed to be an abundance of smaller systems, so one was never very far from some type of music.  Small regroup areas broke out into impromptu dancing, though we would like to see more riders get in there and dance. Don’t be “scurred” – Just Do It!

The BP volunteers did a good job ensuring that riders navigated the course correctly.  However, we saw quite a few lost riders at the end, which shows the importance of always bringing a map. At one point a few lost riders led up to 500 people in the wrong direction and one of our great volunteers got them “back on track”.

As is the case with our summer rides, some riders disregard the law, and ride on the wrong side of the street, run red lights, etc. If you see behavior that is questionable, we encourage you to be vocal about it and remind them to exhibit model behavior.

One of the particularly great things that happened, were the number of people cleaning up, after the masses had left the regroups (Science: Ecology).  Leaving no trace behind is important to ensure that our communities see BP as a positive movement. In addition to our ravens (volunteers who clean up and remove trash) we saw quite a few non-volunteers with trash bags scouring the parking lots picking up cans, food containers, etc. Yaay! You guys rock!

BTW, if you want to get more involved in Bike Party, there are many things you can do:

  • Join Bullhorn, our SJ Bike Party announcements Email List. You will get updates on upcoming Test Rides and special events.
  • Visit our SJ Bike Party Facebook page and share your Bike Party stories and pics.
  • Try one of our “almost weekly” test rides. Info is on our FB page or if you’re on our mailing list you will   automatically get updated on when and where they are. There are usually at least 40-50 riders of all ages and skill levels and everyone is super friendly. These are a lot of fun!
  • Attend one of our monthly volunteer mixer/meetings.  If you’re on our mailing list, you will automatically get updated to when and where they are.  Meet other great riders just like yourself and see how Bike Party happens.
  • Become a BIRD (Bicycle Information Resource Director) volunteer.
  • Make a music system for your bike, and add to the party with your play list!(Please remember to lower the volume near residential areas late at night)

WE look forward to Bike Party continuing to provide great rides like last night and YOU in our great communities continuing to enjoy them.
Long Live San Jose Bike Party!!!