Last night, 1,800 riders gathered in downtown’s SoFA district to check out two great bands before embarking on a 25 mile journey through East San Jose and Milpitas. The weather may have been chilly but the vibe was right. Tons of riders were sporting some great new sound systems for our Music Madness theme, adding to the overall awesomeness of the night.
Big thanks to everyone who put this together and everyone who helped out along way. A shout out to everyone at Left Coast Live for hosting a free concert and getting South First Street blocked off, to Good Hustle and Doctor Nurse for some killer performances, to Bicycle Express of downtown San Jose who donated a whopping 100% of their profits from last night to Bike Party, and to all the volunteers and BIRDS who dedicate so much of their time to the ride. It’s amazing to see how much the community is embracing this ride, because in the end, community building is one of our most important goals. We were even joined by some important city officials on this ride. Hope you guys and gals had fun!
As we grow larger with each month, its clear that we are attracting people from a broad spectrum of our community. San Jose is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and this shows in our ride. We should take pride that every age, ethnicity, style of rider, and kind of bike is represented in Bike Party. The hope is that this can translate into people’s daily lives, that it can have a real impact on the way our society operates, that bicycling can become something people of all stations in life can rely on and enjoy.
As we grow in number and as we approach the warm summer months, it’s important to keep in mind why we ride. The freedom and fun Bike Party gives carries with it responsibility. We need to remember to share the road with other users. While a massive amount of cars and bikes occupying the same space will undoubtedly slow things down, we as bicyclists can do our part by keeping the left lane open, not riding against traffic, and giving motorists some space. If we create a positive atmosphere for drivers, they may join us next month, like the woman at McKee and Jackson who shouted out that she was going to buy a bike this weekend so she could ride with us next month. The more people we can inspire, the bigger and better bicycling in San Jose/South Bay will be.
It has now been a year since Bike Party grew large enough that actively stopping at red lights became mandatory to keeping the ride alive, and I must say that we have done a terrific job. Red light running is the biggest complaint from communities and police departments in massive bike rides similar to ours, and San Jose is setting a great example by showing that stopping not only works, but can improve the overall ride. Thanks everybody!
Bike Party relies on a massive volunteer effort to stay interesting and strong. If you’d like to help out and “own the ride,” then please stay tuned in to this website as we constantly update it with ways to get involved.