There’s no simple way to summarize June’s ride. So many great things happened that perhaps only our photographs and memories will do it true justice.
The starting location was a celebration of bicycling both new and old as riders gathered between Shorty Fatz and Phil Wood, the epicenter of bike manufacturing in San Jose. This ride was in part a memorial to Phil Wood himself and for everything he contributed to bicycling during his lifetime.
As we headed east out of downtown, it was clear right away that the night would be friendly and festive, a vibe that continued with us as each mile passed, despite what was at times frustrating traffic conditions. All the different areas of our city offer different experiences to bikes at different times. East San Jose often crawls with congestion and its bike infrastructure is clearly behind the times, a relic of the city’s auto-centric sprawl of the past. The communities we rode through last night, however, were more than welcoming as every block we passed was lined with residents standing outside their homes to cheer us on. Thank you, East San Jose, for making our night even more amazing.
Nothing can compare, though, to regroup #2 at San Jose City Hall. The energy, the excitement, the blinking LEDs lighting up all the concrete and glass of the surrounding buildings, the music, and the massive cluster of riders gathered together. And of course, the epic bike lift in the center of the city plaza. It was breath-taking. It was inspiring. It was a whole lot of fun.
The list of great things continues. We successfully started, regrouped, and ended downtown for the first time ever. We picked up over 400 riders along the way (2,600 people were counted at Jackson and Alum Rock. By the time we got to City Hall we had grown to 3,000). An amazing trick competition hosted by numerous shops and organizations kicked us off. Tons of elementary-aged school kids were out with their families and regular riders showed extra caution in encouraging them along the way.
SJPD was out but maintained a very small presence, interacting with us seldom and in a very friendly way. An ambulance and later a fire truck rode by, shouting ‘Bike Party!’ from their windows. And once again, we did a pretty phenomenal job at stopping at traffic lights. Traffic conditions did great pretty bad at times, especially between regroups 1 and 2, but it is this writer’s observation that we did our best to keep the left lane open and to guide cars out of our mass.
For the first time ever, we had a celebrity in our midst, BikeSnobNYC. We also had, for the first time ever, a marriage proposal en route. And she said yes!
Thanks to everyone who put this month’s ride together. As always, we encourage Bike Partiers to take ownership of the ride by volunteering. There’s greater momentum now than ever for San Jose to become the bike mecca that it’s meant to be, and Bike Party is a driving force in that. So stay posted to this website as opportunities to get involved are constantly being posted.
Please post photos from the World Cup Ride on our Bike Party Flickr Group.