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This week we are all Irish

Written on March 17, 2015 at 10:30 AM, by

Are you ready for this month’s Irish Green Ride?

Lord Mayor Dublin Ireland

Justin Triano and Lord Mayor Andrew Montague of Dublin, Ireland ham it up at the first annual Lord Mayors Ride.

Ireland is a land known for its beautiful countryside, its tasty brews, and the warmth of its people. But what sets this country apart more than most,  is the way the stories, the pain, and struggles of the Irish people are woven into song, literature, poetry, drama, and just everyday pub banter.

We spoke about story and its place at our Friday night rides, but when it comes to the shear art of storytelling the Irish are masters. Whether it’s a poem by Seamus Heaney (The Blackbird of Glanmore), that touches upon the life of his brother, James Joyce’s Ulysses describing a day in the life of Dublin, the shear grit of the The Cranberries’ Zombie, or just a story told to a stranger in a pub the importance of story is what it means to be Irish.

Lord Mayor of Dublin

The Lord Mayor Chatting it up at a stoplight. Photo: Richard Massoner

As any one who has been on our Lord Mayor’s ride know the Lord Mayor will strike up a conversation with just about every rider,  stopping at intersections to chat it up with any and all San Joseans.

So for this month’s Irish Green ride lets keep this theme going. Share the warmth. Share the gift of story. Make new friends. Do like a Dubliner. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Connect with one another.

Yes its a bike ride. Yes its a party. But its just another way to connect with your neighbor. Another way to connect with a stranger.

Happy St. Patricks’s Day!

This week we are all Irish.

U2 Bono Jose Babcock

Nephew Jose  (center) chattin’ it up in a Las Vegas pub with U2’s Bono. photo: Jose Babcock

 

 

Metroactive’s Gary Singh describes Dublin’s One City, One Book program in Dublin in this article from last year.

Remember Route details released on Thursday. 

Updated How We Ride Graphics

Written on March 12, 2015 at 1:53 PM, by

We’ve been at work with some new How We Ride Graphics. You all know this right. Point out these tips to your friends who are new to the ride. #HowWeRide.

How We Ride

#HowWeRide

Asi es como pedaleamos

This is your ride. This is your story.

Written on March 10, 2015 at 9:39 AM, by

San Jose Bike Party Bikes Aloft

Recently a friend asked me why is San Jose Bike Party so popular. Is it the ride? Is it the chance to get on your bike and pedal with the cool evening breeze in your face for 20 miles? Is it savoring Korean-Mexican street cuisine or biting into a cold ice cream cone after a ride with friends?

I responded with an off-handed “no”;  there are any number of rides in the valley, and food truck events are becoming so ubiquitous in the valley of the new, new thing. Name just about any entertainment venue in the area and if the price doesn’t get you, the blandness sure does. We live an area where activities and events are predictable.

Bike Party by its very nature is unstructured and unpredictable. Yes, there are boundaries, rules lets call them, but they are minimal; always the third Friday of the month and wheels hit the street at 8pm. Oh yes and we always have a theme. But beyond that bike party is unscripted, and to some chaotic. Themes change each month along with the route and stops. There’s a different music playlist each ride that complements that month’s theme. Regroups may feature live music, Taiko drums, dance invoking electronic music, bike jousting, roller girls, or bike polo. And there are the mothers selling cupcakes, the kids selling Costco water, and of course the Oakland Tamale gals.

Today, much of life is scripted whether in work, play, or entertainment.

Stay within the lines, watch the commercial before you watch the video, put on your overpriced fan jersey and just watch.

dpr1

But at a bike party you are not a passive participant. We make you work for your fun. Its your job to complete the picture, to connect the dots, to fill in the gaps. Dress up, invoke the theme, be creative with lights, decorate your bike, you’re the one of the many characters in that evening’s story. We are the stories we tell ourselves.

But although chaotic, although unscripted; underlying it all is the desire to seek community, to make new friends, to do the right thing. Respect fellow riders, respect the neighborhoods, and respect the ride. Invoke fellow riders to do the right thing. Appeal to their desires to enhance the ride, to participate in the play, to continue something that is unique in the Silicon Valley.

This is your ride.

This is your story.

Let’s all work to continue the story.

Orange Guerilla Bike

Choose your own adventure. Well at least your own theme.

Written on March 8, 2015 at 3:52 PM, by

Help choose upcoming themes.

It’s that time. Help make this summer unforgettable.

Don’t forget to use the scroll bar on the right side and hit the submit button at the end.

themes