When I was on a business trip two years ago in San Francisco, I met some friendly cyclists and hosted group rides on the Velodash platform. Recently when I visited the bay area again, one of the cyclists from that great ride two years ago, Mary Ann, enthusiastically invited me to join the “East Bay Bike Party” held on the second Friday of every month. The event can be traced to almost 15 years ago.
Mary Ann and me
We started out in Coliseum bart station in Oakland, the northeast area of San Francisco Bay.
Though I was told to avoid Oakland at night due to the sharp rise in crime rate, I was still determined to join out of curiosity and feeling secure going with a trust-worthy friend. The dress code of the event was pirate v.s. superhero. For better improvisation, I went for the pirate look.
The dress code was pirate v.s. superhero
Cyclists came prepared.
Amazing Event Scale
Approaching eight o’clock, more and more dressed-up cyclists started to show up at the bart train. Although they didn’t know each other or probably just met briefly before, starting a conversation was very easy. We talked about what bike parties were like and kept guessing how many cyclists would show up later. It is the first bike party since COVID.
I was picturing a casual night ride with about 50 cyclists, that was a good amount in Taiwan.
However it turned out that there were almost 700 cyclists at the bike party!
The number of participants was much more than expected.
Vibrant But Well-organized
The whole process was as enthusiastic as New Year’s Eve. There were volunteers along the way with LED arrow signs on every street corner to guide the direction, not to mention the huge speakers on the back of some bikes.
The organizer had planned two middle stops, both of them in wide-open spaces like the mountain top parking lot and the former air force base. I bet these spaces could accommodate up to 10,000 people.
It was an amazing night full of bicycles, music, and lights.
What do we do at the middle stops?
Go ahead and find a playlist you like around the big speakers. Drink, dance, and enjoy the city light of San Francisco with fellow cyclists.
The party ends at 12, right before everyone can catch the last bart to go home.
The organizer did an amazing job managing the crowd and time, I have no idea how they can do that with such a big group of cyclists riding together at night, but it’s truly admirable.
I seized the opportunity to chat with local cyclists.
There were also many female cyclists!
Although I was a little worried about joining the party at the beginning, I was immediately amazed by the vibrant vibe. I couldn’t help but admire the organizer’s perfect planning and guidance.
Thanks to Mary Ann’s kind invitation and hospitality, I got to experience a magical aspect of Oakland and met a group of passionate cyclists.
Look for a bike party around you, and if you ever visit the bay area, don’t miss the great opportunity to join the party!