Dear Bike Blog Readers,
After a long winter of being busy and not able to make the cold weather rides, I finally returned to the wonderful world of San Jose Bike Party. My first ride back of the season was actually the March “Psychadelic Robot Ride.” Although I enjoyed this ride, I didn’t have much time to prepare for it so I just kind of rolled with the route up to as far as I could. I had another commitment that night so I won’t write a review of it. At any rate, back to the point of this blog entry; “THE BATTLE OF THE HELMETS” 17 April 2009 Friday.
We arrived at Dick’s Center on Bascom Ave. SJ at about 7:40 P.M. which gave us plenty of time to eat our brown bag dinners, and prepare our bikes for the ride. There were already about 10-12 people in the lot already waiting for the meet up to begin. After enjoying two burritos from Juan More Taco in Fremont, Ca we prepared out bikes, checked our gear for the evening and donned our helmets! My friends Harry and Tim were on their way down to ride so this time we had more than the usual 2-3 riders in our group. Surprisingly we had more people come out and ride than planned but when it comes to bike rides THE MORE THE MERRIER!! We had 3 first timers and 5 veteran SJBP riders. There was a contest for best decorated helmet at the beginning of the traditional ride start announcements but I missed out on it because I was helping some people with tires. Harry found his tube was flat up arriving, so thanks to first time rider Tim that followed the “Cruiser Ride Checklist” Harry had a spare tube! First victory of the evening! The ride began heading south onto Bascom Ave headed for Campbell’s Rock Bottom restaurant parking lot. We got a little confused as to where to ride and ended up in the lot getting jammed with bikes going left, right and stopping in the middle of a moving bike lane. After getting back on course, we kept following the mass of bicycles headed through the city streets. MOST of the bikes were very peaceful, cool people being friendly to people on the streets, drivers and passers by. I felt sorry for this 4 door civic that got caught smack dab in the middle of the bike ride. Some riders were passing the car up on the driver side boxing it in the middle of the lane! I was calling out to the riders near me to keep right and let the car leave, but only one voice in a sea of hundreds is quickly drowned out. The route was well planned out with some long stretches of straight paths along city streets through down town strips, and SOME wide streets to accommodate cars AND bikes. This plan was GREAT, the RIDE went smoothly for most of us at least, A couple good and bad things about the “Battle of the Helmets Ride.”
1. Well planned out route. Give gratitude to the SJBP planning committee. They work hard to plan rides!
2. The loop that leads back to the origin. Usually we end up @ SJSU and have to make a long haul back to Campbell in the cold after riding, tired, hungry and kinda quiet and lonely if you’re a soloist. It was great to unwind back at the lot with friend to talk about the ride!
3. Good vibes from some of the “guides” helping keep riders in line.
4. A BIG THANKS to the helpful Los Gatos Police!! They helped block traffic to keep the SJBP rolling together, AND helped a few riders that went down by giving first aid!!!
5. A BIG THANKS to the positive riders that would help others, show courtesy, respect and a love for SJBP and bike culture by just being cool!
6. A friendly hello and a wave to all the fun people in cars that would talk to SJBP riders friendly and to the party people on the sidewalks smiling and waving to us as we rolled by! You make the ride better!!
7. SUPER SAVAGE POINTS to the Unicycle riders and the hand cycle guy, you guys rock!!
8. To all the Bike Party positive people that help others, share a smile, a friendly conversation, cheer, and bring good energy to the ride, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!! Without you, the ride would become a disaster! Thanks for Rocking the Bike!!
BAD = (
1. First of all SJ Bike Party has more than once stated who is welcome and who is not. I’m not going to go over this again.
2. The South Bay Police agencies have BEEN very supportive of our ride simply by NOT SHUTTING US DOWN!!!! They could easily roll on SJBP at the first block and road block us in which would be a huge mess and literally destroy all that we have come to enjoy as our monthly pastime!
3. My point for #2. Don’t F it up by cussing out cops, littering & throwing things at motorists (they are just commuters, not bike rider killing terrorists).
4. Be respectful. If you want to talk trash to police and I quote “$!#@%ING PIG! GO GET A REAL JOB!!” Hey rider with the black beanie, SHUT UP!! Man up and say that to the officer’s face. Coward!
5. To the guys that got pulled over, I don’t know why you were sitting on the sidewalk by the police car, but whatever you did, don’t show up next time and do it again!!
6. To the crazy riders, don’t ruin the SJBP by riding against traffic on a 2 lane downtown respect drivers right to share the road with us! Don’t cross into a red light left turning intersection when cars are carefully trying to cross!! You’re asking for a trip to the hospital or funeral home!!
7. To all the people I saw and didn’t see crash, fall over, wreck or get hurt. This ride was themed “BATTLE OF THE HELMETS”. A fun way to encourage helmet use, and save some injuries and casualties!! USE THEM!!!
Peace and chain grease.
Folks who were on our cruiser rides back in 2002-2005 will appreciate this new mix: “Old School Minidisc SF Cruiser Music”
I left a lot of this music behind when I changed from using good ol’ Minidiscs to an iPod. My sister recently lent me her Minidisc player so I could listen anew. I threw all the good songs into Ableton Live and created an hourlong mix from them. Hope you like it!Read More
Maker Faire is welcoming bike people in a major way this year. They’re aiming to have bike parking that can handle up to 2000 bikes (up from 300 last year). They’re offering $15 adult tickets to folks who ride to the event. [Read on.]
You don’t need to be part of our Cruiser Ride to take advantage of this offer. You can ride from any location. Cash makes it easy. Go to the V.I.P. bike entrance at the West Lot.
Read our online proposal to Maker Faire from earlier this year.
12:30 – SHAKE YOUR PEACE! Bike touring band with great foot-stomping numbers. They’ll be joining us on the ride.
1:30 – Antioquia Afro-Columbian Progress Rock. They’ll be on the ride!
2:30 – McPuzo & Trotsky Whimsical duo with witty tunes.
3:00 – Justin Ancheta Reggae and Rock. Beloved San Francisco street performing band. Bike touring musician.
4:00 – Guella — SF-based, world/funk band.
5:00 – Cello Joe , Bike Touring, beatboxing Cellist. Will be joining us on the ride.
6:00 – Oona Garthwaite – A knockout voice, an electrifying performer, powerhouse songwriting. Not to be missed.
7:00 – Fossil Fool, The Bike Rapper
12:00 – Quinn Deveaux Classic front porch blues sound.
1:30 – Five Cent Coffee
2:30 – Street Beats
3:30 –Gomer Hendrix Experience
4:30 — Open Mike
5:00 — Fossil Fool
Meeting at 8:30AM and departing at 9:00, the ride is about 19 miles over mostly flat terrain, and we will take a leisurely pace, cruising with great music on our party bikes.
We’ll arrive at Maker Faire at approximately 11AM, plenty of time to set up our Pedal Powered Stage for the first band of the day.
Let us know you’re coming! RSVP by writing a comment on this page.
The route from San Francisco: We’ll be closely following the San Mateo County North South Bicycle Route. This is a flat route, which closely follows the Caltrain route. This route starts on Tunnel Avenue, then uses Bayshore Boulevard through Brisbane and then a series of different streets through South San Francisco to get the Delaware Street in San Mateo. It takes about 1.5 hours to ride this route at an easy pace.
Get a map of the route at: http://bikesiliconvalley.org/files/nsroute/nsroutemap.pdf
Note this is a schematic map to define the route, use with a good local street map if you are not familiar with this area.
Our multi-person pedal power rig, the Biker Bar, will be supplying the bands with clean power to amplify their music.
El Arbol will not be completed in time for this year’s Maker Fair, but the frame and kickstand are in progress, and you can check them out. If you’ve been designing a Soul Cycle (music bike) or Human Power application, bring your sketches down and get advice from Rock The Bike’s designers and engineers.
By train and bike. Use Caltrain or BART to cover most of the distance, and then bike the final leg. Bikes are allowed on Caltrain. Take your bike on board Caltrain and get off at the Hillsdale Station. BART allows bikes on board, however, not in the first car. Get off at the final Millbrae station. About a 30-40 minute ride to the Expo Center or board Caltrain for a connecting ride to the Hillsdale station. Exit on the west side of the station, the street directly in front of the west side of the station is California Avenue.
To ride go south on California, which becomes San Mateo Drive in San Mateo. At Tilton turn left, ride about 3 blocks on Tilton and the turn right on Delaware Street. Continue on Delaware for about 2 miles to the Expo Center. For information on using your bike on Caltrain and BART go to: http://www.bikesmc.org/id47.htm
Caltrain to the Hillsdale Station. Caltrain information at: www.caltrain.com
At the Hillsdale station, cross the platform and go down the steps to the parking lot (on the east side, you will see debris from the old Bay Meadows racetrack). Walk left (north) from the station along the fenced off bike/ped path north to the Expo Center. It is about a 10 minute walk.
Sam Trans (Bus)
Route 390 from Palo Alto. 40-minute ride from Palo Alto, Schedule at:http://www.samtrans.com/pdf/Schedules/Route_390_02-01-09.pdf
Santa Clara VTA Bus Service
Route 22 Runs from San Jose to Palo Alto where you could transfer to Samtrans. Route 22 schedule at:http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_22.html
In San Mateo get off the bus as close to 25th Avenue as possible. Walk to 25th Avenue and walk east (toward the bay) and walk about 2 blocks to the Expo Center.
Note: We recommend using Caltrain for a faster, easier trip.
By Train and Bike
Ride to nearest Caltrain station (www.caltrain.com), take your bike on board. Get off at the Hillsdale Caltrain station and ride north to the Expo Center.
By Bike – To Ride to the Expo Center
For all San Mateo County cities south of San Mateo, we suggest the San Mateo County North South Road.Get a map of this route at:
Note this is a schematic map to define the route, use with a good local street map if you are not familiar with this area.
From Mountain View and Palo Alto
Starting in Mountain View (Castro Street) Go south on California Street
When California Street ends at Medio Avenue, turn left on Medio Ave.
Turn right on Miller Avenue. Follow Miller to a Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, which connects to Wilkie Way. Continue south on Wilkie Way to West Meadow Drive.
Turn right on West Meadow Drive.
Turn left on Bryant Street. Follow Bryant Street through Palo Alto.
If starting in Palo Alto start using Bryant Street. Bryant Street is an official bicycle boulevard and is a great street for bicycles.
When Bryant Street ends at Palo Alto Avenue, turn left. In about 1 block turn left on to the bicycle/pedestrian bridge to Willow Place. Turn right off Willow Place to Willow Road.
Then turn left onto Middlefield Road.
At this point you are on the San Mateo County North South Route. Use the map referenced above.
From Sawyer Camp Trail
At the south end of the trail, take Crystal Spring Road east (this road is directly opposite the gate at the south end of the trail). Turn left at the first stop sign on Crystal Springs Road. After a few miles, turn right at the stop sign at the four way intersection of Stonehedge on the left, and West Third Ave on the right. Turn right onto West Third Avenue. Follow West Third Ave through downtown San Mateo.
Turn right on Delaware Street and follow Delaware Street to the Expo Center
For a lower traffic route, turn right on Claremont Street (1 block before Delaware Street), then when Claremont ends at 16th Avenue turn left and to get back to Delaware Street.
From the East Bay
BART: Use Bart to the Millbrae station. At Millbrae transfer to Caltrain, ride Caltrain to the Hillsdale Station. Or take your bike on BART and ride from Millbrae station to the Expo Center. Or take BART to the Hayward Bart Station and take the AC transit M line bus. See AC Transit below.
AC Transit (Bus) runs their M line across both the San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridges. These buses leave from Union City to cross the Dumbarton Bridge and Castro Valley and cross the San Mateo Bridge. Get off at the Hillsdale stop. The bus stops on El Camino Real at Hillsdale. Directly across El Camino Real is the Hillsdale Caltrain Station.
Walk to the station and then cross the tracks to get to the bike/pedestrian path on the east side of the tracks. Turn left (go north) for a short walk to the Expo Center. The bus connects to the Hayward BART station. Schedule at: http://www2.actransit.org/maps/schedule_results.php?version_id=7&quick_line=m&maps_line=m¤t_schedule=ALL
The AC transit M lines buses can carry up to six bikes, you could ride to catch this bus. Take this bus across the bay and get off at the Hillsdale stop. See directions above to get from the bus stop to the Expo Center.
The Dumbarton Bridge has a bike/pedestrian path on the south side of the bridge. After crossing the Dumbarton Bridge, follow the bike path to Willow, cross Bayfront Expressway to the bike trail on the east side (toward the Bay) which parallels Bayfront Expressway. Follow this bike trail (which is a section of the Bay Trail) north to Marsh Road. Turn left on Marsh Road and go west on Marsh over 101. Marsh Road ends on Middlefield. Turn right (north) on Middlefield. This is now the San Mateo County North South bicycle route, use the route referenced above to ride to the Expo Center.
511.org is a good source of Bay Area Transportation information.
There you can find links to all Bay Area transit providers.
AC Transit: www.actransit.org
VTA (Santa Clara) www.vta,org
Information Provided by Bike San Mateo County www.bikesmc.org
Rock The Bike says a huge thank you to Central Park Conservancy for getting us involved in Earth Day 2009, and helping us get Rock The Bike NYC off the ground. Here are some of the highlights from our visit to New York over the past 11 days.
We had a blast meeting the public at Earth Day. Above, Pedal Powered Spin art.
We debuted our new multi-person pedal power system, the Biker Bar. Three bikes share a common drive shaft, that turns a powerful generator on the fourth bike, an Electric Mundo (blue bike on the left)
Unfortunately, in its first outing, the Biker Bar was no match for the power-hungry PA equipment that event organizers supplied. The power consumption of the audio system was approximately 300-400 watts with one person speaking on a microphone, not even any music playing.
Ever since we started doing Pedal Powered Stage events, clients and organizers have been asking “Why can’t we use the speakers we already have?” Good question. We commonly answer “Because we use the new generation of digitally powered speakers, and their higher efficiency makes pedal power possible.” But in the process of working with Central Park and other clients, they kept asking… So with Central Park, we accepted the challenge. We put our efforts into making the Biker Bar powerful, simple, and efficient. We told them “Sure, you can.”
But on the day of the event their equipment’s power draw was just too much. Suddenly Pedal Power felt really hard. When a chain snapped, we talked with the Central Park team and decided to focus on our other offerings and let their music stage run on wall power. Luckily they had that backup option at the ready. In future events, we definitely plan to have a 30-45 minute battery backup, which will allow us to fix mechanicals or other issues without letting the performers down.
Luckily, the Spin Art station and the Bike Blenders were a huge hit.
Kids of all ages were able to make Spin Art and pedal for other kids.
Above, the Tropicalia team making bike blended smoothies.
We had bright bikes and big smiles to share with the crowds.
And tricks to share… Above, Sara floating on a Mundo. Galen ollies.
We biked everything back to Brooklyn on a hot afternoon.
Travis piloted the Biker Bar, which becomes a cargo trailer to get gear home from an event. Just add the wheels!
The Electric Mundo helps haul the 250 pound load up and over the Williamsburg Bridge.
Above: Rolling back from Central Park with our crew, friends, cousins, and the Choprical Fish.
Getting ready for Central Park was a huge task. We arrived a week ahead of time and only set our tools town to pack for the park at 2AM the night before. Check out the preparations below:
First things first! How about a social ride to get to know each other.
Leif keeps the beat as Galen and Lopi haul gear across Brooklyn with Mundos and the trailer.
We set up a little workshop at Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward.
Below, hand stretching the frame of the Mundo to fit the electric rear wheel.
We generated many sparks and generally looked bad ass with our protective eye wear.
We solved engineering riddles. Above trying to anticipate issues with the drive train of the Spin Art station.
We used the Choprical Fish as transportation bike and ‘getter’.
Above, 75 pounds of Sealed Lead Acid batteries.
Of course having the Fish in New York meant there were a few impromptu street parties and even a cypher around town over the past week.
Above, freestyle session in front of a school in Soho. A teacher came out and said “How about a song about getting back to class?!”
Fossil Foolin’ at a 3rd Ward party.
In our last couple days in town, we picked up a couple cool new Mundo dealers. Above, Brooklyn Bike and Board
are your Mundo people in Brooklyn. Map.
Leif delivering Mundos. The same bikes we used to get work done in New York are now for sale and ready to ride at two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
And in Manhattan, cargo bike innovator George Bliss picked up the Mundo for The Hub Station in Soho
Many thanks to the Rock The Bike NYC crew for their hard work and excellent hosting.
What’s up bike people?
Rock The Bike will be sending out the Bike Vibe from the heart of New York City on Sunday, April 26. Come help power the music on our new multi-person Biker Bar pedal power rig. We’re teaming up with the Central Park Conservancy on an awesome Earth Day event. We’ll also be bringing pedal powered Spin Art for the kids, and hooking up local smoothie business Tropicalia with Fender Blenders.
Rather than truck gear to New York and back, we’re building our most advanced Pedal Powered Stage to date, and then leaving it in New York in the capable hands of Rock The Bike NYC. Now they can bike to music, arts, and cultural events all summer long, carrying all the gear, spreading music, community, and bike love in New York. In addition to the Pedal Powered Stage, Rock The Bike NYC will also have Mundo Cargo Bikes and Fender Blender Bike Blenders for test rides and rental, and the Down Low Glow for night rides.
The first social sunset cruise is coming up this Thursday in Brooklyn. Please pass it on to your New York friends.
The event at Central Park is a free, all-ages daytime event that will offer gardening, crafting, tree-climbing, walking tours, live music, and the occasional bike rap from Fossil Fool on the Choprical Fish.
Ride to the park, kick back, and celebrate Earth Day with some DIT (Do It Together) entertainment. Meet the talented crew of Rock The Bike NYC. Check out their hilarious MTA Service Specialists parody site, protesting the recent fare hikes on the New York subway.
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Place: Naumburg Bandshell (mid-Park at 72nd Street)
Central Park, New York City