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19 Sep 2008 SJ Bike Party – “Yellow Ride” Review

Hello Bike Blog Readers,
Well I’m a week late in writing this blog, but better late than never. First off, I work Friday nights so I have to get off and LEAVE work ASAP since I am off duty @ 20:00 sharp. I usually have people meet @ my job and we carpool to Campbell together. It can be challenging to get people to arrive on time, but thankfully we finally got together and made it to the Campbell Water Tower with about 12 minutes to spare before the ride start. Two of the riders in my group were first timers; Bike Party Newbies. New comers are ALWAYS WELCOME! I heard comments of “Wow, look at all these bikes.” and “Oh my gosh, this is crazy.” when riding in close proximity on narrow trails.
Since SJ Bike Party has no official “leaders”, one of the “courteous riders” began the evening with a ride start speech covering all the guidelines to having a fun, safe, responsible, pleasant ride. With all the enthusiasm and energy on standby, the ride finally began with a cheer and we did the traditional cruise through downtown Campbell. Our group was greeted with cheers, “Hey!’s, Hi’s, and smiles.” The ride down the creek trail was a good time. A cool addition to the party were the Longboard riders! I had to tell them personally; YOU GUYS ARE SAVAGE. You ride long skateboards and keep up with bicycles!
It was an amazing sound with 100+ bikes funneling into trail entrances. Some moments were close for some riders, thankfully I didn’t see anyone get knocked down. The sound of bike going over wooden plank bridges is WAY COOL. A Cruiser Bicycle got a flat tire (read my Cruiser Ride Checklist to prevent this) and needed a tube so I decided to give up my only reserve tube since I am a believer in good will will return good in the future. They were VERY THANKFUL and APPRECIATIVE. SHOUT OUT TO Hyland Family’s Bicycles of San Jose, Ca. They invited me to come by and get a tube from them since the bike tire I helped fix was from their store. VERY NICE PEOPLE. Some of the trail turn were pretty sharp and narrow, but fun since we were at a slow pace and we even had a “Traffic Jam” of sorts sitting on our saddles waiting to pass through some narrow turns. I said to my close riders “Hey, its better than sitting in my car on the 101 freeway. We’ve got snacks, fresh air, friends, and our bikes!” Lisa (a Bike Party regular) shared some Licorice and candy with the group. The smiles and thank yous’ around showed agreement.
Some of the other new elements of the ride were the VERY SHORT stops at random parking lots, it was just enough time to grab a sip of your drink, chat for about 2 mins, then get ready to roll out again! Another new fun element of the SJ Bike Party was the “Drag Race Sessions.” After the riders all assembled on the pavement, one of the race coordinators would call out “Anyone wanna race??” So there were different categories, Fixed Gear Racers, Mountain Bikes, BMX, Cruisers? This session was fun to see and participate in. One of the highlights of the evening was the CEMENT SLIDES. These Cement Slides are in the middle of a neighborhood park on the East Side of San Jose near a suburban neighborhood. People brought flat cardboard boxes to slide down. Some of the more daring people tried taking their bicycles down the slide. From my angle I saw that a Mountain Bike and a Fixed Gear were successful with great cheers, a Beach Cruiser was not as lucky. Whoever went down the slide they were supported with fantastic shouts of cheering and support. A great sight to see indeed. During the slide session, SJPD cruised by to say hello. I heard some riders say hello to the officers, and the officers asked “Are you guys protesting something?” The rider replied “No we’re not protesting, we’re just on a ride with a few friends.” Within minutes of the police visit, a lot of the SJ Bike Party riders began to roll out onto the street. Our last stop was the SJSU Campus, a quick rest and then roll back to the Campbell start point. The weather was great, not too hot, not freezing. So, SJ Bike Party thank you for a great time, and see you on the Anniversary Ride in October! Peace, love and bikes.
DJ Jojo