Rock The Bike

“Battle of the Helmets” SJ Bike Party April 2009

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.