The big one! The OG ride. Wow!
After traveling, camping, exploring, and enjoying abundant sunshine and redwoods in northern Cali for two months, but missing bicycles; I have returned to civilization! I actually returned just in time to meet up with shoup in Oakland, borrow a bike and get our butts to SF to ride critmass with a few hundred new friends. Its great to be back and posting again. And great to be on a bike again. I'll be back in hartford this week and i guess i'll also be wearing gloves and more clothes due to this thing in the beat we call...wintery mix! burrrrrrrr! Cali has certainly spoiled me!
The ride begins @ Justin Herman Plaza at 6pm, and just like hartford, the ride began a bit later. I think there were about 150-200 to start, but later on, a half hour into the ride, the mass swelled to 300-400 riders. Wow. This was my first CM at night, and lots of people had outfits, glowsticks and all kinds of colorful lights for night ride parties. Nice! The vibe was awesome with music, lights, yelling, smiling and people in crazy outfits and custom bike wierdness.
There were two bikes with boomin' sound systems. This was the louder one, and it was LOUD! But the other had disco lights and a disco ball lighting up the streets and more danceable beats, but they both kept us keepin' us smilin' and hollerin'. We need more of this in the beat!
shoup bobbin' and weavin' through people, cops, busses and trolleys in Union Square
Union square was a mess! thousands of shoppers and gridlocked traffic...before we arrived. Add in hundreds of cyclists and dozens of motorcycle cops and you got anarchy! Woo-haa!
We had to regroup after that whole mess and did so in the middle of an intersection for 10 or 15 minutes, obnoxiously blocking all traffic. The cops just sat there, watched, and kept the cars in check. I couldn't believe it was happening, but it was certainly acceptable. The police, lots of police, were escorting the ride mostly on motorcycles. We led and sometimes corked, but the popo's were blocking many intersections and yelling at cars that tried to go through green lights and into the mass. Yes! Any time a car tried to run a green light, cops would sound horns and sirens and make them stop and wait. The police seemed to just be keeping cars out of the ride. Strange! It was kinda nice, but I also kinda wished they weren't there at all, and we just looked after eachother.
We rode up through the Stockton Tunnel, hopped the center curb and rode back down the otherside. That's the bubble lady. She had an automatic bubble blower hooked up to her bicycle and mad lights! Yeah bubble lady!
The ride returned to Herman Plaza and half the riders stopped and the other half of the mass continued on towards the Mission. This group slowly shrunk until Shoup, Jeff and I were leading a dwindling mass of a few dozen people down Mission Street, with more than a dozen motorcycle cops behind us!! When we finally pulled over to get beer for the park at a corner store, the remaining riders and cops scattered even more. The police motorcycles outnumbered the bicycles at this point!
there's a few post ride pics after the jump!
a tasty post ride deuce deuce of redstripe in dolores park
shoupy and i in the park. beer and bicycles seem to really affect him!