Love Oakland joined the East Bay Bike Party’s Pre-Apocalypse Bike Party on Friday 12/14/12. Big ups to the hundreds of brave riders that pedal power partied through Uptown, Downtown, West Oakland, and Lake Merritt! The party begins at a random start point, this month at Macarthur BART. On Friday evenings, entire BART trains are filled with bicyclists on their way to Bike Party.
Above: One of hundreds of bike party riders, surrounded by sound bikes, a crowd of dancers, in the open night at the first of three, Bike Party stops. 2012 Nuclear Hazard Gas Mask cashmere beanie handmade by LaRece Construction.
Earlier in the day, there were reports that Channel 2 KTVU elected the Bike Party as one of two End of the World festivities. The other option was a themed San Francisco hotel dinner for a thousand dollars. The latter couldn’t be more extremely different from the Bike Party on so many levels. The Bike Party is known for family-friendly fun for all, deeply rooted in the community, riding through ‘hoods throughout East and West Oakland, and “far east” locations such as Richmond, Hayward, Fremont, and even Concord / Walnut Creek. Best of all, you need only your two wheeled human powered vehicle. Human powered vehicles such as tandems, tall bikes, skateboards were also in line with the bike party.
Above: An art themed bike covered in stainless steel scales, forming a fish. To the right are the glowing speakers of the Tube-a-Boom bike.
Rock The Bike, based in Berkeley, California, brought a couple of their sound bikes. The ride leader was on the “Tube-a-Boom”, a long wheelbase cargo bike featuring four cannon like speakers mounted to the back, glowing blue, radially. The second bike weighed in at 370lbs and was packing monster heat with its modified loudspeakers – 4,000 watts – and a bike/trailer combined wheelbase beyond 13 feet. When this sound bike rolled past Uptown’s Fox Theater, flanked by bike party riders, and a soundtrack 4×4 house beat remixed “I Got 5 On It,” sonic booming between the building walls, sidewalk pedestrians and club goers waved their hands in the air, dancing, shaking and yelling, “Bike Party!” When you’re in the bike party, it’s okay to be loud and vocal. The motto is, after all, “When in doubt, Bike Party!”
Above: Riders clearly amazed at the quality of music and sound from the Rock The Bike sound bike!
Above: Tandem bike, sound bike, road bike, sharing the lane and open space in West Oakland.
The night’s ride route was 15-miles, a manageable ride for all levels of cyclists, that included riding into the West Oakland space typically filled with the noise and pollution of the industrial machines of big rig trucks and trains. However, on a Friday night, the operators have all gone home to their families and thus, massive wide roads are open for the taking. When centered with hundreds of cyclists in all directions, one cannot help but feel empowered and free. Bike Party!
Nearing the second stop, the soundtrack played, “What’s Good?!” A jeweled Bay Bridge in view. The city skyline. The lack of running motor vehicles. The waterfront. All your friends riding with you. Club music without the four walls or cover fee. What’s good? Everything in its right place!
Above: What’s Good!? VIP Bike Party style with a waterfront park takeover.
The party isn’t without its fault. There are the rare few who litter or run red lights. These nuisances should be dealt with by calling out the individuals. I only witnessed one or two cyclists, on brakeless fixed gear freestyle BMX style bikes, that ran red lights. These individuals were part of a small sausagefest group from out of town and were not old enough to grow facial hair. I called ‘em out, noting their inexperience and unworthiness of riding fixed gear for looking like an asshole and making everyone around them look like assholes. These few individuals will not be invited nor welcome at forthcoming Bike Party events.
The Bike Party is eternally grateful to the volunteers (who take route turns, contribute time, bring sound bikes), organizers and EBBP’tastic riders who pick up litter and call out those that do not follow Bike Party rules. The rules, are simple:
- Stop at red lights
- Stay right
- Pack your trash
- Don’t get smashed
- Ride straight
- Don’t hate
Above: A fat tired bike hopping around trials-style and a tiger skin painted fixed gear freestyle bike keeping the pace.
Above: East Bay Scorchers around the Lake in critical mass to the final stop of the evening.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. The good news is that there is another Bike Party coming up and after thirty-one consecutive First Friday EBBP’s, we’re onto something! Amplified on the energy from the evening, and well beyond the final BART train, I rode the bonus extension commute home from Oakland’s Lake Merritt to Concord, watching the sun rise from behind the 3,800 ft tall Mt. Diablo. What a night! Thank you, East Bay Bike Party!!!
Report by Wilson Tai, exclusively for Love Oakland.
PS below seen at “When In Oakland” posted the day of the East Bay Bike Party