If we weren’t giving it to ourselves by shouting the words ’Bike Party’, a refrain that could be heard by one voice then repeated by many and a few all night long, there were the people on the sidewalk saying it or cheering us on in other ways People everywhere were waving at us. Car horns honked. And if someone drove by in a car trying to join the party by showing us how muscular their vehicle was, they got ignored. Both times this happened, their burning rubber and high revving, motors held little sway for all those of us more interested in smiling and talking with one another than in what old dinosaur remains could be seen to do.
As for my own version of the ride, the Eagle rode beautifully for the entire 33 mile distance. It ran just fine with the rabbits who rolled out the first five miles from Cesar Chavez Park in downtown San Jose on the Pre-Ride. When I say rabbits, I mean for me, they moved pretty well, 14 to 18 or so miles an hour all the way to the massive parking lot that held the first major group of riders.
It was there that I demonstrated the off the back of the seat rear dismount. And as I did, two bottles popped out of my front panniers. The glass one didn’t break! And the large 32 ounce plastic one rolled under Greg McPheeter’s trailer couch. Oooops……..
At lights where I could get near a pole, I stopped and waited. Doing so was often tricky as the Eagle does not like slow parking lot speeds. So if I didn’t have a clear shot to a stop light standard, I ether did giant circles or announced to everyone I was running the light by saying, “No Brakes”.
Nor did I have to make a forced dismount all night long, Tho I did come close in tight situations more than a few times. And for all those who wanted to know about the light I was using that fully illuminated some dark spots through which we passed, it is the Vega by Lights in Motion. Beyond brightness, it has been a real work horse for me for the last year. And I am able to greatly expand the time between charges by running it in near blinding flasher mode when I don't need to see super clearly...
In sum, what an honor it is to ride the Eagle no matter where it goes or how it is outfitted. And indeed it brings a lot of attention to the NBG. Here, for example, is what former CA Assemblywoman (can you imagine that that is the caliber of people that are coming out for mass rides such as these? she even plans to ride SF Critical Mass with me on Friday the 30th!!), Sally Lieber, observed in a Facebook exchange we had that eveningl:
And yet the man who worked harder than anyone out there is the guy who deserves the most praise. John Oleary did the distance on a low grade HiWheel bike not configured to be ridden for more than few miles much less almost 30. I mean hard rubber wheelbarrow grips are what he has to hold on to. And I literally mean ‘hold on’. He does not sit comfortably on the seat as it appears but has to use his arms to not only steer the bike but to keep himself from sliding off of it. And he was fully worked by the time it was all said and done. That is him at right with his neighbor Mary who came over from Aptos to ride with us.
Oh but there was so much going on to keep him distracted from his pain that jhe too had a blast
Hundreds of Photos HERE
San Jose Bike Party!