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    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2011 edited
    I just returned from SF Bike Expo and met many diverse bicycle enthusiasts from the Bay area. A new acquaintance told me about which is a monthly celebration and community building ride that happens on the third Friday of each month in San Jose. I searched "Bike Party" online (google, youtube, flikr) and found that it has been a recent revolution that began a few years ago in San Jose. This event brings 2000-4000 bicyclists on a given night.

    I have never experienced one of these rides but I plan to attend one soon. It's organized with volunteers, planning committees, and route map. I posted the links and dates below for more info. If you happen to be in the SF bay area, please check out the ride and let us know what you think of it.

    Bike Party San Jose website and Facebook page (3rd Friday of month)
    Bike Party San Francisco (1st Friday of month)
    Bike Party East Bay(2nd Friday of month)
    Bike Party Santa Cruz(3rd Friday of each month)
    San Luis Obispo(SLO) Bike Happenings (1st Thursday of the month)

    Some interesting historical facts:

    History of Bike Party
    From San Jose Bike Party Wiki

    Bike Party was first attempted in San Jose by a small crew of wild and zany cyclists trying to organize a costumed Halloween ride in October 2005. This first attempt didn't go far, but it was enough to spark another attempt the following year, which went for a few months before fizzling out. Each of these early attempts, inspired largely by the international Critical Mass model, gathered somewhere in the range of 10-30 riders, met downtown, looped something less than 5 miles, and took place on a Friday evening around 6-8pm.

    In 2007, everything changed.

    During the summer of 2007, "Bike Mom" Amber moved from San Diego to live with Nick and the Yr Pants crew, bringing with her the experience of assisting SD's wild bike gang, the now dead Electric Warriors. Fellow bikers-in-arms connected quickly and set to work organizing San Jose's impending bicycle revolution.

    A few major changes brought about the Bike Party we know and love:

    * moving the start time to a later "party hour" of 8:30pm.
    * starting in Campbell, to offer a convenient transit-serviced location to inspire folks who didn't live near downtown to join the ride.
    * a renewed focus on the fun and vibrant energy of communal bike culture, a.k.a. the PARTY. Emphasizing themes, fun after events, and unique exciting routes.
    * keeping the ride inclusive by consistently outreaching to young adults via myspace, facebook, fliers in hip community areas, and other technology mediums

    The earliest Bike Party volunteers connected through friendships, SVBC membership, and random chance encounters. Fliers were posted at downtown San Jose's First Friday art gallery openings, as well as Good Karma, coffee shops, and dozens of local college bike racks.

    The first ride took place on October 19th, 2007, and gathered approximately 25 riders. By summer 2008, Bike Parties regularly saw over 100 riders, blooming to over 200 by the start of the fall. In winter 2009, Bike Party peaked 400 riders and continues to grow. (See Ridership history for more numbers)
    San Francisco Bike Party is held on the 1st FRIDAY at 8pm every month.

    We encourage people to bring POSITIVITY and CONTRIBUTE to good times while being RESPECTFUL to others.

    The rides are FUN and SAFE with stops to DANCE and SOCIALIZE along the way.
    We follow PLANNED ROUTES exploring all different parts of the city each month.

    Who runs it?
    Created by a CO-OP, by and for bike enthusiasts, run by volunteers.

    Volunteers plan the routes, test ride them, help participants ride in control, avoid traffic disruption, and not get lost.

    Who is it for?
    EVERYONE, cyclists and people on and around the street.

    Riders from EVERYWHERE around the Bay Area and beyond to participate and BRIDGE COMMUNITIES.


    - Stay in the right lane
    - Stop at red lights
    - Leave no trace
    - Ride predictably and in control
    - Roll past conflict
    - Ride prepared
    - When in doubt, “bike party!!”

    We encourage to all riders to follow traffic laws so that we may exist coherently.
    Our goal is to create a safe and more friendly biking environment for all riders in the county.

    1. Be prepared!
    Bring water, your lights, helmet, extra tubes and/or patch kits, pumps,or Co2 cartridges
    2. Follow traffic rules
    -Stop at Red lights
    -Stop at Stop signs
    -Stay to the right.
    -As a group we may take over the far right lane.
    -When only one lane is provided, stay in single file, share the road.
    3. Leave no trace behind
    Please leave the regroup spot as we found it.

    With the extremely large number of participants (2000-4000). I like the way they Feeder rides that enable group of cyclists ride to a predetermined start or re-group location.


    BIRDs are our wonderful volunteers that attempt to keep everyone on our rides safe. Please be respectful of their directions and thank them for all of the effort they put into the ride. If you want to help out and make your mark on Bike Party, please join the BIRDs at the volunteer cicle prior to the start of the ride.
    Volunteer Circle

    Volunteer Regroups are now marked on the map if you want to get plugged in come by and introduce yourself

    Ravens are the elite group of BIRDs that make sure we leave no trace behind by cleaning up after the party at regroups. They are essential to keeping the party going. If you see any of them with a trashbag collecting your trash, please thank them and if you are so inclined please join them! They are a really cool bunch. Please bring trash bags and help us leave no trace.
    How We Ride

    If you follow these eight rules, Bike Party will be safe and a positive place for riders, drivers, pedestrians, and the community.
    1. Stay in the Right Lane – NEVER ride the sidewalk. NEVER ride against oncoming traffic
    2. Leave Nothing Behind - Don’t trash San Jose
    3. Stop at Red Lights
    4. Ride Straight, Ride Predictability - Slower Riders should stay to the right
    5. Roll Past Conflict
    6. Leave No One Behind
    7. Ride Sober! It’s illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle inebriated
    8. Communicate to Fellow Riders! (We need your help in encouraging everyone to follow the rules!)
    Route information
    It’s not posted yet but will be here when it is (Thursday before the ride) if you still see this it hasn’t been posted yet.
    Feeder rides

    Feeder rides are a great way to get to Bike Party They allow you to make great friends and get to know people who live near you. They also make it super easy to get back home as a group as most folks ride home with the group they arrived with. You save the planet and save on parking while getting a little bit more exercise. It’s all good.

    * NSJ/Santa Clara — Led by Ian from Rivermark – Meet in front of Peets – Leaving at 6:45pm (please RSVP in the comments)
    * SCU/Santa Clara — ??
    * East SJ — ??
    * SJ Downtown — ??
    * Campbell — ??
    * Willow Glen — ??
    * Los Gatos — ??
    * Your neighborhood? (let us know in comments below if you want to lead a ride)
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2011
    That's sounds like great fun.
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2011 edited
    San Luis Obispo(SLO) Bike Happenings has a similar bike party feel.

    Rules of the Ride

    We like things simple around here.

    #1 Ride your bike and have fun:

    Bring Friends,
    Make a new Friend,
    Dress-up, Dress-down,
    Make a little noise.
    Make a positive contribution.
    Make the event your own.

    #2 Treat our community with respect:

    Treat the SLOPD with respect.
    Treat others on the road with respect, both cars and pedestrians.
    Treat other on the ride with respect.
    The Bike Happening is a Courteous Mass ride, NOT a Critical Mass ride.

    (Do not engage angry drivers. Don’t make drivers angry.
    Note license plates/take pictures if anyone is doing anything unlawful)

    #3 Assume personal responsibility:

    YOU are responsible for all of your actions.
    Mob mentality is unacceptable.
    Have proper equipment on your bike.
    Leave our destinations cleaner then we found them. Leave No Trace!
    Obey all traffic laws.

    2011 Themes
    • CommentAuthorHMeins
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2011 edited
    My friends at Central Coast Brewing Co. on Monterey St. have been at the forefront of the First Thursday bike happenings in SLO from the beginning. They used to end with a "bike sumo" contest in the brewery parking lot until neighbors started complaining about the late night noise. It's similar to a "slow race," but only two competitors at a time enter the ring. Could it be called a "slow match sprint?"

    They brew the best beer on the Central Coast and are bike crazy as well. I always stop in when I'm SLO!
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2011
    Same here Ray. Good guys at Central Coast. They are super into tall bikes and it's unreal how many people come out to their rides considering how small SLO is.
    Now that I noted which days they ride I'll make sure to drop in and join the fun
    It uses the principles followed in Courteous mass. We just need other people to step up and build bicycling community in their respective cities. This ride gets people really celebrating on the third Friday of the Month. Courteous mass + DIY sound system trailers + big parking lots or parks. Regrouping becomes the social + party scene. Then rolling conversations and socializing as the ride goes to the next re-group party place. Cool , eh?
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011
    We need this in North County. Encinitas perhaps.
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011
    SLO is one of the bikiest places I've ever been. Love the bike-centric street markings and flashing crosswalks.
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2014 edited
    Thank you Bruce for updating the group page. Thank you Jeff Magnus for spear heading Bike Party in San Diego

    San Diego Courteous Mass is now the San Diego Bike Party. Modeled after bike parties in San Jose, Oakland, and elsewhere this will provide a more peaceful and FUN alternative to Critical Mass on the last Friday of each month. Stay tuned for more details but here are some quick ground rules:

    1. Stay in the Right Lane NEVER ride the sidewalk. NEVER ride against oncoming traffic.
    2. Leave Nothing and No One Behind
    3. Stop at Red Lights.
    4. Ride Straight, Ride Predictability.
    5. Roll Past Conflict.
    6. Leave No One Behind.
    7. Ride Sober! It’s illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle inebriated.
    8. Communicate to Fellow Riders! (We need your help to remind those who aren’t following the rules!)
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2014 edited

    And here we go — everyone is invited to the first-ish SAN DIEGO BIKE PARTY! This ride will make you smile with a mellow pace, regrouping places, portable music and good conversation along the way.

    This month’s theme is NEON! Wear your day-glo duds, strap glow sticks to your bike, whatever brightens your world. Of course, you don’t have to dress up; it’s more important for you to be there, whatever you wear.

    Friday JULY 25: Meet and mingle from 7ish to 8 p.m. at the big fountain in Balboa Park. After Critical Mass rolls out, we’ll roll our own ride. General 12-mile route is north on Park Avenue to Trolley Barn Park, east on Adams Avenue to Ward Canyon Park, then winding south to Morley Field. Stops at the parks to regroup/hang out last approximately 20-30 minutes. Eventually we’ll roll back the short distance to the fountain.

    This is intended to be a no-drop ride, and we stop at stop signs and stop lights. We’re more interested in showing our city that bike riding is fun but that we also deserve respect on the road.

    Be sure to remember the codes of BIKE PARTY.
    1. Stay in the Right lane. NEVER ride the sidewalk. NEVER ride against oncoming traffic.
    2. Leave nothing behind.
    3. Stop at red lights.
    4. Ride straight, ride predictability.
    5. Roll past conflict.
    6. Leave no one behind.
    7. Ride sober! It’s illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle inebriated.
    8. Communicate to fellow riders. (We need your help to remind those who aren’t following the rules!) And when in doubt, Bike Party!

    I must say Jeff Magnus and Jaime Page did a great job promoting SD Bike Party. The first few months SD Bike Party crashed and befuddled Critical Mass riders which resulted in a successful high jack and recruit riders. Note that SD Bike Party now meet at the Plaza de Panama pedestrian plaza at the third Friday of the month.
    Check the SDBike Party FB page for updates.

    Last night's theme ride was Ugly Sweater and Holiday lights ride in Uptown. The Grinch even tried to steel christmas via Dutchie bike.

    Video from TurboBob from the ride last night

    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2015 edited
    San Diego Bike Party Oct 23 7 PM.

    Great Scott! These kids, we've got to do something about these kids, riding their bikes! We've got to go to bike to the future!
    For those of you that are not aware, Marty Mcfly is scheduled to arrive in the future on the 21st of October, 2015, but we will be celebrating his arrival on Friday the 23rd instead for October's bike party. Maybe that will give scientists another two days to give us our hover boards (or hover bikes). But whether or not we get them, come on out with us and enjoy the ride. We will be starting and ending our ride at Hub + Spoke Cycleworks in National City, where we will be finishing off the ride with a contest for the best themed costume and a keg. So bring your high spirits and ID, your bikes, your lights, and your flux capacitors. This one will be a blast.

    Help everyone have fun and be safe on this social roll. Would you kindly follow these bike party strategies:

    • Stay right
    • Stop at lights
    • Ride straight
    • Don’t hate
    • Pack your trash
    • Don’t get smashed

    As promised, the party route has been recorded on map my ride for your reviewing pleasure. We will be taking off from #hubandspoke and going north on Harbor Drive. There will be a party stop at Cesar Chavez Park Pier, courtesy of Gary Cooper, then off to Chicano Park before riding down Main to National City Blvd. It's only shy of 9 miles for all you weekend riders so make sure to come out and look to the future!