Bike Party started in the parking lot of Toys R Us in Sunnyvale. It was a bit cool, but there was no threat of rain. In short, perfect weather for riding with many hundreds of your closest friends. It was still early when the Mountain View pre-ride got there.


The guy in the black suit and white tie said his helmet was the first one that was really designed for bicyclists.


This woman was trying to solve the ninja biker problem by selling blinky lights for $2 each. Seems she was finding lots of customers. Haven't yet heard a review of her lights from a user.


The MoGo truck was still getting set up when I got in line for a burrito. They often show at bike party, and when they do I get my supper from them. Delicious Korean-Mexican fusion food!


Yoshi was the first person that evening that I saw fix a fresh flat. I think he got it cruising around the parking lot encouraging people to leave the parking near the stores for their customers.




Maybe a block or two after I took these pictures of the two guys on the tandem I saw Dora and I had to pull over to talk about something. Unfortunately I didn't look to my right, I just turned as if I was the only one on the road. Bad mistake. Turns out the tandem was right there. We crashed. I gather no harm was done. I apologized to the guys. They accepted my apology and rode on. Later I found out that something like half a dozen of bike party's birds had spills during the course of the evening. I haven't examined what caused the other accidents, but in my case it was clearly a lack of experience with riding in traffic. I just haven't had much experience with riding in crowds. There weren't any in my experience before I found bike party.




We passed my favorite Chinese restaurant, and then had to wait for the light to change at California Street. There were a lot of people out on the sidewalk, just watching all the bicycles going by with interested looks on their faces.


The first regroup was at the San Antonio shopping center. By this time the party vibe was kicking in. Everybody was having a good time.






The ride headed west towards Stanford after maybe half an hour of partying in the parking lot.




At Stanford the music thumping off the sound trailers was making dance floors out of the street.



Usually I ask people "can I take your picture?" Those three in the formal clothing heard as far as "picture" and then boom! They were posing. It was such a fun moment. On the other hand, the guy with the green lit bike didn't want his picture taken, but he did want his bike's picture taken. I try to work with what people want.





That freaky orange hair thing had blinking lights built into it. I couldn't capture both the mystery of that and the beauty of the wearer.


I found out later that the ambulance was responding to a call for Martha, another bird who had fallen off her bike. All I knew at the time was that the cop was calling out "keep moving". They just didn't want a plug of people blocking the road and making things difficult for the paramedics. I obeyed that bike party dictum, Roll Past Conflict.


I asked the guy in the HUMAN TRAFFICKING shirt about it. He said "a guy came to talk to my class about human trafficking, and he gave each of us a T Shirt."

Diane Soloman is super charged that her cover story for this weeks Metro about bees is in newsracks now. She said writing for the Metro is well worth doing for a writer.

My friend in the Mountain View Police Dept. said that there had been a few accidents, but nothing serious. He also said he liked the vibe coming off the crowd. He found it "quite plesant."


The guy in the blue dress with a red beard is a bike party regular. He saw me and said that he is looking for his backpack. He said he'd heard from a friend that it was in the possession of a guy on a unicycle with a watermellon helmet. I thought "Super Mike", whom I'd seen a bit earlier and still knew how to find. I found him and said I knew where the guy missing his backpack was. Mike needed to talk to the guy himself, so I led him to the guy in the blue sequinned dress.

The first thing SuperMike did was ask the guy to list off the things in the backpack. He started "light gray sweater, cell phone, snacks..." and SuperMike handed it over. Then he said he'd picked it up in the utterly empty parking lot after everybody had left. He'd found the cell phone and called the top three names on the "frequently called list" looking for someone that knew where the owner was. The air was thick with gratitude, so I knew he'd done the right thing.

Somebody said I should take a picture of the moon, because it was throwing so much light. I reached the top of an overpass and did it. Then I realized that the bikes going by were leaving fun trails in the time lapse pictures. I caught a bunch of those.





If I hadn't been so far back in the pack I could have gotten a lot more of those.


By the end people were fading into the woodwork. There wasn't much of a crowd at Toys R Us when I got back there. People would show up, thank whatever birds they saw (or not) and head for some parked car to go home in.

I asked Billy Cool if he'd heard about Martha. He said "yes, she hurt her cheek and knees, but it wasn't bad enough that she had to take a ride in the ambulance." A friend had come with a car to pick her and her bike up. That was good news. Later I found out that one of the other people that fell broke his collarbone.


After a while Yoshi said the post ride back to San Jose was leaving in five minutes. It didn't matter much to me. I was going the other way. Maybe I was half an hour of pedaling from home. Those guys probably had more than an hour of pedaling ahead of them.