This theme started as
a rumor that the Lord Mayor of Dublin Ireland would be visiting San
Jose as part of the Sister City thing. The idea was to invite him to
ride with Bike Party during his visit. To fit it all together better,
Carlos Babcock talked us into the Irish theme. It was an easy sale,
because the event lined up well with St. Patrick's day this year. Then
it turned out that the Lord Mayor had to be back in Ireland by the
third Friday of the month, so we scheduled a special ride the previous
Saturday. Hundreds of us showed up for it, and we had a nice time.
After the ride there
was a long meet and greet session on San Jose's City Hall Plaza. At one
point Billy Cool called for all the Birds to come forward and have
their picture taken with the Lord Mayor. While we were standing
there he thanked us all for being wonderful, and said that he would be
starting a Bike Party in Ireland when he gets home.
The only non-bird in
the picture (except for the Lord Mayor, who is an honorary bird) is the
woman in a blue shirt and dark coat to his right, who is San Jose City
Councilwoman Rose Herrera. She also rode with us. I downloaded this
copy of the picture from the internet. I'd give credit to the
photographer if I knew who it was.
Later on facebook Billy Cool said "The event should make the city more
responsive to BP and our events." I hope he is right.
The actual ride had
something like real Irish weather. It was a wet, wet
night. From before the ride started until late, a warm gentle rain fell
on us. It was wet enough that I didn't really want to take out my
camera and take pictures. At the beginning of the evening there were
more than 60 of us, and some were quite festively attired. I should
have taken some pictures of that, but I didn't want to risk getting my
The Sunnyvale cops
kept a close eye on us. If there were the fair weather contingent we
usually bring out it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, but with
at least a dozen of them on motorcycles and who knows how many in
patrol cars, we felt very monitored. It so happens that somewhere on
Tasman they gave Eric a ticket for "riding with red lights on his
wheels." I couldn't believe it. That was so wrong! After that the cops
just seemed like way too many "heavy hands of the law". Grrrr.... My
take away message: don't put red blinking lights on your front wheel.
They are appropriate (and required) when seen from the rear, but
nowhere else on the bike.
Another mishap was
that we weren't allowed into the parking lot at a shopping center we
were going to patronize. When we got there they told us "keep moving!"
We did. A bit further along we found a freeway overpass to stop under.
It was dry there. By that time I was glad to get off my bike for a few
minutes. I'm bummed that the shopping center didn't want our business.
I often get something at those regroups, but not this time. Seems like
we've developed something of a bad reputation. (Is two failed regroups
in two months a coincidence?) Probably if we want them to want us, we
need to become better customers. I'm guessing the Ravens need more help
keeping the parking lots clean to.
The ride was almost over when I came
across this sprinkler watering in the rain. It was so wrong. We need to
conserve water! I just had to witness it, so I took this picture.
Maybe a third of the group that started
finished the ride. About ten minutes after we got there it stopped
raining. I took pictures of the people that I was talking to. The good
news is that I've finally found
a mode in the camera that makes fairly good pictures in low light.
When I got home my shoes were totally
soaked. (Usually the dark stripy parts are the same green as the area
over the toes, but not when they are wet.) My rain poncho protected
most of the rest of me, except for my legs from just above the knee
down, the neck area, and my forearms and hands. It wasn't cold enough
that I wore gloves, so my wet hands weren't much of an issue. My toes
looked like prunes, but that's not much of a problem.
The thing to do when dealing with rain
is hang everything out to dry went you get in. If you don't the wet
stuff that stays wet will mildew. I got reminded of that again after
the circus ride, when I left some wet tamarinds in my favorite grocery
bag (the one Cheryl Crow signed) and it got mildew stains on the
inside. This time I had stuff hanging on every doorknob in the house
twenty minutes after I got home. I also opened all the zippers on my
bike's trunk and propped it open to dry.
Two days later I can gladly say that I
didn't get a cold! I consider that proof that I've learned how to dress
for the rain. Basically, the secret is keep the rain out of your core
and dress just warmly enough that you don't overheat. Standing in the
rain takes much warmer clothing than riding in the rain.