San Jose Bike Party's Nerd Ride was Friday evening. I got ready for it by digging through the closet for clothing I'd worn back in my engineering days that still fit. Then I filled my shirt pocket with a nice assortment of pens. I added a few touches like mismatched socks and shoes (ooops! wink wink) to make it creative and headed for San Jose. My first real ride in months, and I was so looking forward to it!

I started the evening by joining the every Friday 5 to 6 peace vigil in front of the MLKJr Library. The big surprise was that this Canadian Bluegrass band joined us and added some really nice sounds to the scene. Then I had supper with the other activists. I think most of them went off to see The Most Dangerous Man, a biopic about Daniel Ellsberg, but I rode over to Civic Center, where Bike Party was gathering.


There were lots of different ideas of how to do the nerd thing. Heavy rimmed glasses with a band aid over the nose was the most common costume part.




The first landmark we rode past was Cirque du Soleil.


It's hard to see in this picture, but on that gray shirt pi is telling the square root of negative one "get real" and the square root of negative one is telling pi "get rational." I'd give that shirt the "best real nerd shirt" award for the evening. Real nerds get it!


The guy in the reflective vest is riding a bike he built himself. He said "I finally got it just the way I want it." The thing has LOTS of shock absorbing capability and a motor assist. He puts 30 (or was it 50?) miles a day on the thing. It was the only conspicuously custom bike I saw that was more for riding than for show. To get a bike just the way he wants it, the guy has to have some kind of nerd bragging rights.


There were enough good sound carts in the parade that it seemed like I was always grooving to tunes. Different DJ's had different taste in music, but it seemed like all were good in one way or another.


We're better at waiting for lights than we used to be. I'm grateful for that. I also wish I was setting a better example. Sometimes when the road is empty it's just hard to wait for the light to change. That's okay until some kid crosses in front of a car and responds to my chiding by saying "you did it, why can't I?" Excuse ME, but there is a difference between an empty road and someone else with the right of way!


Crossing the Mary Ave. bike bridge was a very nice experience. I'm told that sometimes those posts are lit up, but even so the trail was well lit. Under us were something like eight lanes of I-280. Before they added the bridge going from Mountain View to De Anza College was at least two miles further than it is now. Thank you Cupertino for that upgrade to your infrastructure!


That was as close to Mountain View as the ride got, so rather than go back to San Jose I just took pictures of people passing me until they were all gone and then headed home. I tried to get mostly nerds, but it's hard for me to tell a nerd from somebody else.



The panel van was the T Shirt Vendor's rig. They would get to a rest stop, put up a table and sell "San Jose Bike Party" shirts until the ride left. New this month was a taco truck and a Korean fusion food vendor, but I didn't see them pass my corner. I heard good things about the food though.


Not shown is the cop that was corking the traffic to let us take over the road. It didn't occur to me to photograph him until later. I'm not sure he would have appreciated that. I'm sure we appreciated the service though.


I was happy when I got home. My knee had done the whole thing without complaining! I'm mobile again! I was tired enough to sleep well to.