May 16th was Muscle Powered’s annual Bike to Work Week cruiser ride, and this year we had record attendance. We estimated around 100 riders this year, double the previous record of about 50. Thank you nice weather!
One of the goals this year was to make the ride more fun. To accomplish this, we made the event sillier. A few people wore costumes last year, so this year we really encouraged everyone to do so. Everywhere you looked this year, there were colorful costumes, decorated bicycles, and custom cruisers. It definitely had a parade atmosphere.
Joining the parade this year was the new Cycle Pub. The Cycle Pub had all its seats full, including the bench where James Wilsey from Notch 8 was singing and playing his guitar. Also aboard the Cycle Pub was a keg of beer, donated by the High Sierra Brewery.
The ride began and ended at Telegraph Square. While we were never a mile away from the square, we took a four mile route that went up and down and around the streets in the neighborhood. We rode along shady and quiet residential streets, past historical buildings, and even in front of the Governor’s Mansion. At times, the riders were so stretched out that the front end was heading south while the back end was still headed north on the next street over. It was a cool sight to see!
We encountered very little traffic. The few cars we met at intersections tried to wave us through. They were trying to be polite, but they could only see the first few riders. They had no idea they were just seeing the tip of the iceberg. We motioned for them to go ahead, especially since they had no stop signs, but some insisted that we go. And so they waited and got to watch the parade.
While the route was pretty easy on a two wheeler, there were a few little hills that I felt bad taking the Cycle Pub over. Having ridden it before, I knew what an incline feels like on that thing. But rather than than howls of misery, I heard nothing but whooping and hollering and the honking of horns coming from the pub. Especially on the downhill corners!
One of the best things about this ride is the wide variety of people it attracts. Men, women, boys, girls, grandmas, and grandkids were all represented. There is always a pack of kids that like to lead the parade. The older faster kids like to go beyond the leader, and often speed off in the wrong direction. They need the exercise though. The younger kids stay close to the official front of the line though. My friend’s daughter was told not to go past the leader, so she rode right by my side almost the entire route. So close sometimes that I really had to watch my balance and clearance with other riders and parked cars!
The ride ended at Telegraph Square, but there were many that weren’t ready to go home. A couple people, including Kristy Moser, got brave at took the hi-wheeler out for a spin. After returning the empty keg from the Cycle Pub back to the High Sierra Brewery, we took the festivities down to the patio at the Firkin and Fox.
If you missed this ride, or just want to go again, we’ll be doing another in June at some point. If you have any ideas for routes, stops, or themes, let me know!
Thank you Kristy Moser for taking over the photo duties for this ride!
More photos of the ride on Flickr.