Whatever you want to call it—Gay Pride Day, LGBT Freedom Day, Stonewall 50—we get it once a year and Different Spokes SF hosts our Pride Ride to celebrate the occasion. Today was the ninth version of what has officially been called the Pride Ride but actually it’s the eleventh of some form of Pink Saturday ride. In 2006 Laura Petracek led a Pride Ride but it was in the East Bay, not SF, and was intended to be children/family friendly. Then in 2010 we had a 40 & Fabulous ride on Pink Saturday to honor the 40th SF Pride Parade. This ride was a 40-mile ride around the perimeter of the City, quite a bit longer than the current 28-mile ride. From 2011-13 we had a shorter 20-mile loop that eschewed the southern part of SF and cut across midtown. Since 2014 we have been doing the current 28-mile loop. Over the years the club’s participation in Pride has waxed and waned. In the Oughts and before, we were a regular presence in the Parade itself and always had a booth at the festival. Our last parade contingent was in 2009 and the last time we had a booth was in 2014. The Pride Ride is a lot less work especially now that we are a smaller club. Perhaps one day we’ll march again…
Today’s ride really brought out the crowd. We got the word out through the SFPride site, our new Meetup group, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and our Facebook page. I lost track but it was somewhere around 27! It was a diverse crowd; we had three from London, several from the South Bay, three from remote Castro Valley, and a scattering from other locales. We are a regional club after all! In terms of longevity I guess I represented the Old Farts— no one else can claim membership back in the early 80s (at this point it’s just Derek and I who can claim that moniker). We had a few from the 90s—Ann, Rob, and Scott—and the rest were the “youngsters”. In attendance were the Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Ride Coordinator. Our President couldn’t make it because he was partying at Stonewall 50 in NYC!
The ride took in a good smattering of western SF— the Panhandle, the Presidio, Seacliff, Outer Avenues, NOPA, GG Park, the Great Highway, Lake Merced, St. Francis Wood, Glen Park, and then the Mission—which is about enough; anything more and we’d have a much longer ride. Traffic was refreshingly light just about everywhere except at the end in Glen Park and the Mission. Of course we spread out right from the start but periodically regrouped to let the “laggards” catch their breath. Things held together pretty well until Glen Park when Destination Bakery proved to be a bust. People started splitting off to get lunch elsewhere, get home to do other chores, or in our case to get out the City as fast as possible before horrendous Pink Saturday traffic reared its head.
For me personally I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with a Spokers I haven’t seen in a long while. Although the conversations were short and I wish we had had more time to yammer, it’s good to see old faces and remember that although the club might be small, its bonds are strong.
Wishing you a delightful Pride, and RIDE BIKE!