(this article is cross posted at Change Your Life. Ride A Bike!)
Saturday was the San Francisco Bike Expo. A one day show of all things bicycle. While its primary goal is commercial, you can buy just about anything you never knew you needed for a bicycle, the big attraction for me is always the people. If it is self propelled and on two wheels you can find the person who brought it there at the Expo.
It is natural for us to form into groups of those who are like minded. To be the odd man out can be tiring on a daily basis, so having social groups that look like us is to be expected. Just as we prefer to ride with people who match our cadence, we look to groups that compliment our personal choices of expression- BMX, cyclocross, fixed, utility, vintage.... Most of the time, we delude ourselves into believing that each of these groups is nothing like ourselves, but then something like the Expo comes around and allows us all to mingle and gawk and admire one another and simply enjoy life on two wheels.
There was, of course the fashion contingency at the Pedal Savvy show. Many of my friends were featured in it (Meli above, KT below)
The men were represented, as well.
While the bike appropriate fashion paraded its way along the cycle track, the cyclocross was in full swing. I can not tell you how much I want to try this (never mind that I do not have the equipment for it and I am NOT buying anymore bicycles after the purchase of one in Portland that will arrive very soon for your consideration).
I love that cyclocross is as popular with woman as with men in most of the places people participate in it. I love that it isn't just about going fast and that those who compete have to utilize all of their physical abilities. I love that the men frequently dress in drag when they compete!
Winding through the whole thing were the Scraper Bike guys.
This group makes staying out of trouble and using the talents that the good Lord gave them fun and educational. Every kid in the program has to have a GPA of 3.00 or higher to be in the group. They design and build their own bicycles and ride together as a group to show the world what a little wrenching, some spray paint and a few people who believe in you can do.
I wish I could show you the dirt jumping competition. My camera died by the time we got to the outdoor area, which is a shame because some of the jumps that we saw were worth documenting (not to mention the pump track my friends at SF Urban Riders built so the kids could get good and dirty). Seeing people get bikes 50 feet in the air while spinning them around and then landing and doing it again was astounding.
Of course, the point to this post is this, the fashion show crew was in the audience cheering on the dirt jumpers who were talking to the scraper guys who were cheering on the cyclocross racers who went and checked out all of the cargo options... For one day, we were all just people on bicycles and there was no difference. We didn't bitch about the road conditions or getting cut off by cars or how no one has lights on their bikes. We were just a bunch of people enjoying all that bicycles have to offer us if we just open ourselves to the possibilities.