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Bicyclists to pack Palo Alto streets tonight

Original post made on Apr 16, 2010

Hundreds of uniformed bicyclists are expected to pedal through Palo Alto this evening as part of an event organized by the San Jose Bike Party, police said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 16, 2010, 4:44 PM

Comments (30)

Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Sounds like Critical Mass is making a visit.

Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Sounds like you don't know much about Critical Mass or the Bike Party. They are very different.

Posted by Rob H
a resident of Triple El
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Um... I saw many hundreds of bikers, way more than 200. Few if any wore uniforms that I could see, or maybe that was a joke. All I saw and heard were hundreds of bikers yelling and blasting boomboxes. Many had no helmets, most rode only several abreast, but on the wrong side of the street as well, and they routinely cut corners in front of oncoming cars--and this was on Embarcadero Road in the dark! Candidates for the Darwin Awards? Drivers were completely confused and trying to speed around them. There were some police on motorcycles, but they didn't appear to be doing anything except flashing lights and occasionally blaring a siren--which the bikers seemed to ignore.

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

The entire thing is crap. I want to know how much in police overtime we are paying to enable these people to break every traffic law. I worked a 14 hour day then got stuck at a light while at least five motorcycle cops held off and after several light changes, directed traffic. Then, we were actually DETOURED! I had to pee, was low on gas, hungry and dead exhausted and I had to sit there and watch MY tax dollars at work enabling people to take over a public street AND break the law at will.

So, let me ask. If I get a 'Car Party' going, will the City send the cops out in force to allow US to run every light and stop sign in the City? I am so sick and tired of people demanding to be treated as 'special'.

Posted by that's what happens
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm

That's what happens when the cops try to herd all the bicyclists through as one big group. They should have let them proceed as normal traffic. I thought that is what the San Jose Bike Party was supposed to be all about.

Posted by Maria
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I saw the cyclists around 9 pm going into the Cubberley Community Center parking lot-- tons of people!! There was a catering truck there as well and the "uniforms" looked more like costumes. It was helpful that many had colorful blinking lights decorating themselves and their bicycles. Looked like a good time, despite causing some traffic disruptions.

Posted by andreas
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

It's 11:24 pm. They're streaming by on Park Blvd, headed south. Easily several thousand bicycles in a long parade. Many have lots of lights, music, etc. It's a rolling street party.

It's been going by for at least 15 minutes, and no sign of letting up.

A few cops on motorbikes at the head of the parade.

Hey, the kids want to have fun, let them.

Posted by andreas
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:29 pm

More at Web Link

If you don't like, you will some day. The age of cars will soon be over. No more cars. We'll all be riding bikes.

Posted by stephanie
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm

yeah my husband saw them on University Avenue about a half hour before they got to your neighborhood. Go bikers!

Posted by IHateTheBikeParty
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:52 pm

I saw them taking a left onto El Camino from West Charleston about 15 minutes ago. They are cutting cars off deliberately. They waited for the green light in the right hand lane of West Charleston and then took an intersection-sweeping left onto El Camino, completely trapping any cars unwilling to kill a bicyclist. Totally unnecessary, but I suppose they have some sort of anti-car agenda.

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

Sounds like a rolling riot to me. Here's an earlier thread on the same subject:

Web Link

If the PAPD motorcycle cops were helping these rioters, then I fully agree to the budget cut to get rid of the "traffic enforcement squad".

The PAPD should have been busting heads and jailing those who think they have the right to flagrantly violate laws of the road.

Posted by PB
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

I agree, heads should be busted!

Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 1:41 am

The Palo Alto police and Stanford deputies did a fantastic job tonight. The ride was great and there were many supportive folks on both the sidelines and in vehicles. A great time had by all!


Posted by biking is legal
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 9:47 am

I was out walking last night on middlefield and saw the 200 colorful bikers. They were not very noisy at all. A few whooping yells, a few boom boxes, but very well behaved. It was a very long wave of approximately 10 blocks of bikes. When a yellow light hit, some ran the lights, but the wave eventually stopped on the red.

I can't believe the crankiness of some on this forum. For shame. These cranky folks are so senile that they can't remember what it was like to be young. I'm sure the same cranky folks who are complaining and objecting did similar things 50 years ago. Get a sense of humor. Live and let live.

The reason that cops are needed is that car drivers have trouble obeying the laws and have trouble seeing bikers. Cars put bikers in danger. If you are a regular biker, say a bike commuter, you'll typically have one near-accident per month, where a car driver is at fault.

The age of the car will soon be over from some combination of Peak Oil and Global Warming regulation ($5 per gallon gas tax to raise gas prices to European/Asian levels). Get used to the idea of people biking, because we'll be seeing much more of it.

Posted by Bike Riot?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

"Bike Riot?" - how about "bike protest against the mirthless?"

Posted by pabiker
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:18 am

Biking is legal -- your attitude is very revealing in the above post. I've heard that there are those who want us to completely give up our cars. I've always thought that's got to be an exaggeration but apparently not. I bike whenever I can but it's not always practical. Wait until you get some arthritis and you may wish you had a car. Palo Alto is very, very pro bike. You've got a chip on your shoulder. You rant about car drivers not obeying the laws but give a pass to the cyclists who clearly broke the laws. Cycling is great fun and the more we can do it the better. But we need to share the road.

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

I have no objecting to biking. I did not make my comment to start a bonehead discussion about Peak Oil, Global warming or the notion that someday we will all be on bicycles. There are other sites that support your lofty though processes, go pontificate on one of them.

I made a simple statement. I think it is outrageous that these people blatantly break the law, inconvenience others and take over major thoroughfares at the expense of others. I can't believe I had to be detoured several blocks out of my way to accommodate these people just because this is what THEY want to do. Do they have permits to do this? Have they paid each City for the protection?

If you want go get all political about it, vital programs and and budgets are being cut (including police and fire) while these people cost HOW MUCH as they converge upon each City? How much in police overtime? Oh yeah, let's count in medic bills, since we saw a few bikers hit the ground and get hurt one of the other times this lunacy occurred. If people want to ride their bikes from San Jose to Palo Alto, they are welcome to do so. Ride obeying each traffic law just like everyone else, don't block lanes and don't blast boomboxes while yelling their fool heads off at 10:00 pm when SOME people may be trying to rest after a busy week. I saw several children out riding in this event. Helluva lesson we are teaching them, (more than half of these people had no lights, helmets or other safety gear in addition to breaking just about every traffic rule). Just one more example of entitlement for our blooming society of narcissists.

If we acted like this in our cars with cops present we would be pulled over and ticketed in a heartbeat. To say nothing of all the caveats motorists receive being told to 'Share the road' with cyclists. Really? Perhaps they should show a little reciprocity. The hypocrisy of cyclists is patently amusing. If we are all going to share the road, then we should all be treated equally under the law. Nobody should be held above the law because they manage to form a pack, gang or whatever you want to call this assembly of riders.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

They couldn't have been too noisy. They must have passed within 200 feet of me and I didn't hear them.

YSK, observer, PB: what do you do when other car traffic gets in your way? Oh, you're stuck- nothing you can do about it-- it is cars...

Bicyclists have exactly as much right to be there as you do. Period. And don't talk to me about gas tax. My property taxes pay for the city streets, thank you.

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

A traffic jam is not comparable to a deliberate blocking of a City street. And hey, there would be no traffic jams (at least in one direction) if cops were sent to every intersection to make sure that cars could continue passage regardless of lights and stop signs. As to noise, I was sitting at Middlefield and Melville when I encountered them the second time and they were LOUD. I could hear them through closed car windows and my radio turned on.

And yes, you made my point. Cyclists have as much a right to be on the City streets as we do. Traffic jams don't bother them much, they can whiz right through. The bottom line is again, motorists are expected to obey the law. Motorists get a huge fine for running red lights and stop signs. I saw many bikers doing that before the cops got to the intersection. In fact, I saw many do that while one cop sat and watched. The other's came along a minute or so later then closed off the intersection then detoured traffic. How is it, Anon, that those people have more rights than I? If we have EXACTLY AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE THERE AS I DO, like you stated, then don't we ALL have the SAME obligation to follow the law???

Posted by Taxpaper for 45 years
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 17, 2010 at 11:42 am

What a nightmare!! Cat hid for an hour!
Whomever organized this needs to step aside
and let someone else who understands that
citizens' rights need to be respected. People
riding in it were obnoxious and loud. And, these
were police officers!?

Posted by A Nice Biker
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

Were Friday night bikers only rude on Park Blvd in Palo Alto? Were they respectful to residents on Middlefield and other streets then felt they did not need to respect those living in the Ventura neighborhood? Those commenting that they heard no noise as the bikers went by on their streets, etc. seem to verfiy my question! The yelling, boom boxes, and general mayhem was disgusting on Park Blvd. Shame on those that created this.

Posted by slammin211s
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

what a lot of bitching for something that happens once a month after the general commute hour, lossen up, have some fun and see what these guys are about, as already said there will be a few dumbasses getting drunk and running lights, but out of thousands of riders the cops cant catch them all, just like they wont catch every motorist doing thhe same shit.

Furthermore, i love how everyone complaining about this is doing so on an anonymous public forum, yet during the ride everyone was cheering us on, car drivers, bystanders, people drinking beer in their front yards, etc.

Im not even going to live here anymore in 2 weeks but plan to make the trip down to have fun and piss off all the squares.

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

"Piss off the SQUARES?" I guess you are moving where, back to the 60's? That's good, cos they want their slang back.

And no Ventura, they were horrors at Middlefield and Embarcadero, and Melville too. My daughter said they were causing problems with traffic in Mountain View too.

Taxpayer? They were not cops, they were just people. The cops had to go out to herd them, otherwise there would be problems if they didn't. Motorists don't like to deal with idiots who can't obey the same road rules they they themselves have to abide by. I can imagine there would be some sort of trouble between the two...upside for the officers in getting overtime pay, downside for the City of Palo Alto which really needs to be spending that money for more important causes or police coverage when we REALLY need it.

Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I love all the comments saying that the ride should pay for police protection.

If you are so concerned about overtime, why not make all the bars downtown pay for the actual police overtime they are using.

Almost every Friday and Saturday night PAPD commanding officers ask if anyone can "stay over" to cover the bars. No officer ever turns down the chance for OT.


Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm


You have done a great service to Palo Alto by blogging and tweeting the things you hear on your police scanner, but now I have to wonder if those activities are influenced by the same political agenda that rationalizes the illegal activities of these bicycle "riots"

Please tell me it ain't so....

Posted by Wagon Train
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Every day is CAR DAY (and nite too). 1600 tax paying bay area locals don't agree with the handfull of critics making absurd statements of rights and violence against your neighbors out having fun in a well organized event. This 50 year young rider thanks all the LEO's. We had a blast didn't we : )

Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Stanford football games cause more of a disruption in traffic than the Bike Party, and I haven't heard anybody complain about that.

Posted by Park Blvd resident
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 19, 2010 at 2:53 am

They were loud and rowdy on Park and I thought it was a hoot! Even thought they woke me up, I enjoyed watching so many young people having fun. I too can't believe people can be so cranky and righteous about something that happened one time. It's not like they were drinking and driving or vandalizing property. Get over it.

Posted by Yoshi
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

If you feel like you would like for us to talk more about your specific issue or if you feel like there is something more for you to contribute to our organization, please come to our next volunteer meeting which is on May 12th, 6:45-8:45 at Sophisto Society, 1177 W San Carlos St in San Jose. Thank you.

Posted by slammin211s`
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm

may 12? already happened lol

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