The East Bay Bike Party Volunteers have unanimously chosen to cancel December’s ride because of actions that grossly disrespect its core values. These same actions have also disrespected the communities in which we have visited. The Volunteers apologize to the communities that have been negatively affected.
East Bay Bike Party (EBBP) is a 100% volunteer powered event for and by bike enthusiasts. We are a loose knit group of idealistic volunteers trying to spread bicycle love. EBBP has some core values and simple rules. Your participation in Bike Party means acceptance of, and adherence to these core values/rules.
Despite concerted thought and effort over many months to more effectively communicate our values and reign in behavior counter to those values, we’ve experienced a general decline in civility at our bike parties, manifested by:
- Riding into oncoming traffic, attacks on motorists
- Property destruction / tagging
- Threats directed at volunteers
- Theft of bicycles and personal gear
- Disregard for music volume limits in residential areas after hours
- Offensive and exclusionary misogynistic music
November’s ride gave us more than enough examples of the above behavior. To top it off, someone stole a bicycle belonging to one of our dearest volunteers.
The above behaviors are NOT East Bay Bike Party. As civility has decreased, so too has the artistic expression of themes and female participation. Over time, many of our wonderful friends simply stopped coming to the Bike Party that they helped create. So to the people who have taken Bike Party from us, we are taking it back in December.
Although the vast majority of bike party participation has been great, please use December’s time off to reflect on Bike Party’s values and in turn, increase your appreciation, participation, and commitment to East Bay Bike Party.
Soy recidente de Oakland ,yo esperaba que bike party apoyaria los acontecimientos ocurridos en los ultimos Dias.OAKLAND no ballan.le voy a decir a mis amigos Que no se presenten a un bike party in Oakland…:-)
I stayed at Union Point to let my dog run after last ride. There was one super drunk guy, two homeless men who live there and I. The drunk had his bike but there was another by him. In the course of picking up trash the homeless guys and I asked the guy about the other bike and he said he didn’t know about it. A good hour after everyone had split..we were still wondering how some one could leave w/o their bike and finally.one of the homeless guys took the bike. It was dark so I never looked closely at the bike…. but they live at Union Point so you may want to go down there and check it out
Do they have the problems you listed at the SF and SJ Bike Parties ? How do they handle it ?
Taking time off at this point strikes me as an excellent idea; I have been increasingly distressed over the last year at the slow but consistent escalation of young testosterone-fueled problems along the route. Getting to this point was only a matter of time. I would propose putting the whole endeavor on hold until Spring, when the darkness begins to lift. Let’s make it three or even four months– I would hope that the low-life elements would loose interest, with the monthly, predictable rampage nights’ pattern disappeared. Let’s take a healthy break, for now. We might just be able put this thing back on a healthy track, with the faithful exercising patience, rather than loosing it altogether.
Well, I must say I’m disappointed but not surprised. I didn’t see anything different at Novembers’ ride. I echo the comments here commending you for taking your Bike Party back. I’m relatively new to EBBP – only a year and a half – and in that time I’ve seen get less civilized. I used to families and children and now I almost never do. While I’ve never seen tagging, threats, attacks on motorist etc, I have seen the riding against traffic, speeding on sidewalks, running lights etc. And i’ve also seen littering which is an anathema to me and should be all conscious bike riders. The bike riding ethos is to LEAVE NO TRACE. That leads me to believe EBBP needs to get back to being more about bike than party. Clearly, there’s too many people who aren’t bike riders, only ride at BP, only ride on nice sunny weekends or like to go on mass bike rides. Maybe it’s time to put some hills in the routes you choose.
I’ve been biking in the Bay Area for 25 years and I’ve always avoided mass bike rides like Critical Ass b/c the fact is, by their behavior, they do more to alienate and the anger the same public we want to educate about biking and bike related issues. I hate that it’s happening to Bike Party.
Going forward, i’m not sure how to fix it but i’m willing to put in time and energy to help. Whether it’s Bike Party or a demonstration about Social Justice, it seems a few knuckleheads ruin it for everyone. It reminds me of that old axiom ” it’s open to everybody and that’s the problem “.
I completely agree. When I started doing bike party over a year ago it was care free and so much fun. Now for the past couple of rides all I do is constantly worry about my safety and safety of others while riding and people are being extremely dangerous while riding. Overall, the past rides have not even been fun for me but a bother. I feel like random people have just joined along (wether actually knowing about it or just seeing us on the streets and joining in the moment) for the wrong reasons. They think it’s a time to act out and do whatever they want and they forget that it’s an actual organization that takes time and thought. I understand that it’s a public event and things happen but at this point it looks like the same troubled people keep coming and using the fun environment to their advantage to cause harm. I really hope you can find a solution to bring it back to peace.
I can’t. Believe. You people. Doing. This. You
Guys are low by canceling. This. Event. You
Can kiss. It how low. Can you go thanks alot
I’d like to help replace the bike , too. How do I get it touch?
To Red-Haired Girl (Flag) I agree with your decision. Could you make the cancellation 1 year?
Last month’s ride was here in Alameda. I ran across one of the groups, myself, while driving that evening. At first, I assumed it was a “Critical Mass” group. Later, I heard a number of complaints by neighbors and acquaintances that had experienced some of the worse behaviors.
Times past, I often rode with the Berkeley Critical Mass group and have a fairly long history of bicycle enthusiasm, advocacy and activism – especially way back during the 70’s, in Portland, OR, when we were first working to create the conceived dedicated “bike lanes” (Yes, there WAS a time when no such thing existed), more pervasively common bike parking racks (both by businesses and cities), and to promote bike riding among our fellow citizens.
As is the case with most things, it’s crucial to pursue such interests by “winning” other people’s mindshare and inclusive participation. Risking alienating, offending or outright adversarial force tends to be a self-defeating indulgence.
Please put me on the list of folks who’d like to contribute funds to replace the stolen bike. Long live the magic of Bike Party and thank you thoughtful organizers.
Wow Nate, that is so thoughtful of you. Jessica has always been with the bike party spirit and it was so sad to see such a thing happen to her :( Friends and the like came together and raised money for a new bike for her in no time though! https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/rll6/jessica-s-bike
I can imagine that this wasn’t an easy decision to come by, but I really appreciate you guys taking ownership of what happened under the banner of the last ride. I hope this leads to more constructive events that can move forward under the spirit of the organization.
I am proud of the organizers taking back the event they have spent years creating. The decline in behaivor has been building for a long time, and I am proud of any step that can be done to bring attention to the fact that the behavoir being portrayed by many participants is not what bike party is all about.
Much love and respect to all those involved in trying to create an inclusive, safe, and fun event.
No, behavior that brought about this decision to cancel December’s ride is not indicative of the Bike Party activity as a whole. I have been upset by exactly the behavior the organizers point out. However, these behaviors were not present in earlier Bike Party rides on my street in the past.
It is important, I think, for us old fart community members to support the volunteer organizer’s steps to remedy these issues. I have trouble with the noise (noise pollution bothers me and my pets) but can handle what used to be the standard for these rides. It is only for about a half hour every few months and I like our bike trails being used by our youth.
So, to other senior citizens and disabled folks, take note that action is being taken. Obviously, those that have the true spirit of Bike Party in their hearts want a safe, respectful activity. The problems and complaints have not been ignored.
Remember we have all been young and this is a good activity when its core values are followed.
Although it is too bad the actions of some (there are many more than a few) have ruined this activity for the whole, I appreciate Bike Party volunteers finally stepping up and cancelling a ride. Especially before city council, board if supervisors and police departments step in due to communty complaints and pass ordinances prohibiting such activities at all.
Perhaps this will make an impression on those that have continually disregarded safety disrespected the very communities that foot the tax and donation dollars providing our bike trails. Hopefully, this action will aid in weeding out those entitled, selfish and immature riders that do not represent the core values or spirit of Bike Party.
I remember earlier Bike Party rides that pass right by my home that were not disrespectful, as loud or unsafe as the rides have become on a considtent basis. Hopefully by Bike Party volunteers taking action, rides can be reestablished reminiscent of what Bike Party used to be like.
well we have seen this coming for a while.