Last night I went to Bike Rave, an annual event where Vancouverites decorate their bikes with bright lights, tassels, glow sticks, and all things raver. Upon cue, people who have speakers set up on their bikes all start a pre-mixed track of music which playes in-sync (in theory at least) as the mass of riders cycle around the Sea Wall.
It makes me really happy to see thousands of people turn out on bikes to anything. The numbers of Bike Ravers alone makes me hopeful that maybe transportation officials and other policy makers will take note of the growing cycle culture in this city and stop treating people who cycle as a fringe group that can be routed around everything else.
That said, the congestion of Bike Rave was too much for me to really enjoy it as a bike activity, or maybe even as a party in itself. There were so many people on the Sea Wall at the beginning, that no one could really get enough speed to balance properly for enjoyable riding. It was social however, but in a particular way. There were plenty of exchanges of, “nice ___” (fill in the blank with something like “lights“, “wig“, “bike“) for example, and plenty of random Timmy Burch-like shouts of “bike rave!”. I think that I might have liked it better if I were under-the-influence, but definitely would have crashed if that were the case.
I love the Bike Rave concept, although I personally think it would have been better as a smaller event, or not confined to the narrow Sea Wall. Even so, I am happy at the demonstration that so many people clearly want to be riding their bikes.
Good on the Bike Rave organizers for rallying literally thousands of people, most of which, seemed to be having a blast!