The Bicycle Music Festival returns to San Francisco this weekend for its fourth year. Started in 2007, the BMF touts four features unique to any music festival the city has to offer. First, the PA system is powered entirely by people pedaling stationary bikes. Second, organizers and volunteers transport all equipment to and from the festival sites on bicycle. Third, the event takes place at multiple locations throughout the city. This year the event starts at Speedway Meadow at noon, becomes mobile for the parade to the second spot at 5, and finishes out the evening at Showplace Triangle (16th & Wisconsin).
Tomorrow is San Francisco's annual Bike to Work Day and the only excuses to not join this year's festivities are being bikeless or jobless. Then again, even if you are jobless, grabbing some coffee and a bag from an SFBC energizer station is a great reason to wake up before noon, especially with weather as awesome as this. Several of the energizer stations will have bike doctors ready and willing to do some quick and basic maintenance on the bike you've had collecting dust in your hallway since last year's Bike to Work Day, and SFBC will provide valet parking downtown (Market & Battery, 8a-6p) for cyclists whose employers aren't bike-friendly. First timers unsure of how to get from home to work can find a nearby commuter convoy departure location and ride downtown with a group of fellow commuters. If you work in the South Bay, are in good riding shape, and like waking up at the crack of dawn, join SF2G's group ride from the city to various peninsula destinations. And, of course, there's the annual Bike Away from Work party and fashion show at Rickshaw Stop, free for SFBC members, even those who join at the door. If you're not convinced why you should ride at all, check out the Exploratorium's special section on the science of cycling.
For the second year in a row, the Disposable Film Festival will join the Bike Week celebration with a bike-in movie screening in the parking lot of the Good Hotel. This year's festivities start at 4pm with tasty treats from ForageSF's Underground Market. Show up by 7 to get in on the raffle, which includes Crumpler bags, 2 nights at the Good Hotel, and a limited edition bicycle from Globe Bikes. Screening begins at 8pm. Cost? Nothing! Just bring a blanket or your camping chairs, and the SFBC volunteers will take care of parking your bike. Check out the video after the break for an idea of what last year's event looked like.
Today is the last day to buy tickets online for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's annual Golden Wheel Awards, a celebration of bicycle advocacy and street improvement leaders. This year's keynote speaker will be city supervisor David Chiu, whose District 3 includes North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, and Polk St. This year's honorees will be smooth pavement advocate Michael Helquist and SF Streetsblog, a "daily news source, online community and political mobilizer for the Livable Streets movement." The awards ceremony will be held at the War Memorial Building's Green Room on Tuesday, April 27 from 6-9pm, and tickets start at $75.
Start off the year going back to nature with the Wild Equity Institute this Saturday at the Golden Gate National Parks Endangered Species Big Year Bike Ride & Kick-off Celebration. The day begins with a morning bike ride that will explore some of the endangered flora and fauna in the city, including Presidio Manzanita and and the Southern Sea Otter. Co-sponsored by the SF Bicycle Coalition, the ride departs at 9:30am from Bazaar Cafe (21st Ave. & California) and ends at the Wild Equity Institute's kick-off celebration at Sports Basement Presidio.
If you own a bike and are looking for a way to give back this holiday season, come out on Saturday for the Supermarket Street Sweep. In its fourth year, the event sends riders to designated grocery stores to purchase food items that will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank. Participants can choose between a quick course or a cargo version, where the rider who brings in the most pounds of food wins. There will be plenty of prizes for participants from sponsors, including Bay Area specific messenger bags from Crumpler, handmade hats from Chuey, and a Soma Rush frameset. Last year's participants brought in over 5000lbs of food, all on bike! The event begins at the Bow & Arrow on Embarcadero this Saturday at noon.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's annual Winterfest will be held on December 6 at SOMArts Gallery from 6:30 - 10pm. This year's party will include beer from bike-loving New Belgium, DJs Laron and ShOOey, an art auction, a silent & auction (including bikes, gift certificates, and a 90-minute bike ride and lunch with city supe David Chu), a craft show, and food vendors from across the city. And if that's not enough, the SFBC will also auction off a handcrafted bicycle quilt. Entry is a suggested $15 minium donation for SFBC members but if you aren't a member and would like to join, $40 at the door will cover your admission and a one-year SFBC membership. And yes, admission includes beer.
If you didn't know San Francisco has its own bicycle ballet, consider yourself informed. They'll be performing this Friday, November 20, at Dogpatch Saloon (8pm, $8) with special guests every hour and catering by What's In My Mouth. The most interesting thing about this whole event is that, aside from event listings and the bike ballet's, er, eclectic website, the group doesn't seem to exist on the Internet—no photos, videos, nothing. And the catering company is unGooglable. For a San Francisco event, a solid lack of Internet presence should do more to pique your curiosity than any event listing ever could.
As part of his "research" for a weekly NYTimes column about Bay Area enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists, Scott James (aka Kemble Scott, author of the 2007 novel SoMa) decided to put a camera at the intersection where Duboce meets Steiner and Sanchez to capture the behavior of cars and cyclists and posted his video to the New York Times Bay Area Blog. But the placement of his camera allows you to see only one of the stops in full, the Steiner & Duboce stop, which also happens to be the end of the Wiggle, that wonderful maze of left and right turns that make getting to the Haight on bike seem fairly flat.
Find another use for used bike components and random scraps tonight at the SFBC's hands-on bike craft workshop. The SFBC will supply the materials, but if you're dying to make use of that drawer full of old tubes, tonight might be the time to bring them out. SFBC also encourages to bring small needle-nosed pliers, wirecutters, or scissors if you have them. The craft workshop is tied to SFBC's annual Winterfest, coming up on December 6, so if you don't want to take it home you can help raise money for the SFBC by donating it to the Winterfest Craft Table!