Bike is a party
Taking the show on the road with cycle-centric community events
When you’re done commuting, exercising and racing, what’s left to do on your bike? Have fun! And in a city like Chico, where healthful living and having a good time are not mutually exclusive pursuits, fun on a bike isn’t limited to popping wheelies. As our bike culture has grown, a handful of organized bike-centric community events have sprung up that bring together Chico’s mutual love of music, biking, sustainability, being outdoors, and wearing fun and sometimes outrageous costumes.
So lube up that chain, fill up your basket with supplies, and put on some sunscreen, or better yet just paint your face with clown makeup and follow the pack to the next party.
Chico Seersucker Spring Ride
Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m.
Chico Tweed Ride
Sunday before Thanksgiving Begin at Chico City Plaza
Before there was a Seersucker Ride there was the Tweed Ride last fall, where 140 locals stepped back in time by donning early American and British woolen cycling attire—some atop penny-farthings and other old-timey bikes—and ventured out in a light rain through Bidwell Park before looping back to the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to enjoy a pint on the patio.
Started by local bike/outdoor/paleo-diet enthusiast Craig Almaguer, the Tweed Ride is modeled after similar rides that happen all over the world—from the UK to San Francisco. And Almaguer has the same idea for the (first-ever) spring Seersucker Ride, but with riders being outfitted in the seasonably appropriate thin-and-dimpled seersucker fabric instead. From the City Plaza, riders will make their way to Bidwell Park and stop to play some croquet and badminton before returning to town and a still-to-be-determined gathering place. Search “Chico Tweed Ride” on Facebook for more info.
Chico Bicycle Music Festival
Saturday, June 1, noon-10 p.m. Starting at Camellia Way Park
This is the consummate Chico event. Not only does the Butte Environmental Council-sponsored roaming music fest bring the community together on bikes, but it also literally combines live music and alternative energy into one cooperative expression. Once the festival rolls into one of its stops, a handful of riders strap their bikes into the pedal-powered rigging and start generating the electricity for the p.a. amplifier used by the festival’s musicians.
“I knew it was the type of thing that the Chico culture would love,” said organizer Samantha Zangrilli, who started the annual festival in 2009.
There are usually three stops for the day-long festival, but this year’s event will just include two—Camellia Way Park to begin, and the GRUB Cooperative farm on Dayton Road to end—with a two-hour-long Live on Bike concert/ride through Bidwell Park. Performers this year include MaMuse, Loyd Family Players, Wolf Thump, Evin Wolverton and Chikoko’s kid-friendly POPCYCLE the Kids performance.
Last year, Zangrilli estimates 600 riders showed up for the GRUB portion of the festival, and she expects this year will be even more popular. “I don’t have to really do a lot to promote it because so many people in the community talk about it,” she said. Visit www.cbmf.wordpress.com for more details.
The Bike Races
After the college kids leave town, it’s the townies turn to party. The Bike Races aren’t so much a community event as they are a tradition. It’s a progressive party with a handful of houses asked to decorate to a specific theme (this year, it’s “movie directors”—so, there’s the Kubrick house, the John Waters house, etc.) as well as host a band. The bike-riding attendees dress to the theme as well, and move as one spirited cycling mass from venue to venue in what amounts to a kick-off celebration for another glorious Chico summer.
For more details track down the hippest local you know.