The cultural event I attended on May 6 was Bike Party Sacramento. My mother and father are long time attendees of the event, and are super passionate about making sure they don’t miss a single one. My dad just bought a brand new bike that he paid $2000 dollars for, and even though it’s an expensive toy, it sure does look beautiful. So, I thought his first time riding this bike for bike party would be the perfect time for me to join my family for my first bike party event.
Bike Party Sacramento, in general, involves decorating the bike with lights, often flashing, and riding through Sacramento with a large group of 200-500 other bike enthusiasts. Usually there is a theme to each event, and this particular one was the superhero theme. People were dressed as all kinds of make-believe superheros, some normal dressed folks, and some in completely out of pocket outfits.
Before the event, the Bike Party planners post online what the tour route will be. We met this time near the parking lot at Sacramento City College. Beforehand, people are hanging out, socializing, drinking their alcoholic beverages, eating food from a hot dog stand bike, and dressing their bike up for the ride.
When we commenced our journey, it was about 8 oclock, and just beginning to get dark. Our flashing and blinking light bikes ride through the city towards downtown Sacramento, ringing our bells and yelling to the onlookers, “BIKE PARTY!!!!!”
The first stop we get to is the park right by the Crocker Art Museum. One of the bikers had a 5 foot tall speaker he carried, and started bumping some party music, and became our very own DJ. Some people stary dancing, while most people are drinking their alcoholic beverages. For about half an hour, we hung out and then hopped back on the bikes towards the party streets in Downtown. We rode down R street, where there are a lot of bars and restaurants with many people hanging outside. People look onto us shouting and checking out our bike parade. A lot of people will ask when the next Bike Party is, and how they can get involved.
We then continue to ride for about 6 more miles to a second stop at another park where the real dance party gets going. A lot of people are alcohol inhibited, and it turned into a mini rave. After a sweet little park party, we hop back on and ride back to Sac City. It was about a 13 mile round trip from 8pm-11pm.
The Bike Party event is primarily about having a good time with your companions. They promote exercise, good vibes, and the use of bikes in Sacramento. We also develop a good relationship with the bikers and car riders, I didn’t notice any cars that were bothered by our crowds, and whenever a car needed to get through, the bikes would separate and allow them through the crowd. More often than not, the car riders would be smiling and shouting out at as full of joy. Bike Party also promotes a happy vibe for the tourists who are visiting Sacramento, and gives them a good sense that our citizens are upbeat, social, and passionate about exercise.
I attended the event because my mom and dad are always talking about Bike Party, and I can tell this is now their passion in their old age. This is their primary way of socializing with their friends outside of work, and gives them a good change of pace compared to the sitting around at a bar drinking.
The cultural significance of the event is about bringing together groups of people, and just being able to have a good time and let loose. It’s definitely something I have never seen before in another city, and I think it helps make Sacramento a little bit original. Promoting good vibes and sharing happiness with your fellow men and women are definitely great for the city, and it’s a perfect way for a new person in town to make a whole lot of friends.
I think this event ties to a lot of subculture research we have done this semester. This group consists of bike enthusiasts, who like to party, and are generally there for the promotion of good ambiance. Like the Star Trek fan fiction people, the skaters, and the hip hop movement, bike party advertise happiness in doing what they like to do, and is just another form of entertainment and being able to let loose.
If I had more time in my life, I would love to attend these events more often. I had a blast and it was cool hanging out with my parents and their friends for the first real time of my adult years. I learned that I could now definitely fit in with my parent’s social group, and as I come up to the drinking age (not a drinker, but cool to be around), there is a lot more that I am able to share with them. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a fun time on the first Saturday of every month!