Run down of the bike festival:
1. Gorgeous day. Bright and chilly in the morning, but stayed bright and got warm quickly.
2. Lots of folks. Maybe 20 on the long rides and 60 on the not-so-long rides. Over 100 rode the community ride.
3. Good booths. Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition, St. Joe's, Project Grow, PEAC, Rails to Trails, and the Ypsi Food Coop all had tables. Wheels in Motion and Tree Fort really turned out. The former tweaked mechanicals on lots of bikes, including a bit o' work on my back wheel and squishy brake. My next biking business will go to them.
4. Minimal no-shows. AATA was supposed to send a bus so we could let people practice putting their bikes on the racks but some sort of crisis downtown distracted them and the bus never came. I did get a call from them this morning apologizing (good) and they are eager to come out to our next happening. Two Wheel Tango notified us a few days before the event that they were not going to come -- disappointing, but at least they let us know. Ypsi Cycle just plain did not show. I do not understand that one.
5. Surprise hit. Bike polo and kids apparently go together quite nicely. I was really happy to see that the usual crowd of polo playing adults mostly wore helmets and then happily worked with the kids who got curious to teach them the game and let them play.
6. Nice rides. It looked for a while there like I was again going to have to shorten my ride, but the folks who were not up to the 19-20mph pace of the fast group proved happy to do the whole 30 miles at 16mph. I don't mind riding slow... as long as I get to ride long. I did have to do a few wicked sprints to move between the front and back of a way stretched out group (which we eventually broke into two) and a mechanical breakdown and the main group. Pretty fun to see that I could get 23.5mph -- and not just on a downhill. The community ride (pictured above) was a bit intimidating to launch but rolled nicely once we got going. Letting the group break into groups during the ride actually seemed to work, but that was mostly due to having sooooo many Bike Ypsi people there to make sure somebody who knew the way and would look out for the group was at the head of every clump of riders.
7. No major disasters. One kid fell (he was fine), we ran out of hot dogs (Andy got more), we forgot to mention that we were selling t-shirts (let me know if you want one!)... but really? Nothing big. No fires to put out. Nice.
So now what? I've been a part of planning the Bike Ypsi Spring Ride and Festival for months. K tells us it has been [deep breath] 5 months in the works. Wow. I didn't really notice that because there were a few other issues along the way (like weekly rides, Bike to Work, and preserving the Ford Blvd road diet/bike lanes) and because I really enjoy the people in Bike Ypsi. The meetings were fun, the post-meetings involved happy hour at the Corner, and the between-meetings meet-ups usually had us on bikes pedaling out and about in the world.
I suspect that with this second big and successful event (you might recall that we had a fabulous fall ride in Oct 2007), there will be some fresh blood looking to get in on the Bike Ypsi love and the group will change because of that. There will be new agendas. Organizational issues will have to be dealt with. People will take us back over ground we have already covered. Personalities may clash. I'm happy to have new recruits (we don't want to burn out!), but I just gotta say, this first year has just been a blast.