Friday, September 25, 2009

Party-on-Wheels at BIKE THE BLOCK Sunday

"It's not just a bike. It's a Party on Wheels,"* and it's coming to a neighborhood near you. Actually the seven-person circular funcycle will be right in and cruising around NOPA this Sunday as part of BIKE THE BLOCK's three hour, non-stop, all-things-bike block party.

NOPA's own Dan Nguyen-Tan will be at the wheel of the funcycle, ready for anyone who can pedal and be a little silly (or a lot). In just a few months, Dan has taken the odd-looking bike to Sunday Streets, Bike-in Movie Nights, Park(ing) Day, the LGBT Pride Parade, and all over town. Look for him Saturday at the Tour de Fat extravaganza in Golden Gate Park and the next Chinese New Year will be in for a surprise participant on wheels.

Initially marketed as the "Conference Bike," an effective ice-breaker for corporate team-building, the silliness of the ride has taken hold instead. In Dan's view, "You can have a meeting with up to seven people to discuss organizational bylaws..., but who wants to discuss that while enjoying a lovely day outside on a seven-person bike."

Dan found that music was the key component to any truly fun ride. He rigs two 150 watt speakers with an inverter powered by a car battery on the rear basket to play music from his iPod. "I sometimes add a disco ball or an inflatable fish on the back to add to the silliness," he adds. For other rides, he uses a wireless microphone to sing karaoke and talk with people on the street.

"It's one of the few times when I'm on a bicycle when car drivers actually slow down or smile when they see a bicyclist, or more accurately, seven bicyclists," Dan notes.

Anyone can ride the funcycle, although it does require pedal-power. Just hold on and do the spins. Nguyen-Tan reports that he has also taken many kids for a ride, although they need to have both hands on the bar in front of them and their legs need to reach the pedals (the seat is adustable). A responsible adult or parent must ride with the kids.

Stop by BIKE THE BLOCK for a ride you've never had before. Sunday, Sept. 27, 10 am to 1 pm. Grove Street between Lyon and Baker. The funcycle will depart from the Lyon end of the block. But save time also for the free raffle of Mojo Bicycle Cafe t-shirts at 12:30, a bike service station stop, electric bike demo, bike stunts, bike decorating, kids training course, bike art, even a bike blessing at 11:30. Really: it's all-bike all three hours.

(Please do watch the video of Dan and friends at the recent Parking(day) on Valencia).
With these great sponsors: NOPNA, Pacific Primary School, YBIKE/YMCA, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, BIKE NOPA, and Mojo Bicycle Cafe.

Note: Dan's FunCycle has been loaned by the bicycle rental company, Bike and Roll.

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