On the morning of Oakland Pride, the Bike East Bay team met at 9:30am to begin decorating bikes and queuing up to parade into the festival. It’s was a little early for a Sunday, but you could tell people were excited. We dressed our machines in colorful and shiny craft pipe cleaners, duct tape, bells, and ribbon. The other parade contingents began lining up, and soon all of 14th St. was filled with walkers, bikes, banners, and pets. With craft supplies scattered all over the street, our crew scrambled to clean up and attach the Bike East Bay banner between two bikes to hold our space in the parade line up. The group assigned to the spot in front of us was a whole marching band complete with tubas, flutes, and a xylophone.
Shortly after 11am, we were off! With the rising din of at least one marching band and engines roaring to life in anticipation of our departure, our long train slowly filed out of the gate. The procession rolled north on Broadway from 14th St. to 20th St., where it met the entrance to the festival. Along the way, parade viewers lined the sidewalks and barricades that closed Broadway to any traffic.
The road was ours. Traveling at slow speeds with no car traffic, we had the opportunity to weave from curb to curb, handing out “Queer Ride” stickers and ringing our bells in celebration. We had a fascinating variety of bikes with us - drop bars, folding bikes, fixed gears, a unicycle, and one child seated on a bike rack surrounded by balloons. Below, you can see Tim Holub from Bike East Bay’s Pedalfest impressing a child and onlookers with his skills on a unicycle.
As we approached 20th St., the team turned right and rolled up to Bike East Bay’s bike valet tent to park our bikes and enter the festival. We arrived at the gate before all of the lines, making for a stress-free entrance to the festival — just one of the many benefits of biking to big events.
Participating in Oakland Pride is all about celebrating LGBTQ culture in our community and having a great time. Join us next year, and let’s make our celebration even bigger!