The CrackBerry Chronicles: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Winterfest

Written by Elaine Santore. Posted in Arts/Entertainment, Culture, Events, Opinion, Politics

Published on December 09, 2008 with 9 Comments

Elaine Santore
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Elaine Santore

December 9, 2008

Fog City Journal attended the 10,000-members strong San Francisco Bicycle Coalition‘s 2008 Winterfest Sunday night at SOMArts and walked right into Rob Anderson’s ninth circle of hell. Even though Anderson’s been invited by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi to Winterfest three years in a row, Anderson refuses to show up.

A fedora-wearing Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi disappears into the night,
disappointed after being stood up by Rob Anderson. Again.

Of course, yours truly felt like a bit of an impostor in a sea of over 1,000 bicyclists because I haven’t ridden a bike since I was twelve. (I’m pretty sure that bike is still in my parents’ garage in Daly City.)

The SF Bicycle Coalition is the largest bicycle advocacy organization in the US.

The packed crowd at SOMArts.

I made the mistake of admitting this recently in front of a group of SFBC members, including Executive Director Leah Shahum, while they were giving Walk & Bike for Life Executive Director Gil Peñalosa a bike tour of San Francisco in November. FCJ ran into their crew while filming Supervisor Chris Daly’s video about that old dude nobody’s heard of.

Here’s how it went down:

Luke: “Elaine, get in the picture!”

Happy Bike People: “Yeah, get in the picture, Elaine!”

Elaine: “Um, I don’t ride a bike.”

Luke: “You went to Winterfest last year . . .”

Elaine: “But I haven’t ridden a bike since the nineties.”

Walk & Bike for Life Executive Director Gil Peñalosa, Supervisor Chris Daly,
SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum, SFBC Program Director Andy Thornley
and Livable City Board President Cheryl Brinkman.

So I guess Mr. Anderson and I have something in common because neither one of us owns a bicycle. Maybe if he stopped hating and started emulating, he wouldn’t be so angry. This is the second Winterfest I’ve attended and everybody there looks so happy that I’m skeptical that these folks actually live in San Francisco.

Bicycles up for auction.

These boots were made for biking . . . and handing out raffle tickets.

The Bicycle Coalition auctioned off art, crafts, bicycles and prizes donated by sponsors such as Rickshaw Bagworks, Valencia Cyclery, New Belgium and Schwinn.

SFBC Program Director Andy Thornley and Gary Fisher open the live auction.

Gary Fisher and the Simple City-8 speed.

Xtracycle Radish by Rickshaw Bagworks.

One of the auction items was a sailboat ride
with SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum and Ted Strawser.

Aside from Mirkarimi, Supervisor-elect Eric Mar, Board of Education member Jane Kim, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, BART Director Tom Radulovich and newly-elected City College Board member Chris Jackson also attended.

Among the artwork up for auction was a painting of Frank Chu by Hugo Kobayashi. Every time I run into Frank, he’s always asking me if there are any events going on in town and I always tell him where FCJ’s going because a party without Frank Chu is like The West Wing without Aaron Sorkin, aka just wrong.

Artist Hugo Kobayashi next to his portrait of Frank Chu.

Frank Chu stands next to his portrait.

Elaine Santore and Frank Chu. Elaine tries to sport at least two things
white people like at all times. This time, it was a scarf and bangs.
The close proximity to bicycles bumps Elaine up to three.

Of course, I was immediately drawn to the crafts table, marveling at all the shiny things for sale. I even contemplated buying one of the cute homemade aprons, but nixed the idea after realizing that wearing an apron might give my plus-one the false impression that I would actually bake something. It’s a slippery slope.

The crafts table.

The SF Bike Quilt

Congratulations to Leah Shahum and the SFBC for another successful event. Maybe by next year I’ll actually be riding a bike. Anything can happen in 2009!

Arlene Graves and volunteer-ista Sue Vaughan.

The Brass Mafia

Elaine Santore

Elaine Santore

Elaine Santore was born in San Francisco during the awesome '80s. She spent a considerable amount of her childhood around City employees, all of whom taught her the value of pretending to be productive. After graduating from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, she transferred schools three times but eventually received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in Psychology, with a double minor in Political Science and Textiles, Clothing and Design. This unique area of expertise makes her qualified to critique the sartorial missteps and psychological problems of local politicians. Elaine's work has also appeared in 7x7, California Home + Design, Filipinas, the Daily Nebraskan, SF Bay Guardian, and

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