“Everything I do for the environment, I do it for my own vanity” remarked a friend of mine while we hoofed it towards a social engagement. I will be the first to tout the glut-shaping powers of the bicycle, but – being as we are still three days away from my payday – I have to tinker with his truism. Everything I do for the environment, I do it for my wallet. That being said, here's this list of free bike events around the city over the next 10 days.
Pedal Across the Americas send-off
Set to coincide with Hayes Valley Farm's harvest festival, well wishers can stop by today to say bon voyage to the PAA team, who will be following up its last trek from Ontario to San Francisco with a bike ride all the way from SF to Costa Rica. The riders do it all to raise awareness about sustainability initiatives in the Americas. Hop abroad your cruiser to accompany them at 3 p.m. on a ride out to Ocean Beach.
Sun/16 1-5 p.m., free
Hayes Valley Farm
450 Laguna, SF
“How Women Rode on Bike to Freedom”
History has it that back when the Outer Sunset was nothing but dunes and people living in repurposed street cars (Carvillehttp://www.sfbg.com/pixel_vision/2010/05/10/carville-black-rock-city-more-history , don'tchaknow), there was a woman's cycling club out there in the sand drifts. Their techniques for navigating the terrain has been lost in the tides of history, but documentation of women and bikes throughout history is still there. Sue Macy wrote the book on the 1890s connection between bikes and female radicals. It's called Wheels of Change, and she'll be sharing her findings at this reading at the Public Bikes HQ.
Mon/17 6-8 p.m., free
Public Bikes headquarters
123 South Park, SF
Bike nightlife, bike empowerment, bike fashion – but let's hear it for bike art, shall we? Fliers for Critical Mass and other group rides have long attracted the skills of talented artist types. Artcrank is a yearly expo of such two-wheeled images. The event began in Minneapolis and has expanded to biking towns across the country: SF, Portland, Des Moines, and St. Louis among other towns. Catch the wonder at 111 Minna, where they'll be raffling off Chrome bags full of prints. Drinks will be available, because early holiday shopping (yeah I said it) goes better when you're tipsy.
Fri/21 7 p.m., free
111 Minna, SF
Handmade bikes, vintage bikes, chances to ride on a velodrome – this all day fest is a great chance to see all the ways people are taking their rides to another level (or sideways, as the case may be). Unique and one-of-a-kind bikes will be on display, not to mention BMX and dirt jump demos, vendors, kid's stuff, a beer garden, and a stage powered by the generator steeds of Rock the Bike.
Sat/22 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free
Jack London Square, Oakl.