Recap: First Sunday Streets of 2013!

As many of you already know, Sunday Streets started in 2008 and was inspired by Ciclovia (‘Ciclovia’ means bike path in Spanish) in Bogota, Colombia. It’s an event that closes off streets to car traffic in different neighborhoods, opening them up to walkers, joggers, skaters, bicyclists, etc. Sunday Streets has grown from a couple of events a year to ten events held last year. The first Sunday Streets of this year, which was on March 10th, attracted 20,000 participants to the Embarcadero.

I owe much of my enthusiasm for biking in San Francisco to Sunday Streets. The first time I ever biked in SF was at the Sunday Streets held on the Embarcadero in 2010. Before that, I didn’t take biking so seriously. I never imagined I could use my bike for everyday living and that riding in the city could be so much fun.

Some of the Sunday Streets events are not as good for biking because they can get too crowded to maneuver with a bike, but the one held recently on the Embarcadero – a 3.3 miles (5.3 km) stretch along the waterfront without any cars was and has always been a heavenly experience for biking.

Embarcadero Sunday Streets starts at Pier 52 to Fisherman's Wharf.

The Embarcadero Sunday Streets goes from Pier 52 to Fisherman’s Wharf.

This year was extra special because the Exploratorium (SF’s much loved science museum and new tenant on the Embarcadero) held a lively pre-opening festival in conjunction with Sunday Streets and it appeared to be a big hit with the kids. Our city is known to have more dogs than children, but on this sunny Sunday you wouldn’t be able to tell. There were lots of kids with their parents out enjoying the open car-free space along the waterfront. Maybe with more of these types of events, more families will decide to stay living in the city.

Kid flying

Riding a bike like she is a gliding bird? You know this kid is having too much fun.

Ever seen a kid with so much room to ride as fast as possible?

With so much safe space, nothing is stopping this kid from going as fast as he can.

I have never seen so many kids in one place since Disneyland.

I have never seen so many kids in one place since Disneyland.

One of many children play station.

One of many play areas for children. See the kid on the floor. She’s too comfortable to get up.

An aerobic station and a break dancing station

Adjacent to the break dancing station at AT&T Park was an aerobic station for kids.

Remember four square!

Remember four square?

Penny Farthings that kids could only imagine to ride.

This kid is wondering, “How can I get on that bike?”

Kids always look forward to the bubbles from Jill the Bubble Girl.

Jill the Bubble Girl never disappoints the children with her fancy bubbles and bike.

The kind and lovely Jill poses with Ray for our camera.

The kind and lovely Bubblegirl poses with Ray for our camera.

Ever wonder how many strollers would fit the width of a car lane?

Do you ever wonder how many strollers would fit the width of a car lane?

There were many bands performing along the Embarcadero (I counted 8), but I think the Rock the Bike mobile stage performance was the best. How cool is that for them to bring their performance to the people, to engage them in a physical activity, and to send their music across the streets of the city to concert-goers and bystanders alike?

fossil fool concert

Rock the Bike getting some things ready to roll with the Justin Ancheta band.

Paul Freedman aka Fossil Fool, founder of Rock the Bike.

Paul Freedman aka Fossil Fool, founder of Rock the Bike.

IMG_0091_rock the bike_rear

Rock the Bike concerts always grab the attention of the crowd.

Watch a video of Rock the Bike at Sunday Streets:

There are always lots of interesting things and people to see at these events.

Hardeep Johar aka Deep always makes an appearance. Here he is giving Nio a ride.

Amandeep Jawa aka Deep always makes an appearance with his custom bicycle rickshaw with bumping sound system. Here he is giving Nio a ride.

Sunday Streets are good for feathered friends too!

Sunday Streets is good for feathered friends too!

A bike made out of Sapporo beer cans with little Japanese flags to boot!

A bike made out of Sapporo beer cans with little Japanese flags to boot!

Now here is an idea we are proposing: How about having a night time version of Sunday Streets? Maybe we can have it on Friday or Saturday evenings and call it Friday/Saturday Streets? We could have all the neon glowing bikes come out and have neon glowing vendor stations. We could team up with Off the Grid and have them park their food trucks there and it would be like an Asian night market! Rock the Bike could have their concert in the dark with lighting effects. It would be like Bike Party but with a dedicated space for the event. How cool would that be? Please Sunday Streets organizers, think about it!

Related reading:

Recap: Sunday Streets in the Mission District in Photos

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Recap: Sunday Streets in the Mission District | I Love Biking SF

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