SF Pride 97

[Mob o' bikes and babes]While we waited for the parade to start, a fellow with a mic and tape recorder moved among the riders, politely enquiring if he might interview. When he reached Caitlin and me, we gave permission, and he asked me, "Why are you doing this?"

Why indeed?

[LA and Caitlin]I answered him, "My girlfriend has wanted to ride in this parade ever since she first saw the Dykes on Bikes when she was 13 years old; it's a gift that's easy for me to give her." And that's why. I had a blast, but 75% of the good time I had was seeing how happy it made Caitlin.

The rest of the pictures

[other groups forming up]Here are some of the other groups forming up. In the right foreground is the PAWS float. PAWS is a group that helps people with AIDS to take care of their pets, recognizing the theraputic value of a companion animal. Just behind that (you can't see it too well) is the SF Gay Men's Chorus contingent. They rock. In the distance, the cannabis leaves mark the contingent from the medical marijuana folks.

[the bikes are ready!]
Meanwhile, here's the view from over the top of my head, taken by Caitlin, of the Moto Contingent ready to roll!

[bikes ready to roll, rear view]
And here's the view toward the rear of the same.

[redheaded babe; great shoes]I have no idea who this babe is; Caitlin took her pic as the first column of bikes got rolling. Great shoes, great attitude!

[view from the bike...]
We're just getting rolling here; the bikes in the distance are heading for Market Street. Note Caitlin's wrist in my rear-view mirror... ;)

[we're rollin'!]
We're well on the way now.

[some of the crowd]
Here's one of many shots of the crowd. Everyone was supportive and enthusiastic; I didn't see any fundie protesters or any suchlike. Awesome!

[Nancy Gold, ride captain & friend]
Here's Nancy Gold, ride captain, friend and former Sybase co-worker. She works for SGI now and is a totally cool person. You should check out her website.

[a little further down the road]Here we are, a little further down market street. Nothing but bikes and people, as far as the eye can see. For a snapshot taken from one of those disposable cameras, I think this is a damn fine image; bikes and the pride flag, happy women, supportive onlookers. No left turn! ;)
[cooldown stop; rear view]We had a cool-down stop for the air-cooled bikes; actually, there were two or three scheduled, but we were close enough to the front of the parade that we only had one. Nuthin but bikes to the vanishing point! Yow!
[cooldown stop; front view]I hadn't been entirely sure what the stop was for, until I asked one of the road captains, who kindly reminded me that the cool-down stops had been mentioned in the literature they sent me when I signed up... (silly me); she said, "It's a chance for the bikes to cool off, and for folks to pose and strut...) Well, that's what happened. The girl with the big hair has on this totally outrageous seventies-era outfit, bellbottoms and all, and her bike had a boombox bungied to the back playing Motown classics earlier and Janis later...

[road captain & sweetie with impressive boots]
There's that road captain I talked to; the girl with her is well-equipped indeed to strut; pipe the boots!

[another crowd shot]Just another crowd shot; all kinds of people. I still haven't been able to figure out if the guy on the lasdder is blowing a plastic trumpet or having a drink...
[Caitlin & LA again]And one last shot of Caitlin and me, just because. This one was taken by a press photographer; he snapped a pic of us being cute, and Caitlin said, "Hey! Guy with a camera! Now you have to take one for us!" She handed him our disposable, and he did.

I loved this quote from the editorial page of the SF Examiner dated Sunday July 6 1997:

                        Tykes on dykes
     Dykes on Bikes thrummed slowly down Market Street last Sunday
past the curb-side perch of a 6-year-old girl.
     The first grader, who recently learned to ride a bicycle without
training wheels, was fascinated by the squadrons of Harleys and
Hondas that launched San Francisco's 27th annual Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade.
     Out-of-towners must have been amused, or scandalized, or both, at
the costumery.  Miles of leather.  Two bridal gowns.  One torso clothed in
blue paints.  Nighties.  A tuxedo.  Cowboy chaps.  Creative tattoos. Bare
breasts.  Bare skulls.  Bare buttocks.  It wasn't Kansas.
     The little girl from San Francisco was staring. "Mommy," she
said.  "They're not wearing helmets!"