I have been obsessed with Silicon Valley’s bicycling history ever since I learned there have been bicyclists here for as long as there have been bicycles. From the 1890s, when bicycle racing was the world’s most popular spectator sport, through the 1990s, local racers won national championships and participated at the Olympics.
Silicon Valley is known as the birthplace of innovation for personal computers, networking and the Internet, but I found that largely unknown is its role in bicycling’s advancement: Locals changed the international sport of bicycle racing; Cupertino’s Morrow Dirt Club likely inspired the first mountain bike makers, while the founder-inventors of the Avocet, Blackburn, Bontrager, Giro, Klein, Phil Woods & Company, Ritchey, and Specialized brands started here.
On Sunday May 3rd, History San José in collaboration with Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will kick off National Bike Month and celebrate this history by throwing a bike festival and show at History Park.
Festival-goers can show their bicycles and enjoy Moveable Feast food trucks, Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s craft beer, picnic areas, historical talks and tours of the exhibit Silicon Valley Bikes! Passion, Innovation & Politics Since 1880 in the Clyde Arbuckle Gallery at the Pacific Hotel.
There will be creative activities and games for children at the Kids Space, hosted by Our City Forest, while DJs Guerillaz in Da Mixx (GiDM) and Malcolm Lee provide sound and tunes.
Celebrants will include the Valley’s largest bicycle clubs and riding groups, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees (BPACs), bike shops, and bicycle oriented not-for-profits.
The Hellyer Velodrome [the Northern California Velodrome Association] and the San José Bicycle Club will host a roller racing area; San José. Bike Polo will host demonstration games. Specialized will demonstrate electric bikes. San José Fixed Gear will offer fixed gear trick riding demonstrations. Free valet bicycle parking will be provided by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
Written by Diane Solomon