Sunday, July 31, 2005

Saturday I had to drag myself up and out. It was foggy in the Richmond District and looking out the window didn't inspire me to action - but I needed to get some exercise and there were happenings I wanted to checkout. The first stop was very close Tour De Fat in Golden Gate Park.

Tour De Fat is a bike fundraiser for the San Francisco Bike Coalition and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. The festival was small but lively with bike parade, live music, fun bikes to ride and plenty of beer for festival goers. I'm not a daily bike commuter but I try to use my bike(s) on the weekend for getting around the city, incorporating my biking into normal activities. One group that helps provides this option is the San Francisco Bike coalition, they are advocates for bike riding and the creation of bike paths and bike friendly streets in San Francisco.

One great perk at the Festival was a bike shop was offering free tune-ups, Mike's Bikes of Sausalito. The guy tuning the bikes was very nice he actually put some time into my beloved rust bucket. It had a sticky brake that needed some TLC. After much troubleshooting the brake mobility did improve, I appreciated his effort and I'll take my bike(s) to Mikes when they need some work.

After leaving Tour De Fat I rode through the City with a friend, who I hooked up with at the Tour De Fat, to the Mission & 16th Bart Station . Taking your bike on Bart is not a problem on the weekend just keep away from the first car. We were able to find a unpopulated car to situate our bikes and ride comfortably. We exited at the West Oakland Bart Station, the first station after the transbay tube. We knew where we wanted to go we just didn't know exactly how to get there. We were riding to the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park to PortFest World Jazz and Music Festival. PortFest is a brand new program being held at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, I wanted to see Hugh Musakala the father of African Jazz.

The ride down 7th Street was direct but somewhat scary. I was really happy that the traffic was light. 7th Street could use a bike lane or at least some cleaning there was quite a bit of gravel on the road. Beyond my nervousness we made it without any problems. The park has wonderful views of San Francisco and the Bay, comfortable picnic space, green space and bike parking. Car parking appeared limited as we passed many cars parked on the street. PortFest was blessed with the sun, I had escaped the fog.

The music was great Kenny Garrett and his quartet was on when we arrived and he was getting down. Hugh Musakala had the crowd on their feet, seeing Mr. Musakala was seeing living history. As he sung freedom songs I thought about the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa and the continued struggle for social and economic justice within his and all countries for oppressed people.

Hugh Masakala moving the crowd at PortFest, Oakland

Hugh Masakala at Middleshore Habor Shore Park


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