Monday, January 31, 2011

PB&J RIDE STRIKES BACK: Tour De Franzia. A hit? I think yes.

The PB&J ride is an unbelievable mass bike ride that happens about once a month in Santa Cruz. Though the people who started PB&J (Party, Bike & Jam), were not the first to think up these massive group bike rides around the city, they are keeping the flame alive and feeding what is seemingly becoming a quirky tradition of Santa Cruz.

The energy of Friday night's event was almost too much to handle. It all began in front of the Clock Tower downtown, where what seemed like several hundred of Santa Cruz's youth gathered together eagerly waiting to accomplish their goal of partying, biking, and jamming. And that's exactly what they did. When the leaders of PB&J said when, the group took off, stopping traffic and gaining the attention of onlookers all over. After a victory lap around downtown, the group rode for about an hour before arriving at the first stop to hear some awesome jams. The bands at the first house were, James Rabbit and 2001. The energy in the first house was out of control as people danced on couches and hit into overhead chandeliers. It wasn't until the second location, however that the PB&J ride really seemed to make some musical history.

The second stop is where the epic Santa Cruz band, Of Melting Moons played. When the mob of bikers descended upon the little yellow moon house, home to the local groove kings, Of Melting Moons was ready to serenade the audience, face paint and all. The fellas' moon juice, which they have been crafting in their laboratory for the last year and half, was certainly flowing. People were so infatuated with the music that they piled onto the roof, banisters and anywhere else they could fit their bodies to enjoy the band's zany energy. The house was aching due to the sounds of the 5-piece jazz-rock mother funkers, who riffed on their all-original set, rocking and jamming into the night. They played fan favorites, including "Electric Elepants," "Shadow Gliders," and "Bubble Dancers / In This Castle."

Though the bands Grizzel Toe and Nessie & Her Beard were expected to play that night as well, their time slots were unfortunately reduced to nothing when police interference ended the music and the riding.

Over all, the night was a great success and I am personally grateful that I got to experience yet another PB&J ride. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next one!

- DJ Mands


Anonymous said...

I agree that this was a huge success, but I think some more details about the totally overblown police response are worthy of mention. My own eyes saw at least seven police vehicles arrive at the last stop to face about a hundred cyclists, a canine unit was brought in, tear gas was mentioned, police physically moved cyclists using their cars, the Crystal Palace was threatened with a $1000 fine although virtually no one had made it inside yet, and at least one cyclist was arrested. How do we relive the joy of this night without the less than desirable repercussions?

DJ Mands said...

Thank you for that. I did talk to one of the leaders of the PB&J ride today and that person said that they were not expecting such a large turnout and that they will try to plan better next time to avoid police involvement. That being said, it definitely was a negative factor of the night, and I appreciate your input.

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