No, it's not a commemoration of progress made in the last 100 years
for those of different sexual orientations. Rather, it's how I spent
my day. On a shitty rental road bike and not really knowing what I
was doing, I ride more than 100 miles today.
Highlights were riding to the 2,000+-foot summit of Mount Mariposa (I think that's what it was called, wherever mountain biking was invented), downhill sections where I have the frightening/thrilling thought that if I lose my brakes or take a turn incorrectly I'm flying off the side of a mountain, and watching the ever-near fog boil towards the city from above the clouds. Lowlights were the slipping-geared overall quality of the bike, my lack of physical fitness, and the fact that I started at ~12:45 pm and don't finish until close to 11 at night. Oh yeah: and my ass hurts. Road bikes' tiny seats definitely aren't meant to be ridden without padded bike shorts on.
During the last few miles of my trek, I come across several dozen rollerbladers in the street. All shapes and sizes, many wear strobing lights to make them more visible to cars. One guy pushes a blaring boombox in a stroller, and another bikes with a whistle in his mouth and "skate patrol" written on his t-shirt. I find out from a participant that it's "Friday night skate," a strange weekly reclaiming of the streets by rolling pedestrians. In this city, I'm not the only one enjoying a strange fitness activity today.
The rest of the night's celebrating with large quantities of food and beer as I meet Brian and Erik at a bar. They have buckets of beer; I've never met a bucket of beer I didn't like. I don't last too long before the adrenaline faces and exhaustion sets in, but I do manage to hear some quality live music, make amends with Erik, and see a bum do a jiving dance before explaining that he bought a whistle after losing his front teeth to maintain his ability to hail cabs from long distances. It's weird people in a weird town but, quickly downing beers, exhausted, sweat stains on my shorts, and smelling none too fresh, I suppose I'm not one to complain.