By Kerry Benefield, The Press Democrat, July 17, 2021
I have covered, watched and enjoyed countless parades, but I have never been in one. Unless, of course, if you count the time in junior high when my friend Shelly and I were handed a shovel and a wheelbarrow before a holiday parade in downtown Santa Rosa and tasked with walking behind the “reindeer,” to prevent any of Santa’s little helpers from marching through muck.
With that in mind, Tuesday night felt like a first. As I rode my bike through the SRJC neighborhood, into downtown and west to Roseland, in the company of 25 or so strangers, I had the distinct feeling of being in a parade. A parade of fun, loud, merrymaking bike riders.
“Everybody has been cooped up so long,” ride co-organizer Juan Chavez said. “People that normally wouldn’t be together are getting together. Everybody is hanging out and having a good time.”