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    Pride 2022 Recap and Paying Tribute to Anne Rickertsen

    By Kate Brown, Ph.D.–

    What a ride! It was incredible to be out on Market Street once again for the SF Pride Parade with the San Francisco Dykes on Bikes® WMC and all our friends and allies. Thank you to everyone who came out to ride with us on Pride Sunday. I also want to say a big thank you to the incredible volunteers who joined us at 7 am on the morning of Pride to help us set up, get riders registered, direct riders to their lineup location, put helmets and gear in boxes, and help make sure all of our riders were safe that day. It’s a lot of work, especially after a 2-year hiatus, and the assistance of the volunteers was essential in making sure everything ran smoothly.

    Additionally, we are so grateful to the many local businesses that supported San Francisco Dykes on Bikes® this year through donations of merchandise for auction at our annual Pride Saturday fundraiser: Anchor Brewery, Caffe Trieste, Cliff’s Variety, Cycle Gear on Harrison Street, Good Vibrations on Polk Street, Goorin Brothers, Jeremy Fish, San Francisco Harley Davidson, San Franpsycho, the Strapping Store in Sacramento, and Upper Playground.

    And certainly, our fundraiser would not be what it is without El Rio’s generous gift hosting us on their patio and the epic DJ Rockaway, who donated her time to make sure our event was filled with great sound and vibes. We would also like to say a big thank you to Veritable Vegetable—one of the “behind the scenes” supporters of San Francisco Dykes on Bikes. Veritable Vegetable stores our collapsed cardboard helmet boxes 363 days a year at their warehouse, a generous gift of space given to our organization. Lastly, we also would like to acknowledge the significant financial donation from Code Tenderloin that has helped cover our ongoing operational expenses as well as the numerous donations made by individuals and families over the course of the weekend.

    While there were many wonderful events leading up to and following Pride, we were met with sad news at the beginning of July. Our friend Anne Rickertsen, known to many of the Dykes on Bikes as “Helmet Truck Anne,” had passed away. By her own counting, Anne rode with Dykes on Bikes for almost 30 years.

    Many of us fondly remember Anne’s annual meeting with DOB when she would join us in the back room of the SF Eagle one or two Wednesdays before Pride to confirm that she had the helmet boxes stored at Veritable Vegetable and would see us out on Market Street bright and early on Sunday morning. After the Parade, Anne and her group of dedicated volunteers would stay at the helmet truck for hours, patiently handing helmets and gear back to the riders who had gone inside the celebration grounds.

    Our participation in Pride for all these years would not have been the same without her presence and everything she gave that morning to make sure our riders had an amazing time riding in the Parade and enjoying the rest of the day. Those who have ridden in other Pride Parades and have had to bungee cord their helmets and gear to their bikes can appreciate having a gear truck as part of our contingent. And, of course, the crowd loves when the big (often semi-) truck, which for many years was provided and driven by Veritable Vegetable, comes rumbling up Market following the last motorcycles, making the tight right-hand turn onto 7th Street look like a breeze, accentuated by the loud honk of the air horn.

    We will miss Anne’s smile and powerful, but calm, presence. Thank you, Anne, for everything you gave to Dykes on Bikes and for being a legend in the Dykes on Bikes community.

    Published on July 28, 2022