Every Easter Sunday, scads of daredevils sporting wacky attire gear up to take part in the annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race, barreling down seven sharp turns on Vermont Street, the crookedest in the world.
The race dates back to the halcyon days of 2000, when BYOBW founder Jon Brumit happened across a big wheel and "had the vision of riding his newly found plastic toy down Lombard Street." After distributing hundreds of fliers, with only 13 spectators showing up to cheer him on, Jon careened down Lombard and history was made. By 2006, an estimated thirty riders joined him. Behold:
By 2007, he had hundreds coming along for the ride with around one thousand gawkers.
Now, since unbridled fun is kryptonite to tony Lomabrd Street residents, Brumit was forced to move the race to Vermont Street (designed by the same architect as Lombard, only more crooked) in Potrero Hill where it's stayed since 2008, scraping the knees and elbows of participants while winning winces and gasps from onlookers.
Want to know what it's like to be in the race? Joseph Phillips strapped a camera to his helmet during yesterday's race and filmed his journey. Behold:
And here are a gaggle of racers smashing into one another:
As for the winners, that's not really the point. Yes, there are handmade trophies for participants, but, as Brumit points out, "Winning isn't the goal here — survival is."
(Photos: Bhautik Joshi)