Even if you were the appropriate age to ride a Big Wheel tricycle when the first San Francisco Big Wheel race took place on Lombard Street 16 years ago, at the 17th Annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel rally — now on Vermont Street, an arguably curvier and more treacherous course — you'd be a bit oversized for your vehicle. No matter, as that's never stopped adults in the competition before, although the first few heats of the race are reserved for kids.
Wet weather at yesterday's race greased the roads at Vermont and 20th and may have contributed to even more wipeouts than usual. But by the time the race began, the rain had dissipated, and costumed contestants careened down the road on a variety of toy bikes, as photographer Bhautik Joshi captured again this year.
“It’s changed a lot because of neighborhood regulations,” race co-founder Frog Gilmore told SFist last year of the race over the years. “When you get to a certain size, you start to need the street permit and a park permit, because we use part of the [McKinley Square] park. It’s snowballed crowdwise into a costly event. With so many people now, there’s two different street permits which require us to have insurance and porta-potties and pay for cops and Parks and Rec cops, which are two different types of enforcement.”
Here's some video of the racers, who, in case you were wondering, sign waivers in order to compete.