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Arts & Culture

Annual Easter Sunday ‘Big Wheel’ Race a Go

By R. Del Rosario
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Big Wheel Toy (credit: John Morgan/Wikimedia Commons)

Big Wheel Toy (credit: John Morgan/Wikimedia Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – As traditions go, San Francisco is well known for the rather interesting events that circle major holidays. We have an annual pillow fight at Justin Hermann Plaza during Valentine’s Day. Of course, Halloween is spent unofficially in the Castro, but for some, Easter brings in the speed demons. The annual “Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race” has the green light for this Easter Sunday at 20th and Vermont Street in San Francisco.

Despite being under budget for 2014, organizers say they will move forward with the event, even if it means going into debt. Why? Because, according to their website, they love the event just as much as their fans. Organizers have put together donation page on their website asking the public to donate anything they can. They also request a $5 donation going towards the use of porta-potties during the event.

In 2000, the event’s founder, Jon Brumit happen to stumble upon a neglected “Big Wheel” toy and somehow the idea of riding the big wheel down Lombard Street came to be. Brumit then passed out flyers inviting people to join him at the top of the 2nd most crooked street in the world, Lombard on Easter Sunday. Sadly, only thirteen spectators gathered to watch Brumit ride down the hill…all alone that day. Brumit decided to make it a yearly tradition and called it “Bring Your Own Big Wheel.”

By 2006, “BYOBW” and Brumit was joined by thirty brave participants and over a hundred spectators, who watched as the big wheels and their riders skidded through each curve and usually crashing down the hill. YouTube seemed to spread the word faster than passing out flyers and by the next year Brumit was joined by thousands of riders and on-lookers. Eventually in 2008, neighboring resident complaints began to grow and Brumit was forced to move the event to the #1 most crooked street in the world, Vermont Street. As with the residents, they welcomed “BYOBW” to their neighborhood with open arms.

If you plan to participate, there are several codes you must live with. Safety being the number one rule. Smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption is not allowed. They ask to respect the neighborhood and residents of the area and to clean up after each other.

“Bring Your Own Big Wheel” begins at 4:00pm at 20th & Vermont Street is San Francisco. Under 18 racers are allowed, only with their parent or legal guardian’s written permission.

Full details of the event is available at their website, bringyourownbigwheel.com.

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