My bike rattles a bit. Hardly audible, the ring on top of the post for the handlebars is a little loose. It’s the first sound I hear when we take off as the lights turn green and it’s quickly drowned out by the sound of the TacoConf bike mob begins to move behind me.
I wear a bullhorn like a messenger bag. The handheld mic in my pocket with its cord running through my belt comes out to bark directions and give a dropouts version of a sight seeing tour. “Left,” then “Right,” and after about 10 minutes deep in the scent of dim sum, “This is Chinatown.”
We warned several trucks and taquerias that we were coming. I doubt most of them really understood but the proprietors of Rico’s were waiting with anticipation and we heard one of their children scream “Oh my god!” as the bike mob pulled around 12th st.
Sweating from the heat, in the 80’s all day, we lugged the bikes up into Max’s warehouse. A huge open space with a projector screen along the wall facing off with the classic warehouse windows. Newly built benches lined up like church pews, some of solid wood, some using legs from cheap IKEA stools and a few are topped with the remnants of an old shipping pallet.
Once the talks start we overflow on to the floor and use cheap round carpets as cushions. After the talks let out the crowd begins to thin, half make it to Sinaloa, half of that to Mi Rancho, until just a dozen end the night with drinks Baggy's.
The next day we do San Francisco, which is similar but lacking. The talks and tacos are great but the seating wasn’t made by anyone in attendance and, while pleasant, the air conditioning means we don’t all get to sweat together.
I’d like to thank everyone that spoke at TacoConf and made it so amazing. We will get the videos up as soon as we can to share this with everyone who couldn’t make it. I’d love to thank every taco vendor for filling our stomachs with everything from asada to aligator. Thanks to the pissed off car drivers, without their honks it wouldn’t have been authentic. Thanks to Max who helped create and run it, thanks to Jessica, John and Anna for pitching in. Thanks to spire.io, the only company with enough balls to sponsor. Thanks to the people I forgot because I was so exhausted by the end I’m sure I’ve forgotten about you.
And for anyone thinking of doing something like this, go for it! Best idea ever.