While the name for the bike route going through the Lower Haight has officially been around since the mid-90s (no one can trace the unofficial origin of the name), it seems that the “Wiggle meme” has seen a tangible surge of late. Whether it’s the SF Bike Coalition celebrating the Wiggle in the wake of the partial lift of the Great Bike Injunction of the 00’s or the Wiggle sign being featured on a flyer for the Ride Too CELLspace benefit, the Wiggle is definitely getting major love of late.
The latest sign is the seemingly out-of-nowhere demand for a historical tour of the Wiggle from Think Walks and it’s masterful emcee Joel Pomerantz. Joel, the chief organizer of the Duboce Bikeway Mural, and I have been chatting for a few months about the history of the Wiggle and various projects we each have going on. With a little push from our friend Thea Selby, we decided to set up a Walk of the Wiggle and see if anyone would show up. Did they ever! The inaugural tour was overflowing and Joel has set up additional tours for the coming weekends to accomodate the interest.
I can say without a doubt that those interested enough to show up at the DB Mural on a Sunday in the near future will not be disappointed. Joel does a wonderful job framing the history of the route and the area in different historical epochs so Wigglers can truly understand the natural history as well as the different instantiations our beloved route has seen over the years.
Addressing major events (the razing of Clinton Mound to allow the topographical clearing that we take for granted today near the Mint at the beginning of the route) to minor quixotics (how Ridley Street became Duboce Street), Joel gives a thorough history of the route (both original (indegenous) and modern versions) all with an unparalleled enthusiasm for our local history and for our beloved route in particular.
I won’t give a play by play because I don’t want to spoil the experience for others who wish to learn more about the Wiggle. I will say this though: Joel gets especially high marks for not only knowing and honoring the history of the route, but for having a keen sense that we are actively creating its layered history and that the best is yet to come.
Sign up for a Walk of the Wiggle here.