Heathens Take Over Ocean Beach – NOT!

by on May 16, 2010 · 13 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach

heathens 5-15-10 jg

The Non-Heathens on Abbott. All photos by Jim Grant.

UPDATE: We have just been informed this afternoon (5/16/10) by a spokesperson for the Heathens, that the bike ride – which they really liked – was not them. It was people who wanted to be Heathen-like and to do “crazy things like the Heathens.”

Dozens of crazily-clan bicycle-riding Heathens took over Ocean Beach for a few moments today, Saturday May 15th. It was the Tour D’Diego. With some dressed as pirates, others dressed as foil-covered robots, all having a good time, the Heathen bike ride down Abbott and then onto Newport turned many a head, gave many a smile, and stole a few puzzled looks.

heathen 5-15-10 jg 02The Heathens have been having fun for nine years. Usually around this time of year, they stage a midnight procession around OB, and many have costumes.  Originating from an apartment building on Brighton Avenue, and initiated organized by a nebulous group called the “Brightonians”, the annual Heathen procession included hundreds – many locals and many others from around town.

heaten 5-15-10 jg -3This year things are a little different.  Today was the bike ride and tonight was a fund-raiser party in a secret place. (We hope to post an update on the fundraiser and more on this OB phenomenon in the very near future.)

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Editordude May 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Note to our readers: We had to change the headline because we finally were able to get through to one of the organizers of last nights Heathen fundraiser. One of our bloggers “covered” it and hopefully we’re have a first-hand account of the fun(d) times.

Our contact within the oft-mysterious Heathen world, a thrill-via-fun-seeking and loosely tied and culture-pushing network OBceans, ex-OBceans and their friends, told me that the fundraiser was a success, but they were not involved in the bike ride. “It’s people who want to be like the Heathens,” he said, and continued, “I even rode with them for a half hour or so….” And he added: “I didn’t know anyone in the bike ride.”

If this is true, then that means there’s two distinct factions of Heathens now operating within OB.


jim g May 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

JUST TWO…..?? lol………


Frank Gormlie May 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Okay, yeah – I think editordude meant at least two.


Kristin C. May 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

Yeah, this has nothing to do with the Heathens whatsover. Don’t know where you guys came up with that info…

It’s actually an offshoot of a bike tour in Davis, CA (the Tour d’Davis) that is in it’s 5th year in OB as the Tour d’Diego. It’s a bunch of friends in OB, and a lot of THEIR friends from out of town and from previous Tours in other cities. It’s mainly been organized by the same core group of people since it’s inception.

I’ll forward this to the organizer of Tours d’Diego I-V and see if he wants to make an anonymous comment… =)


obsteven May 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

The complexity of the Tour is amazing. This group of people have had some of the best underground parties and fund raising events. I may be able to get you an interview with the organizers. But they might make me drink a bunch of shots. These are not kids. These are professionals in every sense.


Editordude May 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

Okay, we have egg on our face. We were wrong. Here’s a letter sent to us from Jim Heebner, apparently one of the organizers of Saturdays bike ride:

OB Rag,

Thanks for the positive coverage, and corrections, about Saturday’s Tour d’Diego [Heathens Take Over Ocean Beach – NOT, May 16th]. That was the 5th annual ride, a tour-de-france-style cycling “race” around the area that raises money for charity. This year the recipient charity was the MS society. The concept is based on the Tour d’Davis, an event I founded when I lived up there years ago (and still continues under new management). Those interested in riding along next year can search for “Tour d’Diego” on facebook.

Although the group called the “Heathens” sounds like our kind of people, I must take issue with their comment that the goal of the tour is to be Heathen-like, since we have never heard of them. That is particularly odd because our events are also based on Brighton Avenue. Perhaps there’s something in the water on Brighton!

Love and Boxed Wine,
Jim Heebner


Editordude May 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

Thanks Jim for the clarification and info. Next time, let us know and we’ll have bloggers and photographers linin the streets. Our friend Jim Grant was there and he took the shots. Nice job to you Jim Heebner and all your friends. We were confused because I knew Heathens were about and May 15th is their traditional procession day.


Sunshine May 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm

an oddity in OB? and you seem surprised. This magical land of Portals, Orbs, and Vortexes often surprise the passer-thru’s. To me, it’s one of the reasons I love it here so much.

“now get on your bikes and ride…” (Queen)


Nate Hipple May 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I like the robot costume! But is it aerodynamic?


jim g May 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I just point n shoot. I leave it up to the suit’s to figure out who’s who !! It was a scene on Newport for sure !!!


Derrick "Dango"Gilday May 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Hey there Jim ” boxed wine” Heebner! How goes it : ) ?

I am one of the annoying guys that was cruising with you on my tricycle during the last leg of your Tour D” Diego, I am also a OB heathen and brightonian who would love to invite you for tea at my place if you would be so obliged. I am sorry for the mix up in crediting the heathens for your brilliant work but i am not sorry that we are now able to share dialogue and plan future merry making together. Congratulations on your ride!- it was a great enjoyment to be around such fun and funky people. Please send me an email when you have the time.


Frank Gormlie May 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm

So our screw-up will actually help you all to get together. Sweet! Tour D’Diego, Heathens, Brightonians – all coming together.


john May 23, 2010 at 12:33 am

I suspect that robot’s headgear is not DOT approved….
In all seriousness, I don’t see a helmet on anyone in the group, and I ride every day and wear mine even though the law says I don’t have to if I’m an adult.
Brain injuries do not heal, if anyone read the recent reader story “Broken Heart….” or whatever it was titled, they’d be fastening on the bucket every time too. You become a projectile when you leave your seat, being a “good faller” doesn’t usually cut it.
At least it sets an example for the kids.


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