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Monthly Archives: January 2015

You’re Invited: Wine, Women & Chocolate Returns!

You are cordially invited to Women, Wine & Chocolate, a gathering for women who love bikes, on Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm at 245 S 12th Street, in the historic Naglee Park district of San Jose, California.

The party that took Silicon Valley by storm last year returns for a second year of fun and friendship just for the ladies! Space is limited and last year was a sell-out, so please RSVP early.

If you’re in the throes of a grand love affair with your bike and want to meet other women with that same fiery passion, pedal over to San Jose’s historic Naglee Park district on Sunday, February 15, 2015. There will be wine, chocolate, cheese and fruit, plus an afternoon of stories, laughter, and tips on gear and secret bike routes. And of course, a chance to show off our two-wheeled babies. You may want to bring your bike family photos.

Bike Statue

If the weather is fine, we’ll be in Candice’s lovely garden. If not, we’ll cozy up around the fireplace and mingle in her turn-of-the-century home. So grab your favorite wine glass and something to share: chocolate, cheese or a bottle of wine or your preferred party drink. We’ll take care of the rest.

Those arriving by bike can join our pre-party ride crossing downtown San Jose on the new green lanes on San Fernando Street followed by a short spin through the historic Naglee Park. Our route will be less than four miles one way along lower-stress streets. Meet in front of San Jose Diridon Station at 1:00 pm. (Train arrivals: Caltrain local 12:51, baby bullet 1:03; VTA 902 NB 12:38, SB 12:59) We’ll roll shortly after the last train arrives.

San Fernando Green Lane

Where: 245 South 12th Street, San Jose. A private home in the historic Naglee Park district. (map)
When: Sunday, February 15, 2015. 1:30-4:00 pm. Note that sunset won’t be until 5:46 pm that day.
Please bring: Your favorite wine glass, plus chocolate, cheese or bottle of wine or other drink to share.
RSVP: Please RSVP and indicate what you’ll be bringing through SVBC, our event sponsor .

Pre-Party Bike Ride: Meet at San Jose Diridon Station at 1:00 PM for a short, flat ride on lower-stress streets.
Transit: Party location is well-served by VTA transit lines (22,23,72). Santa Clara Street is 2.5 blocks away.
Parking: Bike parking will be provided on racks in the backyard (with tarps in case of rain). On-street car parking is available with no weekend restrictions.

Please RSVP so we can make sure we’re ready for what’s sure to be a fun group, and so we send you any last minute details about the party. We hope to see you there!

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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in Around Town, Events

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Tumbling Tumbleweeds

It’s easy to forget that where I live was once the Old West. The cowboys and stagecoaches are gone, and few saloons remain. But there I was on the trail today, drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Commute Diaries

 

Bike Lane FAIL: Halfway Job at Central Expressway

Update: A few weeks after this story was posted, the Santa Clara County Roads & Airports department lengthened the signal timing so it’s much easier to ride across before the light turns red. Thank you!

Two years after I first wrote the city about problems with bicycling to the San Antonio Caltrain station and tunnel, there it was: a bike lane. No longer would I have to ride around the corner to push the pedestrian button and use a crosswalk that’s not particularly visible to drivers turning right on Central Expressway.

Bike Lane FAIL Mayfield

It doesn’t do anything to fix the reverse direction, but it’s an improvement, right? Guess again. It fails in two dangerous ways. First, it forces you to merge with the adjacent lane’s traffic to get around an oversized median. More seriously, the green light is so short that you’re likely to still be in the intersection when the light turns red. That puts you in the path of expressway-speed traffic just as you’re slowing to exit onto the sidewalk.

This is the fourth intersection within two miles of my home that has been “improved” since I started this series. All are critical connections across high-speed roads and all are more, not less, dangerous now. They include: a vanishing bike lane at San Antonio Road, a painful squeeze on Rengstorff Avenue, and a take-the-lane situation on Moffett Blvd that I only ride when I’m sure there won’t be vehicles barreling up behind me. Here’s a map.

At this point, I’m losing patience. Why does this keep happening? Don’t the engineers have the skill to design something that doesn’t set people up to be injured? Isn’t ensuring the crossing is safe a priority? Do they ever get on a bike and test these “improvements” when they’re complete? I’m tired of being their guinea pig.

Location: Mayfield Avenue at Central Expressway, Mountain View

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Bike Lane FAIL

 

Fashion Weekend Edition: Kathy in Signature Teal

Add a little personal style and a mundane chore takes on a whole new attitude. For Kathy, that means rolling down to Ava’s Market in a cozy tunic sweater, slouch booties and a hat-style helmet, all in shades of teal. Her bike? A cruiser in teal of course. If you see a flash of teal ride by in Mountain View, it’s got to be Kathy.

Kathy Portrait

Whether it’s for her three-bag weekly shopping or a quick stop on her way home from work, Kathy loves Ava’s Market for its custom service. It’s small enough to take requests for stocking items, and big enough to have a deli with a rotisserie. Her secret: call in the morning and they’ll have a roasted chicken ready for her at 6pm.

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Cycle Fashions

 

Bike Commute Diaries: Surprising Bump in Ridership

It’s January: cold, dark and hardly the peak of the bike commute season. Yet the once-empty Caltrain bike car has been brimming with riders bound for San Jose. New Years resolutions? More jobs in San Jose? Global warming? Your guess is as good as mine. Until I get bumped for lack of rack space, I’m not complaining.

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About the Bike Commute Diaries: Launched in May 2012 for National Bike Month, this series explores the unexpected and surprising things I’ve seen and learned about bicycling for transportation.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Commute Diaries

 

Barging in Europe: Living Without A Car

A couple of years ago my mountain biking friends Dave and Becky ran off to Europe for a life plying the canals and rivers on a custom-built barge they aptly named Wanderlust. While they adapted quickly to the boat’s tight quarters and living car-free, some things weren’t so easy. They saw photos of me shopping by bike, asked a few questions, and now have made space on board for something to take the hassle out of car-free shopping: a bike trailer. Here is the story of their trailer, re-blogged from their Wanderlust blog.

Wanderlust

Our Croozer in its cart configuration Our Croozer in its cart configuration

Though some barges are designed to carry a car on board, Wanderlust does not have the capability. This means that when we cruise about the waterways, we are car-free. Surprisingly, we don’t miss having a car. In fact, we find the absence of a car to be liberating. But in truth, not having a car does make the practical day-to-day necessities more challenging. Life without a car requires more planning.

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Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Gear Talk, Travel

 
 
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