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You’re Invited: Bike to Shop ‘Til You Drop Tour

A day late and a dollar short. Sometimes that’s just how it is and all you can do is fess up. This invitation should have gone out at least a week ago. I guess it’s poor form to send it now, but I am anyway. My proper French-Creole great-aunts would not have approved, but I’m a Californian now and that’s how I roll.

It’s late because I’ve been busy organizing Silicon Valley’s 2nd annual Bike to Shop Day, which has grown to over 130 businesses in 15 Silicon Valley cities, plus a whole slew more in San Francisco and Portland where thankfully, other people are taking up the charge. In March, I had the opportunity to speak at the National Summit of the League of American Bicyclists. In an pre-event interview, they asked how I saw it spreading. All I could say was I hoped others would join in if we got the word out, and they did. I am beyond pleased.

Bike to Shop Day 2015 web site2
So, everyone, please hop on your bike on Saturday, May 23 and shop. If you live in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, please stop at the businesses who are participating by making special offers to bike shoppers. And if you want some company while you shop in the Mountain View and Palo Alto area, this invitation is for you.

You are invited to join a Shop ‘Til You Drop tour in Mountain View and Palo Alto on Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Tour starts with coffee at 10 am and finishes with a pizza dinner at 5:30 pm.
You are welcome to drop-in or drop-out as you please according to the schedule below.

My dear husband and I are going long with an all-day shop & ride tour of Mountain View and Palo Alto that you can customize to suit your interest and schedule. Drop in on the tour where you like, drop out when you’re done. Take Caltrain to skip ahead or get back quick; you’re never more than three miles away from the train. The whole tour is 15 miles, but with all the shopping it’s a grueling shop-a-thon. Are you trained for it?

10-11:30 am Downtown Mountain View. Begin the morning with coffee and books at Dana Street Roasting, Books Inc, and BookBuyers. Meet back at 11am at Dana Street Roasting to ride to Mountain View library for the start of the Courier Challenge with Cowgirl Bike Couriers.

12 noon-1:15 pm California Ave, Palo Alto. Dine at Izzy’s Bagels, Mediterranean Wraps, Starbucks or shop at Leaf & Petal, Gray Matters, The Cobblery. Meet at Starbucks at 1:15 pm to ride to Town & Country.

1:30-2:30 pm Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. Shop at A Street Bike Named Desire, Athleta, Bel Campo. Meet at Street Bike at 2:30 to ride to University Ave.

2:45-4 pm Downtown Palo Alto. Shop at Patagonia, Title 9, Keen. Meet at Patagonia at 4 pm to ride back non-stop back to Mountain View, or take the 4:15 Caltrain.

4:45-6:30 pm Downtown Mountain View. Last chance for shopping! Meet at at Amici’s East Coast Pizza at 5:30 pm for dinner.

If you want to do it all (or pick and choose) this shop & ride tour is for you! RSVP HERE or given how late this is, look for me on the big red Dutch bike with the Bike to Shop Day sign on it.

Happy Bike to Shop Day! Where will you be shopping by bike today?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 23, 2015 in Around Town, Events

 

You’re Invited: How to Ride in Heels Workshop

The crazy idea was born while chatting with the ladies at an after-work reception. Like so many times before, it came up that I had arrived by bike, and yes, I had ridden in the heels I was wearing. I got the usual comments: “Really, how do you do that?” and “I could never do that, I would hurt myself”. I offered my usual response: “You just put your foot on the pedal and push. It’s easier than walking in them,” but that didn’t convince them.

“You should teach a class on riding in heels.”

As much as I’ve laughed off that request before, and as much as I’ve rolled my eyes at the advice in articles in Vogue and Bicycling, the time has come for my first-ever how-to workshop. And everyone is invited.

Skirt & Shoes

Riding in Heels: How to do girly things on a bike without breaking a sweat

Would you like to bike about town to work, to the store and out to dinner without looking like you’re headed for a bike race? Dressing for the destination instead of a workout isn’t hard once you learn a few simple tricks.

Join this hands-on workshop to learn:

  • How to ride in heels (we weren’t kidding!)
  • How to stay modest in a dress, even on a windy day
  • Basket or panniers? How to carry anything safely and stylishly
  • How to avoid and recover from the dreaded helmet hair
  • The basic steps in the the delicate dance of stripping as you ride
  • How to accurately estimate how much you can haul on your bike

After the workshop you’ll have the opportunity to decorate your bike Dutch-style, and ride an easy parade lap around the park. Bring your heels or other girly shoes to test out your new-found skills.

The Riding in Heels workshop is just a small part of a bigger Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival in History Park San José where you’ll find all things bike: the valley’s history of bike innovation, show bikes, skills demos and more.

When: Sunday, May 3, 2015. Festival runs from 11am-6pm. Workshop begins at 2 pm in the plaza.
Where: Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival, History Park, 635 Phelan Ave at Senter Rd, San José. (map)
Who: Anyone of any age who wants to learn how to ride in heels and do girly things on a bike!
Cost: Workshop is free with $5 admission to the Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival

Free valet bike parking provided by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Limited vehicle parking is available on site at History Park or adjacent Kelley Park for a fee.

Bonus for blog readers! Workshop attendees who RSVP here by Friday, May 1 will receive a free gift, a handmade button elastic tie-down that’s oh-so versatile, just for pre-registering and attending.

Button Ties

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 24, 2015 in Events, Women & Bikes

 

A Bicycle Movement Powered by Wine & Chocolate

It takes a village to raise a child, they say, and a community to build a movement. But is bicycling a movement? I’ve always bristled at the idea. When I think of movements I think of protest rallies and marches with grand speeches that lead to counter-protests and sometimes violence. Like the unrest that came with the Civil Rights, Women’s Suffrage and Antiwar Movements. That’s not what I see for bicycling, nor do I hope to see.

Maybe I’m thinking too narrowly. Social movements spring from a new perspective and people’s desire for change. That’s what I want for bicycling: that we see it differently, that we move bicycling beyond just sport and recreation to integrate it into our daily lives in a way that’s healthier for us, for our cities, and for our planet.

Bike Posse Arrives

If we accept bicycling as a movement, then which communities will build it? Will it be the bike advocates, who push for bike lanes and legal protections? Will it be city staff and elected officials who design and approve the streets and trails we ride? Will it be the bike industry, who manufacture and sell the gear?  Will it be businesses, who know that bicycles can bring in more customers or more employees at a lower cost?

Or will it be people like us, the women who came together at the Wine, Women & Chocolate gathering to share the joy of bicycling: college students making their place in the world, women retired from careers in business or raising children, and women who juggle one or more roles every day. We are women who are just getting comfortable riding on streets, women who bike every day, everywhere, women who unwind with a spin down a trail, and women who push themselves longer, harder or faster. There may have even been a racer or two.

Chatting in the garden

Community goes beyond living in the same place, it’s a feeling of fellowship with others that comes sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. I saw community at our Wine, Women & Chocolate gathering, and I believe communities are what will build our bicycle movement, along with help from the bike advocates, the city staff and elected offiicials, the bike industry, and local business leaders. It takes a village, after all.

What bicycling communities do you belong to? What kind of movement are you all building?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It takes a crew to throw a party. Many thanks to Candice and Carmen for opening their home to us, to the half-dozen volunteers who checked us in, parked bikes, poured wine, kept the food table neat, and to the handful of party-goers who took the photos in this slideshow. Finally, thank you to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition for sponsoring and promoting the event and loaning us the nifty bike racks. If you’re not a member, become one today.

 
 

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!

 
6 Comments

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

 

You’re Invited: A Sunday Soirée in Historic San José

You are cordially invited to a city cruise and garden tea on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
Bike tour rolls out from the Old Main Post Office on 105 N 1st Street, San José at 12:30 pm.
Tea at Two directly follows at 2:00 pm across 1st Street in St James Park.

Slip on your Sunday best and grab your most stylish bike for a slow cruise through some of San José’s most bikeable historic neighborhoods followed by tea in the park. We’ll begin with a spin in the Victorian Hensley District, roll through Japantown, then head off to turn-of-century Naglee Park, and finish with highlights in the heart of downtown. Along the way we’ll share San José’s largely untold, fascinating, and sometimes sordid history as we cruise along for 6-8 miles on lower-traffic city streets and new buffered and green bike lanes.

Straw Hat Selfie

We’ll end our tour with tea and cookies under the trees in St James Park, 19th-century San José’s central plaza. Whether you prefer hearty Irish Breakfast, delicate Chamomile, healthful Green, or exotic Chrysanthemum Pu-erh blend tea, we’ll have something for you. You’re also welcome to bring a blanket and a picnic lunch too.

The Sunday Soirée is just a small part of a bigger Bike Life Festival in St James Park where you’ll find all kinds of bike fun: unique bikes, workshops, skills demonstrations and a gear swap, plus music and bike-inspired art. For your bike’s safety, bike valet parking is available at the festival free of charge.

When: Sunday, September 21, 2014. Ride begins at 12:30 pm, Tea at 2:00 pm in St James Park
Where: Ride meets on steps of the US Post Office on 105 N 1st Street in downtown San José
Who: Anyone who is comfortable riding city streets at a cruising pace.

Please RSVP so we’ll bring enough tea and cookies for all. Many thanks to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition for sponsoring this social event, and for working to make San José a better, more pleasant city for bicycling.

Tea at Two SJ Bike Life

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Events

 
 
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