Hello cyclists. Happy Bike To Work Day! Did you ride into the office on your two-wheeler today? I sure hope so! In my vast research, I noticed that some cities hold “Bike To Work Day” during the winter or maybe biking to work consists of a whole month instead of just one day. In Tempe, it seems that many residents bike to work or school on a daily basis, month or even year-long, and we are lucky for this luxury because I don’t think I’d see many of us Sun Devils out there riding around on bikes if Tempe received a snowstorm. We are lucky to have amazing weather and over 40 miles of bike lanes. So today, Tempe cyclists, get out there and ride! Or go to work. Whatever.
I know that I haven’t produced a particularly entertaining blog in some time. I’m really sorry about that! It’s a shame because there have been so many bike events going on in Tempe in April! After all we’ve had the most lovely weather that one could dream of for a bike ride! (I highly recommend Tempe Town Lake for a breezy ride during sunset- beautiful!) If you have attended any bike events recently please feel free to drop me a line about your experience at the event or even a photo. Whatever you want to share!
So here’s my excuse, I’ve been super busy with classes, a PR internship and even hiking when I really need to get out, but the important thing for my readers to know is that, where ever I may be, I most likely rode my bike there! Throughout the last few semesters at school, my car has been unreliable and I mostly use my bike on the daily! Think of all the gas money I have saved! (Although I’m still paying car insurance!?) I’ve taken my bike on the light rail many times and that is always an adventure. It’s difficult because my bike is about medium weight, which is too heavy for Lizzle to lift onto the little rack on the train. Sad face 😦
Anyways, I usually upload photos to Twitter and sometimes to this blog, when my iPhone app is working correctly! If you want to keep up with me and my travels on bike, make sure to follow @twowheelintempe and @lizzlemynizzle. I also made up the hashtag is #GoRideABike and it’d be cool with me if you borrow that from time to time!
4,163 miles… 15 states… 100 days…
… and lots of determination!
Some of you may not know who Jeremy Staat is… but you may have heard or read that he is coming to ASU, as a stop on his Wall-to-Wall Cross Country Bicycle Ride.
Staat played professional football for the Pittsburg Steelers, St. Louis Rams and arena football for the Los Angeles Avengers. But before all of that, he began his football career at ASU and was friends with our local hero, Pat Tillman. After the tragic loss of Tillman, Staat lost interest and decided to leave his career in football. He chose to join the United States Marine Corps, and is now an Iraqi War veteran.
Staat formed the Jeremy Staat Foundation to raise awareness and support for the nation’s veterans and veterans organizations. By stopping at ASU, Staat hopes to promote veterans centers on college campuses.
Staat and fellow Iraqi War veteran, Wesley Barrientos, are riding more than 4,163 miles starting at the Wall of Valor in Bakersfield, Calif., to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Barrientos is a three-time Iraq War veteran, three-time Purple Heart recipient and a double amputee who rides a hand-crank bicycle. Both Staat and Barrientos are both from Bakersfield.
The Wall-to-Wall Bicycle Tour will arrive outside of Sun Devil Stadium around 2 p.m. on March 8. The ride will conclude in D.C. on Memorial Day.
Keep up with Jeremy and Wesley:
- Click here to follow the ride schedule.
- You can also keep track of where the riders are right now on the website.
We can’t wait to see you at ASU on Thursday!
For related articles:
- Wall-to-Wall riders get an enthusiastic welcome in Tehachapi (The Bakersfield Californian)
- Cheer On Jeremy Staat As Wall to Wall Ride Arrives in Tempe (House of Sparky)
- Pedaling hope: War Veterans Plan 4,163 mile bike ride (MSNBC.com)
- Wall-to-Wall: The Journey of Jeremy Staat (NFLPlayers.com)
Banish the spandex and don your most dapper casuals for the return of the Tweed Ride, an evening adventure of woolen skirts, bucket hats, and sport coats on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. starting at Tempe Beach Park.
Tempe Bicycle Action Group, a local bicycle activist group, welcomes riders of all types and skill levels to wear their favorite woolens skirts, capes, shawls, tweed jackets, caps, and knickers on this fine night of cycling and style. Cyclists will meet at the entrance to Tempe Beach Park for photos and to show off their style at 5:30 p.m. Following the meet and greet, riders will be off to show off their herringbone, twill, plaid and checkered styles with class at the finest Tempe drinking constabularies.
- Where: Tempe Beach Park on the northwest corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.
- When: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. Ride at 6 p.m.
- What: A fine night of cycling and style at the classiest public houses of Tempe.
- Cost: The ride is free!
TBAG’s monthly social bike rides will now be held on the Second Saturday of every month.
Sign up and see who else is rollin’ with the crew via Facebook.
This nighttime ride is hosted by Tempe Bicycle Action Group, a nonprofit organization working to make bicycling a prominent, safe and convenient form of transportation and recreation in Tempe, Arizona and surrounding areas through education, grassroots events, and civic participation.
One law that all cyclists should know is to use a light when riding at night. This is for your safety as a biker- to help others see you.
When I first bought my bike, the salesman at Earnhardt Schwinn recommended that I buy a bike light. Thinking he was just trying to sell me add-on items I said no and told him that I wasn’t planning on riding at night. It was true, I hadn’t been biking in years and didn’t feel confident enough to go for a night bike ride. Well I stayed at the library studying too late one night and I eventually needed a bike light.
The next day I went to Tempe Bicycle to buy a light. They range in price from about $12 to $20 depending on the quality and style. Some can be easily removed and others can be fixed to your bike. Beware if left on your bike, the light could be stolen. I find that most people will leave your bike alone, but if no one is around the bike rack- some people will help themselves to objects that can be removed quickly like bike lights, horns, tires and seats. It’s true, it’s happened to me!
Here are some cool bike lights.
Alternative ways to light your ride:
A bike light is not the only answer to riding safely at night. Here are a few options to help with visibility.
Reflective stickers – $6, LED Bicycle Lights- $50 and a headlamp ranges from about $20-$40.
Just be careful out there and use your head! Cycling is fun and is a great form of transportation, whether it’s day or night. But make sure you have a bike light!
In the past few days the temperature in Tempe dropped lower than what most residents consider to be their comfort zone. It’s not abnormally cold for the fall season, but for those accustomed to sunny days in the 80s- we have noticed the change.
It’s time to layer up.
Layers are the best way to dress for colder weather because as you warm up, you have options. If you get too hot, it’s easy to take off a sweatshirt until you need it again.
Within about 10 minutes of bike riding, your body tends to warm up. If you have overdressed, you will be uncomfortable and wish you hadn’t.
The overall purpose of layering is to trap heat between the layers of clothing.
- The first layer should be dry wicking to prevent moisture. When you sweat and are in cold weather, the moisture becomes wet and you become COLD.
- For the next layer try a thermal fabric or polyester to trap heat. My favorite brand of thermal underwear is made by Hot Chilly’s.
- The outer layer should hold heat in while blocking cold air and wind. A nylon, windbreaker jacket would serve as the perfect biking jacket. Cotton and wool are not recommended fabrics because once they are wet, they stay wet.
Think with your head and think about keeping it warm too! The important stuff is kept up there and about 30 percent of your body’s warmth is lost through the head.
- If the weather is cold and windy add a hat, gloves, and scarf to your attire.
I find that my hands are the most sensitive when riding in the wind. I need my hands to steer and break so I stash a pair of gloves into my backpack just in case.
Cold-Weather Riding Tips (active.com)
Lame excuses to not commute by bike (treehugger.com)
Commuting by Bike in the Winter (wordpress.com)
Learning to Layer Clothing (basspro.com)
How to layer for maximum warmth (helium.com)
Each year, the bike and beer festival called Tour de Fat goes on a 13-city tour in the United States. It is locally sponsored by Tempe Bicycle Action Group and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., who both share a love for cycling as transportation. The Tour de Fat mission to persuade people to commute by bicycle is supported by a program where people can donate their car for a bike. In each of the 13 cities, one participant is chosen to trade-in their car for a handcrafted, New Belgium commuter bike for a one-year commitment. This marks the fourth year of the trade program. For more information on the car/bike trade program click here.
The Tour de Fat festival starts the day off bright and early with a bike ride parading around town. Many participants tend to dress in costumes, decorate their bike or build a unique bike for the occasion. It has become a popular tradition to attend Tour de Fat in Tempe, because of the strong cycling influence from the City of Tempe and the Tempe Bicycle Action Group. It seems that its popularity has grown in recent years by the large crowd of costumed people clustering at the entrance of Tempe Town Lake before the bike ride. Afterward bike riders lock up their two wheelers and enjoy New Belgium beers and entertainment. The event is really a one-of-a-kind festival and a great location to people watch and take photographs.
Below is a video from Tour de Fat on Oct. 15, 2011, in Tempe . I was an active participant in this years’ Tour de Fat, as my video will show.
Does Tour de Fat visit your city? Here’s the tour line-up:
- Durham, NC
- Nashville, TN
- Chicago, IL
- Minneapolis, MN
- Milwaukee, WI
- Boise, ID
- Ft. Collins, CO
- Denver, CO
- San Francisco, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Tempe, AZ
- Austin, TX