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.
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat is coming to Tempe this weekend and it’s a bike event you don’t want to miss! The event shines awareness on the environment and riding your bike instead of driving a car, and of course fun costumes and BEER! This will be my third Tour de Fat and I wanted to share some tips so you can have the best time ever this year!
When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, Event starts at 9 a.m., Bike ride is at 10 a.m. and the event lasts until 3 p.m.
Where: Tempe Beach Park: 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Bring your bike! Don’t forget a bike lock.
- Get there early. It will be crowded because look how much fun you’ll have!
- Dress up! If you don’t wear a costume, you are more likely to stand out. Most people wear a fun costume of their choosing- there’s no rhyme or reason. Get creative! Think of Tour de Fat, as early Halloween!
- Bring your ID, some cash and sunscreen. These items will be important if you want to drink New Belgium beer and avoid getting a sun burn- yes even in October it’s still hot and sunny in Tempe.
- Drink water and bring some with you.
- Eat breakfast! You will be better off having eaten something than if you were to start drinking beer in the heat on an empty stomach.
- Check out your bike the day before. You don’t want a flat tire or busted chain during the bike ride.
- Call all your cyclist friends and invite them! The more the merrier!
- Drive: This is a biking event that encourages you to “trade in your car for a bike”. So ride your bike or take the light rail there. The parking lot will be pretty full, especially the later you arrive.
- Ride your bike like you’re in a race. There will be many people in the bike ride and it’s best to ride to a leisurely speed to avoid injuries.
- Bring pets, unless you have a bike basket for them to ride in. They could get hurt being in a crowd of cyclists.
Check out the New Belgium website for more information! See ya there!
Two weeks of the fall semester is underway and I’ve seen tons of students commuting by bike around the Tempe campus. It just warms my heart! Or maybe it’s the fact the temperature is still lingering in the three digit temperatures and probably will be for quite awhile still to come.
But anyways, it’s good to see lots of students on bikes. So many actually- I sometimes can’t find a bike rack with an empty spot on the Tempe campus. Maybe it’s when I’m on campus that is just really busy or possibly more and more people are making the choice to ride a bike for transportation.
One morning last week, I rode around for awhile looking for a spot to park my ride. I finally found an open spot and locked it up with two locks: a thick cable woven through my tires and a Kryptonite U-lock to seal the deal. It’s important to secure your bike with two locks in order to discourage bike thieves from tampering with it. Many other students have a method that works for them, but because I have been a victim of theft in the past, I now take these precautions. I even saw some bikes leaning on their kickstand and locked with a U-lock through a tire to prevent the bike from moving. As this technique can probably work, it does leave many other parts susceptible to be broken off or stolen. I am no expert, but just stating an unintended possibility of locking a bike this way- especially in a town that is known for bike theft.
My bike suffered a minor issue today, as when I unlocked the bike I noticed my chain had popped off. I normally don’t like to get very dirty, but I knew my bike was an important element in getting me from place to place for the remainder of the day. So I manned up and stretched out the greasy chain until I thought it was back in place. Hooray! I actually fixed something! Or so I thought….until I began to ride. The chain was moving alright, but it was making all kinds of clinking sounds that continued even after switching gears back and forth. At least I made it to my next class. I guess I’ll deal with it later.
So as soon as class let out, I unlocked my bike and rode it clink-clinking my way to the other end of campus and paid the guys at the Bike Co-op a visit. They were pretty busy today, so I guess others were having bike issues, also.
Luckily the chain was an easy fix for the bike experts on campus. They saved the day and sent me on my way to my next class. Thanks a bunch!
It always amazes me how the mind of a bike thief works. My bike means so much more to me than it will to the thief for the part they stole. For the last three months, I have used my bike to get everywhere- to work, the store, to meet a friend for a drink- simply because I can’t afford to fix my car. I actually am starting to enjoy commuting by bike- I save lots of money on gas, get some exercise and don’t add more pollutants to the air. Luckily, most places I need to go aren’t too far away. The reason I purchased a bike a few years ago was to make getting around Tempe much easier and it’s been wonderful! But nothing seems to stop a bike thief. They are out looking for an opportunity. As much as I think I take precautions to avoid this, I’m not as careful as I should be. I guess I thought it wasn’t really fair to spend extra time whenever I need to lock it up to make sure all parts are secure and double locked. But even so, my bike has been the victim of theft many times on the Tempe campus or light rail stations, but also now in front of my own apartment. This time it was my seat that went missing, which makes a bike ride very uncomfortable. I also noticed that my cup holder was cut, not missing, but only tampered with. It just gets so very discouraging! I don’t really want to buy anything cute or expensive for my bike to make it stand out to a thief or anyone else walking by my bike.
But I guess when parking my bike at home, I should just carry the bike up to my third floor apartment to minimize theft risk to almost zero. I can handle a little more exercise! Plus it’s worth the feeling of insurance that my bike will be there when I need to get to work or school in the morning.
I sort of wish there were bike theft detectives to help with this problem because police really are too busy to worry about this and have a very low recovery rate for stolen bikes and probably also for parts. Tempe is one of the worst cities for bike theft. I don’t even have to look it up! (See my video interview with the Sgt. Stewart, Tempe police officer.)
So I’m back at the tireless circle of what prompted me to start this blog- theft. Ugggh! What’s a cyclist to do? It’s sad to say but nothing more than vent and take more action against bike theft in the future.
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!
Do you want to indulge in beer flavored recipes on a delicious brunch menu….AND to bike all the live long day?
I thought you might! Remember to schedule an event alert in your iPhone for this Saturday, Feb. 18.
Arizona Beer Week is coming back to town with events scheduled each day! Saturday’s ‘Beer, Brunch and Bikes’ starts off the week of beer-related festivities. Arizona Beer Week is Feb. 18 – 25.
I love that we just celebrated the Centennial in Arizona and now we have a whole week devoted to beer!
This event begins at 10 a.m. at the SunUp Brewery, in Phoenix on Camelback Road and Central Avenue (Map). When you arrive, come hungry for a hearty breakfast and make sure to save some energy for a 3-mile bike ride to the Strong Beer Festival. The bike ride should be fairly easy and open to cyclists of all skill levels, but I’d assume you have to be 21-years-old to participate in the Strong Beer Festival. Two local bike groups, Tempe Bicycle Action Group and Phoenix Critical Mass, will be in attendance. They always love to get down on a local bike ride, especially if a nice cold beverage is waiting at the end destination! They will also be providing safety marshals to escort the bike ride to more beer!
Date: Saturday, Feb. 18
Time: Brunch: 10 a.m., Strong Beer Festival:1 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Cost: $15 for brunch buffet
Where: SunUp Brewery, 322 E Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ, 85012
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.