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.
Congrats to all of the Ironman Arizona finishers! After a 2.4 mile swim in Tempe Town Lake, 112 mile bike ride on the roads of Tempe and Phoenix and then a 26.2 mile run to complete an IRONMAN, you should all be very proud. Thanks for visiting Tempe and showing all of us what truly great athletes look like.
Here are the top ten men and women of November 18, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona:
TOP TEN PRO MEN
FROMMHOLD, Nils: 08:03:16
MATTHEWS, Paul: 08:05:01
TOLLAKSON, Tj: 08:07:39
BUTTERFIELD, Tyler: 08:14:44
HAST, Jarmo: 08:16:12
MIKELSON, Ian: 08:19:41
STARYKOWICZ, Andrew: 08:20:39
RUSSELL, Matthew: 08:30:53
RITTER, Christian: 08:35:11
GERLACH, Thomas: 08:36:08
TOP TEN PRO WOMEN
CORBIN, Linsey: 09:01:44
KESSLER, Meredith: 09:06:44
ABRAHAM, Corinne: 09:15:13
GROSS, Sara: 09:18:07
WEERD, Mirjam: 09:24:30
CAVE, Leanda: 09:24:54 (2011 winner)
CHURA, Haley: 09:28:25
HOMO, Malaika: 09:28:43
WERNICK, Charisa: 09:30:30
SCHWABENBAUER, Kim: 09:30:57
Click here for results.
Usually the Ironman rolls into Tempe just as the cooler weather begins, but today was surely a test of endurance of the true IRONMEN out there, competing in 80 degree temperatures. If you are not familiar with the event, the Ironman is a triathlon, which is a multiple-stage competition of continuous activities such as swimming, biking and running in sequential order proving extreme endurance disciplines. Today, I went to Tempe Beach Park to cheer on athletes from the sidelines and snap a few photos, of course. I can’t wait to hear the results.
At 7 this morning, the athletes began their goal of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and full marathon, 26.2 miles. The athletes who participate in Ironman’s train extensively, have specific diets, workouts and even personal coaches help them prepare for such a high level of competition.
When standing at the bike finish line, I saw a coach calmly update his client on his combined time of swim and bike thus far, as the man dismounted his bike and shed the cycling shoe. I noticed a very fast paced mentality where you need to keep moving all the time. As soon as the athlete comes close to the check point, they clicked off the cycling shoe and begin dismounting the bike and give the bike to a volunteer who takes the bike to valet as the athlete prepares for the running stint.
I love watching the race and the feeling of inspiration that surrounds me as they pass by. I feel a strong sense motivation and realization that working hard for something is a beautiful thing.
It’s a lifelong goal for some, and a career for others. To all, they show motivation and drive, each has their own personal story, but all want to finish the race.
A quick interesting fact: People come from all 50 United States and many other countries to compete in the Ironman.
I couldn’t walk by this bike on the ASU campus without snapping a photo. I’m usually drawn to unique bikes and this one certainly caught my eye when I was locking up my bike in front of the Computer Commons.
Lots of students ride bikes to campus and this was no exception. Do you ride a bike to school? I sure do!
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.
If you use a bike, skateboard, longboard, scooter or other method of wheeled transportation on Tempe campus, you may be aware of the Walk Your Wheels campaign, brought to us by the Undergraduate Student Government put in place to make crowded areas safer. The Walk Your Wheels campaign started in the beginning of the 2011- 2012 school year and the purpose was to encourage safety in congested mall areas, by asking people on bikes or other wheeled means of transportation to dismount while in the crowd. I have seen the signs in a few spots on campus and depending on if the foot traffic around me was heavy or not, I have obeyed the request. But what do you think? The USG wants student input for the future of the campaign. Walk Your Wheels could become a stricter program, not allowing wheeled transportation on campus at all, or the program could dismantle if people are not happy with the results. If this campaign effects you- make your opinion known! Take the survey to ensure that your voice is heard!
Click here for more information on the Walk Your Wheels campaign. The State Press has also covered this topic multiple times and I included links to a few recent articles below.
Some related articles from the State Press:
Walk Your Wheels campaign falls short (Feb. 28, 2012)
USG makes final push for Walk Your Wheels campaign (Jan. 11, 2012)
Students weigh in during Walk Your Wheels forum (Nov. 3, 2011)
Walk Your Wheels to officially launch (Sept. 18, 2011)
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