Bike Month Wrap Up

As May comes to a close, it’s time to look back on all the fun events we had during Bike Month and thank our volunteers and sponsors who made it all possible!

Tour of Carson City

On May 4th the Bike Habitat hosted the Tour of Carson City, a nearly 30 mile ride around the perimeter of the city. The warm and pleasant morning help set the tone for the ride, as organizer Denis Coyne gave his pre-ride talk. After instructions, dozens of riders headed out to enjoy the ride. A rest stop was included this year over by the hospital on the north side of town. Before making the final ride south to the Bike Habitat, riders refilled their bottles with cold water, and treated themselves to ice cream, popsicles, and licorice. I worked the rest stop this year, and had just as much fun talking to all the riders as I would have doing the ride itself! The ride wrapped up at the Bike Habitat where owners Denis and Viola provided a delicious lunch.

Tour of Carson City 2014
Denis Coyne gives his pre-ride talk

Tour of Carson City 2014
Rest Stop volunteers Kristy and Anna

Tour of Carson City 2014
Tour of Carson City Rest Stop

Tour of Carson City 2014
Ice Cream and Popsicles were a big hit at the rest stop

Tour of Carson City 2014
Daly and John came down from Reno to join the ride

More photos from the Tour of Carson City HERE.

Celebrity Ride

The annual Celebrity Ride was on the morning of May 5th. This event has really grown since its inception when only one city supervisor was involved. This year we had the Mayor, the brand new City Manager, members of the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff, leaders of Parks and Recreation and Open Space, the City Transportation Manager, the Superintendent of the Carson City School District, members of the press, and more! It was a great opportunity to get all the city leaders out together to talk about bikes and enjoy the warm Spring morning with a leisurely bike ride.

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
City Manager and Mayor

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
City Leaders talk bikes

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
The Press

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
Cortney Bloomer, Safe Routes to School Coordinator

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
Heading out on Minnesota Street

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
Riding up King Street

Carson City Celebrity Ride 2014
Rob, and Juan and Roger from Open Space and Parks and Rec

More photos from the Celebrity Ride HERE.

Ride for Reading

A new event this year was the week-long Ride for Reading starting on May 5th. The ride began over at Carson City Health and Human Services, where we loaded bikes, bags, and baskets full of donated books. From there we pedaled over to Bordewich Elementary school, where a few hundred kids were awaiting our arrival. We entered the playground and made a parade lap as the kids cheered loudly for bikes and books. After a short safety talk by event organizer Cortney Bloomer, the kids were able to go pick out their own book. The Ride for Reading was definitely one of the highlights of the month for me. This event continued the rest of the week, with deliveries being made to other area schools.

Ride for Reading 2014
Arriving at Bordewich Elementary

Ride for Reading 2014
Delivering books to a most appreciative audience

Ride for Reading 2014
Ride for Reading Riders

More photos from the Ride for Reading HERE.

Bike to Work Week

May 12th was the start of Bike to Work Week. Businesses all over town competed in the annual Corporate Bicycle Commuter Challenge throughout the week. Good weather encouraged participation this year, and cyclists in the challenge collectively logged 4,398 miles, and made 680 trips by bicycle! Good job everyone. The final results for this competition and other statistics can be found HERE. Local coffee shops Capital Coffee and Comma Coffee treated bicycle commuters to free coffee on Bike to Work Day as a reward for their efforts.

20140516_084004_1
Free Coffee at Capital Coffee

Westside Cruiser Ride

If one had to pick the most fun event of Bike Month, the Westside Cruiser Ride would be it. Well over a hundred people gathered at the Brewery Arts Center, the staging area for the ride. Costumes and bike decorating are encouraged for this fun parade style ride, and the riders did not disappoint! There were helmet antennae, tutus, capes, wigs, and even one crocodile costume. We encountered very little traffic along the route, and it was fantastic to see all the smiles and waves from the neighborhood residents. It was also great to see even more participation by the kids this year. After the ride, many of us went over to the Firkin and Fox for refreshments and live music. After dark, we lit up the lights for another fun ride home.

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
Preparing to Ride

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
A finely dressed gentleman and his penny farthing

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
Some great costumes!

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
The parade on Mary Street

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
Lots of bikes on Ormsby Blvd

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
It’s a mob!

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
Post-ride posing

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
Live music from Jenera Paxton & Josh Procaccini at the Firkin and Fox after the ride

Westside Cruiser Ride 2014
The ride home

More photos from the Westside Cruiser Ride HERE.

Bike to Work Week Party

On May 16th we had our Bike to Work Week Party. Riders began rolling in after work on Friday to the Firkin and Fox ready to celebrate the week. People lined up to get their raffle tickets for all the wonderful prizes we had collected from our local businesses. Notch 8 played music between events and giving away raffle prizes. There was a helmet decorating table for the kids, and we had a couple bike games this year. The Slow Drag was funny to watch, with the last rider to cross the finish line declared the winner. We also had a few games of Bike Polo. Originally the adults were going to do a polo exhibition, but it ended up being the kids that dominated the games. Bike Polo continued throughout the evening until we had to reopen the street at 9:00 PM. The Corporate Challenge results were announced, and all the raffle prizes were given out including the two highly sought after cruiser bikes. Not only was it a fun party, it was a very successful fund raiser for Muscle Powered.

Bike to Work Week Party
Get your beer and raffle tickets here!

Bike to Work Week Party
Lee and Kelly helped decorate helmets

Bike to Work Week Party
Bike Polo

Bike to Work Week Party
Lots of kids got in on the bike games this year

Bike to Work Week Party
Music by Notch 8

Bike to Work Week Party
Raffle prize time!

More photos from the Bike to Work Week Party HERE.

Bicycle Movie Night

On May 20th we had our Bicycle Movie night at Sassafras. The weather really changed this week, and it had rained most of the day. Most of us opted to drive to the movie that night. Mike Wiencek hosted movie night, where we showed the cycling classic, Breaking Away. Moviegoers enjoyed a night of movie trivia, great food and drinks, raffle prizes, and a fun film.

Thank You!

What a great month it was! Thank you to everyone who attended the events and made them so fun, all the Muscle Powered volunteers that gave their time at the events, the bike shops for keeping our bikes running, and a very special thank you to all our Bike Month Sponsors who make the events possible and help raise money for all the great bicycle and pedestrian projects happening around town. What a great community!

A very special thank you to (and I hope I have them all!):

  • Bella Fiore Wines
  • Bike Habitat
  • Cafe at Adele’s
  • Capital Coffee
  • Capitol Automotive
  • Carson City Orthodontics
  • Carson City Visitors Bureau
  • Comma Coffee
  • The Cracker Box
  • The Firkin and Fox
  • High Sierra Brewing Company
  • The Horseshoe Club
  • The LED Light, Inc.
  • Lumos & Associates
  • Nevada Bicycle Advisory Board
  • Nevada National Guard
  • NDOT
  • Notch 8
  • “Out West” Storekeeper
  • Sassafras
  • The Tap Shack
  • Vitamin Research Products
  • Webster Wealth Management LLC

Bike to Work Day Coffee!

Friday, May 16th is national Bike to Work Day! Many of you have been commuting by bike all week for Bike to Work Week, but if you’ve been on the fence about giving it a shot, Friday is your day to go for it. Need more incentive, or a shot of energy? Two Carson City coffee shops will be giving out FREE coffee to bicycle commuters between 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM! Show them your helmet, and tell them you rode your bike to work.

Comma Coffee
Bicycle commuters enjoying a Cup of Joe at Comma Coffee

Comma Coffee has been supporting Bike to Work Week for the 8 years I’ve been involved with the event, both as a commuter and an organizer. They have a fun atmosphere, and a nice outdoor courtyard with a Muscle Powered bike rack. Comma Coffee is located at 312 South Carson Street across from the Legislature Building. Comma Coffee on Facebook HERE.

Capital Coffee
Enjoy a coffee on the patio at Capital Coffee!

Relatively new in town is Capital Coffee. Friendly service, great coffee, pastries, and outdoor seating is available. Capital Coffee is located at 504 E Musser Street. Capital Coffee on Facebook HERE.

Happy riding everyone, and don’t forget the party at the Firkin and Fox Friday evening! Ride on.

Bike to Work Week Party 2014

I hope everyone’s Bike to Work Week is going well. You really couldn’t ask for better weather here in Carson City for encouraging people to get out on their bikes. Last night we had 94 adults and 29 children signed in for our Westside Cruiser ride, and the miles and trips are really starting to rack up for the Bicycle Commuter Corporate Challenge. To say thank you for all your hard work, we’re going to throw you a street party!

End of BTWW Party
Bike to Work Week Party at the Firkin and Fox!

Join us this Friday night, May 16th, after work at the Firkin and Fox. The party will start ramping up after 5:00 PM on 3rd Street, where we will have live music from Notch 8, lots of raffle prizes including two Phat Cycles beach cruisers, bike themed games, helmet decorating for the kids, and plenty to eat and drink. We will also be announcing the winners of the Corporate Challenge!

BTWW Raffle Bikes
Win one these Phat Cycles cruisers!

In between music and giving out raffle prizes, we’ll have a few bike games. Slow Drags – a game everyone can get in on. It’s the opposite of a drag race. Last person across the line wins! If you stop, track-stand or put a foot down, you’re out of the race. We’ll also have a few riders doing a bike polo exhibition.

In addition to the cruiser bikes that Bike Habitat helped us acquire, we have a lot of other great raffle prizes and giveaways. More bike goodies from the Bike Habitat and Carson City Orthodontics, gift certificates from our awesome local businesses like Capitol Automotive, Adele’s, Sassafras, The Horseshoe Club, Agency 36, and the prizes keep rolling in! Raffle tickets will be 1 for $2, 6 for $10, and 15 for $20. You’ll also receive a raffle ticket with each High Sierra Brewing Company beer purchase at the party.

Bike Polo
Bicycle themed games! Slow Drags and a Bike Polo Exhibition.


Live music from Notch 8!

While this is a big party, it’s also Muscle Powered‘s biggest fund raiser of the year. Your beer and raffle ticket purchases at the party will go to benefit Muscle Powered. If you have enjoyed the Bike Month activities, please consider joining Muscle Powered. Your help is needed to make Carson City a more bike friendly community. Muscle Powered volunteers assist with these events, lead community rides and walks, work with city government to build better biking and walking infrastructure, and build recreational trails in our nearby open spaces.

What: Muscle Powered’s Bike to Work Week Party
Where: The Firkin and Fox, 310 S Carson Street, Carson City
When: Friday May, 16th
Time: Come over after work. Party will start ramping up after 5:00PM.
Activities: Live music, helmet painting for the kids, raffle prizes, bike games, food and drink.

Muscle Powered’s Westside Cruiser Ride

It’s time once again for Muscle Powered’s annual Westside Cruiser Ride! This event keeps growing each year, and with the weather forecast showing temperatures in the 80s on Wednesday, we hope to get the biggest turnout yet. This year’s ride will start and finish at the Brewery Arts Center at the corner of Minnesota and King Street. Signups for the ride begin at 6:00 PM, the ride starts rolling around 6:30 PM.

West Side Cruiser Ride
Decorate your bike. Wear a costume. Or just come as you are!

While this is called a “cruiser ride”, having a beach cruiser style bike is not required. Ride whatever you have. Cruising is more about the speed and attitude on this ride. We’ll be going nowhere fast, and having a good time doing it. The route is an easy 4.3 miles on quiet streets, making it a good ride for beginners and kids. Add some flair to your bike. Wear a costume. Or just come as you are. Bring your helmet and be ready to have fun.

Westside Cruiser Ride
Map of the Ride

The ride should finish up about a half hour before sundown, leaving most people time to ride home before it gets dark. Although the ride is officially over when we return to the Brewery Arts Center, the fun will continue downtown after the ride.

West Side Cruiser Ride
The bike parade heads out

What: Muscle Powered’s Westside Cruiser Ride
Where: Ride begins and ends at the Brewery Arts Center, 449 W King St, Carson City.
When: Wednesday May, 14th
Time: Signups begin at 6:00PM, ride begins at 6:30PM
Bring: Any bike and your helmet. Friends and Family
Bonus: Possibility of live music outside at the Firkin and Fox after the ride.

10 Tips for Bicycle Commuting

Bike to Work Week starts May 12th! Many cyclists around the country will be taking to the streets next week to use their bicycles for their daily transportation needs. While many of us are pretty comfortable riding bikes for recreational use, we tend to do these activities in ideal locations away from traffic where there isn’t much to think about besides having a good time. Bicycle commuting and other urban errands, though, will most likely take us through areas that are out of our normal comfort zone. Sharing the road with trucks, autos, motorcycles, pedestrians, and other cyclists requires a lot of attention, bike handling skills, confidence, and knowledge of the rules of the road. It can seem overwhelming and dangerous at first, but with some experience, it becomes as normal as driving. Even quite enjoyable.

Musser Street
Sharing the road with trucks, autos, motorcycles, pedestrians, and other cyclists

I began full-time bicycle commuting back in the Fall of 2007. At first it was a personal challenge to see how long I could go without driving. I made it through my first winter. Seasons went by, and then a year. Then two and three. After a while I stopped counting. It was no longer a challenge, just a way of life. I had made a lifestyle change that had become a habit. While it all seems routine now, I can still remember all the challenges I faced initially, and all the lessons I had to learn the hard way. So whether you plan to commute by bike next week, the rest of the month, or make a lifestyle change, the following tips will help you get on the road.

    • Rules of the road – While a bicycle gives the rider the feeling of freedom, this doesn’t mean the rider is free to break the law. When I’m out riding, I see a few cyclists blowing through stop signs. Riding on the sidewalk. Or even riding on the wrong side of the street coming right at me in my own bike lane. I also see drivers that treat cyclists like pedestrians (a cyclist is only a pedestrian if they are off the bike walking it). I think a lot of people don’t know that bikes need to follow the same rules as cars, rules that most people are pretty familiar with. When riding your bike on public roads, follow the same rules you would in your car. Stop at stop signs and lights. Keep off the sidewalks as this endangers pedestrians. Ride with traffic on the right-hand side of the road. Riding predictably will help keep you safe, prevent cars from crashing trying avoid you, and give you respect from other roadway users.
    • Which bike to ride – Which bike do you need to commute by bike? The one you have will probably work fine if that’s all you own. Some bikes are definitely better suited to the task though, and one must consider things like road conditions, distance to be traveled, cargo capacity, and portability. Mountain bikes can handle any terrain you may encounter, but a road bike will be easier to pedal and faster over smooth roads. A long utility bike may give you lots of cargo capacity, but may not fit on a bus bike rack or could be too heavy to carry up a few flights of stairs at the office. Start with what you have. After you gain some experience, you may consider a bike better suited to your specific needs. Also consider where you’ll be keeping your bike. Is it secure? You don’t want to leave your high end bike out on a public bike rack for hours on end unsupervised. It’ll disappear for sure.
    • What to wear – If you’re lucky and don’t have to ride very far, you can probably get away with the same clothes you plan to wear to work. I like to be able to hop off the bike and walk directly into the office with no clothing changes. The mornings are nice and cool, so it’s pretty easy to arrive at work unspoiled if you live fairly close to work. For those that live further away and require more effort to pedal to work, it may be necessary to carry your work clothes in your pack or have something to change into stashed at the office. Some offices have a shower, but usually some cool water on the face or a wet-wipe is plenty. If you get sweaty on the way home, you’re going home anyhow. An ankle strap on the right leg works great for keeping your pants clean.

Chrome Commuter Bag
Messenger style bag

    • How to carry your stuff – There are a few ways to carry your things, and all have their merits. A backpack or messenger style bag is really simple and portable. Messenger bags allow you to get to things without taking the pack off, but a backpack is more stable. Backpacks and bags decrease ventilation on hot days though, and place the weight on your body. Panniers get the load off your back, and don’t really affect bike handling with modest loads. You do have to worry about security though if the bags aren’t easily removable. Another way to carry a small load is with a basket mounted above the front wheel. Since they’re bolted on, you don’t have to worry about someone walking away with it as much. The downside is that the weight over the front wheel can affect your steering. Another strategy is to keep some stuff at the office. Dress shoes are a great item to stow at work. They’re bulky and you don’t really need to carry them back and forth each day.
    • What needs to be in your pack – Think of what you carry around in your car. You have a spare tire, jack, cell phone, maybe an extra jacket, and probably a lot of other items just laying around that would be helpful if you broke down or had an emergency. When you’re away from the house all day on your bike, you need to think the same way. A spare tube, tire levers, mini-pump, and mutli-tool will cover most of the repairs you’ll encounter and don’t take up much room. At the very least, have a cell phone and someone that can come pick you up if you have a mechanical issue beyond your skill level or time to repair. A cyclists also needs to consider the weather forecast for the entire day. It may be sunny when you leave the house, but there may be thundershowers rolling in later in the day. Bring the appropriate clothing. Bring your lights if there’s a chance you’ll be riding in the dark. Sometimes you may have an after work function that goes on much later than expected. Water, lunch, and a snack are also good things to consider. Don’t forget your bike lock, wallet, eye glasses, phone charger, headphones, and other items you may need throughout the day.
    • Securing your bike – Before you start bicycle commuting, you need to figure out where you’re going to keep your bike at your destination. The rules vary greatly at each place of business, so you need to check with the boss first. You may be able to keep your bike at your desk, in a spare room, or in a secure area outside. You may have to lock it to a bike rack or a tree. Where you’re going to keep your bike may determine which bike you’re going to ride. Remember, any lock or cable can be cut through or busted open with a jack. The more expensive locks just buy you more time. Don’t make your bike the most appealing bike on the rack to thieves!
    • Map your route – The best routes to get to work in a car are often the worst routes on a bicycle. The bicycle allows you to get more creative with your route, since you’re going the same speed whether you’re on a quiet residential street or a high speed boulevard. Pick a route that helps you avoid dangerous traffic, or one that takes you through a more scenic route like a park or historical district. Google maps is helpful for planning your route, and it even has the option to map it for bicycle travel. For those in Carson City, Muscle Powered has safe cycling maps available around town or for download on the website.
    • Do a trial run – Before your first commute, it is helpful to do a trial run on your day off when you have extra time. Time yourself riding at a casual pace, and see how long it really takes to get there. Additionally, you may find something you don’t like and want to adjust your route. Running late on a Monday morning is a bad time to figure out you’ve made some miscalculations.

Commuter Convoy
Ride with friends

  • Ride with friends – Bicycle commuting with a friend or coworker is a fun activity. I’ve even met some pretty good friends along my routes. Not only does it give you some companionship, but there is safety in numbers. A larger group is easier to see, and you can share tools and other resources.
  • Get Involved – Join a bicycling advocacy group. If there’s something you’d like to see changed, chances are someone needs your help to get it done. Many cities around the country have a bicycle advocacy group that works with local governments to make the roads safer for bicycles. They are always appreciative for more help. In Carson City, this group is Muscle Powered.

Looking for others to bicycle commute with? There is still time left to enter the Bike to Work Week Corporate Challenge. Riders from all over the city will be competing for miles and trips by bicycle. Although this is a friendly competition, it’s a good support group of other riders just like you. Visit Muscle Powered’s Corporate Challenge page for more details.

Next up, some tips to keep you safe on your commute.

Bike Month 2014

Bike Month 2014 starts in just a few days! Muscle Powered, in cooperation with city and state government and local businesses, have a fun month of activities planned to promote a bicycle friendly community in Carson City. Community bike rides, commuter challenges, informative bicycle clinics, movies, raffle prizes, parties and more await participants. Bike Month has been celebrated in Carson City for many years now not only to encourage more bicycling in Carson City, but also to educate cyclists and motorists alike on safety and the rules of the road. Here’s an overview of what’s coming up in May. Additional details and reminders for each event will be made throughout the month.

Bike to Work Week
Bike to Work Week is May 12th – May 16th

Sunday, May 4Tour of Carson City, a bike ride around Carson City at your pace for as many miles as you want, up to 30 Miles. Starts and ends at Bike Habitat, lunch follows the Ride. Starts at 9:00 am.

Monday, May 5 – Celebrity Ride, a short cruiser ride around West Carson, usually attended by the Mayor, Sheriff, Supervisors, and city department heads. Join us and be a Celebrity. Starts at Telegraph Square at 10:30 am.

Monday, May 5 – Ride for Reading. Volunteers deliver books to 4 elementary schools by bicycle on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday starting at noon. (Right after the celebrity ride on Monday, how convenient.) Volunteers needed, contact CBloomer@carson.org.

Ride for Reading
Ride for Reading

Wednesday, May 7 – National Bike to School Day. Encourages all school kids to ride their bikes to school. Parents are encouraged to ride with their children

Sunday, May 11 – Mother’s Day. Take Mom for a bike ride!

Monday, May 12 through Friday, May 16 - Bike to Work Week. Get out of your car and commute to work on your bike. Public agencies and private businesses can register with Muscle Powered and compete for valuable prizes for most miles, average miles per participant and number of trips. Sign up at MusclePowered.org.

Wednesday, May 14 – Cruiser Ride. A fun ride around Carson City’s historical west side. Polish the chrome and pump up the tires on that old bike; decorate it and yourself. Starts at Brewery Arts Center. Sign in at 6:00 pm,  ride starts at 6:30 pm.

Friday, May 16 – Bike to Work Day. Show your bike helmet to participating coffee shops for free coffee on your way to work.

Friday, May 16 – Bike to Work Week Party. At the Firkin & Fox after work. Revel with fellow bikers, enjoy a cold brew, listen to live music from Notch 8, and win valuable prizes, including a new bike.

Tuesday, May 20 – Movie Night. Watch an award winning bicycle movie at Plan:B inside the Sassafras Restaurant. Starts at 6:00 pm. Free admission, bike swag, and popcorn!

Share your Bike Month experiences across social media with hash tag: #bikeccnv

For more information follow Muscle Powered at MusclePowered.org and Facebook/Muscle Powered.

Women’s Clinic, Soulcycler and National Trails Day

We have a few events coming up that may interest you:

Women’s Bike Clinic
CB
You chicks on bikes! You know who you are–go to the May 23 Women’s Bike Clinic at Bike Habitat. Denis Coyne always organizes a great program. Go early, as it is usually a full house. Great tips for simple repairs. Get a little know how and more.
Bike Habitat – 911 Topsy Ln (next to Best Buy) 267-5053

Soulcycler
Then on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church in Carson City, get ready to join writer-photographer-adventurer Rick Gunn for his 90-minute presentation “Soulcycler, Words And Images From a 25,811-Mile Bicycle Journey Around-The-World.” ”Soulcycler” combines 350 breath-taking photos from 33 countries, set to music, accompanied by a selection of uniquely emotional stories from around the globe. Gunn delivers a front-row seat to the pursuit of his lifelong dream of cycling the planet. See Bike Carson’s post HERE.
First United Methodist Church – 212 N Division St.

National Trails Day on the Ash to Kings Canyon Trail
Help Muscle Powered celebrate National Trails Day by building trail on the Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon Trail. Scheduled to be completed in 2014, this 7 mile multi-use trail will connect Ash and Kings Canyons, providing users with a scenic backcountry experience only minutes from downtown Carson City.

For registration and details click HERE.
toby, oli and ward

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® will bring together outdoor enthusiasts across the country on Saturday, June 1, 2013, for the 21st annual celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and its countless supporters and volunteers. Over 2,000 nationwide events will take place including trail maintenance, hiking, paddling, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, running, trail celebrations and more!