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.

Corporate Challenge Results as of Wednesday

Thank you all for coming out for a great cruiser ride!! (The little girl had a melt down half way through, sorry I missed out on the ending.) – Toby

We are at 85,276 total calories burned and 1,128 lbs of CO2 offset.

Toby’s favorite text during Bike to Work Week – “I made you a mixed tape. I hope you like it.”

Jeff’s favorite text during Bike to Work Week – “It’s amazing the things you see when you ride your bike.”

Texts provided by Deirdre.

Check out Deirdre’s commute to work HERE.

Team Total Mileage

Nevada Guard Rough Riders 453.5
NDOT 391.8
Sierra Controls, LLC 243
DHHS 168.4
Lumos & Assoc 159.8
Allison MacKenzie 146.14
DETR – Cyclepaths 130.3
USGS 105
DHRM – Team Riding Once a Year 70.5
NV Secretary of State 59
Resource Concepts, Inc 45
Western Nevada College 43.64
Nevada Magazine 41
Diablo Industries 36
USPS Newmans 27
Redrock Dental 11.82
CV Sports 0
NV Bureau of Water Quality Planning 0

Team Total Trips
DETR – Cyclepaths 56
Sierra Controls, LLC 42
Nevada Guard Rough Riders 33
Allison MacKenzie 30
Lumos & Assoc 20
NV Secretary of State 19
Resource Concepts, Inc 18
USPS Newmans 16
DHRM – Team Riding Once a Year 11
Nevada Magazine 6
Diablo Industries 4
Redrock Dental 3
Western Nevada College 2
CV Sports 0
NV Bureau of Water Quality Planning 0

Team Average Mileage per Participant
Nevada Guard Rough Riders 45.35
DHHS 42.1
Nevada Magazine 41
Diablo Industries 36
Lumos & Assoc 31.96
Sierra Controls, LLC 24.3
DHRM – Team Riding Once a Year 23.5
Resource Concepts, Inc 22.5
NDOT 18.66
DETR – Cyclepaths 18.61
Allison MacKenzie 14.61
NV Secretary of State 11.8
Western Nevada College 10.91
USPS Newmans 6.75
Redrock Dental 3.94
CV Sports 0

Team Calories
Nevada Guard Rough Riders 18140
NDOT 15672
Sierra Controls, LLC 9720
DHHS 6736
Lumos & Assoc 6392
Allison MacKenzie 5845.6
DETR – Cyclepaths 5212
USGS 4200
DHRM – Team Riding Once a Year 2820
NV Secretary of State 2360
Resource Concepts, Inc 1800
Western Nevada College 1745.6
Nevada Magazine 1640
Diablo Industries 1440
USPS Newmans 1080
Redrock Dental 472.8
CV Sports 0
NV Bureau of Water Quality Planning 0

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.

Ray Rickard 8/4/1948 – 5/3/2014

Our friend Ray Rickard, bicyclist, trail builder, and all-around good guy passed away on a cross country bicycle tour last week. We will miss him. Here are soPhoto by Jenny Haasme memories:

From Jeff Potter

It’s hard to believe that my friend Ray is gone. The last I heard from Ray was several days ago after he received a trail work e-mail. He said he was on a ride across the USA and looked forward to trail work when he returned. Ray donated quite a bit of his time working on the Ash to Kings Canyon Trail. Everybody that has worked on the trail works hard, Ray took it to the next level. The guy was a machine. Ray did everything, clearing corridor, tread prep, rock work and finishing. He put his stamp on the trail. Some of my best memories are just the two of us working on the trail, quietly working for hours, then taking a lunch break overlooking Carson City, discussing trails, family, bike rides, politics, retirement, and everything in between. As his loss sinks in the days get more painful. I’m thankful for the time I spent with him over the years and especially the past two years as he became more involved with the trail project. Though he is gone, I know when I hike the new trail there will be areas that are just that much more special because my friend Ray was here. Thank you Ray

From Tim Rowe

I lost a good friend last week, my son Christopher lost his pseudo Grandpa and Carson City lost a good citizen and bicyclist. Ray Rickard died in his sleep last Saturday morning in Elk, OK. He was doing one of his dreams – riding across country. He had just completed day 13 of the 30 day adventure. I wish I had done the ride with him, as it is also a dream of mine. Yes, I had retired too but went back to back work and luckily in a bicycle job. I have known Ray for over 25 years and have ridden many miles with him or behind him. I think I first met him with Carson City Cycle People (CCCP). We always started together, rode together or did our pace but we always regrouped at the end and were even better friends every time. We have done so many rides; the Chico Wildflower, the Delta, the Wine Country, Sweetwater, Fallon No-Hill 100, Death Valley, Solvang, Shasta, Crater Lake and Fall River to name a few century rides. But we also did the Davis Double and the Terrible Two and the week-long Cycle Oregon. The ride with the most memories and stories was “Death Valley-The Hot One”. Ray and another good friend John started the century at Furnace Creek at 9:00 pm and it was still 120 or so (the temperature gets hotter as the years go on). Ray started the ride with a flat but that never phased him and we all went on. We rode to Badwater in a horrific head wind, like riding into a hair-dryer the whole way in the moon light and turned around at 50 miles to still have a head wind – getting back at 5:00am – still 98 degrees. That was the most dangerous ride we ever did due to the very low humidity and keeping your fluids and senses up but that ride had the most story telling.
Ray also helped the Alta Alpina Cycling Club (AACC) and even served on the Board of Directors when I was President. He really didn’t want to be Secretary but he did it for his friend and did it well. Ray also help on many AACC events over the years – The Death Ride, Pinenut Cracker Mountain Bike race, The Carson Valley Classic Race series, weekly road and mountain bike rides, Cyclocross races, and now the Alta Alpina Challenge. Ray was also involved with the Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Patrol and helped so many riders on the trails over the years. After retirement Ray really kicked in helping with trail building with Muscle Powered. Ray was great with helping kids with the Ski Program and taught my son how to ski and later how to mountain bike ride.
He also helped with Boy Scouts and was involved with Troop 341 with his son Jarrod and later he helped my son with his Pinewood Derby cars and bicycle rodeos. Ray and Char always supported our son and came to so many events, including Christopher’s play at Jacks Valley School and Mulan at the BAC right before he left on his last adventure.
Ray was always there and always with his huge smile, a positive & honest attitude and tons of patience! Ray was a great person to talk with as he always had an opinion but always listened to the other guy. Ray was a huge source or information and did his research and trials with many bicycles in his collection. You could ask Ray anything and he could tell you anything– like on recumbent and now electric bicycles. Many great conversations keep us all awake driving back after many rides. Ray you will be missed but thanks for the memories and pulls in the Paceline of life! We know we will meet and ride again!