Get Ready for Bike Month

Sheriff Kenny and Muscle Powered advisor Lee Harter getting ready to ride - "Celebrity Ride" 2012
Sheriff Kenny and Muscle Powered advisor Lee Harter getting ready to ride – “Celebrity Ride” 2012

Next month is Bike Month and there are plenty of activities planned in Carson City. We kick off on April 24 with Nevada Moves Day at the State Legislature. Muscle Powered is organizing exhibits in the front foyer of the legislative building highlighting Nevada groups working for better walking and biking. Participants include the Reno Bike Project, Safe Routes to Schools, the Carson Valley Trails Association and more. Muscle Powered members will invite legislators on a one-hour walk from 7 to 8 am starting from the legislative building, highlighting complete and not-so-complete streets in downtown Carson City. Exhibits will be up all day long – this is a good opportunity to visit what everyone during the session calls simply “the building,” so come down and say hello.

Rides

Next up is Bike Habitat’s Tour de Carson on Sunday, May 5. This popular ride starts from Bike Habitat in the Topsy Lane shopping center, circles Carson City, then ends up back at Bike Habitat for a barbecue.

Jenny Scanland is leading Slow Spokes Rides every Wednesday at 5:15 pm through June. Contact Jenny at  jscanland@charter.net, 684 2787

Several years ago Jeff Potter picked up then-City Supervisor Shelly Aldean on his tandem and they rode to work together on the first day of Bike To Work Week. This has evolved into a  Celebrity Ride where community leaders are invited to join Muscle Powered members on a leisurely hour-long ride around Carson City’s west side. Last year we were joined by the mayor, the sheriff, and several City department heads. This year we have invited state officials as well, so we’ll see who shows up. The Celebrity Ride will be on Tuesday, May 7.

One of the most popular events of Bike Month, the Cruiser Ride, will take place on Wednesday, May 15. Ride your prettiest bike. Costumes – for both bikes and riders – are not mandatory but welcome.

Vietnam Veterans of America family bike ride will take place on Saturday May 18, just before the end-of-Bike-Week party.

Artists

Local Gallery Artsy Fartsy is hosting a tricycle yard art contest. The trikes will be decorated by local artists, and will be sold by silent auction. The gallery will also show bicycle-themed art throughout the month.

Bike to Work Week

Of course the whole purpose of Bike Month – besides to have fun, which is always important – is to encourage biking for transportation. Bike to Work Week is May 13-17. Bike to Work DAY is May 17. We are organizing another Corporate/Agency Challenge this year, so you can compete for most miles ridden during the week as an individual or team, and get your chance to hold on to our enormous Bike Trophy for a year. Contact Jeff Potter through this site if you want to take part. Jenny Scanland is hosting a Bike Commute Station in the state’s Bryan Building (901 S. Stewart St) on May 1,2, and 3 to share tips for bike commuting. There will be free coffee for bike commuters on Bike to Work Day May 17 at various locations – check here or on our Facebook page for details.

Parties and other events

The End-of-Bike-Week Party will be Saturday, May 18, 3-6 pm, on West Telegraph Street by Telegraph Square in downtown Carson City. There will be a raffle including 2 cruiser bikes, bands, food trucks, tricycle races, and more.

This isn’t all. Other events include a bike social at Tap Shack, a women’s bike clinic led by Muscle Powered board member Cortney Bloomer, a bike movie at Sassafras, potentially a showing of Rick Gunn’s popular Soul Cycler slide show and more. Check back for info as these events are lined up.

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JAC

Carson City has a public transit service named JAC – Jump Around Carson. While Muscle Powered focuses on human powered transport, public transit is part of the equation for reducing motor vehicle use and deserves some more attention.

JAC operates four regular routes, all of which center on the transit center in downtown next to the federal building on Plaza Street. Route 1 serves the northern part of town including the regional medical center, Routes 2A and 2B serve the northeast and northwest parts of town, with each being just the reverse route of the other, and Route 3 serves the southern part of town including the southern point near Fuji Park and Costco. Though JAC does not directly serve the Carson Valley Plaza and Walmart shopping areas (including Bike Habitat and Trader Joe’s), these centers are a reasonable walking or biking distance from the southern-most stop by Fuji Park. You can head west on Old Clear Creek Road and then south up the hill on Vista Grande Blvd to enter these shopping centers from that side.

The service is hourly from 6:30AM to 6:30PM on weekdays, and 8:30AM to 4:30PM on Saturday. It does not operate evenings or Sundays. A system map is available. Fares are $1 per ride with transfers, $0.50 for youth, disabled and seniors, and free for seniors 60 and over in the bus pass program, which is made possible by a grant.

Continue reading “JAC”

Bicycle Routes in Carson City

Bicycle Lane on Silver Sage
Bicycle Lane on Silver Sage

Muscle Powered member Dan Allison has created a bicycle routes wiki for Carson City. This information supplements the Carson City Bicycle Map (see resources page) which was published by Muscle Powered and partners, by providing more detail about the routes and their condition. By identifying places that need improvement, as well as hazards, it will help Carson City enhance its bicycle routes and become a more bicycle friendly city.

The reason for using the wiki format is so that bicyclists in the community can add and correct information. If you would like to contribute, send an email to Dan (allisondan52 at gmail.com) from the email address you’d like to use, and you’ll be added as a user.

Bike to Work Week Begins

The weather was a bit chilly for the opening morning of Bike to Work Week, but this appeared not to be too discouraging, as many riders were out today in honor of this great event.

Jeff P arrives with Shelly Aldean
Jeff P arrives with Shelly Aldean

Jeff and Amy Potter rode out to City Supervisor Shelly Aldean’s house, and picked her up on a tandem mountain bike. The three rode from North Carson City to Lumos and Associates, where News Carson City and many more riders were waiting to greet them.

Jeff P with NewsCarsonCity
Jeff P with NewsCarsonCity.com

Right before the interview started, two cars sped down College Parkway. The following car had his horn full on, and was obviously in pursuit, following just a couple feet off the leading car’s bumper. I guess the Drive your Car to Work Week folks aren’t having nearly as much fun! We were informed later by News Carson City’s Dave Morgan that the road rager in the SUV was pulled over by the police! A fitting end to that event.

Heading up Long Street
Heading up Long Street

After the brief interview, a few of us rode with Jeff P and Shelly Aldean, escorting them on their way to her office. We took the freeway bike path to Long Street, South on Saliman, and then West on 5th Street. The route was quite pleasant, with light, slow traffic. A great way to kick off Bike to Work Week!

Do I Have Time to Commute by Bike?

Bicycle Commuting Series – Chapter 2

Do I Have Time to Commute by Bike?

You may be wondering if you have enough time to commute to work by bicycle.

If your commute just takes you across town, you may not save much time at all by driving. A car will always be faster on long straightaways, but for stop and go traffic, bicycles can keep up, or even be a faster transportation method. Stop signs, traffic lights, speed bumps, turns, school zones, parking lots…cars always get backed up in these situations, and this is where the bicycle makes up for lost time.

Foggy Commute

Cars and bicycles can be fairly close in elapsed time from door to door, but this is only part of the time equation. Once you’re at work, how many hours do you have to put in to pay for your car?  Expenses like rising fuel costs, car payments, extended warranties, car insurance, registration, taxes, servicing, parts, and possibly even collision repair. It takes hours, if not days to earn enough money to pay for all this stuff!

What about exercise? Everyone is looking to get a little exercise, but it can be hard to find the time when you’re driving everywhere trying to “save time”. You could join a gym, but then that’s just more time you’ll have to spend at work paying for the membership! Using a bicycle to get to work combines two activities. Why not get your exercise while doing something you have to do anyhow?

So as you can see, the question now becomes, “Do I have time to commute by car?. Think of how much time you could save by riding a bicycle to work, and what you could do with that extra time. Who knows? You may find that you really enjoy riding your bike, and may want to use your newly found time to take the long way to work.

Did you miss Bicycle Commuting Series – Chapter 1? Jump to: What to Wear for Your Bicycle Commute

For more articles on Bike to Work Week, click HERE.