Monday, June 30, 2014

Women's Bike to Linner at SoDoRestaurant Report

Each month I organize a women's social gathering at a different restaurant in Reno. All women and those who identify with being a women are welcome and they can also invite their friends and daughters. Most women ride their bikes to the venue and if we have time, we ride together afterwards.

This time we met at the SoDo restaurant located in south downtown Reno. The Women's Bike to Linner (Lunch and Dinner) was another success!! Since the series began in April, we had the largest turnout yesterday with 9 in attendance including me.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who You Gonna Call?

The brake cable snapped during my bike ride home yesterday. This time I lost control of the front brakes. If the same thing didn't just happen a month ago (to the rear brakes), I probably would have slightly panicked and stopped to call my husband.

Fortunately I didn't have any serious downhills for the rest of my trip towards home. Still, not having the full use of both front and rear brakes is a safety issue. But instead of calling my husband to come pick me up, I just rode cautiously (slowing down way ahead of time) and at a pace where I knew I could stop in time.

What about people who do not have someone to call? Or what if I was far away from home on a personal bike tour? And so I was somewhat relieved to hear about this NPR article that More Cyclists Can Now Call AAA For Help.

There was a point where these people walking stepped onto the crosswalk at the last minute but luckily they waited until I passed. A person driving the other direction did stop and I couldn't help but think

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Participate in National Dump the Pump Day and Win Prizes

Thursday, June 19th is National Dump the Pump Day! What does this mean to you? It means that you can ride RTC RIDE, RAPID, and INTERCITY FREE all day on June 19th.

Don't want to ride the bus? You can still you can still Dump the Pump by trading a car trip alone for a trip walking, bicycling, or carpooling. I say choose bicycling ;-P, especially if you have a longer distance commute than 2 or 3 miles.
Bicycling means you can ride on the multi-use Truckee River Trail
Even better - record your green trip(s) between National Dump the Pump Day (June 19) through July 31, 2014, will be sent a small reward and be entered into a prize drawing for a more valuable gift and you can win more than one prize such as:

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Look at Phase 1 of the Sparks-Reno Southeast Connector Project

On our way home from Positively 4th Street in downtown Reno, my husband and I rode on the Truckee River Bike-Ped path all the way to Greg Street and Sparks Boulevard to look at the progress of the SouthEast Connector project. The construction of Phase 1 (where these photos were taken) and is scheduled to complete this August.

Source: http://www.southeastconnector.com/project-status/
Source: http://www.southeastconnector.com/

We did notice a multi-use path was installed on the west southbound side of Sparks Boulevard at Greg Street. Still, I wonder how this path will be connected with the path that currently exists on Sparks Boulevard. Navigating the freeway overpass with motor vehicles trying to get on the I-80W freeway to get to this point is scary enough as it is, even for experienced riders.

View of the SouthEast Connector heading south.
But any improvement is better than riding on the shoulder with the hustling and bustling of mostly commercial vehicles that frequent the street.

Positively a GREAT Weekend!

I am so glad my husband and I were able to attend Positively 4th Street this weekend!

We rode our bikes on Saturday morning from Sparks to 4th Street where the event was held. It was nice to see green lanes, shrubs and trees line the street as part of the Better Block project.
Our first order was to have brunch in the Cuddleworks pop-up restaurant with renowned Chef, Mark Estee.
John ordered the Black pepper Biscuits with Tasso Ham and Hadji Paul Eggs and I had the The Cure: Potatoes, Bacon, Tomatoes, Confit Chicken, Holcomb Ranch Duck Egg and Spicy Ass (to who??) Hollandaise. Both were absolutely delicious good quality food!
Brunch at Cuddleworks pop-up restaurant with Mark Estee.
After brunch we checked out the activities behind the Reno Bike Project. There was a bike swap where folks can sell or buy bikes, activities for the kids, a dunk tank, petting zoo and lots of fun for all ages!

At one of the tents selling cycling goods, John found a Kinetic bicycle trainer for $30 and so we hauled it away on his bike, LOL.
Then we headed back to enjoy Positively 4th Street for the rest of the afternoon. The beer guzzling goats were a riot! I don't blame them for eating the paper bowls that held the brew since it was crafted by Reno's very own Under the Rose Brewing Company a couple of doors down from the Reno Bike Project on 4th Street.


I wonder what flavor the goats tasted? I have tried the Blonde Beer (an American Kolsch-style ale) at another event a few weeks back and the Saison Beer (a French-style Farmhouse ale). So far the latter is my favorite.

We finished off our afternoon on a sweet note with handmade ice cream from a new local creamery, IceCycle. Yum-yum!

What a fun day!!  But it wasn't complete until we rode down the green lane on our bicycles.

A taste of riding a green bicycle lane on 4th Street.
Thanks to all, their time and hard work, who made this event possible for the community to enjoy. For one day, we got a glimpse of what 4th Street could look like if it was a complete street. It could possibly become the hub for bicycling!!

Photos from Cuter Commuter's Picasa Web Album: 2014-06-16_Positively 4th Street

Friday, June 13, 2014

10 Reasons to Attend Postively 4th Street

Aack...sorry for the last minute post! This week has been hectic BUT I cannot sign off until I tell you WHY you should go to Positively 4th Street. I am DEFINITELY going to be there tomorrow and it is going to be FABULOUS!!! I don't need any more reasons other than FOOD, FRIENDS and FUN...right? Nod your head with me. GOOD!! And I hope to see your smiley face too!!



The schedule and more details can be found here and it is MUCH more persuasive than my little graphic (but hey, I gotta try right?):
http://aroundthearch.com/blog/2014/06/09/positively-4th-street/
http://drinkablereno.com/positively-4th-street-beer-ice-cream-reno/
http://reno-rambler.blogspot.com/2014/06/renothe-biggest-little-bike-city.html
http://ridinginreno.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-weekend-is-comingwhat-are-your-plans.html

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No Shower? No Problem! Tips for How NOT to Sweat While Biking to Work.

Audrey Hepburn staying cool and dry.
You don't want to get sweaty biking to work or to get around during the day. I get it. Especially if there's not a shower facility at work or if it is not practical to shower in the middle of the day. If you shower then you would have to do your hair. Perhaps even do your makeup. Again. As if there is enough time in the work day to do all that, right?

On the other hand, if you don't shower then you might feel sticky and uncomfortable. A part of you might be concerned about giving off an offensive odor all day. Or the worst--arriving at the office looking like a cat who just had a bath. Yeah. Not professional at all.

Sweaty Cat

While breaking a sweat while biking is a legitimate concern, especially as the weather starts to warm up for summer, there are many ways to reduce sweating:

1) Drive
2) Take the public transit

JUST KIDDING!! Here are some (serious) tips to keep sweat at bay.
  1. Lady Fleur (who is one of THE QUEENS for riding pretty) suggests dressing in layers so you can peel off as you get warmer. I do that. She also has many great tips in her post, The No Sweat Way to Bike to Work.
  2. Ride at easy pace to stay cool and dry. Rider slower as you get closer to your destination; slow down and cool down. Even if it takes you more time to get where you need to be. Not having to change out of sweaty clothes will save you time because you can just get off the bike and walk to where you need to be. 
  3. Change a piece of clothing. If I do sweat, it is noticeably in my upper body. So sometimes I will carry my blouse or button up shirt in my pannier and an extra base layer (camisole or tank top). After I arrive at the office, I change out of the sweaty base layer and slip a fresh one on before my blouse or button up.
  4. That said, it REALLY helps to wear base layers designed for performance such as Craft, Castelli, Under Armour because the special fabric wicks away moisture to help keep you dry and neutralize odor that can surface. I am going to try Uniqlo's base layer line called AIRism. Base layers aren't just for the summer. I also wear long sleeve base layers during the winter. They're not handy just for bicycling but other outdoor sports such as skiing.
  5. Carry (or keep at the office) a small towel or handkerchief and/or wet wipes.
  6. Consider a bike (such as a Ride Scoozy) with electric assist. Use the power to help you push up that hill or to get to work faster or when you start to break a sweat in the heat.
  7. When you have a lot of miles to bike, eventually you will work up a sweat so perhaps try a combo of riding your bike and taking public transit.
Mental power: how I stay dry during my 10-mile bike commute to office.


ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, SWEATING IS GOOD FOR YOU!!
  • The light dew on your skin can help keep you cool while you are cycling. Sweating is our body's built-in mechanism for regulating its temperature by getting rid of excess heat.
  • Sweating is like a steam sauna. It can open up your pores and keep your skin clearer of blackheads.
  • It promotes healthy circulation.
  • Sweating helps purge harmful toxins from your body.
  • It can fight infections according to an article on MSN. Sweat contains nitrite, which converts into nitric oxide upon reaching the surface, a potent gas with broad spectrum antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Sweating revs up your metabolism to help you heal. Ever wonder why you sweat when running a fever? How about two-time cancer survivor kicks cancer to the curb by sweating on the bike (http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/2014/04/04/fitness/sweat-for-good-how-you-can-kick-cancer-to-the-curb/)?!
Don't believe me? Check out MSN Healthy Living, "How Sweating Is Good for Your Health" and Fitness Magazine "Sweat: 7 Reasons It Does a Body Good".

When I ride my bike home, I LOVE to work up a sweat. I feel my heart thump in my chest and sometimes I gasp for air to fill my lungs and feed my muscles. I sense the dew of sweat on my forearms and nose. It tells me that I got a workout and I AM ALIVE!! And when I get home, I hop in the shower and wash that nasty little sweat away.

Do you have any tips to share for how you keep sweating while biking to work to a minimum? I would like to hear from you!!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Friday Finds for Father's Day

Have you already decided on a gift for the cycling Dad in your life? If not, here is a list of great gifts for your pedaling pop:
  1. Betabrand's Bike to Work Shorts ($98) in Gray or Khaki. John got a pair for his birthday and what I like about it is the gusseted crotch for in saddle comfort, the back pocket has zippers to keep its contents secure, and the built in reflectors including a deployable reflective flag tucked inside the left back pocket.

  2. Price too steep? Upload a photo on their website to get a 10% discount and if you have a photo of yourself wearing a product, upload a photo as a model citizen for 20% discount.

  3. Dot&Bo Ibu and Bapak Model Bikes - Set of 2 ($89.99). These die cast models of the Ibu and Bapak bikes are designed to scale with treaded tires and rotating pedals and chains. Give him something for his desk when he cannot be outside riding his bike!
  4. Bandbox Ascot Tweed Cap Helmet Cover ($54). Bandbox makes a helmet system with a nice selection of interchangeable helmet covers so your Dad can express his personal style and taste while pedaling around town. He will need the Bandbox bicycle helmet, if he does not already have one.
    Yakkay is another stylish bicycle helmet and cover option. A cover is 40 euros or about $55. Again a compatible helmet that the cover fits over is required.
  5. Not enough time to order your Dad a gift? Remember your local bike shop!!

    That's where I got my urban cycling helmet - the Giro Reverb.

  6. If your Dad likes to hang his helmet on his bike, then you can get him Yakkay's Safe One. With Safe One your pop can lock his helmet to his bike so he don't need to carry it when he is finished biking but will keep his helmet safe and dry. 
Or skip spending cash and take your Dad out for a memorial bike ride around the neighborhood! Be sure to take photos for keepsake of Father's Day.

I would love to hear what you're getting your daddy-o or if you are a cycling father yourself, what product(s) you would like for Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Pound of Carbon Dioxide - So What?

When we get in our cars and drive, I wonder how many people think about the impact that has on our environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fuel? I admit that I don't really think about it but I thought about it today as I was riding my bike to work.

CO2 is usually measured in terms of pounds. But what does a pound of carbon dioxide look like? Given a certain pressure and temperature, the volume of 1 pound of CO2 would look like this. Large enough to fill a cube 2 feet 1 inch high or a sphere 30.5 inches across (the size of a large rubber exercise ball).
Volume of 1 pound of carbon dioxide (CO2) (Image: carbonvisuals.com)
What does the combustion of one gallon of gas look like?  For each gallon of gas that we pour into our tanks, our cars crank out about 25 pounds of carbon dioxide. So if my commute is 20 miles round trip and my car gets 20 miles per gallon, this is how much volume of CO2 would be generated by me driving.

But since I ride by bike to work about 20 miles roundtrip, I save about 25 pounds of carbon dioxide each day!!

Volume of CO2 from the combustion of 1-gallon of gas (Image: carbonvisuals.com)
To date, the 193 bicycle commuters in Nevada who have registered on the National Bike Challenge have saved 24,596 pounds of carbon dioxide!! That's a lot of rubber exercise balls!!  

Visualizing how much carbon dioxide is released into the air by our daily driving is enough to make us hop on our bikes for our commute to work, doesn't it?!?! Through active transportation, we will be helping to keep our air clean and our hearts!!


Sources:
http://www.nrdc.org/living/energy/why-worry-about-pound-carbon-dioxide.asp
https://nationalbikechallenge.org/state/nv
http://carbonvisuals.com

Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Bike in a Maxi Dress

During the summer I love to wear maxi dresses because it is easy to slip on and go. The long length of the fabric protects my legs from the sun and air flows easily underneath so I can stay cool. It is great to wear on especially hot and humid days!
Bed hair means no worries about helmet hair.


On this particular morning my husband and I were riding our bikes to breakfast BUT I wanted to wear a THIS bright and happy dress!! With it on, I did the long stride step test and I had plenty of room for leg movement. However, I was afraid the length of the dress would hinder me from pedaling in a smooth motion. I could hike up the dress to pedal but knew the extra fabric would fall again once I was standing at a stop light.

So I grabbed an elastic waist belt out of the closet (I think any belt would have worked because it will be hidden anyway) and snapped it snugly around my waist. Then I pulled the fabric at the waist up and over the belt until the bottom of the skirt was at the length I desired.
Now I have a shorter dress that I can easily pedal in! BREAKFAST HERE I COME!!
Cat inspected and approved!
It was somewhat cool yesterday morning and I knew it would be even colder going downhill for the first mile of our ride so I threw a cardigan over my dress. When it got warm, I slipped off the cardigan and tucked it away in my pannier bag.

After we arrived at our destination, I threw on a wide wire brim sun hat over my head, unsnapped my belt and VIOLA--I was in my maxi dress once more! I think I surprised a few people sitting at the restaurant tables after I did the presto chango in front of them LOL.

Our Bike to Brunch at the Stonehouse Cafe in Reno

So yesterday morning my husband and I rode to brunch at the Stonehouse. The restaurant has a HUGE patio area that wraps from the front of the restaurant to the side. You feel like you are in a private garden because you're surrounded by tall hedges, lush shrubs and flowering plants. On this particular morning, the bar on the patio had just opened up for the spring/summer season so that's where we took a seat.
It was a GORGEOUS morning and the food could not have been any better. John ordered the Banana Rum French Toast which was three slices of Ciabatta bread dredged through Stone House batter and topped with caramelized bananas, a banana rum sauce, whip cream and toasted pecans.
I picked one of the staffs' favorites--the Chorizo Eggs Benedict with Chipotle hollandaise sauce on the side. It was OH SO DELICIOUS and spicy!!

We took the Truckee Meadows River path trail eastward until it stopped at the Southeast Connector construction site and spotted some deer seeking shade from the afternoon sun.

It was a nice 30-mile roundtrip ride (longer than usual because the first restaurant we stopped at didn't work out) so we were happy to find something new at a familiar place. Spinning on the bike was good for me because my legs were so, so sore from running in the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Running Relay Race on Friday and Saturday.

I hope you had a great weekend!! I would love to hear about where you rode your bike and what you did.

Join us for the next Women's Bike to Brunch

Okay, the ladies usually bike to brunch but since the afternoon seems to work better for people's schedule, we will be celebrating summer by Biking to Linner (lunch and dinner) at SoDo in south downtown Reno Sunday, June 29th at 3PM.

Details and RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/465572593578237 I hope you can make it!!


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