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.

The staff of the restaurant kindly joined several tables together on the patio. They even provided stands at the ends of the tables on which to hang our purses and helmets!
Sarah locks up her bike.
One by one the women pedaled in including another customer who rode to the restaurant on her bike but she wasn't with our group. You should have seen the bike racks! It was completely FULL and so some of the women had to secure their bikes wherever they could.
There were several women who were attending for the first time. Some I have met briefly and others I have never met:
  • Megan - my colleague who does not currently ride a bike but I am so glad she joined in and so this was her first Bike to Linner. She is interested in bicycling but concerned because of affordability (she already has an expensive hobby in dancing), location (she lives farther north in Sparks than I do) and health issues (allergies and relies on insulin). All reasons and concerns I can certainly understand and I have ideas for addressing them. When she's ready, we'll find her an affordable bike, perhaps refurbished or an electric bike. Carrying proper nutrition such as gels or in her fluid can help keep her blood sugar from running low. We'll start with short distances for as long as she needs to feel comfortable and grow from there!
  • Abbie - is a professor at the university where I work. This was her first time joining the group. She currently rides leisurely but not for transportation due to the hills and her job requires that she hauls A LOT of stuff. I have ideas to address these problems too! An electric bike can be helpful in getting up hills and keeping sweat to a minimum. With the extra power assist she can truck all the stuff she needs in pannier bags or a trailer!
  • Crystal - is a digital media art student at the university where I work. This is her first time joining the group. She rides her bike everywhere and always looks cute!
  • Sarah E. - is my colleague who has an awesome custom electric-assist bicycle her dad built for her. She has attended all three of the bike to brunch gatherings and has ridden to work a few times this year! I am proud of her for making the effort to ride her bike to work when she can.
  • Ilsa - is new to the area and is from Minnesota. Ilsa attended the last social and she rides her bike regularly. Because she works from home, she doesn't have to bike to work but she does need to take her son to daycare. She is not yet comfortable riding on the urban roads and is interested in joining a group or following someone on her bike to take her son to daycare and back. I am looking into making this happen for her and if you are reading and have ANY ideas - please chime in!!
  • Kim - is very new to the area and was invited by Ilsa so this was Kim's first attendance. She is very new to riding her bike in the city and I must applaud her for being so brave to ride her bike with Ilsa to join the Linner!! Kim would like to learn more about and have practical experience in defensive bike riding and so we will incorporate some skill sharing in our next meeting!
  • Sarah T. - rides her bike everywhere and is not afraid of any hills or riding conditions!! She has attended the brunch all but once (due to work obligations) and is such an inspiration to all of us. She is strong and feminine. Sarah arrived with a red skirt with white polka dots coordinated with a white blouse and accessories. Her hair in a classic bun! That is NOT to say the other women weren't cute. Our group of women wear WHATEVER we want to ride our bikes!
  • Karen - drove all the way from Carson City with her bike and pedaled to the restaurant. This was her first attendance and she was so brave to find her way and join a group of women she has never met!! I am really proud of her (because it would be something that would be VERY hard for me to do because I am in introvert.) I am so glad she was able to join us and contribute to the conversation.
The food was great. I have been to SoDo on numerous occasions but for some of the ladies in our group, it was their first time. I hoped that they also found the food and experience top-notch and that they would return again in the future (perhaps with their spouse or family) and bring more business to the restaurant.
There was so many excellent discussions around the table. We shared information about upcoming cycling events including Edible Pedal 100® century road bike ride and fundraiser, the month-long Reno Artown Festival in July and new clothing lines such as Eddie Bauer's Travex (travel and trek) gear and apparel

We talked about our next meeting and ideas for our next gathering. Perhaps a Bike to Boogie (beer at Great Basin Brewery and then a lesson in West Coast Swing Dance), Pedal to a Potluck Picnic at the Park!! Boy, say that 10 times!!
 As always it was tough to part but I look forward to the next time we get together!
 Ilsa and Kim pedal off...
 Then Karen and I rode to her car...
 And then I biked all the way home!

Photos from the 2016-06-29_Bike to Linner at SoDo album.

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