Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bikes, Bikes, and more Bikes!

I was looking through a Sunset magazine, when I came across some information about cycling that I want to share, because I have so many grandchildren who cycle. We watch the cycling races on television and the big event of the year is Le Tour de France, which is huge all over the world. But the U.S. has come up with a big event called the Tour of California that has been well-received and attended. Three of my grandchildren--Phil, Jon, and Jamie--the ones who cycle long distances sometimes themselves, have been to at least two of these races. I have some pics from this race.

Cavendish, a sprinter from the Isle of Man, is one of my favorite riders. Here he is at the Tour of CA. And the second picture is of the cyclers crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to begin the race. A local favorite Levi Leipheimer has the best record at winning it. I always hate that all my favorite cyclers can't be on the same team. George Hincappie is a favorite but has been around a while and probably won't even win a stage at this point. He was close last year, but lost by a few seconds. Then there's the Schleck boys--Frank and Andy. Andy was close to winning Le Tour last year, but  lost by a few seconds.

The first bit of information from Sunset magazine is titled Bike Nation. It says: Move over, cars--we're fast becoming the most bike-happy part of the country. Here's just a taste of what's going on. Car-Free Festivals Since 2008, cyclists have taken over San Francisco streets on designated Sundays ( As of 2010, Portland, Oakland, Boulder and even L.A. are joining in. All of these events have web addresses.

And this is really good news for Tucson's residents: City Planning. Believing that biking to work should be easier for locals, Tucson's Dept. of Transportation is planning a network of 40 bicycle boulevards, with traffic-calming elements for safer commutes. The first, along Third Street, is already complete. You may wonder what this has to do with you. I say that spreading the word can create ideas for other cities, and it could be one where you live. Also, you may visit cities who have special bike lanes and you'll be ready to take advantage of them. I know that Albuquerque has some good bike lanes. Jon used some of them when he was visiting a few years ago.

Another bit of information is called: Bike Sharing. Home to more than 300 miles of trails, Denver launched the West's first bike-share program ( last April, with 50 kiosks of cherry red bikes. (When I went to, I didn't get anything about a bike-share program, but I'm not as efficient as you are.) They re-open March 1 for the season; Seattle hopes to follow suit this year. These kiosks are popular in some cities in Europe. You simply put your money in and you're given a bike. 

And just in case you're interested in starting a two-wheeled business, I'll give you this information. Imagine delicious restaurant delivery...without the restaurant. Entrepreneurs who do gourmet takeout--i.e., post a Web menu, hop on a bike, all without an actual storefront--are popping up in the West. Our hats (helmets?) are off to them. Bike Basket Pies, San Francisco Every week, the one-woman operation delivers cupcake-sized pies all over town. (, Portland Sign up for a subscription and choose from three varieties--vegan, veggie, and meat--each week. ( Cog Coffee, Seattle There's nothing better on a foggy morning than this micro roaster's coffee--except finding a bag of it on your doorstep. (
I send this information out for all of you, but especially for Phil, Jon and Jamie, who travel and love to bike. For anyone else who is interested, and even if you don't ride, I find it all fascinating.

Now I have six or seven grandchildren who cycle--Quinlyn and Michael live here, and ride their bikes on the street. Phil, Jon and Jamie cycle long distances when they have a chance--often on the Natchez Trace near their home in Tennessee. Phil actually rode the entire Natchez  Trace in 2009 with Jamie following with a car! And Jon rides mountain bikes wherever he is. Ray is a local cycler--local is Nashville, TN. And then there's Kelly, who lives in North Carolina, and uses my bike when she's here.

First, here's Michael, who is a little older than the picture now. He loves to ride and the weather is usually good for it. But right now, we're having an Artic blast kind of day and the temps are down around 3...maybe a little higher right now. I don't have a pic of Quinlyn on her bike, but here's a picture of her on a skateboard!
 I told you about Jon, who is the mountain biker as well as a distance cycler. As you can see, right now he's cycling in Arizona, where he is faced with heat, cactus, snakes, scorpions and tarantulas. I told him that it didn't sound like my kind of place to bike. But he's adventurous and loves it! I think that he rides a Trek bike, but I'm not sure. He has at least two bikes and maybe three. Then there's Phil, who probably rides the longest distances on a brand new Cerelo bike. He also has a bike for time trials.  And since he and Jon are brothers and work together, they often ride together. And Jamie is their sister, who also rides long distance sometime, but maybe not as faithfully since she's in school to be an atlas orthogonal chiropractor now. I don't have a picture of her on a bike, and I'm not sure she'd want a  pic on here anyway. So I'll end here, except to say that everyone would be better off physically to ride a bike. I haven't ridden in a long time, but  I have always loved cycling. It would be wonderful to get out there and ride again! So think about it everyone and see if you can find a way to Just do it!

Have a great week!


  1. Great post Mimi! It was fun reading it. I'm hoping to make it back out to Tour of California this year which will be in May. My top two rides to do in the future are entire Blue Ridge Parkway and Pacific coast. I did the Trace in '09.

  2. Thanks, Phil. I enjoyed thinking of you all while I was writing it. I think it would have been better if I'd had more information about your trips and bikes, but I wrote it anyway. The Blue Ridge is so gorgeous! And, of course, so is the Pacific coast. So that would be two great trips to make. I'll do another blog when you go to the Tour of California--and I'll get more info! Thanks for commenting. It's 2 degrees here!!!

  3. Actually, Mom & Dad are getting Trek bikes as well, so you can add them to the list of cyclists soon. Dad got a 29'er Trek mountain bike, which has slightly bigger wheels than the typical 26inch-wheel on mountain bikes nowadays (actually, I believe all mountain bikes used to have 29-inch wheels, like 30+ years ago.) Mom's getting a city/bike-path bike, although I don't think she's decided 100% on which model. Oh, and I just have 2 bikes, a Trek 2.3 road bike and a trek Fuel EX7 mountain bike. Yep, mountain biking is more fun than road biking to me-really fun ;-) Great blog, Mimi!

  4. Thanks, Jon. Sounds like a biking family has sprung up among us! Thanks for filling me in on the kind of bikes you're riding. Sorry I didn't see this until now--February 15!