Tag Archives: bike ride

How to Survive Tour de Fat

New Belgium’s Tour de Fat is coming to Tempe this weekend and it’s a bike event you don’t want to miss! The event shines awareness on the environment and riding your bike instead of driving a car, and of course fun costumes and BEER! This will be my third Tour de Fat and I wanted to share some tips so you can have the best time ever this year!

Tour de Fat has arrived in Tempe!

When: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, Event starts at 9 a.m., Bike ride is at 10 a.m. and the event lasts until 3 p.m.

Where: Tempe Beach Park: 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281

Dress up for Tour de Fat!

These robots went all out for Tour de Fat!

The Do’s and Don’ts

Do:

  • Bring your bike! Don’t forget a bike lock.
  • Get there early. It will be crowded because look how much fun you’ll have!
  • Dress up! If you don’t wear a costume, you are more likely to stand out. Most people wear a fun costume of their choosing- there’s no rhyme or reason. Get creative! Think of Tour de Fat, as early Halloween!
  • Bring your ID, some cash and sunscreen. These items will be important if you want to drink New Belgium beer and avoid getting a sun burn- yes even in October it’s still hot and sunny in Tempe.
  • Drink water and bring some with you.
  • Eat breakfast! You will be better off having eaten something than if you were to start drinking beer in the heat on an empty stomach.
  • Check out your bike the day before. You don’t want a flat tire or busted chain during the bike ride.
  • Call all your cyclist friends and invite them! The more the merrier!

Avoid the hassle. Don’t drive your car.

Don’t:

  • Drive: This is a biking event that encourages you to “trade in your car for a bike”. So ride your bike or take the light rail there. The parking lot will be pretty full, especially the later you arrive.
  • Ride your bike like you’re in a race. There will be many people in the bike ride and it’s best to ride to a leisurely speed to avoid injuries.
  • Bring pets, unless you have a bike basket for them to ride in. They could get hurt being in a crowd of cyclists.

Check out the New Belgium website for more information! See ya there!

Thank you New Belgium!

 

Biking On Campus

Two weeks of the fall semester is underway and I’ve seen tons of students commuting by bike around the Tempe campus. It just warms my heart! Or maybe it’s the fact the temperature is still lingering in the three digit temperatures and probably will be for quite awhile still to come.

But anyways, it’s good to see lots of students on bikes. So many actually- I sometimes can’t find a bike rack with an empty spot on the Tempe campus. Maybe it’s when I’m on campus that is just really busy or possibly more and more people are making the choice to ride a bike for transportation.

One morning last week, I rode around for awhile looking for a spot to park my ride. I finally found an open spot and locked it up with two locks: a thick cable woven through my tires and a Kryptonite U-lock to seal the deal. It’s important to secure your bike with two locks in order to discourage bike thieves from tampering with it. Many other students have a method that works for them, but because I have been a victim of theft in the past, I now take these precautions. I even saw some bikes leaning on their kickstand and locked with a U-lock through a tire to prevent the bike from moving. As this technique can probably work, it does leave many other parts susceptible to be broken off or stolen. I am no expert, but just stating an unintended possibility of locking a bike this way- especially in a town that is known for bike theft.

My bike suffered a minor issue today, as when I unlocked the bike I noticed my chain had popped off. I normally don’t like to get very dirty, but I knew my bike was an important element in getting me from place to place for the remainder of the day. So I manned up and stretched out the greasy chain until I thought it was back in place. Hooray! I actually fixed something! Or so I thought….until I began to ride. The chain was moving alright, but it was making all kinds of clinking sounds that continued even after switching gears back and forth. At least I made it to my next class. I guess I’ll deal with it later.

So as soon as class let out, I unlocked my bike and rode it clink-clinking my way to the other end of campus and paid the guys at the Bike Co-op a visit. They were pretty busy today, so I guess others were having bike issues, also.

Luckily the chain was an easy fix for the bike experts on campus. They saved the day and sent me on my way to my next class. Thanks a bunch!

It’s a Hard Bike Life for Me

It always amazes me how the mind of a bike thief works. My bike means so much more to me than it will to the thief for the part they stole. For the last three months, I have used my bike to get everywhere- to work, the store, to meet a friend for a drink- simply because I can’t afford to fix my car. I actually am starting to enjoy commuting by bike- I save lots of money on gas, get some exercise and don’t add more pollutants to the air. Luckily, most places I need to go aren’t too far away. The reason I purchased a bike a few years ago was to make getting around Tempe much easier and it’s been wonderful! But nothing seems to stop a bike thief. They are out looking for an opportunity. As much as I think I take precautions to avoid this, I’m not as careful as I should be. I guess I thought it wasn’t really fair to spend extra time whenever I need to lock it up to make sure all parts are secure and double locked. But even so, my bike has been the victim of theft many times on the Tempe campus or light rail stations, but also now in front of my own apartment. This time it was my seat that went missing, which makes a bike ride very uncomfortable. I also noticed that my cup holder was cut, not missing, but only tampered with. It just gets so very discouraging! I don’t really want to buy anything cute or expensive for my bike to make it stand out to a thief or anyone else walking by my bike.

But I guess when parking my bike at home, I should just carry the bike up to my third floor apartment to minimize theft risk to almost zero. I can handle a little more exercise! Plus it’s worth the feeling of insurance that my bike will be there when I need to get to work or school in the morning.

I sort of wish there were bike theft detectives to help with this problem because police really are too busy to worry about this and have a very low recovery rate for stolen bikes and probably also for parts. Tempe is one of the worst cities for bike theft. I don’t even have to look it up! (See my video interview with the Sgt. Stewart, Tempe police officer.)

So I’m back at the tireless circle of what prompted me to start this blog- theft. Ugggh! What’s a cyclist to do? It’s sad to say but nothing more than vent and take more action against bike theft in the future.

Too Busy Riding Around On My Bike

I know that I haven’t produced a particularly entertaining blog in some time. I’m really sorry about that! It’s a shame because there have been so many bike events going on in Tempe in April! After all we’ve had the most lovely weather that one could dream of for a bike ride! (I highly recommend Tempe Town Lake for a breezy ride during sunset- beautiful!) If you have attended any bike events recently please feel free to drop me a line about your experience at the event or even a photo. Whatever you want to share!

So here’s my excuse, I’ve been super busy with classes, a PR internship and even hiking when I really need to get out, but the important thing for my readers to know is that, where ever I may be, I most likely rode my bike there! Throughout the last few semesters at school, my car has been unreliable and I mostly use my bike on the daily! Think of all the gas money I have saved! (Although I’m still paying car insurance!?) I’ve taken my bike on the light rail many times and that is always an adventure. It’s difficult because my bike is about medium weight, which is too heavy for Lizzle to lift onto the little rack on the train. Sad face :(

Anyways, I usually upload photos to Twitter and sometimes to this blog, when my iPhone app is working correctly! If you want to keep up with me and my travels on bike, make sure to follow @twowheelintempe and @lizzlemynizzle. I also made up the hashtag is #GoRideABike and it’d be cool with me if you borrow that from time to time!

Happy Biking!

Beer, Brunch and Bikes

Do you want to indulge in beer flavored recipes on a delicious brunch menu….AND to bike all the live long day?

I thought you might! Remember to schedule an event alert in your iPhone for this Saturday, Feb. 18.

Arizona Beer Week is coming back to town with events scheduled each day! Saturday’s ‘Beer, Brunch and Bikes’ starts off the week of beer-related festivities. Arizona Beer Week is Feb. 18 – 25.

I love that we just celebrated the Centennial in Arizona and now we have a whole week devoted to beer!

This event begins at 10 a.m. at the SunUp Brewery, in Phoenix on Camelback Road and Central Avenue (Map). When you arrive, come hungry for a hearty breakfast and make sure to save some energy for a 3-mile bike ride to the Strong Beer Festival. The bike ride should be fairly easy and open to cyclists of all skill levels, but I’d assume you have to be 21-years-old to participate in the Strong Beer Festival. Two local bike groups, Tempe Bicycle Action Group and Phoenix Critical Mass, will be in attendance. They always love to get down on a local bike ride, especially if a nice cold beverage is waiting at the end destination! They will also be providing safety marshals to escort the bike ride to more beer!

Phoenix Critical Mass

SunUp will be opening at 10 a.m. for the beer brunch buffet, which costs $15. Here ‘s what you can expect on the menu: coffee and tea, Hefeweizen pancakes with lemon beer butter, breakfast potatoes, Amber poached breakfast sausage (regular and vegan sausage), assorted quiches, steel cut oatmeal cooked in soy milk served with bananas and brown sugar, and assorted pastries. Happy hour prices will be in full effect all day to kick start Arizona Beer Week off right!

Important Info:

Date: Saturday, Feb. 18

Time: Brunch: 10 a.m., Strong Beer Festival:1 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Cost: $15 for brunch buffet

Where: SunUp Brewery, 322 E Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ, 85012
(602) 279-8909

http://www.arizonabeerweek.com/

The Tweed Ride

Content from the Tempe Bicycle Action Group’s website

Banish the spandex and don your most dapper casuals for the return of the Tweed Ride, an evening adventure of woolen skirts, bucket hats, and sport coats on SaturdayFeb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. starting at Tempe Beach Park.

Tempe Bicycle Action Group, a local bicycle activist group, welcomes riders of all types and skill levels to wear their favorite woolens skirts, capes, shawls, tweed jackets, caps, and knickers on this fine night of cycling and style. Cyclists will meet at the entrance to Tempe Beach Park for photos and to show off their style at 5:30 p.m. Following the meet and greet, riders will be off to show off their herringbone, twill, plaid and checkered styles with class at the finest Tempe drinking constabularies.

' All Tweeded Out' from the Rochester, NY Tweed Ride (Photo from Flickr)

  • Where: Tempe Beach Park on the northwest corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway.
  • When: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. Ride at 6 p.m.
  • What: A fine night of cycling and style at the classiest public houses of Tempe.
  • Cost: The ride is free!

Other Notes:

TBAG’s monthly social bike rides will now be held on the Second Saturday of every month.

Sign up and see who else is rollin’ with the crew via Facebook.

This nighttime ride is hosted by Tempe Bicycle Action Group, a nonprofit organization working to make bicycling a prominent, safe and convenient form of transportation and recreation in Tempe, Arizona and surrounding areas through education, grassroots events, and civic participation.

The Pedestrian Bridge at Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake has enjoyed the great white arches of the pedestrian bridge over it’s dam since October of last year.

The lake seems to have a lot more bike and foot traffic on this end of the park.

People are drawn to the bridge for many reasons. First of all the new bridge helps to separate the lake and marsh area into a smaller loop to the Priest Bridge, making the walk less strenuous and time consuming.

Standing before downtown Tempe and "A" Mountain

Second, the pedestrian only bridge has a great design with large white arches canopying over the concrete path. At night blue lighting gives compliment to the color scheme of the light rail bridge.

Cyclists are seen breezing through the new bridge on their way to the other side of the lake.

A couple speeding by on bicycles a brisk morning

The dam area, along with Tempe Center for the Arts, is livelier than ever, with lots of people out and about enjoying the relief that Arizonans feel in the winter months.

Once the spring weather shows up around March, the weather will jump to much warmer temperatures.

Now is the time for cyclists, runners, rollerbladers, dog walkers and families, to utilize and appreciate the gift that is Tempe Town Lake.

If you haven’t been to the new bridge yet, check it out next time you are near Tempe Town Lake. Bring your bike along to ride the trail or a camera to capture the lovely sunset.

Azcentral.com initially wrote an article about the opening of the pedestrian bridge. Click here for a slideshow from azcental.com’s website.

If you are a Foursquare user, there is also a check-in spot for the pedestrian bridge!

More Related Links:

Community Bike Rides

In the Tempe and Phoenix area, many local bike organizations have scheduled bike rides occurring each week.

The best part is that they are free and open to anyone. That means you or I could show up at any of these scheduled rides and participate.

As Winter Break is quickly approaching, I made of list of things to do and going for a long bike ride tops the list!

Below is a listing of weekly bike rides:

**FYI- According to the active.com website, a “no-drop” ride means that no rider is left behind and you can count on an experienced rider to stay with you.

Monday- Hardcourt Bike Polo

  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Monday from 8-11 p.m.
  • Where: Perry Park at 32nd Street and Virginia Avenue
  • Description: Bike polo, anyone welcome, sometimes we start earlier
  • Check official Bike Polo thread on AZFixed.com for updates

Tuesday- CRAP Ride= Bikes, Food and Beer

  • Hosted By: Car Resistance Action Party (CRAP)
  • When: Every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Social no-drop greenbelt ride to the Orange Table restaurant in Scottsdale
  • More Info: azcrap.org
  • Click for a map

Wednesday- PISS Ride

  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Wednesday evening, meets at 7:50 p.m. rolls out at 8 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: 30+ miles, fast-paced night ride on curvy roads with hills, sprints and plenty of drafting. It is mostly fixed, but any bike that can keep up is welcome. An understanding of group riding etiquette is essential for this ride.
  • More Info: azfixed.com
  • Click here for a map
Here are websites to learn about group riding etiquette.

Thursday- People’s Ride, LUX Ride, Tribe Ride

People’s Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG- Tempe Bicycle Action Group
  • When: Every Thursday morning at 6 a.m.
  • Where: NE corner of Fifth Street and Mill Avenue
  • Description: A friendly no-drop 1.5 hour, ~20-mile ride, Essence Bakery for breakfast and coffee after the ride
  • More info: www.biketempe.org
LUX Ride
  • Hosted By: AZFixed
  • When: Every Thursday, 10:30 p.m.
  • Where: LUX Coffee Bar, 4404 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
  • More info: azfixed.com
Tribe Ride
  • Hosted By: Tribe Multisport
  • When: Every Thursday, meet at the shop before 7 p.m. because it rolls out at exactly 7 p.m.
  • Where: Tribe Multi Sport on Scottsdale Road just north of McDowell Road
  • Description: Fast paced ~10-mile ride around North Tempe and South Scottsdale.
  • Click for a map

Friday- First Fridays Ride, TBAG Third Fridays, Phoenix Critical Mass

First Fridays Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG and AZFixed
  • When: The First Friday of every month, times vary
  • Where: Tempe Beach park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Ride from Tempe to Phoenix First Fridays Art Walk.
TBAG Third Fridays
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park Entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue.
  • Description: pub crawls, drive-in-movie rides, bowling alley rides, theme and costume rides. You name it and we’ll make it a ride.
Phoenix Critical Mass
  • Hosted by: Critical Mass Phoenix- a bicycle celebration to create awareness of bikes and cars sharing the road
  • When: The last Friday of every month at 5 p.m.
  • Where: Steel Indian School Park at Third Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix
  • More info: Look for a thread at azfixed.com

Critical Mass bike ride- Oct. 29, 2010 (Courtesy of Facebook)

Weekend Rides

Monthly Cruiser/Chopper Rides
Cupcake Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Approximately once a month, dates vary
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Easy beginner ride to Sprinkles
Farmers Market Ride
  • Hosted By: TBAG
  • When: Some Saturdays
  • Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado and Mill Avenue
  • Description: Ride to the Phoenix or Scottsdale farmers market, sometimes combined with the cupcake ride.
CRAP WIPE
  • Hosted By: CRAP and the Extreme Picnicking Society
  • When: Times vary
  • Where: Bike Saviours on 601 W. University Dr.
  • Description: Hot Fresh Local Bike Touring. Ride from Tempe to one of the local mountain parks in the evening, eat a giant picnic, sleep under the stars, ride back the next morning. More Info: www.biketempe.org/forum, or ask anyone you see singing sea shanties while riding.


Afraid of the dark? A bike light will save you!

One law that all cyclists should know is to use a light when riding at night. This is for your safety as a biker- to help others see you.

When I first bought my bike, the salesman at Earnhardt Schwinn recommended that I buy a bike light. Thinking he was just trying to sell me add-on items I said no and told him that I wasn’t planning on riding at night. It was true, I hadn’t been biking in years and didn’t feel confident enough to go for a night bike ride. Well I stayed at the library studying too late one night and I eventually needed a bike light.

The next day I went to Tempe Bicycle to buy a light. They range in price from about $12 to $20 depending on the quality and style. Some can be easily removed and others can be fixed to your bike. Beware if left on your bike, the light could be stolen. I find that most people will leave your bike alone, but if no one is around the bike rack- some people will help themselves to objects that can be removed quickly like bike lights, horns, tires and seats. It’s true, it’s happened to me!

Here are some cool bike lights.

Planet Bike Rear(red) and Front(white) Light

Alternative ways to light your ride:

A bike light is not the only answer to riding safely at night. Here are a few options to help with visibility.

Reflective stickers – $6, LED Bicycle Lights- $50 and a headlamp ranges from about $20-$40.


Just be careful out there and use your head! Cycling is fun and is a great form of transportation, whether it’s day or night. But make sure you have a bike light!

Video: Tour de Fat bike ride and festival

Each year, the bike and beer festival called Tour de Fat goes on a 13-city tour in the United States. It is locally sponsored by Tempe Bicycle Action Group and the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colo., who both share a love for cycling as transportation. The Tour de Fat mission to persuade people to commute by bicycle is supported by a program where people can donate their car for a bike. In each of the 13 cities, one participant is chosen to trade-in their car for a handcrafted, New Belgium commuter bike for a one-year commitment. This marks the fourth year of the trade program. For more information on the car/bike trade program click here.

The Tour de Fat festival starts the day off bright and early with a bike ride parading around town. Many participants tend to dress in costumes, decorate their bike or build a unique bike for the occasion. It has become a popular tradition to attend Tour de Fat in Tempe, because of the strong cycling influence from the City of Tempe and the Tempe Bicycle Action Group. It seems that its popularity has grown in recent years by the large crowd of costumed people clustering at the entrance of Tempe Town Lake before the bike ride. Afterward bike riders lock up their two wheelers and enjoy New Belgium beers and entertainment. The event is really a one-of-a-kind festival and a great location to people watch and take photographs.

Below is a video from Tour de Fat on Oct. 15, 2011, in Tempe . I was an active participant in this years’ Tour de Fat, as my video will show.

Does Tour de Fat visit your city? Here’s the tour line-up:

  • Durham, NC
  • Nashville, TN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Boise, ID
  • Ft. Collins, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Austin, TX