How does one individual inspire hundreds of people to ride? Ted Florez simply provides the scene to do so. Ted is the organizer of the Sacramento Cyclefest Bike Show and Sacramento’s Second Saturday Cruise. Cyclefest has inspired more than 300 bicycle enthusiasts to gather at downtown Sacramento’s Fremont Park every year since 2010 to showcase their pedal powered creations. Expect spokes from all walks of life at the Sacramento Cyclefest, including custom cruisers, tall bikes, cargo bikes, electric bikes, art bikes, mixtes, fixies, fatbikes, high wheels, unicycles, surrey bikes, boneshakers, garage hand-built bikes, longtails, long johns, townies, trikes and tandems.
Florez’s second project, Second Saturday Cruise, modestly started with seven of his friends cruising on bikes through Midtown touring the Second Saturday Art Walk. Ted’s Cruise now attracts over 170 bike riders from all over the region. He describes his Second Saturday Cruise as a “gathering of positive bike-minded people enjoying the environment of a slow group ride…where else can you ride with new friends, old friends, music, cheers, laughter and good times?” Over the past year, he estimates an average of 10,000 recreational miles were completed by cruisers attending his Second Saturday Cruises!
The act of riding a bike has run in Ted’s blood ever since he received his first hand-me-down bike at the age of five from one of his older brothers, and it remains a priority throughout his life and will continue to rule his extra-curricular activities, even his upcoming nuptials.
Surround yourself with fellow bike aficionados at this year’s Sacramento Cyclefest Bike Show and Second Saturday Bike Cruise. The show will be held June 12th at Fremont Park from 10am – 3pm and admission is FREE. As a precursor to the June 12th show, ANY bike riding beings are welcome to join the Second Saturday Cruise, June 11th at 3pm at Suzie Burger in Midtown.
In need to safely and efficiently tote around valuable cargo such as children, groceries, furry companions or even a keg of beer? John Lucas, Owner and fabricator of Cycle Trucks, creates bikes that will allow just that. John’s mission at Cycle Trucks is to produce high quality, innovative cargo bikes, at reasonable prices. He humbly describes himself as, “a dude who builds bikes in his backyard.” The bicycle movement, however, recognizes John’s cargo bikes as a means to transform how individuals choose to live a car-free/car-light lifestyle.
His inventive fabrication began five years ago when he was inspired to build a more cost efficient option to transport his dog. Not able to find a bike to meet his needs, John crafted is own “Dutch Style” cargo bike. Logically, he refers to the bikes as “urban bicycles”. Soon realizing there was lack of hardware for his urban style designed bike, he decided to create the hardware needed on his own (as only a true fabricator would). One example is the kick stand. In order to balance the additional weight the cargo bike is able to handle, a kick stand is essential to the functionality of the bike. John’s hand-built kick stands are sturdy enough to be used on a stationary bike!
John envisions his urban bicycles to be used in place of cars. His bikes are hand built to withstand everyday living on a bike, such as grocery runs, school drop-offs and pick-ups and pet outings. His innovative spirit allows his designs to be functional. Whatever the precious cargo may be, John’s urban bicycles are up for the bike commuter challenge.
MIBM thanks John for being a bike-centric champion!
May Is Bike Month (MIBM) had an opportunity to interview an avid bike commuter from Folsom, CA to be featured as a “Roll Model” for MIBM. With an estimated 3,150 trip replacement miles in the saddle per year, his experience and knowledge will inspire new riders to choose cycling as their main mode of transportation to work.
Meet Tony “Pedal” Powers:
MIBM: What nugget of knowledge would you like to share with new bike commuters?
Tony Powers: It’s all about the routine! If biking to work is your routine, then it becomes easy, and driving to work is liable to result in forgetting things. If your routine is to drive, then biking will always seem complicated and more difficult. Like any habit, it takes a little time to establish, but once you do, you’ll wonder why you took so long to discover it. Keep shoes, belt and toiletries at the office; those are the essentials.
MIBM: What inspires you to choose cycling as your main mode of transportation to work?
Tony Powers: Fun, built-in daily exercise without going to a gym, adventure (every day is a bike tour!), a chance to get out into nature every day, beating rush hour traffic on Folsom’s congested arterials, preservation of my well-loved 24-year-old car. Did I say fun?
MIBM: What allows you to continue commuting by bike?
Tony Powers: A shower at work (although my commute is short enough I could do without it); availability of a company car for meetings; proximity to work; a flexible schedule, kids who have learned to ride for much of their own transportation, and an accommodating wife whose 40-mile round trip car pool commute allows for some relatively convenient afternoon errand running and kid-shuttling.
MIBM: What year did you start bike commuting?
Tony Powers: 1992. Started commuting from Folsom to El Dorado Hills once or twice a week during spring/summer/fall (25-mile round trip). As my office moved closer to home, the frequency of my bike commute continued to increase to where it is now, averaging 75-85% (100% since last May 1st). Since 2000, I have been biking to day care, preschool, elementary and junior high school with our four sons (for a couple of years, all on the same “bike train”). Our “trailer years” are over; now I just try to keep up with them!
MIBM: Commute distance (one-way):
Tony Powers: Varies, two to six miles depending on whether I’m riding to school with my children or not. Our oldest is in high school and commutes with mom, but the younger three ride to school every day (weather permitting – i.e., dry in the morning).
MIBM: Describe your commute:
Tony Powers: One of the things I like about my commute is that it changes every day. I have almost a dozen different routes I use, ranging from four miles to 15 miles round trip. Finding the best route depends on the time of day, the time I have to spend and the weather. My most common ride is a two-mile ride with my youngest three sons on residential streets in Folsom’s Historic District to St. John Notre Dame School.
MIBM: Describe your bike and accessories:
Tony Powers: I typically ride my Bruce Gordon (from Petaluma) touring bike with purple low rider front panniers (Overland, form Chico), and one-of-a-kind white rear panniers, one made from an old SABA banner and the other from an old California Bicycle Coalition banner (by Carsick Designs, also from Chico). I use hybrid spd/platform pedals so I can easily ride in street shoes for lunch-time errands or the occasional local meeting. I use a Cygolite 700 rechargeable headlight (with handlebar and helmet mounts) with dual taillights and a Night Rider AA-powered backup headlight. And of course, it wouldn’t be a real bike without fenders and a U-lock and cable, a bell and mirror. I must add that rain gear, wool socks, gloves and a helmet complete the accessories. Reminding me of a quote to ride by, apparently attributable to Alfred Wainwright: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” The only thing I don’t like about riding in the rain is cleaning up the bike afterwards.
Pedal in Elle. Elle is one of five regular parent volunteers who help organize and lead the local community rides in the Sacramento region. Elle’s main inspiration to help lead Kidical Mass is being able to reach out to other families and encourage them just as so many others have encouraged Elle in her family’s car-free/car-light lifestyle. Elle expresses how Kidical Mass reconnects kids and bikes and allows everyone to learn important safety skills, “kids and bikes are such a natural combination and so many children don’t get the opportunity to experience the freedom on bicycles that their parents and grandparents felt. This is a way for people of all ages to gain confidence riding as a part of traffic and learning how to do so safely and legally. It’s wonderful to be able to show people that riding a bike can be fun and easy.”
Her family made the transition into car-free/car-light lifestyle in October 2012. Elle credits creative planning and the support of other biking families as an integral part of maintaining a car-free/car-light lifestyle. She defines Kidical Mass as a great community of families who offer suggestions and support. Elle’s passion to encourage families to adopt a pedal power lifestyle is inspirational. She says, “Any car trip that is replaced by bicycle is a victory, whether it’s just one or two miles or thousands.” Her family alone has replaced over 15,000 miles since they started using bikes as their main form of transportation four years ago. Imagine the amount of miles Kidical Mass Families have replaced on their bikes?! Two bike bell rings to pedal power in numbers. Ding ding.
MIBM thanks Elle for being a bike-centric champion!
When asked what inspires him to choose pedal power as the preferred choice of transportation for ReSoil, David said, “initially, we had a cargo-bike and a small bike trailer and we were hauling big 64 gallon totes serviced by garbage trucks. After we made a few modifications and started using specific bin sizes we could handle [on bikes], we realized how easy it was to get to restaurants, pick up the scraps, and take them to the nearest community garden or residence (at times less than five blocks away). At this point, we invested in a custom-designed trailer to hold several bins.”
David shared that what allows ReSoil to continue using a bike as part of their business model is based on environmentally friendly values as well as the city’s accessibility, “we believe the bicycle is the ideal mode of transportation for the urban environment. For food scrap collection and its delivery to local urban farms and community gardens, the bicycle could not be more practical, efficient, or green. We can roll in, almost silently, pick up scraps from several restaurants and then roll up right next to a garden’s compost bin in the middle of the garden. There is less lifting and loading from the street. The bicycle and Sacramento are a perfect pair for this endeavor, and we hope to exploit pedal-power wherever it becomes practical.”
ReSoil’s dedication to growing a sustainable food community by pedal power is inspirational. Over the past year, he estimates an average of 1,100 trip replacement miles were completed by bike!
MIBM thanks David for being a bike-centric champion!
Project Ride Smart is a 5th grade driver's education program – for bikes – taught in North Natomas elementary schools. This comprehensive bicycle safety program teaches traffic principles and on-bike handling skills. The 10-hour course culminates with street rides where students apply what they have learned to their local neighborhood streets - giving them the knowledge and experience to travel safely to and from school.
Project Ride Smart is taught by certified bike instructors and is made possible by North Natomas Transportation Management Association. Project Ride Smart is an educational bicycle safety video most appropriate for 9 to 14-year-olds. The video is segmented into 10 chapters, with an introduction and conclusion, with each chapter focusing on a different topic.
Project Ride Smart was made possible by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), North Natomas Transportation Management Association (NNTMA) and Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). The goal for SACOG’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program is to promote strategies that can lower the demands made on the road and highway system and improve air quality. The program focuses on the promotion of alternative modes of travel including carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, telecommuting, bicycling and walking, primarily — but not exclusively — by people living, working and traveling in the SACOG six-county region with the overall benefit of reducing Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT).
The League of American Bicyclist’s Five Rules of the Road prepare you for a safe and fun bicycling no matter where you're riding.
1. FOLLOW THE LAW
Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
2. BE PREDICTABLE
Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
3. BE CONSPICUOUS
Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don’t ride on sidewalks.
4. THINK AHEAD
Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
5. RIDE READY
Check that your tires are sufficiently inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.
In need of hands on instruction? Continue your education by taking a Smart Cycling Class. The Smart Cycling program gives you the tips, tools, and techniques to confidently to ride your bike. Classes are taught to children and adults across the country by certified League Cycling Instructors (LCI).
When asked what inspires her to choose pedal power as a delivery option for the nursery she said, “Using pedal power for The Plant Foundry’s deliveries fits with my mission to run the business in an environmentally sustainable way. I hadn’t purchased a delivery vehicle for the nursery, so when the opportunity arose to deliver by bike, I jumped at the chance. It just fits. And because Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods are connected by bike-friendly corridors, freeway traffic jams don’t affect us.”
Angela’s Oak Park central location allows her to continue to use a bike for the nursery’s deliveries. Short notice orders from nearby neighborhoods like Oak Park, Curtis Park, Land Park, Tahoe Park, midtown and East Sacramento can be arranged in a non-polluting way to deliver nursery goods. The nursery can deliver anything that fits in a bike trailer - fruit trees, bags of compost and even Christmas trees! Customers who don’t have a car or need assistance with heavier items find that bike delivery is a good option. Angela adds, “Plus, there’s the fun factor of seeing your items arriving on a bike ridden by a friendly courier!”
The Plant Foundry’s grand opening was December 2015 and she estimates a conservative 50 miles have been replaced with the bike delivery option is a great example of businesses doing their part to be environmentally conscious and it being a viable option.
MIBM thanks Angela for being a bike-centric champion!
Join us this Thursday for Capitol BikeFest on the West Lawn of the State Capitol from 11-1pm to celebrate May is Bike Month! New and seasoned bicyclists including families, young adults, and commuters from across the region and of all abilities are invited to attend the festivities. Make sure to pedal by for a great event with local bike shops and clubs, non-profit fundraiser bike rides, free yoga for cyclists' sessions and more.
Participants who present their log sheet showing their current miles recorded for May is Bike Month either by phone or printed copy will receive a Hagens-Freeze, May is Bike Month t-shirt, and a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of two commuter bicycles. The raffle will be from 12:15 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. (must be present to win). Attendees are encouraged to bicycle to the event and take advantage of the free bike valet parking by SABA (Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates) and quick-fix maintenance booth. New this year and in recognition of the upcoming Sacramento region Bike Share, BikeFest will also be showcasing bike share technology.
Cue the bike bells, May is Bike Month registration is now open! Ding ding.
It’s time to dust off your bikes, pump up your tires and join your neighbors and co-workers in bicycling for work, school, shopping, recreation or training this May during the Sacramento region’s 12th Annual May is Bike Month Campaign.
May is Bike Month “To-Do” List:
Have Fun! Ride Safe! Happy Pedaling!
When asked what inspires him to choose biking as his preferred mode of transportation, he simply stated, “Because it’s convenient.” Quickly adding his main motive is to avoid the madness of the car drop off scene at Kara’s elementary school. He also said, “Most of the necessities needed to live are within a three mile radius from home, so unless it’s storming my first option is my bike.” Thanks to his flexible work situation he can take the extra time to bike as much as possible.
Jose’s efforts in cultivating a pedal powered lifestyle is inspirational. Using four wheels doesn’t necessarily mean driving a car. In this case, it’s a Father/Daughter pair riding their own set of pedal powered wheels. Over the past year, he estimates an average of 1,200 trip replacement miles were completed by bike!
MIBM thanks Jose and Kara for being bike-centric champions!