Tag Archives: bikes

“Green” Your Commute

When you choose “greener” commuting options such as walking, cycling, public transportation or car pooling, you reduce our consumption of natural resources, and could even reduce your stress level and save money. In fact, according to the American Public Transportation Association, households that use public transportation save more than $8,000 per year.

Top tips for a “greener” commute

Use more public transportation. Then sign-up for the Wells Fargo Commuter Benefit Program, which allows you to save up to 40% on your commute costs by purchasing public transit passes with pre-tax dollars.

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit—and other useful information—by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org.
  • Combine your commute with exercise.
  • Safety tips for biking commuting

If you’re a bike commuter, or considering becoming one, the most important factor of your ride is arriving safely. Remember to always:

  1. Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones.
  2. Be seen – Wear bright colored clothing.
  3. Obey traffic signs, signals, and road markings.
  4. Ride with traffic – Never ride against traffic.
  5. Keep both hands ready to brake – You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed.
  6. Be predictable – Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do.
  7. Look out for road hazards – Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, glass and other debris.
  8. Keep your bike in good repair – Check brakes and tires before every ride.
  9. Find more tips and information about cycling safely at NHTSA.gov. Enter “seven smart routes” into their search tool to retrieve a copy of its bicycle safety brochure.

You can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym. You can also thoughtfully plan your trips and walk to stores and mall from bus stops. I often see Moms and Dads riding bikes with their kids to school – what a safe and fun way to build more exercise into each day!  If you are shopping, you can combine trips with your friends and make it a fun green outing. There are many ways to become “greener”.

Electric Car Rally & Show 9/25

Don’t miss the 38th annual Car Show featuring electric and hybrids. Free Admission! 

Date/Time: Saturday September 25, 2010  from 10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Palo Alto High School
50 Embarcadero Rd
Palo Alto, CA, California 94301

Palo Alto High School is across the street from Stanford University, next to the Town and Country Shopping Center Easy to get to, carpool or take mass transit or Cal Train. This event is held in PAHS’s north parking lot at the corner of Embarcadero and El Camino Real.

The 38th Annual EV Rally has production and converted electric vehicles on display (some available for test rides or ride-alongs). Cars, trucks, SUVs, scooters, bikes, and more!

The Electric Auto Association (EAA)has been organizing this event for more than 30 years to help the public learn about electric vehicles. Experts, inventors, students, fans of EV will all be there.Talk to people who have been using electric cars, bikes, scooters, trucks, and SUVs for years!  Taking a “tour” in an electric car is great fun, many of the vehicles are prototypes or one of a kind! Some look like they are straight out of the Jetsons or Flintstones cartoons, colors, shapes, styles and innovations abound.

Exhibit vehicles  include:

  • Tesla Roadster
  • Corbin Sparrow
  • Chevy S-10 Truck EV
  • Ford Ranger Truck EV
  • Toyota RAV4-EV
  • VW Golf EV conversion
  • Mazda Miata EV conversion
  • MG Midget EV conversion
  • Porsche 914 EV conversion
  • Other conversion EVs
  • Electric bikes, scooters, and motorcycles
  • … and many others

There will be EV component suppliers, solar panel vendors, local clean air organizations, and a solar oven display. ( quick rambling: I’ve had chocolate chip cookies from baked in a solar oven, not to be missed!) For vehicle display and rally participation (for drivers), we request $20 for the first car, and $10 for each additional car. For interested vendors, please see our website for contact information.

Please visit EAASV’s web site for vehicle participation registration form, instructions, and the latest details on expected vendors and vehicles.

Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles in SF rents regular bikes, but also rents Electric Bikes. How Fun!! Pedaling the world’s second hilliest city on a bike? Leave that to Lance Armstrong. Instead, jump-start your two-wheeled tour of San Francisco by bike! This is a reliable 20-year-old company, the bike is reliable too: UltraMotor A2B will take you up and over the city’s 50-plus hills with style and grace at about 20 miles per hour. The 24-hour rental includes a map, helmet, lock, front bag, back rack, and a bungie cord. And with a 24-hour drop-off location on Hyde Street, you’ll have plenty of time to sleuth out 49 square miles of otherwise intractable land.
Blazing Saddles does occassionally have half-off deals through LIVING SOCIAL DEALS and you can sign up for the emails.  The regular cost is about $75 a day.

2715 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 202-8888

Notes from the Bike Maintenance Class

The free Bike Maintenance Seminar at REI was great and THANKS to my friend  for recommending it. Sign up for the next one!
I learned a lot, the highlights were

  • DONT use WD 40, will encourage rust on the chain
  • Use Tri-Flow (about $4) on chain while pedaling backwards (you don’t need a bike stand) and once it has gone around several revolutions, take a rag and wipe down the chain (all dirt will come off)
  • You can use lube with wax ($5-10) and dirt will slough off the chain
  • Lube after every rain, and every week otherwise (depending on how much your ride)
  • Also in your tool kit make sure to have a tube and a tire lever (yellow ~$2)
  • They have a advanced repair class for ~$85 and you learn brake adjustment, tuning etc.
  • REI members bike tune-up is about $65 for them to do

While I was at REI I learned that there are now digital GPS’ for bikes.  That’s good it won’t tell you to go on the freeway and maybe it will know the “back” paths.

I found a book that I like, with good pictures and clear directions: A Woman’s Guide to Cycling by Susan Weaver, it answers all the questions I didn’t even know I had. It also talks about fitness, which is a good place to start, because I don’t want to give up before I really learn how to love this sport.

Picnics, Food, Bikes!

Events that get us moving and outside are the best! Why not try a food shopping / picnic / bike ride combo!?
Here is the plan: Select  a Sunday – walk the Campbell Farmers Market picking up yummy stuff for the picnic.  Then take a leisurely ride down the Los Gatos Creek Trail to Vasona Park where we will pick a grassy spot by the lake and enjoy a delicious picnic with your friends!

If you need to rent a bike call Tread Bike Shop at 408-792-7191. They have bikes available for $20 for 24 hours. Make sure to call and reserve your bike in advance. You can pick up the day of the event. It is located right across the street from the ride on the Los Gatos Creek Trail!