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Archive for June, 2008

Reno RailsLately, I bicycle a different route to work each day. I’m surveying the streets to help revise the RTC bike map of existing bike lanes. My morning commute starts before 7:00. The air is cool and the motorists are calm.

 

This morning I found myself exploring Fourth Street which has the reputation of being THE place in Reno to obtain female companionship for a price. It really is much more interesting than just that, however. On the west end it’s almost rural. The shoulder is at least 6 feet wide so it feels safe. It’s smooth and downhill toward town, too, so the cruising is easy. Once into town the variety of business is astounding! They range from pizza places and wedding chapels to scrap metal dealers and fork lift rentals. I ride by Reno Rails and think of Bill’s “Come run trains with me!” Riding by the Dilligas Saloon, I think, “Is that the swinger’s place or something?” In a few minutes I’ve forgotten my mission to get to work and I’m captivated by the variety.

 

That, of course, is the beauty of bicycle commuting. In the car it’s just me and the radio, isolated in my tin box, grousing about traffic and gas prices. On my bike, I’m part of the community and engaged. I make eye contact with the day laborers waiting for a job on Galletti and wish them a “Good Morning”. How they can look so sour and expect to get some work is beyond me.

 

The highlight this morning was Grandma on her new Harley, however. I guessed it was a woman on a new purchase by her small frame and the tentative way she released the clutch. But I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled up next to her and peered into her helmet. Inside was the smiling, weathered, face of a senior citizen. I imagined she was feeling pretty smug on her new toy having found a fun, gas efficient way to get around town. Not as smug as I was feeling, however, ‘cause I was burning no gas at all on my commute.

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bike valet

Ridin’ your bike to the river to listen to some strummin’ gui-tar and not having to worry about your front tire going missing…that’s what summer in Reno means to me. The Reno Bike Project and the Nevada Bike Coalition were in West Street Plaza (Brick Park) last Friday, and will be every Friday during Rollin’ on the River to valet park your transportation, leaving you free to enjoy the season. Did I mention it’s free? No gas, no parking meters, no hassle- just pure, Reno-style convenience in a quintessential Reno atmosphere. Last Friday was a blast with the Procrastinating Peddlers volunteering. We parked some SWEET chopper bikes, like the Rat Fink we got to cruise around the plaza, THANKS DUDE!  It was great to see so many people riding downtown, partaking of everything Reno has to offer at a crusin’ pace . Pick up a Reno News and Review to see who’s playing. Next up on our celebrity valet hot list: the cycling assemblyman David Bobzien! So roll by to get your ballot signed and we’ll see ‘yall there!

-carrie

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Bikes get the valet treatment in downtown Reno this summer with the Nevada Bike Coalition and Reno Bike Project “Bike Valet” at Rollin’ on the River every Friday at Wingfield Park.

We’ll have a safe, convenient and FREE bike corral in West Street Plaza Fridays from 5-8pm, June 13th through August staffed by friendly and vigilant volunteers. And by volunteers I mean bonafide local celebrities and cyclists just like you, like City Councilman David Aiazzi, Assemblyman David Bobzien and others looking out for your trusty Trek and talking to people about cycling issues in Reno. We’ll have a different influential celebrity each week so check back to find out who you’ll want to come meet next.

So no more driving around the blocks of one way streets looking for a place to parallel park. And don’t worry about buying popcorn at the theater just to get your parking validated, either. The last time I parked in the alley off 1st st. a guy with a blanket over his shoulder and missing one shoe offered to park my car for me. That was nice. But not this summer. This summer friendly valet attendants will park your bike inside a barricaded corral and retrieve it for you when the concert is over.

Directly across the river from Wingfield Park, our Bike Valet in West Street Plaza couldn’t be more convenient. A fantastic opportunity to save a few bucks on gas and meet some great people.

If you’re worried about your commute back to the south meadows area after the beer and sun goes down, consider parking someplace a little closer with your bike in the car and riding from there. You’ll still be saving gas, reducing congestion, and LOOKING AWESOME, but won’t have to commit to 20+ miles at the end of a long week. Any ideas of good places to park in close proximity to downtown? Leave a comment and get the wheels a rollin’! See you there!

-Carrie

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