Thursday, May 12, 2011
Riding bikes giveth, and riding bikes taketh away. Today (Thursday, May 12), in fact, more than 15 different locations will give away free breakfast from 7am to 9am to cyclists. Elementary schools across the county, HSBC Bank in Salinas, Embassy Suites in Seaside and Joselyn’s Bicycles in Monterey are just a few of the sites – visit www.tamcmonterey.org/bikeweek/breakfast.html for a full list. And with accelerating gas prices, bikes also give more than breakfast: They kick a little cash to your pocket. Just a mile on a bike, meanwhile, equates to keeping 1 pound of carbon dioxide out of our air, which can only help, given the fact that motor vehicles represent 31 percent of total carbon dioxide – and 81 percent of carbon monoxide emissions. There are other things bikes can do besides give and take, too. Here the Weekly compiles a locally centered look at a few of them:
• Now through May 15, discounted tune-ups are available from bike shops around town, including Aquarian Bicycles and Joselyn’s Bicycles in Monterey, Winning Wheels Bicycle Shop in Pacific Grove, Bears Bikes and Bobcat Bicycles in Salinas, Sports Center Bicycles in Seaside and REI Outlet in Marina. The bargain $10 check up includes tire inflation, chain lubrication and a safety assessment.
• HER Helmet Thursdays extends discounts at scores of local restaurants and recreational outlets for bikers (see “The Change Agent” story, p. 22). Participants include Cafe Rustica and Cantinetta Luca, Breakfast Club and Britannia Arms, Fishwife and Forge in the Forest, Passionfish and Peppers, Schooners and Scheid, Turtle Bay, Toasties and hundreds more. View a list at www.bicyclingmonterey.com.
• The Cycletrack app, available for iPhone and Android, allows bikers to track and upload a commuter trip. The route gets sent to Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) through the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, and the information will be used in long-range transportation planning for the Monterey Bay Area. In other words, bikers get to directly affect investments in bicycle infrastructure.
• Seaside Police Activities League hosts an all-day Bike Fair 11am-4pm Sunday, May 15, distributing 215 helmets and deploying a special smoothie-making bicycle, live performances from Andy Bieber, Hula dancers, Japanese drummers, and the Seaside High Drumline, plus a handful of food trucks.
• The Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments distributes cash awards to locals who bike (and carpool, bus or walk) to and from work as part of the Rideshare Rewards program (422-POOL). If a rider enters up to 16 days of trips, he or she is eligible for a $100 drawing; and 17 days and up scores a chance at $250. Rides are easy to enter on the Commute Calendar at www.commutealternatives.info/Rideshare_Rewards_Club.
• Transportation Agency for Monterey County (775-0903) maintains color-coded PDFs of routes and trails in and around the Monterey Bay. Visit the website and click on “bicycles.”
• Monterey-Salinas Transit buses are equipped with bike racks for longer car-free adventures.
• For $10, “Twilight Rides” at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – scheduled for 5:30-7:30pm June 15, July 20, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7 – give riders the exhilarating opportunity to test the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course in races or for fun.