Palo Alto event encourages residents to get on their bikes | News | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto event encourages residents to get on their bikes

Bike Palo Alto! features free bicycle maintenance, treats and more

Organizers of the sixth annual Bike Palo Alto! hope for a good turnout this Sunday, Oct. 4.

The free, family-friendly event, which encourages residents to ride their bikes for local shopping and other trips around the city, will take place at El Carmelo Elementary School from 1-4 p.m.

Last year's event drew 400 participants, organizers said. Pre-registration is not required.

Sign-in will be at El Carmelo, 3024 Bryant St., where participants can get free bike maintenance, find suggested routes to schools, learn how to properly fit helmets, and access maps and local biking information.

Bicyclists can choose one of three self-guided routes through Palo Alto, to familiarize themselves with local pathways. There will be short, medium and long routes. Free treats such as made-to-order smoothies from bike-powered blenders will be provided by local vendors, including Mollie Stone's and Whole Foods Market, along the routes.

The event, which is hosted by Palo Alto bike enthusiasts, highlights the city's bike routes, including bike boulevards, off-street paths, bike bridges and bike lanes that connect across the city.

"Participants will have a chance to see that biking for local trips can be easy and fun, using routes that are not the same as one would use in a car," a press release states.

New to the event this year is the Frequent Rider Card, a rewards program for bicyclists who ride to participating businesses. When the cyclist makes a purchase, a sales associate will enter the location code on the card. On the 10th visit, the cyclist can redeem the card at that location for a prize.

Participating businesses include Aquarius Theater, Como Esta Taqueria, Copy Factory, Country Sun, House of Bagels, Mike's Bikes, Mollie Stone's, Orchard Supply Hardware in Mountain View, Hassett Ace Hardware, Palo Alto libraries, Peet's Coffee, Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream, Stanford Electric Works, Starbucks Midtown, Subway, SummerWinds Nursery, The Sweet Shop and Whole Foods Market.

The Frequent Rider Card will only be given to participants of Bike Palo Alto! and cards expire Dec. 31.

The event is sponsored by the Barron Park Association, City of Palo Alto, Copy Factory, El Carmelo Elementary School, Mike's Bikes, Mollie Stone's, Palo Alto Bicycles, Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, The Sweet Shop and Whole Foods Market.

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6 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 9:18 am

This is a great idea. Southern Palo Alto's bicycle routes are very confusing with poor signage and hidden turns. A guided tour is really helpful and showing families and kids how to safely get around town on their bicycles, especially in the east-west direction (from the Baylands, across Hwy 101, across the Caltrain tracks, across El Camino Real, across Foothill Expressway, and across I-280).

2 people like this
Posted by Pedestrian
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I think this a great idea and hope the organizers take this opportunity to promote bicycle safety and rules of the road. As a pedestrian and senior citizen, I am often startled by bicyclists as they speed past me from behind while I'm walking on the sidewalk. A call out of "on your left" would be great. It would be even better if bicyclist would not ride on sidewalks or other areas posted "walk bike".

9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

How about bikes having bells rather than shouting out. I often see people waving to me then realize they are signaling (poorly) or calling hi to a friend rather than alerting another pedestrian. A bicycle bell is a very useful safety tool and easy to distinguish.

19 people like this
Posted by None 4 Me, Thanx
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Sorry, but after an only partly-successful knee replacement, I can no longer bike-ride.

I had the surgery after being involved in two major bike accidents caused by inattentive drivers who didn't even realize they had hit me and drove on!

Now, I have to drive or take the train ( caught head lice from VTA; won't take the bus again).

8 people like this
Posted by Bike safety education
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Bike safety education is part of this event every year. Last year there was a bike safety class for parents and kids and helmet fitting. This year there will be a booth with informational flyers on bike safety, helmet fitting, and city experts to answer questions about safe routes and rules of the road.

As a general rule, children and parents in PAUSD/PTA bike safety classes are taught that if you are riding faster than a pedestrian walks, you are safer on the street.

I encourage everyone to check out Bike Palo Alto. It's a really fun event for all ages.

6 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 30, 2015 at 3:22 pm

*Bike Safety Education.. please be sure to remind all cyclists that they are moving vehicles and MUST obey the rules of the road.... STOP at the stop signs, don't ride on the wrong side of the street and don't think that you can pull out wherever you want.

It's common sense to teach these people to respect others...then maybe the auto drivers will respect them a bit more. At present, everyone hates everyone and that's horrible. Let's try to bridge that gap.

8 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

This is a great event allowing families a fun and casual way to explore all of the great bike friendly routes around Palo Alto - we have done it as a family the past several years.

2 people like this
Posted by Helene
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm

My concern about this event is safety. There are many bicyclists who don't follow the rules, wear dark clothing at night without adequate lighting . Safety is the most important message above all. As a mother of a son who lost his life while bicycling, I can't emphasize this enough. My son was riding exactly where he should have been in the bicycle lane. He was hit by a driver who was totally at fault . Please educate before you take that ride.

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