east bay bike month needs volunteers!

greetings east bay riders!
bike to work day is just around the corner and to make it happen the East Bay Bike Coalition could use your help. volunteers earn a free beer at the Bike Hour Party on May 10th and a special invite to our volunteer thank you party at the Hot Italian Pizza in Emeryville after Bike Month. all of the accomplishments at EBBC are possible throughout the great work of volunteer teams.
it'll be a great time to connect and encourage people to love riding their bikes to work!

visit at their volunteer opportunities for bike month page and select a position for volunteering for bike to work day. if you have any questions in regards to volunteer opportunities contact max hunter at max.hunter@ebbc.org

hope to see on the road
*ding ding*

oakland love

it's days like today that make me love oakland. 
there are numerous reasons why, and just to name a few, we have a greater melting pot, group identification by ethnicity or sexual orientation is not prevalent in gay, latino, black neighborhoods, we basically live in harmony as neighbors. it's a as-you-are-vibe here. there's a sustainable do-it-yourself work ethic and resilience for fighting for oakland. we even go so far in supporting our terrible baseball, football, and basketball teams. the food around grand lake and parkway are just as good as sf's. we have slang and a music culture that spreads all over the bay, civil rights history that's been in the books, sustainability and environmental justice movements where a sense of community is more profound. 
it's unfortunate that a lot of people i know have a stereotype of oakland and label it as dangerous or ghetto, blame the media, but in reality it's a vibrant community. 

what do you love about your cities?

happy earth day!

happy earth day! hope many of you in California got to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had all weekend. personally, i did enjoy those breezy evenings on bike, coffee in the bright cool mornings, and the faithful bay area fog rolling over. did any of you do anything for earth day? make a commitment? plant something?  or participate in a community Earth Day event? 
i finally got around to recycling all my old bike parts, tubes, and tires that where accumulating in my closet. i hope they find a new bike to adorn.

there were some really good readings i found this weekend around earth day and thought you would like to read them. hope you enjoy them!

donate a bike or parts

east bay, got any old bike parts you can donate? students from uc berkeley are holding a bike drive for earth day. so take out your old bikes, saddles, wheels, handles bars, cranks and such and donate them to a good cause. it's a great way to sustainably recycle your bike, bike parts and do your part for communities and earth. 

if you're interested in learning more about cycles of change check out their site: cyclesofchange.org

living in the bike lane

it's been a long week but i have had a lot of fun riding in all this beautiful california weather! today i'm celebrating my first final exam as complete along with community projects. the end of the semester and time is pressing but for now i'm just trying to enjoy the sun and ride.

on a good note, i just finished designing a blog for food justice advocates and non-profit in West Oakland, Mandela Marketplace. we will be launching the blog in the next few weeks but i'm also really excited to announce that i will also be part of their contributing bloggers. as any cyclist who loves food and sustainability knows that fresh food access and security in low income communities is an issue. that's where we see grass roots movements in community gardens, food co-ops, and non-profits teaming up and creating networks to educate and bring fresh food to marginalized communities. 
there's a lot of good brewing up in this project along with others. can't wait to share more with you guys plus all the good bikey fun i'm having.

walking in the rain

it's raining, it's pouring, and i walked the day away. i have a thing about walking, it's always been my thing since i was a little girl, i would openly refuse car rides because i wanted to see things: houses, parks, gardens, neighborhoods, or stop by the library or coffee shop for some hot cocoa. 
walking is one of my favorite activities. and lucky for me i have a dog i love walking everyday. there is always something new for us to discover or friendly dogs and people to meet. when i was recently visiting my family in l.a, i took a day to discover and walk through downtown l.a, i was disappointed with the lack of parks or garden squares to observe people or even just to sit and rest. the bay area has me really spoiled with these sorts of amenities and well, i just cannot live without them now. there's a sort of relaxing and observational enjoyment in being able to walk in one's city and be surrounded by its greenery.
i read an article recently on the lack of walking in America recently in the Slate, stating that walking has been "engineered out of existence." perhaps for most of America, this is true, suburbanization has planned these cities to be car dependent but i find it a strange concept and myself lucky to have such amenities to walk to.
i guess such days when walking in the rain is necessary, it gets one thinking about how cities or towns inform our movement, travel, health, accessibility to services, and enjoyment of the places we live in.
walking is food for the heart, body, and mind. sometimes i don't mind journeying on foot, sometimes it's a nice break from riding the bicycle to get a different perspective.

NEON Pastel by Nona Varnado

This Spring and Summer 2012 has been a new season for women's cycling apparel by Nona Varnado, designer of women's cycling apparel in NY. The new collection is an array of neon pastel colors, skirts, dresses, and light fitting tops to make you feel and look good for seasonal rides.
on a side note, I'm highly supportive of Nona Varnado apparel which utilizes ecological responsibility while using high tech fabrics that makes you look and feel good while riding your bike. 
Personally, I'm particularly fond of the corral speed skirt and might have to make that investment for summer bike tours ahead :)

Take a look at her spring and summer collection along with other collections on their LifeStyle section. what pieces are you particularly fond of?

Making Helmets Fun

I get a lot of compliments on my red and white polka dot helmet by Nutcase. Trust me, I love my helmet, it's fun, cute, and definitely gives a different quirky vibe to biking. I'm not a huge fan of wearing helmets but I do wear one on my commutes and I get a lot of cyclist and drivers smiling and saying "I love your helmet." I LOVE IT TOO!!

I remember my first helmet being pearly white which I decorated with a reflective bow on the back. In a way it became "me" while I added some fun stuff to personalize it. I love this helmet differently though not just because it's fun colorful and has polka dots but because it speaks a bit more about the fun side to bicycling. Biking is fun and shouldn't everything else we do on it be fun too?! 
I've seen a lot of cyclist make their helmets their own by adding reflective dots, stickers, toys, or dinosaurs. Nutcase designs really fun helmets too, which is probably why I now sport one theirs. If I was going to wear a helmet, I was going have fun with it. And find a way to love it. I know I'm not the only one who hates wearing helmets why not have a little fun with it right? 

Do you do anything to make your helmet be a bit more "you?"


day 3 of thirty days of biking. i'm not really trying to do a countdown, rather, i'm giving myself an account of the progress i'm making, things i noticed, or thoughts i've had on this challenge. to begin, i had made some recent makeovers on wendy, a new saddle, new grips, new bell. of all the investments mentioned, my saddle has made my commute a lot more easy and comfortable. one of my major reasons and concerns for getting a new saddle was the pain i was getting in my hips and lower back. i don't know how many of you have had this issue before but it's a very uncomfortable feeling trying to cope with. my commutes to school require extra time on the saddle so it's worth the investment in finding the perfect fit. i'm glad i made the purchase.
i also found myself with more energy, concentrated, and less tired. and it's only been three days! but this change has required that i make changes in how i eat, avoiding college food trends and eating that banana and power bar with water instead of the pizza, pastries, and coffee. it's easy to fall into the habits of college lifestyle but i found myself easily willing to go back to my old healthy habits, thus actually making more time for running errands on bike such as grocery shopping and making time for cooking.
it feels good to get back on track and feel the progress already. let's just hope i can keep this up before finals start taking over.

la la land

spring break is over, major sad face. i definitely enjoyed spending time in my old hometown in los angeles with my family. there's nothing like home and heaven knows it was a much needed getaway from the academic life that owns all my time.
nonetheless, i found some incredible strength in myself this past week and i'm ready to tackle the last six weeks of the semester and 30daysofbiking.
let's do this!

30 days of biking, day one

today, many have joined the challenge of biking for 30 days, for fun or commuting, rain or shine.
it's fun taking on this challenge with those familiar and those i'm getting to know. this is going to be a great challenge for me considering that i'm making those 16 miles from school and home 5 days a week a priority. the semester made me a little physically lazy to the point where i would ride to the Bart station and take the train to school. i got a little weak with all this rain, plus a student diet and lifestyle is not so healthy, so this will be my challenge to get me back on track. 

i wish you all luck, for whatever reasons you may be doing the challenge for. if you would like to know and join the fun, check out what everyone is talking about on the 30daysofbiking challenge site and join us!
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