Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tour de Fat Returns to San Diego on September 28th!

If dressing freaky, riding bikes, listening to bands and drinking beer are things you like, then don’t miss the most FUN fundraiser around…Tour de Fat is coming back to town! New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and other award-winning beers, is bringing the 14th annual Tour de Fat to San Diego on Saturday, September 28 in Balboa Park.

Gather up your friends, family and neighbors and come enjoy eclectic entertainment and stellar beer, all while helping local bicycle nonprofits raise funds. The event is free, yet all proceeds from beer and merchandise sales and donations from parade participants will help make San Diego a better place to ride a bike. Last year, approximately 3,500 people came to the festival and raised nearly $30,000 for local nonprofits including the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

To properly kick-start the festival, Tour de Fat begins with a giant bicycle parade that weaves through city streets. Each parade route is designed for people of all skill levels; everyone is welcome and colorful costumes are encouraged. For the rest of the afternoon, the stages heat up with world-class acts like Reggie Watts and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister and the park becomes a celebration unlike any other.

Kids of all ages can ride funky bikes, eat delicious fare, relax in the grass, and participate in games and activities such as a “Thousand Person Dance Contest”, which will determine the winner of a 2013 New Belgium Cruiser Bike. Everyone 21 and older can sample new and classic favorites from New Belgium, including the brewery’s flagship brew, Fat Tire, this summer’s seasonal, Rolle Bolle, and selections from the acclaimed Lips of Faith series. 

Click here for more details.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Robert's Mini Bike Book Review: Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20 Edited by Chris Charlsson and LisaRuth Elliott

Review by Robert Leone

If you feel your perspective on activism and advocacy rides, or just plain riding, is getting stale, you should rejoice in this book. Forty-one essays describing activism rides, not just from one city, but from several continents, give a vitally needed non-local perspective on how people ride in support of riding. It's also nice to read about some victories (as years of involvement and protest led to a bicycle facility in a Mexican city, as others celebrate the freedom to ride in Rome, and so on). One measure of how widely varied activism rides, and their riders, can be the essay-separating illustrations of activism ride promotional handbills and posters: They range from thickly hand-lettered examples of “xerocracy” to professional, profoundly thought-out models of graphic design. One sample, from Bilbao, Spain, not only appropriates a bicycle ideogram but even has sponsorship logos across the bottom! Again, if you're feeling stale about bike advocacy, get a copy of Shift Happens to read, rejoice, rejuvenate, and ride.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

6th Annual Bike the Bay Provides Extraordinary San Diego Sightseeing Opportunity

Community bicycle ride offers the only chance to pedal across Coronado Bay Bridge

Want the best view of San Diego County? Grab your bike and ride Bike the Bay-- the only opportunity to pedal across the renowned Coronado Bay Bridge as well as the newly expanded Bayshore Bikeway. Participants in this causal 25-mile ride will experience some of the county’s most breathtaking waterfront views during the 6th annual Bike the Bay ride on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Fresh off the heels of San Diego’s first-ever CicloSDias, Bike the Bay presents another opportunity for folks of all sorts to pedal around town. Bike the Bay welcomes bicyclists 12-years and older of all cycling abilities to pedal through the very best San Diego County has to offer. The event begins at 7 a.m. at Embarcadero Marina Park South on Harbor Drive in San Diego, with an expected sell-out attendance of over 3,500 cyclists.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, a host and beneficiary of Bike the Bay, organizes the event to encourage biking as a fun and efficient alternative to automobiles.
“This is a unique chance for bicyclists of every level to see San Diego County as they never have before,” said Andy Hanshaw of the SDCBC. “There is no other opportunity to bike across the celebrated San Diego- Coronado Bay Bridge, and it is something you will surely regret if you don’t see it for yourself.”

The picturesque ride starts at the Embarcadero Marina Park South, and journeys over the 2.1-mile Coronado Bridge. One lane of the bridge closes to cars in order to accommodate the thousands of bicyclists expected to take part in the early morning event.

After crossing the bridge, the primarily flat course meanders along bike lanes through the quiet streets of picturesque Coronado and onto the Bayshore Bikeway; San Diego’s premiere bike attraction. This bicycling path surrounds the entire San Diego Bay, with vast additions since last year. Participants in Bike the Bay have a special opportunity to cruise on the completed parts of this premiere bike path. 

Riders continue through Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and National City on dedicated bike lanes and bike routes. The ride ends at Embarcadero Marina Park South for post-ride activities, entertainment, food and a New Belgium Brewing Beer Garden. Most riders can expect to complete the fairly flat course in 2-3 hours.

As well as refreshments along the route and bike repair stations, riders receive a commemorative t-shirt (exclusive Bike the Bay cycling jerseys are also available) and entry into the post-ride festival. Helmets are required and regular rules of the road will apply. Spectators are encouraged to support their riders at key mile markers sponsored by local companies and organizations.

Registration, course maps, and other information can be found at or by calling 619-269-6873. Registration is required and should be done as early as possible as previous years have sold out. A portion of Bike the Bay proceeds go to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. 

For information about this year’s corporate sponsors and sponsorships, please call 619-977-2989 or email

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CicloSDias: First-ever Celebration Joyfully Embraced by Community and Local Businesses

Premiere open streets celebration surges neighborhood businesses and inspires livable communities

The City of San Diego proudly premiered CicloSDias this Sunday, August 11, to offer the community a break from the stress of car traffic, promote local business and establish San Diego as a bicycle-friendly city with open streets celebrations. 
Photo by K.C. Alfred / UT San Diego

A press conference featuring Coucilmembers Marti Emerald and David Alvarez and County Supervisor Dave Roberts kicked off the event at 10 a.m., and the 5.2-mile route of CicloSDias officially opened to all those who felt the urge to bike, walk, or dance in the car-free street. The course extended from Golden Hill through North Park and South Park to reach Cherokee Point Elementary School in City Heights, looping through popular parts of each neighborhood and including hundreds of local businesses.

“This free event gave the streets back to the people for just one day, and everyone loved it,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director for San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC). “The local businesses were booming and grateful, participants were out riding around and running into people they knew - there was a contagious feeling of cheerfulness. The success of this event represents a shift toward a future of livable communities and shared streets.”

CicloSDias brought an estimated 10,000-15,000 friends and family members (including four-legged ones) out to spend their Sunday riding, walking, strolling and skipping though some of San Diego’s most picturesque parks, neighborhoods and districts at no cost. Local businesses saw a surge in activity as participants “shopped local.” Spontaneous bands played on the sidewalk, dancers put on performances, stores brought their products outside to sample and businesses offered specials to rejoice in all the activity of the first-ever event. 

“Surveys have shown that residents want to walk and bike more and spend less time in the car,” said Hanshaw. “CicloSDias brought people out of their homes and cars and into the streets to enjoy San Diego with neighbors. We hope to give our communities the same opportunity again next year.” 

Two more community friendly events will round out this year’s Triple Crown of bicycling events including the 6th Annual Bike the Bay on August 25 and Tour de Fat on September 28. 

For more information on CicloSDias, visit, or email For daily updates, follow on Facebook and Twitter. Also visit for more information on local cycling events in San Diego.

Support a Start-up Bicycle Academy in San Diego

Please help our friend Messy Jessie as she works to open San Diego's own Bicycle Academy. Her business will not only teach youth and adults how to repair bicycles, but will donate the used bicycles from the program to provide transportation to those in need. Cool, huh? Read below for more details and check out her crowd funding campaign:

Local bike shop Messy Jessie's is launching a fundraising campaign. The goal of this campaign is to open San Diego's very own Bicycle Academy. This academy will offer curriculum bases after-school programs to middle and high school aged students. The students will learn basic bicycle mechanics on donated bicycles, assessing their needs, and repairing them to get them back out into the community. The fixed bicycles will be given to local shelters and organizations, providing transportation to those in need.

The academy will operate in the same fashion as a school, following curriculum, offering mentorship programs and ultimately preparing students to function in a shop environment.

The funds raised will go towards securing a facility in which to teach. They will cover the costs of building the schoool and be used toward the publishing and printing of workbooks designed to aid in education.

The benefits of this academy won't end with youth programs. The community can use the space to host speaking events, art shows, ride in movie nights and anything else it can thing of.

Contributions are raised through Indiegogo: 

Checks made payable to "Messy Jessie's" can be mailed to
Messy Jessie's
P.O. Box 34575
San Diego, CA 92163

Friday, August 2, 2013

Having Fun isn’t Serious Business

by Turbo Bob

No reason to make a big deal out of it, just go for a fun bike ride. All those fancy clothes and expensive bikes aren’t needed to put a big smile on your face. As the pedals start moving you will feel your cares fade and a new world opens before you. These are the best reasons to ride a bike.

As our town becomes more bike friendly and the Bike Share Program comes together, it is easier than ever to re-gain that childlike thrill you may have forgotten. Don’t let anyone tell you different, bikes are here to stay and they are the best way to enjoy your life. Floating down the bike path on two wheels could help make the life you dream of come true.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition can help you attain this goal in so many ways. Classes, group rides and fun events fill their calendar. The fact you are reading this shows you know that already, but what about your family and friends? When was the last time you urged them to join in on the fun? The time is now and so much is waiting for them (and you) on a two-wheeled adventure.

My wife and I join in with so many groups here in San Diego that organize mellow and fun rides. We have met tons of new friends that enjoy the rides too. Looking for that new (or old) excitement in a rough and tumble world? Cycling could be the answer to that question that lingers on a daily basis.

Let’s ride, Turbo Bob.

“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.” ---Christopher Morley.