Bike Palo Alto, sponsored by the Barron Park and Collage Terrace Green Teams, helped 300 people, mostly families, find "bike friendly" routes in Palo Alto Sunday (Oct. 10).
"We wanted to show people new to bike riding how easy it is to get around on a bike," co-organizer Robyn Duby said.
"If all you know is El Camino and Alma as the main routes to get around Palo Alto, biking can be very scary," added David Coale, a member of a Green Team and of the Acterra board, said of the event.
"What we set out to do is show people how to get around on a bike in a way that avoids most of the traffic and how easy it can be to use a bike for errands or fun activities," Coale said.
The event, based at Escondido School, featured rides on three routes that wind through parts of Palo Alto using streets that serve as key bike connectors as well as bike bridges or underpasses.
The event sponsored by the City of Palo Alto, Way2Go & Sustainability programs, and Acterra. The neighborhood Green Teams organized the event as part of the international 350.org Global Work Parties on 10/10/10. The work parties tackled many projecrs, from planting trees to installing solar panels, that were designed to get people active in doing something about global climate change, Coale said. There were 7,347 events in 188 countries, he said. For more information and photos visit www.350.org
The "friendly" routes included north through downtown Palo Alto to Menlo Park; east to the baylands and Midtown; and south to Mountain View and Los Altos. Short, medium and long rides were offered for each route, with the longest 12 miles.
JJ&F, Mollie Stone's and Whole Foods marketswere handed out fruit treats, Kepler's gave out re-usable water bottles, and Starbucks gave out mugs. Baskin-Robbins and the Sweet Shop gave out ice cream and frozen yogurt to riders displaying Bike Palo Alto buttons.
At Escondido there was safe-biking information, helmet fitting, minor bike repair by Mike's Bikes, and bicycle registration by the Palo Alto Fire Department.
"Everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun and many people asked if we were going to do it again next year." Lisa Altieri, event co-organizer and Green Team coordinator, said. "Our hope is that once people know the easy bike routes they will leave their cars at home and bike more often," she said.
The Neighborhood Green Teams are part of the Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP).