A&E

Bike Palo Alto hopes to draw another large crowd

This year's event will feature new Bike and Roll Expo

In past years, Bike Palo Alto has welcomed hundreds of cyclists and encouraged many residents to ride their bikes for local shopping and other trips around the city. The event reached a record number of 600 participants last year, according to event planners, who hope to draw another large crowd this year with the addition of a new Bike and Roll Expo.

The seventh annual Bike Palo Alto will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2, 1-4 p.m. The free family-friendly event will include new bike-focused activities in addition to the usual self-guided bike tours and gathering at El Carmelo Elementary School.

The new activities will be part of the Bike and Roll Expo, which will be held on the Civic Plaza at Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave. The expo will host a number of activities for community members to enjoy, including multiple displays and presentations, as well as a live band and food and drinks from Sweetgreen, David’s Tea and Cyclismo Café. Local bicycle vendors, including Palo Alto Bicycles, Motostrano and Suburban Bikes, will be present at the expo.

On Bryant Street, near the expo, cyclists can try out electric, cargo and folding bicycles on pop-up cycle tracks, which will feature parklets, planters and temporary striping and signs.

The traditional event festivities will be held at El Carmelo Elementary, 3024 Bryant St., where cyclists can check in for the day’s events. Experienced Palo Alto bikers will be onsite to help community members map out the best routes to places they might want to bike to within the city. For those in need of bike repairs, a bike maintenance crew will be available to do repairs free of charge.

Upon check-in, cyclists will receive a “frequent rider card,” which they can use to collect stamps at various stops along the three self-guided routes through Palo Alto. Free treats such as made-to-order smoothies from bike-powered blenders will be provided along the routes.

To give event participants an extra incentive to bike, the frequent rider card will continue to have a purpose after the event. If participants ride their bike to any local place such as a library, school, post office or store, they can get a signature on their card. Once they have collected 10 signatures, they will be eligible to enter into a drawing for a special prize.

Since Bike Palo Alto started in 2010, it has grown into a popular community event. The event, volunteer coordinator Joan Marx said, is now being organized by over 70 volunteers.

Marx hopes the number of event participants will continue to grow, so residents can “realize how enjoyable it is just to bike in Palo Alto.”

“There are so many quiet streets and underpasses that make it so easy to get to the places you want to go by bike,” Marx said. “We want people to have fun and realize they can get the same pleasure out of biking they get on this particular day every day.”

For more information, visit bikepaloalto.org.

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Editorial Intern Rachel van Gelder can be reached at rvangelder@paweekly.com.

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