Bike Palo Alto 10th anniversary offers new, fun activities | September 27, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 27, 2019

Bike Palo Alto 10th anniversary offers new, fun activities

Glass pumpkin patch, EcoCenter and donkeys are part of this year's routes

by Sue Dremann

Bike Palo Alto, the city's annual community bicycling event, is stepping up the fun for its 10th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 29, with destination events that include glass-blowing demonstrations, Palo Alto Baylands tours and nose-to-nose visits with Barron Park's movie star donkey, Perry, the model or the donkey in the movie "Shrek."

The bike tours, which take place from 1-3 p.m., encourage people of all ages to reduce their carbon footprint. The free event kicks off the Fall Walk & Roll Week in Palo Alto Unified School District schools. It's a chance to discover bike bridges, underpasses, bike boulevards and pathways.

To sweeten the deal, treat stops dot each route. Three of the four rides are suitable for families and amateurs and are on fairly flat terrain, co-organizer Penny Ellson said.

Registration and all bike routes start at Fairmeadow Elementary School, 500 East Meadow Drive. Bike-safety checks, helmet fittings and booths with information about bicycle safety will be at the school.

The 9.2-mile (6.8 miles when using a shortcut) route, called the "yellow route," takes riders through parts of Palo Alto and Menlo Park. A stop at Heritage Park in Palo Alto includes a station for decorating bikes. The route wends to the historic redwood El Palo Alto and continues to Menlo's Burgess Park, where riders can make their own blender-bicycle smoothie.

The 8.3-mile (7.9 miles with a shortcut) "red route" takes riders west from Fairmeadow School to a secret pathway for a treat at Robles Park, then by a bike bridge to another secret passage off Monroe Drive. The route continues to Los Altos for a stop at the Sweet Shop for a frozen yogurt sample.

On the return trip, riders go on the Bol Park bike path to visit the Barron Park donkeys Perry and Jenny, then to the fountain near the California Avenue Caltrain station for a snack before heading back through the California Avenue tunnel.

If birds and brine are more to one's liking, the "blue route" is a 9.6-mile sojourn to the Ross Road YMCA, up Ross Road Bicycle Boulevard and on to the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at Palo Alto Art Center, where glass-blowing demonstrations will happen every half hour. After a stop at Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center for pastries, the tour heads to the Baylands EcoCenter, where Environmental Volunteers will host blender-bike smoothies, docent-guided interactive exhibits and microscopes for viewing tiny marsh creatures. Birding and expansive views of the bay top off the experience.

For die-hard bikers, the Grand Tour route is an 18.3-mile journey encompassing all of the other routes.

Registration and downloadable route maps are available at


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2019 at 8:09 am

I am so pleased that there are so many people using bikes for commuting and recreation in Palo Alto. It is good for their health and it is good for traffic flow.

However, a couple of things need to be said.

It must be emphasized that bikes are traffic and must obey traffic rules. They must not ride the wrong way, ignore stop signs or do anything unpredictable that will upset traffic flow.

It is worrying to see so many bikes in large groups acting like one vehicle on our roads, particularly at weekends. This is particularly evident on Page Mill climbing up to Foothill Park. The latest trend is that they have a car forming a rolling roadblock which does not overtake the bikes which means that the uphill traffic is moving at the speed of the slowest bike with no opportunity to get past.

13 people like this
Posted by Bike Safety is part of Bike Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2019 at 10:53 am

Bike Safety is part of Bike Palo Alto is a registered user.

The Bike Palo Alto headquarters at Fairmeadow will have a Safe Routes to School table with rules of the road info and another booth for adult commuters sponsored by Stanford Research Park with wayfinding and bike safety info. In addition, there will be Quick Bike Checks--that is, quick checks and minor adjustments of essential mechanics for a safe ride.

One more thing, there will be a booth where participants can register their bikes with Bike Index. Bike Index is a national database used by the Palo Alto Police Department to recover stolen and lost bikes. This new system replaces outmoded bike licensing. At Bike Palo Alto, volunteers will help you register your bike from 1-3pm.

So...Bike Palo Alto offers adventure and some essential services as well. Enjoy this lovely weekend, friends! There is so much you can see and do on a bicycle in Palo Alto. Join us to discover quiet, comfortable bike routes to the places you want to go! More info at .

Happy trails!

4 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2019 at 11:18 am

Let's hope our new Transporation Chief and Planning Commission deny Castilleja's request to have a garage entrance on Bryant at Embarcadero.

The planning department should have never allowed it to be part of the plans.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 26, 2019 at 11:28 am

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

It's interesting to note that the Red Route has conspicuously avoided the more dubious designated "Safe Routes to School" such as the bits that have no bike lane and that force kids to stop on the corner next to the Smokes & Vapes shop. When are we going to make all of our designated Safe Routes safe?

10 people like this
Posted by reduce that footprint
a resident of Escondido School
on Sep 26, 2019 at 11:35 am

reduce that footprint is a registered user.

Bike Palo Alto is a great event for residents who would like to bike more places around town but don't yet know that on a bike, you have route options that aren't available to drivers: bike/ped bridges and underpasses that allow foot-powered travel on lower volume, lower speed routes with more shade than standard driving routes. Thanks to Weekly for highlighting this year's routes!
All welcome to roll on over to Fairmeadow School on Sunday from 1 to 3 PM to register for the self-guided rides as well as get great info on safe riding, learn how to fit your helmet and do a basic Air-Brakes-Chain check before every ride. Routes are open until 4 PM.

RE comment above from Resident: Yes, all road users (two-wheeled and four-wheeled) should follow the rules of the road! Bike Palo Alto organizers do their part by informing and encouraging participants about making safe choices on the road, even requiring riders to sign a waiver form that includes commitment to abide by all traffic laws.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 26, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

In April, 1996 I produced an event called Earthwise Productions’ Earth Day Rock N Bike at Cubberley Community Center Auditorium— now home to the Junior Museum. People who rode bikes to the event were admitted two-for-one; there were three bands, for $6, all ages. SoftRide donated a bike for a raffle, as they had done the previous year. One hundred fifty paid, and roughly 20 biked. The headliner blink -182 from San Diego later sold twenty million cds and grossed nearly a billion dollars all in.

1 person likes this
Posted by Bikes Not Cars
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 26, 2019 at 3:38 pm

A few years ago there was a bike check station at El Carmelo Bike Palo Alto event. Will there also be one at this one?

Like this comment
Posted by When?
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 26, 2019 at 4:33 pm

Have I missed something? I don't see the date in the article (yes, I can Google it, but it should be included).

7 people like this
Posted by Date, time place for Bike Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Date, time place for Bike Palo Alto is a registered user.

The event is Sunday September 29, 1:00-3:00pm. Start at Fairmeadow School, 500 East Meadow. The event's home page is here Web Link

There will be Quick Bike Checks again this year. Minor adjustments can be made to get you ready for a safe, comfortable ride. The event's web site offers many resources for bicyclists, including resources for bike repair. See Web Link

7 people like this
Posted by Just plain old fun!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 27, 2019 at 9:30 am

Riding a bike will make you smile.

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