Friday, August 29, 2014

Working Towards a Bicycle Friendly University

For the past few months I have had the pleasure of working with a team to produce some materials for the start of the semester at our campus, collectively called the Bicycle Friendly University Committee. This year our committee strives to obtain the silver-level designation in the Bicycle Friendly University (BFU℠) program. The League of American Bicyclists' program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bikeable campus for students, staff and visitors.

Bicycling to Campus Brochure
Bicycling to Campus Brochure
One of the items is a folding weather-resistant brochure chock-full of information about bicycling to campus. On one side we have listed the perks (such as five free daily parking permits, free tire inflation stations, free spot bike repair, campus escort service for break downs and a Hertz-on-Demand car rental program), bike safety tips, and the Nevada state laws pertaining to cycling.

Click the images below for a larger version.
Bicycling to Campus Brochure Page 1
Bicycling to Campus Brochure Page 1
On the other side is a list of resources for bicycling clubs, bicycle shops within 5 miles of campus, advocacy groups and agencies. There's also a HUGE campus bicycle and walking map showing bike lanes, bike rack locations, tire inflation stations bike lockers and frequently traveled bicycle routes! And 20% off coupon to the Nevada Wolf Shop.
Bicycling to Campus Brochure Page 2
Bicycling to Campus Brochure Page2

The other thing we've been working on is a sling backpack with a safety message printed on the outside pocket. You can see my friend wear the backpack in this photo. The "3-Feet It's the Law" message is reflective and was designed to help increase awareness for NRS 484B.270. I call our state law "A Lane or 3-feet Law" which basically says motorists must move to the left lane if possible when passing a bicyclist. If there is not a left lane then they must pass with at least 3-feet clearance from the bicycle.
3-Feet It's the Law backpack
3-Feet It's the Law backpack funded by NDOT (BicycleNevada.com)

It was a collaborative (and volunteer) effort by faculty, staff and students and multiple departments across campus including Integrated Marketing, Parking & Transportation Services, Student Housing, School of Health Sciences, Information Technology, Human Resources and the UNR Campus Cycling Coalition. The Reno Bike Project V.I.S.T.A.s also joined the effort in the photo shoot for the brochure. They also attend each of our Bicycle Friendly University Meetings held once a month. We welcome your questions, comments, suggestions and involvement in our committee. Just let me know in this post if you'd like to be involved our committee!!
Staff and students bicycling on campus
My involvement was posing for pictures ;-P
The brochure and map is being distributed to students at campus activities and events (as we speak) to promote bicycling to campus and bike safety! I am looking forward to seeing the backpacks being worn around our university and around town.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bicycling to the Emmys

Tonight is the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and one of the best in U.S. primetime television programming writer for the "Mad Men" series, Tom Smuts, his wife and friends are getting there in a way most people wouldn't expect. Nope, not by helicopter or a private jet. Not by a fancy limo or driving a car. Bus? Nice try.

They are riding their bicycles to the ceremony!


In stylish evening attire, mind you.
Tom Smuts looking sharp in Rapha's City Collection (Photo by Tom Smuts)
Tom is a bicycle commuter and the idea came out of "playful activism" on all of our behalf. As you can imagine, traffic around the event venue tonight is going to be absolutely horrible L.A. traffic multiplied by 10!! I enjoy watching the "Mad Men" series on Netflix and now I like the show and admire the writer even more. His wife who is executive producer of the "Homeland" t.v. series is also riding to the Emmys, along with a few other women.

Like me, he just wants to show drivers that bicycle commuters are also people. That you really can bike everywhere! And by cycling you can be a part of the solution instead of the problem (traffic congestion). And that you CAN wear just about anything -- even formal attire to big social event! He said to the Hollywood Reporter, "A group of people dressed appropriately riding to the Emmys sends a message about the kind of people who commute on bikes." and "It might make drivers more aware that we're not hooligans trying to lengthen their commutes." Read the full article on the Hollywood Reporter.

I hope all goes well for the group ride to the Emmy Awards!! With the 17-mile route between Tom's home and the Nokia Theatre planned by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the support of the city government's Bicycle Advisory Committee, the mayor's office and the TV Academy it sounds like everything will go as smoothly as possible.

I don't have cable television but I hope to catch a glimpse of when the six riders roll onto to the red carpet in the media coverage!! ESPECIALLY of what the ladies are wearing which will be Tom's wife, Meredith Stiehm, and cycling fashion designer and activist Nona Varnado.

Now if I were going to the Emmys on a bicycle, I would have a really tough time deciding what to wear!! As if it isn't hard enough to decide what to wear to an event like this, right?! But these outfits below will work as long as they allow for leg movement to pedal comfortably.

I would wear shorts like Sarah Hyland or Taylor Schilling. The bandeau top under the chiffon shirt is also great for ventilation.

Photos are from the Hollywood Reporter Emmy Parties.
Sarah Hyland

And ride my bike to the Emmys in heels?? Heck yeah!! Or I would stow the heels (and jacket) in a pannier bag.
Taylor Shilling
Shorts are great for day or night transport cycling

Or I'd wear a dress with slits like Betsy Brandt. Even Julia Louis-Dreyfus' dress will work if the placket underneath the zipper is stretchy or unfolds like Betabrand's Bike to Work Skirt (which I absolutely LOVE).
Betsy Brandt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Skirts with slits are also great for transport cycling
Or I'd wear a dress with a fuller bottom, like Kate Flannery. The sleeveless arms also allow for air circulation!!
Kate Flannery
Dresses or skirts with full bottoms also allow for leg movement
Tom Smuts will organize next year's ride to the Emmy. I wish I could be there to join the activism. But even without me I think it will DEFINITELY gain a following!! ;-P

Weekend Report for Canfest 2014

Canfest is an international unlimited beer tasting festival of beers poured exclusively from cans.The one-night event held at the Peppermill Resort & Casino also benefits the Reno Bike Project, the community bicycle shop for which I am on the Board of Directors.
Canfest 2014 graphic
55+ other individuals and I volunteered to assist where needed. From 4PM we had one hour for the briefing and setup before the V.I.P. guests came through the door for the buffet dinner. Pizza was also provided for the volunteers to eat before the event. And yes, we were allowed to taste the beer we were pouring. Hey - we had to know what the brews tasted like so we could talk about it when pouring right?!?

Volunteers stand around stage for briefing before the Canfest event.
Volunteers were briefed before the event
Besides the 100+ beers that were available to sample (many of which are not sold or distributed in Northern Nevada), there was also a live band, a silent disco, plenty of entertainment and a raffle of really nice prices including a tandem bike!!

Guests arrive for beer tasting at Canfest 2014
Guests arrive for beer tasting at Canfest 2014
An hour after the V.I.P. entrance, a flood of about 3,000 people came through the door. We were pouring beer left and right into tasting cups.
Happy beer drinkers pose for the camera.
Happy beer drinkers
I roamed from beer vendor booth to beer vendor booth to pour beer. Other times I watched over the silent disco area. Some of the guests would forget they were wearing headphones and walked off. They were wrangled back to the disco floor or they surrendered the headphones so that other guests could enjoy it.
People dancing to music through headphones on the silent disco floor.
Silent disco where people dance to music through headphones
Near the end of the evening, the raffle drawing took place. People gathered around the table to check their tickets against the signs to see what prizes they won.

People gathered around the raffle ticket drawing.
People gathered around the raffle ticket drawing
At the end of the evening, the volunteers were able to take home as much canned beer as they could fit inside an official Canfest bag. Our goody bags allowed us to exit the ballroom passed the resort security.
Volunteers didn't leave until close to midnight so it was a long evening. But I had a lot of fun and it was worthwhile to be a part of an awesome fundraising event to support our local bike shop and the programs they provide for our community.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer

Earlier this week I met a friend for dinner to catch up on our lives. We sat outside on the patio of Midtown Eats. We drank beer and ate while we chatted.

The evenings are cooler now in Reno so it was nice a really nice ride home. It never gets really hot for very long. Not like Vegas where my husband and I used to live prior to moving to northern Nevada.
But no matter where you live in Nevada, the sky is usually a clear intense blue.

I had been feeling under the weather so I took a day off from the office. Not feeling much better but wanting to get back on my bike I rode to work today.
I was very tired so I pedaled at a slower-than-normal-for-me pace. Somewhere along the way this gentleman passed me by. He was heading to Verdi (a neighborhood on the far west side of Reno) for a joy ride.
I rode behind him for a while and then picked up my pace again once we were on the Truckee River Trail. Once on campus, an acquaintance spotted me riding. We stopped and talked bicycle stuff for a while.

Not feeling 100% I was REALLY tempted to ride my scooter instead of my bike today. But I am glad that I decided to bike to work. When we slow down to stop and smell the rose, you never know what will cross your path to make the day brighter!

Three Helmet Cover Systems to Show Your Personality

Giro Reverb Bicycle Commuter Helmet in Matte White Grid
Giro Reverb in "Matte White Grid"
When I started bicycle commuting to work, I had a Giro Aeon helmet. But it was racy and a better fit for when I would ride my road bike.

I started looking for a more casual commuter helmet and found the Giro Reverb (pictured here). It had a visor and I really liked it.

But then summer came and the sun's rays were intense. I desperately needed some shade and cover to protect my cheekbones and nose from getting scorched. So I started wearing the YAKKAY helmet with the interchangeable helmet covers.

I love the YAKKAY covers with a brim because they shield my eyes and offer physical protection for my face (depending on the angle of the sun) from the sunshine. And it never fails to make people smile when they see my helmet.

I often get asked about it, by friends and strangers so I thought I would post the three helmet cover systems to show your personality for both women and men!
  1. YAKKAY (Helmet and Helmet Cover System)

    • Helmet: Comes in six different colors with matching chin straps and it's recommended you buy the YAKKAY helmet. The helmet is about $87 and is $140 when purchased with a cover.
    • Covers: Designed to fit the corresponding YAKKAY helmet size. For example, Medium helmet cover for Medium helmet size. The covers run about $60.
    • Attachment: Uses a strong elastic band that is sewn into the inside brim of the cover. The cover slips on and off the helmet but is secure enough to stay put. I have rolled downhill at 36 m.p.h. and it doesn't go anywhere!!

    YAKKAY Bicycle Helmet and Helmet Covers
    YAKKAY Helmet and Covers

  2. YAKKAY Bicycle Helmet Cover elastic band attachment
    YAKKAY Helmet Cover stays put with an elastic band
  3. RockiNoggins (Helmet Covers Only)

    • Helmet: Use your own road or bucket style helmet so there is no need to buy another helmet.
    • Covers: Water-resistant and reflective covers with added features such as a light loop on the back. Snaps on the front of the cover allows for the attachment accessories such as flowers or bling. I am looking forward to trying the heavyweight covers with ear flaps come winter! Covers start at $24.95 and up.
    • Attachment: Uses removable Velcro strips to attach the cover onto the helmet.
  4. RockiNoggins Helmet Covers
  5. Bandbox (Equestrian and Bicycle Helmet and Helmet Covers)

    • Helmet: Bandbox bicycle helmet comes in black but the chin strap is customizable in tan, brown, silver and black. The helmet is $60.
    • Covers: Designed to match specific helmets of the corresponding size. I like that many of the helmet covers have really wide brims. Cover prices run from $44 to $84 each.
    • Attachment: Uses a cord and channel system. Older versions used velcro.
  6. Bandbox Helmet Covers
If you have worn any of these three helmet covers, I would like to know what you think!! I know I really like my YAKKAY helmet and covers. I change them out to express how I feel that day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weekend Report for August 15th - 18th

My husband's parents came to visit us over the weekend. It has been a while since they have seen Lake Tahoe in person so we drove there and had lunch on the water at Brooks' Bar & Grill at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

 The water level was low but still the lake was beautiful.
One of the days we went to the National Automobile Museum.
 John's dad is a walking Encyclopedia. We learned so much from him as we walked from gallery to gallery.
I noticed that the wheels of the earlier cars looked like the wheel and hub of a bicycle.
 In fact, many of the car manufacturers started out making bicycles.
If you haven't seen the movie, "American Experience: Henry Ford" it's a flick worth watching. Henry Ford called his first horseless carriage the "quadricycle". It had 28 inch wheels and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. Hmm...sound familiar?? In that movie, there was this figure. A bicycle with a motor became motorcycle. And then from the motorcycles evolved the first "Victoria", a primitive quadricycle made up of two ladies bicycles joined together by a central platform which housed the working parts.

The Victoria, a Kane-Pennington Motor quadricycle
The "Victoria" quadricycle was made of up two ladies bicycles
So anyone who says bicycles do not belong on the road does not know its history and contributions to today's motor vehicles.

Then we had lunch on the patio at PJ & Company on Wells Avenue.
Earlier that morning, I ran a running relay in the Reno 10-Miler.

The race start and finish was on Virginia Street in downtown Reno.
The route went north around the University of Nevada, Reno and then south to loop around Idlewild Park and back to the Virginia Street bridge.
I had not ran since the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey 178-mile running relay so I was hurting. But after the first three miles I started to warm up and find my rhythm. But then it was time to pass the baton.
My teammates and I placed 4th in the relay teams of all men, mixed and all women. We missed 3rd place by a minute.
John and Dad completed the wooden crate box we had built for our cat by installing the brass hardware and custom made leather straps that John's dad made. This deserves a special post on its own.

Other than that, our family cooked dinner. We made ham, corn, salad and deviled eggs and sangria for dinner. I had a really nice weekend with my family and I hope you also had a nice one!!


Photos from the Picasa Web Album John and Maggie's Visit
and the Picasa Web Album Reno 10-Miler.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Discreet Multi-tool Disguised as a Hairclip

I love the multi-tool my father-in-law gave me that I carry with me always. If you don't have one then this handy dandy fashion accessory might do in a pinch.

It's a trolley coin, ruler, serrated cutter, wrench and multiple screwdrivers in one combined into a tiny hairclip!
Multi-tool metal hair clip
Pretty neat huh? Though I must admit I am a little concerned about the serrated edge snagging my hair.
Many tools in one metal hair clip
It can even hold a wick!
Metal hairclip wick holder
You can get the Leatherdos - Mini tools clip from Money Business website for $9.
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