Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Thoughts While on the Breezer

Was this sporty couple among the many returning students at Northern Arizona University? The Arizona Daily Sun commented on all the twentysomethings on bikes filling the streets of downtown Flagstaff! More students than ever seem to be getting from here to there by bike and bike racks all over town, whether on campus or in front of Mountain Oasis Restaurant are completely full. I actually had to wait 5 or 10 minutes for a space to open up at Target yesterday. A good sign.

This week I challenged myself to bike commute outside my usual comfortable routes and outside those occasion I deem the most practical. Since I serve on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Flagstaff, I decided to bike to our monthly meeting on 4th Street after work, adding about 4 extra miles to my ride that day. Since I had some time between work and our meeting I checked out the Wednesday Farmer's Market at St. Pius at 4th and Cedar. While the Sunday market at the City Hall parking lot is a magnet for bike commuters, I was surprised upon arrival to find myself the lone bicyclist. Pity. The Wednesday Flagstaff Farmer's Market is a perfect bicycling destination for local and regional produce, cheeses, bread and other baked goods, as well as hand loomed yarns, homemade soaps and bath salts, and other craft item. Given the fact that nearly every parking space in the very tight St. Pius lot was filled, a bike with panniers or a bike trailer might be the perfect thing.

One place that could definitely use a good bike rack is the new Greek restaurant, Taverna, at Woodlands Village Center off Woodlands Blvd. We've pedaled there twice of the three times we've eaten there in the last month (Taverna is very good, by the way, with gyros as big as your head!) and locked our bike to increasingly limited space on the hand rails that run along the parking lot. We arrived around 4:30 on Friday afternoon for drinks and appetizers and were able to find a space but upon leaving the I observed that bikes were locked up and down most of the rails close to the restaurant. I'll have to make a suggestion to the manager the next time we're in.

4 comments:

daniel said...

Hi there!

I just recently finished up a video on bicycling for the fun of it. It features a cyclist definitely riding "outside his usual comfortable routes!" I'd love to know what you think of it.

vimeo.com/6193111
Daniel

Doohickie said...

I did a recent ride to a HFH meeting too! It was well outside my "comfort zone" of roads to ride in, including riding through some industrial and run-down neighborhoods. I made it though. You can read all about it here.

She Rides a Bike said...

Daniel: I definitely agree with your video. I'm glad riding a bike is good for the environment and takes cars off the road but, aside from my beginning bike commuting out of financial necessity (last year's gas prices) I continue to bike commute because it fun! Yesterday, I biked along 'side a little rabbit who was hopping in the brush along the urban trail and last year actually came upon an elk early in the morning on my way to work. Fun trumps activism in terms of gaining recruits.

Doohickie: Fourth Street still has a ways to go in terms of being bike friendly. No real safe means of turning left, narrow bike lanes, cars traveling at high speeds but I think the area does have some good people advocating for those types of quality of life issues so hopefylly soon it will move to my comfort zone list.

RidingPretty said...

Isn't downtown a great place to catch students on bikes?!!! This is the time of year the students start returning so I'm finding lots more cool 'photo ops' to document this whole 'bike thang' in my own downtown...which is also a university town, like yours. Students on bikes Yeah!