It's official: Mayor John Chiang has declared May 10 at Bike to Work Day in Piedmont, the city's first-ever "energizer station" will have free refreshments and tote bag giveaways, and experienced local cyclists have tips for newbie bike commuters.
Piedmont Connect will host an energizer station in the parking lot of , 1221 Grand Ave., from 6 to 9 a.m. on May 10, with refreshments, free canvas tote bags filled with bike-related swag and words of encouragement. You can also enter a raffle for a free bike. Chiang and Piedmont City Council members Margaret Fujioka and Garrett Keating are expected to arrive about 7:30 a.m.
If you'd like to bike (or hike) to work with an elected city official, this is your chance.
At 7:15 a.m., Chiang will leave from City Hall, 120 Vista Ave., and Keating will leave from the bottom of Dracena Park (at Ricardo Avenue), both heading to the energizer station. You are welcome to join them for the ride. At 7:45 a.m. they will head for the , 3200 Grand Ave., where they will join a “pedal pool” of Oakland elected officials and other bikers.
All bike commuters are wlecome to join the pedal pool when it leaves the theater at 7:55 a.m., arriving at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland in time for a pancake breakfast open to all bikers.
Meanwhile, Fujioka will begin her walk to work at 7:45 a.m., leaving from the energizer station and heading for Oakland City Hall. You are welcome to join her.
Piedmonters' Bike to Work Tips
Margaret Overden of Piedmont Connect asked some experienced Piedmont bike commuters for their routes, tips and experiences. Here's what some of them had to say
Rob Andrews: I bike to Oakland City Center — take Pleasant Valley to Piedmont Avenue to Broadway and back the same route after work. Two seriously steep climbs (Arroyo and Park Way) on the trip home, but getting home sweaty is not the problem that getting to work sweaty would be.
Scott Donahue: Since I live close to the office, I can bike home in 5 minutes and pick up my car if I need to meet a client or contractor a few miles away, say, or shuttle the kids.
Tim Rood: Sometimes I need to be dressed for a meeting at work and change into workout gear for rowing (which happens right after work). I can fit a pair of sneakers and my workout gear into my backpack, wear my dress shirt, shoes
and slacks to ride in (it's a short, flat ride so I don't get sweaty) and carry a sportcoat in my backpack, folded up in a suit carrier from a carry-on bag.
Zachary Wald: I take the bike lanes down Lakeshore from Winsor Avenue. Then I cut up Mandana, around the Grand Lake Theatre and up Santa Clara on the bike lanes to drop my 3-year old off at Grand Lake Montessori School on the way [to Oakland City Hall]. I have a extra-cycle style bike that can take up to three kids. There’s a big hill on Santa Clara that gets kind of hard with a 40-pound child on the back of the bike.
Bike to work Day is a regional (and national) event, so there will be other energizer stations at various locations throughout the East Bay.
If you are interested in forming or joining a team for the Team Bike Challenge, go to http://www.ebbc.org/tbc.
For more info about the Piedmont Energizer Station, contact Scott Donahue of Connect’s Bicycling and Alternative Transportation Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general info about Bike to Work in the East Bay, go to http://www.ebbc.org/?q=btwd.
If you are new to biking or want a refresher, BikeAlameda will offer two free classes Saturday at South Shore Center in Alameda: a one-hour morning class that focuses on commuting by bicycle and a "how to ride a bike for adults" class for new or inexperienced cyclists. For more information, see this article on Alameda Patch.