Preview: Bike Palo Alto! to promote environmental awareness
by Lizzie Chun and Charles Yu
Published October 12, 2013
The fourth annual “Bike Palo Alto!” event will take place this Sunday to promote environmental awareness and encourage biking in Palo Alto.
Bike Palo Alto!, hosted by the community-run Palo Alto Neighborhood Green Teams, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at El Carmelo Elementary School. Participants will learn about bike safety and a variety of practical bike routes around Palo Alto, according to the event’s website.
The event aims to encourage “Palo Alto residents to lower their carbon footprint and ride bikes more often for local shopping trips and getting around the city,” according to the event’s website.
Participants of “Bike Palo Alto!” will be able to choose their own routes from local maps that highlight different Palo Alto bike routes that are intended to make commuting and errand-running easier. Riders can opt for longer trails, which include pathways under U.S. Route 101, by the Caltrain tracks, over the San Francisquito Creek and the Wilkie Bike Bridge, according to volunteer coordinator and route concierge Joan Marx.
Riders will be eligible to receive mapped out routes tailored to their own needs.
“I will custom design a route from someone’s home to the destination they want [and] find them a quiet, comfortable route so they can go there in the fresh air and live it up,” Marx said.
Additionally, free helmet fittings, bike maintenance, safety information, bike registration services and local maps will be available at the event for all participants. Free snacks, ice cream and raffle tickets will be handed out along all of the routes as well.
“Riders not only get a treat, but at each stop, they can sign up for the raffle drawing,” Marx said. “The more stops you ride to, the more chances [you have to win a prize].”
For those without bikes of their own, rental options are available at local bike shops in and around Palo Alto.
Representatives from Bay Area Bike Share and the Palo Alto Zero Waste project will also be at the event, said Marx.
No prior registration is necessary and admission is free.
In previous years, the event has hosted up to 600 participants. This year, Marx expects the turnout to meet, if not surpass, the attendance of previous years due to the event’s increasing recognition and advertising efforts.
The event was created by Palo Alto High School parent and College Terrace Green Team member Robyn Duby.
“Robyn has been instrumental in not only inventing the event, but [also] in thinking out its shape,” Marx said.