I mean, it is hot as hell in Phoenix during the summer time. We’ve been here a week and the highs have been between 103 – 109 degrees daily. I don’t want to think about what we’d do if we were without air conditioning for any extended period of time – I guess just move around with the shade all day long.
The new place in Central Phoenix.The heat, however, has not kept me off my Breezer. I’ve been on it daily, taking into account with each and every trip when I’d be out on the road and for how long. As advised by SRAB readers in the know about biking through Phoenix’s summer heat, I had water on me at all times and packed a wash cloth for moping up perspiration that erupted across my face and neck whenever I came to a stop, be it at a light, on the train or at my destination. It is definitely more comfortable in this heat to keep moving rather than stop, especially if you are unable to stop in shaded area. I think it goes without saying that I covered my self with an SPF lotion for every trip.
Waiting at the shaded light rail stop at Central and McDowell.My first trip included pedaling to the nearest light rail stop, followed by a short trip on the rail to ASU’s downtown campus for a meeting with the field placement staff about my fall internship. Piece of cake, and I was able to lock my bike up to one of the many excellent bike corrals in front of the school building once I arrived. Students were encouraged to bike and take the rail to campus rather than drive because parking passes are a bear. I could probably (and most likely will) dress myself in JCrew for an entire year on what it would cost to purchase a parking pass.
Suffering from camera shake on the train, but you get the idea.My second bike trip was at the behest of the Planner Guy who asked me to pedal up to the Home Depot at the 3700 block of Thomas for some cable to lock down our front porch and patio furniture (as we were advised to do by a concerned neighbor). “It’s not far”, he said, which probably would have been a truthful statement if I had not waited until 2 p.m. when the temperature had soared to 106 to depart on my journey. The entire trip was likely no more than 5 miles both ways, but I was in serious danger of heat stroke by the time I returned home. Luckily, I realized the situation and cooled down and dehydrated at HD with a PowerAid and water (plus I purchased an additional bottle for the trip home) and took breaks in the shade wherever I found it. By the time I arrived back at the house, perspiration soaked my clothes and goosebumps covered my arms. My face glowed beet red. I thought I had sustained a bad sunburn but it seems I was just overheated as my face returned to normal color within an hour. As a precaution, I sank into a not especially cool bath (a cold bath would have required the addition of ice cubes to the water) and pondered my stupidity at leaving after noon. Not really a humiliating defeat but I felt much more hip and urbane the previous day on the train. Heavy sigh!
Our Central Phoenix neighborhood is close to many bar, restaurants and coffee houses and we visited several of them this week since our kitchen wouldn’t become functional until our unpacking was done. I’ll report on those trips in a later post. I’ll also follow up on some as yet unreported bike adventures in Flagstaff that occurred before moving day, including the recent New Belgium Clips of Faith movie night. At the moment, I’m still trying to get our new OLD house in order, as well as some loose ends regarding the start of classes and my field placement in late August.
July 23, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
A Trek-Schwinn alien hybrid!What drives a person to build a bicycle such as this? Is the owner a compulsive artist who must create with whatever implements are available or is he (I strongly believe it is a “he”) obsessed with the question “Can it be done?” I’m not judgin; I really want to know. I also want to know how he gets on and off it. Stepladder? Wooden stool?
July 6, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
Not trying to make a helmet statement; just honoring a request from my beloved.Out of deference to my husband, I have been wearing my helmet somewhat religiously. And by that, I mean whenever I am going to pedaling on city streets rather than the multiuse paths.
Since he has started his job in Phoenix, it gives Bob some false comfort to think that I am safer wearing a helmet. So I wear it because I promised him that I would. I’ve had this Nutcase helmet for about three years. It still looks pretty good.
In short and sleeveless but still quite hot under than helmet.But like the rest of the country, Flagstaff is suffering from unseasonably hot temperatures, and I am sweating under my helmet and my hair is a complete mess when I remove it. I haircut is fairly low maintenance and, with litte fluffing, eventually recovers from helmet head, but still. . . .Sometimes I’m tempted to just leave my helmet on when I arrive at my destination because I’m so stressed out about helmet head. Some people look really cute in their helmet but I’m just not one of those people. Oh, well, at least I’m not having to wear the helmet in high humidity and heat! I’m going to be testing a helmet cooling spray over the next month for Commute by Bike. I have serious doubts but I’ll let you know.
July 3, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
Sidewalk seating at Macy’s European Coffeehouse.The July issue of Sunset Magazine inspired me to pedal down to the Southside to enjoy a muffin and coffee at Macy’s European Coffeehouse and Bakery, which was featured on page 60. I set out bright and early on Friday morning, hoping to get there before all the seating was gone.
The wait is worth it.A real espresso bar and barista.Macy’s is always full ’cause there’s some good coffee brewing there, along with good eats. The people watching isn’t bad either.
Locals immediately recognize the dog-centric work of Connie Townsend.Macy’s is such a landmark it is prominently featured in this painting by well-loved artist and animal lover, Connie Townsend. I love her work. This giant painting hangs above the espresso bar and order counter.
If you don’t see a half-dozen bikes in front of Macy’s, they are probably closed.Sunset strangely forgot to mention that Macy’s is a favorite destination of people who pedal. I’ve never passed Macy’s when theres no less than six or eight bikes locked up in front, and as many across the street. Bicycles and the people who ride them are just part of the Macy’s ambiance.
July 1, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
My most awesome hair stylist, Paul, and his partner, John, just reopened their salon, Shear Irony, (2708 N. 4th St., 928.699.4315), at a new location on Fouth Street in the Sunnyside neighborhood on the east side of Flagstaff. I had a haircut with Paul (aka “Flagstaff’s best hairstylist according to me and several people I know”) yesterday and I, undaunted by the 7- 8 mile trek, pedaled to my appointment, stopping at City Hall to pay our water bill and schedule termination of service. I also stopped at a new pastry shop, A Touch of Sugar Bakery, as a reward for the 14 mile round trip, and purchased an ecstacy-inducing chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin cookie for me and some chocolate chip cookies for Paul (I wish I were rich so I could just fly him to Phoenix one a month to do my hair). I’d have taken a picture of my sorta healthy oatmeal cookie but, as you might have guessed, I ate it before the idea occurred to me. I’ll do better next time, as I’ll definitely find a reason to go back. That was a damn good cookie!
Anyway, I almost didn’t stop at A Touch of Sugar Bakery because I couldn’t find a place to lock up my bike close by. Not a single bike corral was in sight. Not even the crappy kinds that I’m forever complaining about. And I really looked around. But I really wanted a good cookie, baked by loving local hands. So, I pedaled around and eventually found this sign several yards behind the bakery:
Greenlaw Village Shopping Center could use some bike corrals, ya’ll.Heavy sigh! I think it’s important to stress that I would not have stopped for cookies had I not been on my bike since, once again, the cookie was a reward for a 14 mile, round trip, bike ride. I was burning off those calories, and I needed that oatmeal cookie as a nutritional supplement for the extra energy needed to bike home in a headwind! Had I been traveling by car, Catholic guilt (the kind that continues to plague many of the similarly godless) would have totally prevented me from indulging my sweet tooth.
So I, with cookies in my basket, pedaled over to Shear Irony. Luckily, I had time to spare because Knoles Village Center where the salon is located also had no bike parking, not even a sign post that I could lock my Dahon on to. Paul later told me one of his clients actually hauled his bike up the the stairs to the second floor where the salon is located. I thought about that but I’m a short little lady and just don’t like lifting a 30 lbs bike up a flight of stairs. I pedaled around the building a few times and, finding nothing, cut through a mostly empty rear parking lot to the Coconino County building on King Street where I fully expected to find a bike corral.
A couple corrals can be found at the County building on King, if you can find them. I’ll be some urband planner guy or gal had to beg and plead for that corral.Well, it was a search to find bike corrals but they were there, hidden close to an employee entry at the rear of the building. Although small, it is one of my favorite styles of bike corrals. I thought it was strange though that there weren’t any bike corrals for the general public in the front of the building or in a place more easily to spot. I’m not saying this out of loyalty to my former employer, but the City of Flagstaff does provide a lot of bike corrals on both sides of City Hall, and bikes are always attached to them, especially when City Council is in session. A lot of citizens use them, as do staff. And, to be quite honest, many people who rely on County services use a bike as their primary method of transportation and could probably use a place to lock up. I’m grateful for the bike corral that I eventually found but if a larger corral, located in a place more accessible to the public, would be just a tiny bit better.
Also better would be if the property owners up and down Fourth Street could help out a bit by installing some bike corrals in their parking areas that would be great too. Gub-ment can’t do it all. Fourth Street is getting some long, long, LONG awaited corridor improvements so hopefully bike corrals are included – and don’t the people who live and work in Sunnyside deserve the same kind of really nice bike corrals that the people who live and work downtown have? I think they do, and I’m pretty sure those corrals will be full. People like me will stop for cookies or a cut and color or slices of pizza or a plate of Pad Thai.
June 28, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
Bob and I took a short walk downtown on Saturday following our lunch at Diablo Burger and saw this:
a bicycle, wrapped in holiday lights, tucked under the gable of this little ramshackled house. Interesting. Unique. I wondered at the inspiration of the decorator. Does he or she just really want to celebrate an intense love of bicycles or was the placement simply an act of artistic whimsy? If you are a Flagstaff reader with the inside scoop on this display, please fill me in within the comments sections. No matter though. It made me smile and look forward to our move to a similar old urban neighborhood. I’d never be able to get away with this in Ponderosa Trails.
June 26, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
?Straddling two cities before we make the big move to Phoenix, Bob drove back to Flagstaff late last night after spending a productive week at his new job, taking up residence at a downtown hotel and dining at the restaurants located in our new neighborhood. Yes, confirms Bob, we’re going to like living in the city. Lots to bike and walk to and he just learned on that the rail line will be extended to Dunlap Avenue near his office by 2015.
Locked up on Heritage Square in front of Diablo Burger.
We’ve still got plenty of packing to do here but all Bob wanted to do this morning was enjoy a leisurely bike ride to downtown Flagstaff and have lunch. Fine by me, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
The Blake Burger
We hadn’t been to Diablo Burger in many months.
The Vitamin B Burger
The obvious question is WHY?
There are no words, but Bob’s face says it all.
Words and images cannot begin to adquately convey the unearthly deliciousness of a Diablo Burger, to say nothing of the rosemary French fries. We are selling are refrigerator and convection oven tomorrow. I plan to eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and microwave dinners but I just might have to pedal back down to Diablo Burger a time or two before we’re gone for good.
Let me be perfectly clear – this is a damn good burger.
June 23, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
Finding my keys on the Phinney key fob.My review of the Detours Phinney Handlebar and Rack Bag is live on Commute by Bike. Hop on over and give it a read.
The Phinney, as a rack trunk.It’s a nice little handbag you can attach to your handlebars or carry as a rack trunk. If you’ve enjoyed other Detours offerings, you won’t be disappointed in the Phinney. The Madison Bag seems to be a larger version.
June 21, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
Oh, sure, it was over 100 degrees today in Phoenix but I’m not there yet and 89 felt like a scorcher in Flagstaff. On my bike I climbed though. I had to run down to Bike Shop Hub to pick up perhaps the weirdest product ever (that’s for a later post) to review on Commute by Bike and then on to Avis to get a rental car in order to drive Daisy out to Second Chance to have her spayed.
Cori, Flagstaff bike commuter and SRAB reader.Moments after I left BSH, what did I see but a vision of bikey fashionableness (yes, I think that is a made up word) on a striking, powder blue commuter. Under normal conditions, I never would have caught up with her – I will not stoop to frightening other cyclists by pursuing them like a rabid paparazzi – but as I turned north on San Francisco I discovered the BNSF train was just beginning it’s crossing. The guard rail would be down for a few minutes; just enough time to introduce myself and take a couple of pictures.
Turns out Cori reads SRAB and recognized me, which was a little funny because I could not have looked less like a bicycle fashionista today! I had on the bare minimum of makeup and under my helmet my hair still unwashed. I was perspiring in the uncommonly hot June heat, and was dressed for comfort only, something I usually can’t bring myself to do! Cori, on the other hand, looked stunning, cool and comfortable!
A rack and mesh basket adds utility to a stylish city bike.
And as you can see, her cute outfit coordinated perfectly with her bicycle, a Felt Café 3! I hadn’t seen one of Felt’s Café series before so this was a real treat. You can just barely see the coffee cup holder on the handlebar in this photo. Cori also added rear rack, mesh basket, a double pronged kickstand, and lighting for a truly working commuter bike. Couldn’t ask for much more than that but the robin’s egg blue frame is just the icing on top. I couldn’t have been more flattered when she said that she loved reading SRAB. Cori told me that she knew about my blog since her husband, Robert, works for Bike Shop Hub. Cori works at Northern Arizona University and is a graduate student in Sustainable Communities. By bike commuting she’s certainly walking the walk and living proof that you don’t have to give up style to be committing to green.
June 20, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »
One of Flagstaff’s most friendly looking doorways.
During bike to work week, I paid a visit to Flagstaff’s Bici-Mundo, hidden within the city’s Southside. I hadn’t been by in a couple of years and, as usual, wondered what took me so long to get back. Owned and operated by Elson Miles, Bici Mundo is a bike shop that sells used bikes, rebuilds, bike parts and bike repair.
Bicycle as yard art.Everytime I visit though, I feel more like I’m at a bike museum or art gallery. This time was not different, and armed with my ever present Canon Powershot, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to practice setting up better shots within the camera frame. You can be the judge of whether I not I was successful.
A welcoming display greets the visitor to Bici Mundo.
As if waiting for her next owner.
Cranks and rims, artfully displayed.
Another thoughtful rim display.
A sensitive placement of forks and handlebars?
Everywhere one turns, one finds a bike.
Yet another red folding bike – that is not mine.
There is always a place for flowers.
Susan, everyone’s favorite bike-shop girl, assists a customer in her quest for a commuter bike.
Susan insisted the near museum-like placement of bikes and parts was merely the result of some tidying up she did earlier in the day. Perhaps it is all my art school sensibilities but Bici Mundo is an hommage to deep, deep bike love. If you live in Flag and have never stopped by or plan to visit the community, I highly recommend putting Bici Mundo on your list of must-see cultural attractions.
If you’d like to hear the full story of Bici Mundo check out this link to Mary Tolan’s short film on the subject. Elson has some pretty smart thoughts to share about the effects of bicycling on social interaction, stuff you probably already know but articulated quite well.
June 18, 2012 | Posted in She Rides a Bike
| Read More »