What will you do to raise awareness about climate change on 350 Day?

This Saturday, October 24, around the world people are engaging in various acts to raise awareness and to encourage people to take action about climate change.

We’ll be taking our bikes that day wherever we go. It’s the ArtWalk around here so it should be fun. There’s lots of events going on; here’s a map that shows where. Around the corner, we’ll probably drop by VCCOOL’s Rachel Morris is hosting a 350 Paint Party and Potluck:

http://www.vccool.org/images/clip_art/pot_smr.jpghttp://www.vccool.org/newsletter/37_oct_09/350.jpgSaturday, October 24th
2:00 pm Paint the 350 Mural
5:00 pm clean up
5:30 pm Potluck Food and Fellowship
345 West Center St., Ventura, CA 93001

In support of the International Day of Climate change, VCCool is throwing a 350 Paint Party and Potluck. We will paint a huge, beautiful “350” mural on a local garage door. Then we will photograph our artwork and post the images with 350.org to support the United Nation’s Climate Treaty of December 2009. Afterward we will wash our brushes, enjoy a pot-luck dinner, and bask in the beauty of our community creation. We also hope to raise $350 to purchase VCCool’s new volunteer database! Think globally, donate locally.

What to Bring:
Yourself – plus Brushes, Paint clothes, an old pie pan, rags, and one yummy potluck dish.

How to Get Here:
Walk, bike, skateboard, pogo-stick, skip, roller blade, carpool, bus, scooter, you get the idea.

For More Information and to RSVP:
Visit 350.org , or drop us a note at action@vccool.org.

I wish we could be in SF–or that I could get 350 people on bikes to join us in doing what they’re doing. Here’s the info listed on the SF Bike Coalitions Chain of Events:

Bike the SF Rising Shoreline

Sat., Oct. 24 | 2pm | Gather at Justin Herman Plaza

 global warming biker galOn Oct. 24 people all over the world are acting to send a message to politicians to reach meaningful climate agreements in Copenhagen. In San Francisco, there will be a 350 bicyclist ride along the predicted new shoreline. Read more info on the SF shoreline change.

At 3 pm the ride will join a Human Billboard at Justin Herman Plaza. To sign up register online. Please bring a snorkel and mask. This will be an easy, mostly level 3.5 mile ride.

Their facebook page adds these details:

Bike the SF Shoreline! Get your bikes ready for underwater pedalling! Pull out your floaties and snorkel masks!

Sign up to be one of 350 bicyclists to ride along SF’s future post climate-changed shoreline as part of this Global Day of Climate Action. When you sign up, you will be contacted soon with more information. At the ride you’ll also receive a colorful momento which you will get to keep. This action will start at 2pm from Justin Herman Plaza (SF). CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP:

Well I won’t make that ride–but I will be joining in for the Halloween Critical Mass in SF on my new bikergo! That’s going to be a party! Hmmn, which costume should I wear? Maybe the Snake Charmer…

Improv Everywhere, Urban Pranksters, Grocery Store Musicals & ArtRides

OK, so Improv Everywhere IS NOT involved with our First Friday ArtRides. And the Urban Pranksters are also NOT involved with our ArtRides. (And if they were, they wouldn’t tell you until after!)

But they could be. And they might be in the future. You never know. (And you may not know!)

In the meantime, check out Improv Everywhere’s latest prank, this one a “Grocery Store Musical.” I hope it inspires you to join us on our next First Friday ArtRide or to get an ArtRide going in your community.

For the full story behind the “Grocery Store Musical,” or to find out about other pranks, check out the Improv Everywhere blog.

First Thursday Fun Rides & First Friday ArtRides: Rules of the Ride

Lord Ganesh Rides a BikeAfter we had so much fun doing a Santacon on bikes in December 2008, some of us decided we wanted to do a monthly ride. In February 2009 we started meeting on the First Fridays to ride through downtown and the westside of Ventura to visit the art galleries staying open late.

We discovered we’re not the only ones doing regular themed rides for fun. Rides like this happen on a regular basis in cities across the country, including First Thursdays in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo where rides have been happening since 2000.

We don’t have a permit for this ride because we rely on our right to peacefully assemble. When we ride we become traffic and abide by the laws of traffic.

If you choose to join us for a ride we ask that you follow three simple rules: Have fun, respect our community, and obey all traffic laws. We charge everyone on the ride to help encourage others to abide by these rules.

To restate: these are not critical mass rides or a even critical manners rides but a courtesy mass ride.

We’re out to generate goodwill for cyclists and cycling, and to have a great time!

Whether you dust off your old cruiser or bring out your pricey pride and joy, we ride because we like to get people on their bikes and to have fun. It’s even more fun if you dress up with us, but that’s not a requirement.

If you’d like to join us on our next social on wheels, bring your bike to the Ventura Beach Promenade. We meet up at 5:30pm and ride by 6pm. We ride until about 7:30 or 8pm when we often gather for food and more merriment.Fir

Get Your Cape on for the Super Heroes Ride: First Friday ArtRide Nov. 6

 Super Heroes Ride in Ventura Nov. 6 2009 flyer
Super Heroes Ride!
Get your cape on
Friday Nov. 6, 2009

Meet 5:30pm
California Street at Ventura Beach Promenade

Ride 6pm
To art galleries & studios in downtown, midtown and the westside

Super Heroes Biker Ball 7:30-10pm

Ride with us or join us:
Bell Arts Factory
432 N. Ventura Ave

Enjoy Anacapa Brewery beer,  pizza & salad from Milanos, music & dancing!

Ride is FREE; donations requested for beer & food. Bring your own cup, please.

This will be my first ArtRide on my new bikergo and I am so excited to show off my new cushy ride!

David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries now on tour near you!

 Bicycle Diaries by David ByrneDavid Byrne of Talking Heads fame bikes. Where ever he is. Every day. And he blogs about where he bikes and what he sees.

And so a book has come out about his adventures by bike in cities around the world, providing him with an opportunity to go on an unusual book tour: he’s stopping in cities across the country to talk a little about the book and to sit in on panels to provide a forum for conversations about biking and the future of cities.

I went to hear him when he stopped in Los Angeles earlier this month. Since there was wireless, I decided to try to live blog the  ALOUD event at LA’s Aratani Theater in Japantown: “Cities, Bicycle and the Future of Getting Around” led by David Byrne.

As we drove in from Ventucky, as we left the crowded freeway and found ourselves on the city streets, cars were joined by more and more bikes. In fact, it looked like there were several hundred bikes in a sponsored bike corral.

The program starts out with various video clips almost like one world one bike, one world one bike ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Bike Friendly Communities

commuter routes in Copenhagen

Did you know that almost 50,000 people a day ride bikes for one week in Black Rock City in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, the temporary home for the Burning Man Festival? And that most of those people ride bikes exclusively for their form of transportation from the time they arrive until the time they leave a week or so later? Yep.

How do they do it? Easy–cars are banned from the streets of the city. To get around, people have to walk, ride a bike (there’s thousands they can borrow), or grab public transportation (aka ArtCars).

Did you know that 500,000 people a day commute by bike in Copenhagen? That’s a half million people–riding bikes!

How can we promote, create, fund this radical act, this Copenhagenization, this Black Rock City approach, in the United States–in our cities and communities?

That’s a big question, and one which this site, Copenhagencyclechic, is devoted to exploring how to Copenhagenize the world. And it seems like this coming year at Burning Man, as we explore the theme of Metropolis, we will all learn ideas of how to get around in these cities we have grown.

One obvious way is to create commuter routes like you see on the map of Copenhagen on the left. If we can spend millions of dollars on highways to move individuals in cars, why can’t we spend a much much smaller amount of money to facilitate the safe travel of people on bikes?

If we spent just a fraction of the amount of money that we do on vehicle infrastructure needs on alternative transportation needs, we’d be able to get around more safely and reduce our carbon footprints. We’d be a lot healthier and a lot happier. OK I admit don’t have research on that one at hand–except that I know I feel happier when I commute by bike and it seems like my fellow cyclists are also a very jolly group of people!

How we can create this change in our communities?

1) Have comfortable, easy to use bikes that people WANT to ride–bikes like a bikergo.

2) Support the riding of bikes with infrastructure

3) Watch this blog as I aim to find out and make that part of what goes on here!

What ideas do you have to help our culture transition from car-heavy to bike friendly?

How I fell in love with a bike at Burning Man 2009 & became the bikergo gal

Maxwell's awesomeness & bike from http://www.flickr.com/photos/not-lost/3927593101/

Here is the TRUE STORY of how I fell in love with the bikergo bike at Burning Man.

I know, I know–There are soooo many grreat bikes at Burning Man.

Too many to show–to name–to describe here.

Take this bike, pictured. I love the contrast of the octopus ferns in Maxwell’s bike basket with his hot pink outfit… I sooo want that outfit! and the bike! and do you see his bike baskets in the back? !! Maxwell, you must bring this bike on a First Friday ride soon! But really, folks, this post is NOT all about Maxwell and his awesome Burner self and really cool bike.

Not at all.

This post is about the BEST BIKE I have EVER ridden in my life.


No kidding.

And I rode it at Burning Man this past year.

See, after one of the wine tastings I hosted on the Playa (I know I know I need to write THAT post!), I rode off on my 1986 hot pink 3000 pound mountain bike to join my family to watch the Rocket blast off.Rocket Burning Man 2009 sm

You know–this rocket–the Gothic Raygun Rocket, my son’s favorite artwork out there? In fact you can read his post about it here–and watch a video of it blasting off with plenty of fireworks! (Please do! He loves to check his stats!)

So I was riding around on my pink bike with our 12′ high tie-dyed Ganesh on a bike banner on the back, wearing Nila’s purple cowboy boots and who knows what else fun funky and sparkly, looking for them. My son was in a Superman outfit riding in the Burley behind the Big Monkey on Toni the Tiger’s tiger furred bike.

Turns out there were probably 10,000 people there also waiting and watching. Or more–maybe 20,000 people. It seemed like EVERYONE on the playa was there.

Quickly I realized the futility of my exercise. There were so many people I couldn’t even ride my bike. So I stopped. Straddled my bike and walked around. And looked around.

Two guys were standing by their bikes and we struck up a conversation. They are both REALLY into bikes, and a wind storm came up so I gave them both bandanas with Ganesh on a bike, which they appreciated. I admired Deacon’s blinking star necklace and Deacon offered me one but they were back at camp. He then gave me some bee lip balm he had handmade.

I told them I was lookithe Rocket by Gary Stevens ng for my husband and son. Believe it or not, they described them both to a T saying they were both wearing their bandanas and they even said the boy was wearing a Superman outfit!

I knew then they were my true friends, in the way that you know certain truths on the playa, and that it was meant to be for us to hang out together that night.

So there we were, hanging out on the Playa, waiting out the duststorms, waiting for the rocket to launch, talking about biking and all kinds of crazy stuff.  We were laughing hysterically all the time about totally silly stuff. They were a riot. I totally love these guys. They are my brothers. And they loved me too, they kept saying they were hanging with the coolest mama on the playa.

The other guy, Matt, had this crazy lemon yellow bike. I didn’t get it, get why, but he made it out to be something special. Then some other guy came up, introduced himself, and they talked about this bike, and he went for a ride on it. I guess he’s some seriously famous cyclist guy, but I had no clue who he was even after Matt and Deacon tried to explain.

He came back with the bike anBikergod raved like he’d never been on a bike before so then I had to try it. “Promise you’ll bring it back!” Matt said as I rode off.

“Of course!” I yelled back. But by then, honestly, I had  a serious case of the giggles.

This bike was soooo much fun to ride I couldn’t stop laughing and giggling to myself!

Really. I have never ever ever been on a bike that felt so good, moved so smooth, made me feel so joyous and happy inside

I never ever wanted to get off this bike!

Riding this bike felt like fooling around–no kidding. Cruising around felt like those long, fun kisses, full of life and love and longing to let loose and roll! Oh, I was soooo in love with this bike!

But I didn’t want Matt to worry, so I figured I’d better head back. Except I had been so enamoured, so infactuated, so darn right in love with this bike that

I lost my head!

That’s right–I lost my sense of direction–I had no idea where I was!

Now that’s saying something. I have an incredible sense of direction. I don’t get lost or turned around. I mean, I backpacked all the way from Mexico to Canada and really, we never–I never–got lost. It’s an innate gift I have–and which my son has also.

But here I was, not sure where I’d ridden from, not sure which direction to go to return this bike.

Not that I really wanted to return it. No.

I wanted to keep this bike forever. I was lusting after this bike. I won’t go into the dirty details. I am sure there are fetish magazines about that. But I’m not going there. Suffice to say,  I WANT THAT BIKE!

I’m not that kind of gal–run off into the night with another man’s bikergo. So somehow I did it. I didn’t let myself giggle, or laugh, or be distracted in my new found love. I knew I had to return this bike. I did, I really did have to return the bike. As much as I wanted it,  craved it, it wasn’t my bike to have. I would have to earn one on my own.

So I found Matt and Deacon, and returned the bike as the Rocket fireworks went off. They weren’t worried; turned out I hadn’t even been gone that long at all.

But you know when you’re in love how time takes on other dimensions? That’s how it was with me and that bikergo.

That bike.

I love that bikergo.

And I will do just about anything–ANYTHING, universe do you hear me?? –to make one of those bikes–a BIKERGO– of my very own one day. One day? Heck, I’m gonna be riding one on the Super Heroes Ride First Friday Nov 6–just you wait and see!

And if you want a REAL rocket, one which will TAKE off and take you with it, forget about the Gothic Raygun Rocket and get yourself a BIKERGO.