Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Light Bike Ride 2011

Christmas Light Bike Ride 2011 = Fun, Awkward and Uncomfortable... but Generally a Great Time and a must do in 2012

This past Sunday (Dec. 18, 2011) my wife and I were part of the SALSA’s 3rd Annual Christmas Light Bike Ride and Competition. We decorated our rides  (Sun Cruiser 3spd and Yuba Mundo V1) with Christmas goodies. My blue Yuba Mundo was all fancy with a small Christmas Tree complete with working lights. My wife put some decorations and lights on her cruiser.

Yuba Tree Cargo

The ride started at trendy yippee mecca for San Antonio, the Blue Star Art Complex on South Alamo at 5:30pm. We arrived about 4:40pm so we could get the bikes decorated. The competition was good and there were many entries (see the video below). My friend and fellow amateur astronomer Blake took 2nd place and earned a gift card to SA Cycles. Our bikes didn’t place. One bike I really liked was the gray cruiser with the frame insert you see in the pictures but it didn’t place either. I just love it something about the tinsel streamer and those white walls just looks good.

Merry Christmas!

After the judging of the bicycles and awards it was time to saddle up and move out (as we say here in Texas). We rode the short distance down South Alamo toward the famous historical landmark the Alamo! (Remember that thing??). While riding we had people honking at us and people on sidewalks cheering us on. It was strange hearing this honking as it wasn’t the usual honks of protest of the crazy loons on two wheels on a road in the 4x4 truck capital of the world, no they were honks of glee! (wow did that sound cheesy). We rolled right up into the front of the Alamo and stopped for a while.

The only part I didn’t like was that some of the peps in the group started heckling a street preacher near the Alamo and started to mock him. While I didn’t agree with his method exactly and even some of what he was saying I don’t think we should be heckling anyone.  I was very put off by the comments of a few in the group. People need to realize when you are in a group of 70-80 people not everyone shares your opinion. If you don’t like the preaching… move away, simple solution!

Ok, now that that rabbit hole was run though back to the ride.... Weather was nice cool but not cold. While at the Alamo I distanced myself from the group. While away from the group I was able to get the tripod off the wide loader of the Yuba and snap a photo in front of the Alamo.

Myself and my Yuba Mundo- Christmas

We left the Alamo and headed toward Main Plaza passing by the ever popular Majestic theater. People were arriving in limos to the Robert Earl King show that night.  It was neat having people roll down the dark tented glass to say "Hey I like your bike!"
We arrived at Main Plaza for a long stop. Some got tamales; a staple of holiday food here in South Texas. Others went to the restroom while just about everyone else stood around talking.

From Main Plaza we rode toward LaVillita to take a group photo. This is where the ride got comical At first I was leading the ride… and then the group turned off behind me two blocks early..they apparently didn’t have the same route in mind as I did. At this point I need to explain there isn’t really any leaders in a mass group like this…. We move a one giant amoeba moving throughout the city… The best way to describe it is like a school of fish. No leader just everyone working together. So I did a u-turn and rejoined the group. We all rode through LaVillita without stopping and then when we realized it the group went back and collectively did a u-turn to a spot where we can take group photo. I was the only one with a tripod so I took the photo.

SALSA's Christmas Light Bike Ride 2011.

From there the group went through Hemisphere park and then back to Blue Star Hippy Complex (LOL!) My little clan of 7 people opted to head to Blue Star directly without the detour of Hemisphere park this was partly due to the fact that the majority of them hadn’t eaten anything for dinner. So they wanted to eat at the blue star brewery. They have good food so I wasn’t opposed to that. I at a tasty Gyro while my Yuba was locked up on the Brewery’s porch.

I really like the Blue Star so I wasn’t trying to be negative about it but this is why I called it a Hippy Mecca….After dinner while unlocking my bicycle a group of college aged kids noticed me unlocking my bike which was next to their table. One nicely dressed guy in a tux asked me “Can you do me a favor” I said sure so he proceeded and asked “Do you smoke the Buds.. You know….toke the J” I said na can’t help you there and went on my way.  I laughed about it…crazy Pot Head Hippy in a tuxedo!! LOL.


Monday, December 12, 2011

"Floating Parking" & Bike-Buffer Zones in Separated Cycletracks

This is cool!

Tina at the Farmers Market

Tina by MPR-Photo
Tina, a photo by MPR-Photo on Flickr.

My wife at first usual pit stop on the 2nd Saturday Cruiser Ride with Slow and Low San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)

Via Flickr:
Slow and Low San Antonio (SALSA)'s 2nd Saturday Bicycle Ride of December 2011.

-San Antonio, Texas
-Canon Powershot G12

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Could Bicycle City Look Like?

Is San Antonio becoming a Bike City??? Leave your thoughts as comments to this entry.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bike Commutes on the Rise

Bicycling to work is up 37%
With gas prices it can only go up from here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oct 23rd Grocery Run

Today Tina and I hopped on our bikes and rode over to sonic for some grub. Tina rode her yellow Sun Cruz 3 speed with Transit-Panniers and a sun-lite front basket. I rode on my blue Yuba Mundo Version 1 with (18 seed) cargo bicycle with an ice chest and rubber made continer attached. After Sonic we rode to HEB to get some groceries for the week.

Frist Grocery Run with Yuba
Interestingly enough I saw the previous owner of my Yuba Mundo at the deli section and then he was right in line behind us in line. So we chatted for some time about cycling in our area of San Antonio and the need to improve the biking here. Currently the city's focus is on downtown and green ways. Load of Groceries 

The small haul:
  • Puppy Pads
  • Fruit Bars
  • Poptarts
  • Deli Ham 1/2 pound
  • 1 lb of Deli turkey. 
  • 16 yogurts
  • 5 lb bag of Oranges
  • 15 bean soup
  • 1/2 gal. of OJ
  • 1/2 gal. of Organic Milk
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Sun Chips
  • Tortilla Chips
  •  TV Dinners
  • Halloween Candy
  • Ball Point Pins
  • Steaks
  • Cheese

Friday, October 21, 2011

Phoebe's Ride

Phoebes Ride by MPR-Photo
Phoebes Ride, a photo by MPR-Photo on Flickr.

Friday evening fun.

My dog's first ride on the Yuba Mundo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Car Free least for me.

October 16, 2011:
I on Saturday night I vowed to sleep in on Sunday as I felt I needed it after a week from hell at work but my miniature poodle Phoebe had other plans. She woke me up at the crack of dawn to feed her her breakfast and as usual when I'm up I'm up. So I decided to check the weather. It was a nice calm October morning so I decided to fly my Parkzone Ember 2 remote control airplane. I wanted to try flying it at the stadium near my house. Instead of taking the car I was eager to ride my new (used) Yuba Mundo (Version 1) Bicycle especially since I just got it fixed the day before.

First Load: RC Airplanes to the Stadium for day of flying

After about an hour of flying (and dodging birds trying to attack my RC plane). I loaded up to ride back home and once I got there I decided I wanted to ride the Yuba more. So I dropped off the RC stuff and took off to the Home Depot to buy some cam straps and bungie cords for the Yuba Mundo. Bicycle parking wasn't available at Home Depot but I found place to lock up right next to the entrance.

1st Stop Home Depot

I needed some breakfast so off the McDonalds I went. Once again some improvised locking of the Cargo Bike. And while I ate I was in full view of the bike.

Breakfast at McDonalds.

The day was going so well I didn't want to stop riding. In fact at this point I wanted to make a day of it complete with a stop at Barnes and Noble for some coffee. I called my wife, Tina, and told her I was going to do some shopping at Target, head over to spectrum sports to make use of the Gym membership by taking a shower and then head over to Barnes and Noble. Since, Tina is an English Teacher and a heavy sleeper she decided to drive over because books after a nice sleep in sounded good to her. We decided to meet at 11am. So I was off to Target. I really was happy to see that Target was bicycle friendly with a bike rack near each entrance. Thinking about it the bicycle rack is the best parking spot since it is literally right next to the door.

3rd Stop Target via Yuba Mundo

After shopping the clearance rack I and getting a nice Office Space t-shirt for $5, as well as some things we needed around the house I rode over to Spectrum to shower and change. I didn't take a photo but Spectrum had bike rack.Sadly Barnes and Noble didn't have a bike rack but a sturdy rail did just fine.

Car Free Sunday at Barnes and Nobles

After sitting for an hour or so we decided to head over the a seafood place for some lunch. Tina hopped on the back of the Yuba and away we went to Sea Island (just through the parking lot).

Lunch at Sea Island

Eventually, we rode over to 1/2 price books then I took Tina back to her car and pedaled home. It was a great day and really nice to see how accessible our shopping destination is. If I had an Ice Chest Strapped to the Yuba Mundo I would have hit up the grocery store for some deli meat and time for sure!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yuba Mundo V1- Update!

Hank the best Bike Mechanic in Texas

Well, It has been a little over one week since I've purchased my used Yuba Mundo Version 1 (18 speed). I purchased it in a non ride-able condition.I did some tinkering during what must have been the busiest week of my career to date:
This past Saturday, I decided to take my Yuba to Hank at Helotes Bicycle Shop. Hank is a collector of bicycles and has been working in the bicycle industry for 40 years. He is the best wrenches I've met. Here is a list of what Hank accomplished today to make the Yuba Mundo ride-able. Cost of shop repairs was a reasonable $30:
  • True Rear Wheel
  • Replaced rear derailleur cable and housing
  • Check Chain (it was good) Just needed oil. 
  • Adjust Breaks 

Yuba Mundo Cat Fan
Here is still some quarks that need to be worked out but Hank didn't have time today to do it, but as it is it is rideable:
  • Replace front derailleur grip shifter
  • Replace front derailleur cable and housing. 
  • Replace headset tracks/bearings...there is some brinelling a.k.a. index steering. 
Somethings to I still need to do:
  • Touch up some paint
  • develop some boxes for groceries
  • Raise the seat a little
  • Add Kickstand (waiting on package from Yuba Bicycles)
  • Replace grips.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm still in shock I'm a Yuba Mundo Owner! Pinch me.. am I dreaming.

Yuba Story - For my Bicycle Blog

My Yuba Story:
Some followers of mine might know that I’ve been riding my Sun Cruz 3  speed to the HEB near my house (HEB is a grocery store for all ya’ll non-Texans). This started around August 2010. I mostly do it to save on gas and CO2 emissions. I’m a hefty sized good ol’ Texas boy and I’m already slightly exceeding the maximum load on my aluminum framed beach cruiser then add 30-40 pounds of grocery on that… well… no issues so far. 

One day in about April 2010 I said “I wish I could carry more on my trips to HEB…” so after some internet research I was very interested in riding a Sun Atlas Cargo Bike that just came out. It retails for around $550-$600. It’s a typical long tail cargo bike that is “xtracycle aware” meaning it uses some of the xtracycle accessories. After chatting with Sun dealers (JB Importers connected bike shops) a shop in Corpus Christi was going to order one for me at a cost of $500 unassembled… but it involved a trek of 200 miles by car to get it. So I never placed the order. After doing more research I was leaning toward an xtracycle conversion or a Yuba Mundo. Kona Ute didn’t interest me too much and the Surly Big Dummy was out of my price range. The xtracycle Radish was given some slight consideration. So I started to save my dollars.
In late July 2011 an ad popped up on Austin Craigslist for a used Xtracycle conversion kit for $250 with deck, bags, etc. I was in San Angelo, Texas at the time and called. I was just about willing to drive across the Texas hill country way out of my way back to San Antonio to buy it, but during the conversation with the guy selling it say he was selling it because he bought the Kona Ute (an alternative to the Big Dummy and Mundo). Considering this guy ditched the xtracycle conversion for a dedicated design spoke volumes to me. So I narrowed my list down to the Sun Atlas Cargo and the Yuba.

One day in June 2011 we decided to take a road trip up to Austin to visit my bro-in law. While there I stopped in at the Peddler’s Bike Shop and test rode a Version 3 Yuba Mundo… It was awesome and the only reason we weren’t smiling in the photos we took that day was the 110 degree temperature of that day. The Shop owner offered a great deal … $1,000 out the door with all the accessories he had in stock only problem was I didn’t have $1,000 for it at the time and still don’t! Wasn't about to go in debt either. Later that week, I requested some literature from Yuba Bicycle via their website but instead I got a personally call from the CEO of Yuba Bicycles. He had some questions about the blog I rode about my experience at Peddler. The fact that such personal attention was give to me meant a great deal to me; combined with the fact they they’re focus and purpose for the Mundo was to help developing nations it seems like they are on the right track.

I’m an elementary teacher so around August my attention was school. I’d my bike for more causal rides with friends but I started to notice more bike on my commute to work. So my interest was peeked yet again for a utilitarian style bicycle. This past weekend I was able to ride in 2 group rides. While driving home after the 2nd ride I saw something I’ve never seen in San Antonio before a Yuba Mundo… heading the very same HEB I shop at! I was excited and followed the cyclist, saw what he looked like then found a parking spot and literally ran into the HEB searching. I wanted to see the man living my dream! How long has he been doing this? What was his thought and opinions on the Yuba? So many questions? I was filled with excitement. 

In chatting with Robert (the Yuba Rider) he mentioned this wasn’t his first Yuba and he had one that he wanted to put on Craigslist but didn’t want to deal with the annoying calls and emails from scammers (I know what he means). So I chatted with him and hear the price which was very reasonable so I told him to consider it sold providing it was in some what a good shape. He said it would be great if he could have it out of his garage that day and I was eager so I went and looked at it. Both tires were flat; some paint nicks were on it, etc. He used it as a daily commuter rain or shine! After looking at the Blue V1 Yuba I handed him the cash and loaded it up on my Hollywood Sport-rider 4 rack (yes it's a beast of a rack and can handle the weight of the Yuba and then some!)
So in what seemed like a whirlwind adventure I’m now a cargo bike owner. The blue Yuba needs some TLC but I think I’ll have it rolling soon.
Here is a list of things I’ve check over so far that need to be done and the cost was so affordable I can afford to do the repairs many of which I will do myself.
  • 1. Order a kick Stand (contacted Yuba with some questions)
  • 2. Grease hubs and freewheel (Yuba Freewheel Tool ordered!)
  • 3. Install New Inner Tubes and Slime
  • 4. Inspect tires and decide if I need to order some Schwable Big Apple Kevlar Tires.
  • 5. Replace rear reflector/Install head light and tail light
  • 6. True rear wheel and check front.
  • 7. Adjust breaks front and rear… might put a disc on front if I think I want swap out the fork…
  • 8. Clean Chain/possibly replace
  • 9. General tune up.
  • 10. Rear Deck
  • 11. Straps for tie down
  • 12. Remove surface rust and touch up paint.
  • 13. Ride!
I’m happy. 

Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Friendly Spot Yellow Box Bike Repair Station

With cycling growing at an exponential rate in San Antonio some local businesses are cashn' in. The Friendly Spot Bar in the King William district installed a yellow box which a vending machine with bicycle repair parts. It really is refreshing to see something so progressive as the yellow box!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Connecting the City: Stephanie's Story

I really like the Green Bike Lanes. It really helps with giving the bikers priority for that lane.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

San Antonio Bike Tour 2011

I really like the Song Track on this. I believe these are commercial bike tours they cost $30-50. You'll have to google it if you interested.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dinosaur sighting on Bicycle

Yes I know we are on a sidewalk... but high speed of Broadway wasn't comfortable for riders on our ride.

San Antonio, Texas - Witte Museum - July 2010

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yuba Mundo Test Ride- Aug. 4, 2011 *Updated 8/7/11*

Yuba Mundo Ride by MPR-Photo
Yuba Mundo Ride, a photo by MPR-Photo on Flickr.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, my wife and I decided to take a drive up to Austin to try out a Yuba Mundo cargo bicycle at Peddler's Bike Shop. I've been researching Yuba's online for about a month. At first I wanted the Sun Atlas Cargo, a new bike by Sun Bicycles that is xtracycle compatible. The Sun Atlas Cargo is new and so there isn't much out there on the net about them and I've yet to see one and I bet I never will. Currently I own two Sun Cruz 3 speeds that my wife and I have been using for trips to the grocery store with a front basket and panniers. The idea of a cargo bike seems like a good one. First off, I'm a big guy (260 lbs) so I'm already exceeding the weight limits on my Sun cruiser bike...add groceries to that and you can see why I'm nervous. Good news is I'm loosing weight by riding more (down 14 lbs).

Internet reviews can only take you so far and before I decide to fork over a huge chunk money (or even budget for a purchase in the future) on something I want to check it out in person. The nearest dealer was in Austin, TX. They had a nice orange Yuba Mundo on their showroom floor but badly covered in dust and scratched up for a new bike. The owner of the shop made my a very tempting deal of $1,200 out the door for the bike with every Yuba accessory he had in stock (child seat, wide loader deck, passenger bad, bags, deflopaltor)... but I was STRONG... I walked away knowing that I need to stick with our budget even if that means paying more later that purchase would have messed us up for a month. Sure they offer 0% 6 month financing but I'm trying to get rid of debt so it will have to wait and an offer like that is a credit card based offer. I wish more shops offered good ol' fashion layaway at no additional cost (something I could just work into my budget). So even though I hate to pass on a good deal I will. But man does it hurt.

The shop owner said that he just wanted to get out from under the beautiful but dusty Yuba Mundo because it wasn't selling like he hoped and hasn't as much attention as he'd hoped it would have. So I don't know what the future of Yuba bicycles is in Austin, Texas doesn't seem favorable at least at the Peddler's Bike Shop. It really sounded like the shop wouldn't carry any more once this one sold, sad considering my purchase would have to be after months os saving for it.

The shop owner told me he gave the Yuba people $1,000 for the bike and accessories and all they have done was take up room in his shop so he was just trying to get out making a small profit.

So what were my impressions of the Yuba Mundo?

WOW it rides like a dream! It is amazing how straight the long tail rides. I could comfortably let go of the handlebars and it was straight as an arrow. The weight wasn't that bad. The rear of the bike was heavy but I could easily lift the whole bike. (note: I'm used to the lugging around a 150lb 16" Meade Lightbridge Dobsonian Telescope). The weight while riding reminds me of the old springer fork Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe only the Yuba has 21 gears that makes that weight more than dote-able and I seem to recall the Schwinn feels much more heavy when lifting by comparison, perhaps the Schwinn is just more dense. The seat on the Yuba Mundo was very comfy, and riding position was very upright. The handlebars had plenty of rise but seemed narrow compared to my Sun Beach Cruz 3. The grip shifts were nice. I believe it was a V3.0 and it had Yuba's beefy single kick stand that was nice and sturdy. This version had V-breaks and it stopped just as well as any other v-braked bike I rode. I didn't ride the bike with any load on it (I couldn't convince my wife to hop on the back).

So I hopped on rode about 6 blocks away from the bike shop and I didn't even want to stop I could have rode it all day even though a bank we passed on our drive to the Bike Shop said it was 107 degrees outside! The Yuba Mundo was actually FUN to ride this bike. It it was set up every comfortable. I didn't feel like I was leaning over at all like a mountain bike. The gears on the Yuba Mundo were welcoming as I turned to go back to the shop as it was a slight up hill climb. It took a bit of switching gears but I found a gear setting I was comfortable with and I was off. I even rode past the shop a few blocks without realizing it as was having that much fun! I've venture to say it rode more comfortable than my Sun Cruz.

I don't know how I feel about the bright orange colored frame. On one hand I really like it, it's eye catchy and people notice you. On my short 7-9 city block ride I saw people looking at me. Other cyclists in the bike lane across the streets did double takes. I liked the attention and makes me feel that cars would notice you on that orange bike. On the downside the orange draws attention to the Yuba and when locking it up to do some shopping I'd prefer to have it not stand out saying "look at me". Currently the Mundo comes in Black, Orange, and Blue. As to what color I would pick... I don't know. Only time will tell, that is if I order one.

The rear axle on this bike it THICK... and the 48 spoke wheel in the rear make the bike seem like a tank (in a good way). It seems it can handle anything you could throw at it (or on it). A sticker near the bottom bracket proclaims "400lb weight limit on rear rack"... that isn't 400lbs for the bike... that is the rear rack! To give you an idea a fully loaded Yuba Mundo with me being the rider tops out a 400+260= 660 pounds. The owners manual of my Wife's Honda Element SUV says total cargo capacity is 600 pounds that includes the weight of the passengers and actually the Yuba can haul more than my 2004 Honda Element! We've carried way more that that in my Honda but that has been a critical area that comes up in reviews on Honda Elements.

The Yuba Mundo rode nimble, my wife was able to do a u-turn and even able to navigate around utility poles on the sidewalk near the bike shop.

The Yuba we rode was fine the way it was set up but on mine I'd prefer to have it set up with disc breaks to know for sure that I'm going to have the stopping power when it counts. I'm impressed with the Yuba Mundo and I'm going to consider one in the future especially if we continue our shopping adventures via our Sun Bicycle Cruisers the Sun Cruz 3 and if our budget allows.

UPDATE 8/6/11: Friday night I attended the monthly SALSA First Friday bike ride here in San Antonio, Texas. It's a social bike ride of 250-300 bicycle riders though downtown San Antonio. I took my Sun Cruiser with 2 trans-it panniers on the rear rack. Inside those panniers where 3 reflective vest, 13ft cable lock cable, a Lock for the 13' cable, a 6ft cable lock, an On Guard U Lock, one bottle of water, kit of basic tools, my friend's purse, cell phone, and my Canon DSLR. By Sun Cruz loaded up like that was way harder to lift than the unloaded Yuba Mundo, but it was manageable. That said I think that with the Yuba I wouldn't have noticed the weight of these extra items because the frame is more robust than my aluminum framed, internal 3 speed beach cruiser. Lastly on this Update I thought about the Front Bike rack that one can get for the Yuba and how I read that it doesn't move with the fork.... that is utterly brilliant because I know that I hate to ride my Sun Cruz with the basket if it has anything in it over 4-5 pounds... it just makes the wheel unstable!

Video by Rock the Bike:

Other Videos:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Riding down the street

Riding down the street by MPR-Photo
Riding down the street, a photo by MPR-Photo on Flickr.

Cycling in San Antonio, Texas. I took this image a few weeks ago while downtown.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mom and Her Electra

Friday 7/15/11- Family bike ride and Photography trip to San Antonio Riverwalk- Mission Reach extension section. Good ride nice photos.

Biking to Work Gains Popularity in America

We need turn outs like this in San Antonio!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Townie 3i a Pair Of them

Townie's by MPR
Townie's, a photo by MPR on Flickr.

This week my parents came to visit and my wife and I decided to take them to Corpus Christi. One of the things they wanted to do was shop for a bicycle for each of them. My mom is 5'2 and fitting a bike for her was difficult. While in corpus she sat on her 2nd 26" Electra Townie 3i and smiled. She didn't smile on the first one because it wasn't adjusted to her reach and height. I wanted to give Bay Area Cycles in Corpus Christi, Texas a smiley ;-) because of a job well done with fitting this bike to her. Other shops in San Antonio that we visited just didn't take the time to do that. So our hat goes off to the Corpus Christi Electra dealer and Junior the salesman. No pressure sales but accommodating and that is was the right approach!

Via Flickr:
Electra Townie 3i's at Corpus Christi Bay

Photos from my July 2011 trip to the Coast (Port Aransas, Texas and Corpus Christi) Taken with Canon Powershop G7.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Market Square - Not Bike Friendly

Saturday, July 9, 2011
Dear Management of Pearl Brewery and Management of Market Square,

CC: Mayor Julian Castro, Metro Planning Organization of Bexar County and Bicycle Coordinator of the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau

Today, I was part of a group of cyclists made up of local residents and a few tourists. The group is a loose knit group of almost 900 people organized via Facebook. Each 2nd Saturday of the month there is a ride that includes tourist stops within downtown San Antonio. Today we rode from Brackenridge Park to Pearl Brewery for the Farmers Market, Market Square, Blue Star Art Complex and the Alamo.

I wanted to share my reflections about two of those stops, the Pearl Brewery and Market Square. Both locations are similar in nature. Both are tourist stops; both offer food and drinks; both house local businesses and vendors. At both the Pearl Brewery and Market Square riders bought food and drinks and other goods. Even though these locations are very similar in nature, their attitudes about cyclists as customers were drastically different.

At the Pearl Brewery Farmer’s Market (A usual stop of the Saturday ride) cyclist are treated fairly. In fact, on this particular morning the Pearl was very welcoming to the cycling group. As we approached Pearl, the Police Officer working security directed traffic so the group of 50 could safely arrive and park our bicycles. We parked our bicycles in the “fuel efficiency vehicle” spaces and within view of the shopping we conducted. We stood by our bikes eating local goods and enjoying refreshing drinks purchased from vendors at this location. We were never told that we couldn’t be there and we felt welcomed.

Unfortunately, at the Market Square the attitude was completely different. We arrived and lined our bikes in a location that was close to the vendors we wanted to see. Riders went to purchase snow cones and other goods while other enjoyed the market vendors outside near the bikes. We weren’t there more than 5 minutes when a woman in a white shirt carrying a radio came with a security guard. I assume that she is the manager as she didn’t identify herself to the riders in fact she didn’t even say anything to us directly at first but loudly told the security office “I need these out of here” as she pointed at our bikes. Eventually she came up to a few of us and told us that we can’t park here, and we must use the bike racks outside Market Square. Neither she nor the security guard was very helpful at pointing out exactly where the rack was, or even if it could hold the fifty or so bicycles that we rode in on. We only intended to be at this stop for 10-15 minutes to allow those that wished to buy some food items mainly cool refreshing drinks then we’d walk our bikes out the market and go to the next stop hardly worth taking the time to lock up fifty bikes. The woman said something to us to the effect of “we have customers here; you cyclists can’t be here”. I was offended because if she cared to notice at that moment at 10:30 am on a Saturday we were the bulk of the customers. Other than some offhand comments no serious harsh words were exchanged, but it was clear at the parading up and down and comments she made to the security officer we weren’t welcomed. Clarification wasn’t given as to the exact area we needed to park. Some moved bikes to a large opening where the lady had pointed only to be told again that they could not be there. We certainly understand that 50 bicycles can be difficult to accommodate, and that in this moment in time only a hand full of riders remained near the bikes while others purchased from vendors. We simply couldn’t move all the bikes and it did not seem that the city staff offered any accommodation. We would gladly park our bikes in the correct location if that was made clear and if all the riders were present to move their bikes. Once everyone returned to their bikes, we left altogether. Vendors tried to sell us things as we walked our bikes out of the market and we politely told them, “we’d love to do business with you, but we aren’t allowed to park our bikes here so we can’t.” One vendor remarked the woman was new and “she has been giving everyone hell”.

The contrast between these two locations is clear. We were not welcomed at Market Square yet at the Pearl Brewery we were welcomed with open arms. Obviously, we conducted more business with the vendors at Pearl than those at Market. We weren’t asking for Market to let us run the place; only please show us a place to park that is safe and easily seen so we can shop with peace of mind and some slight courtesy in doing so.

I am a disappointed by this incident as I have always brought out of town guests to Market Square as a part of the San Antonio experience. I’m sorry that on this particular ride we had many out of town guests who did not have a positive experience.

I believe the management of Market Square should take notes from Pearl Brewery and their hospitality. I don’t think the vendors at Market Square would like knowing that the management ran off 50 paying customers on a seemingly slow Saturday morning. It saddens me that Market Square which is operated by the city was not open to cyclists on this day especially in front of out of town guests. All city departments need to realize Mayor Castro’s goals in making San Antonio a bike friendly community as evidenced by the purple signs downtown declaring “San Antonio Bicycle Friendly Community”.

NOTE: Typo in photo will be corrected.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Northern Riverwalk San Antonio

Bicycling the north end of the San Antonio River Walk. Filmed by Bracken-ride Bike Rentals

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Geocaching at Brackenridge Park Via Bicycle

This Sunday I got up early and put my bicycle on the car rack and headed over to Rick's (flyfisher) house to pick him and his bike up. We were up before the sun was up to beat the heat and work on getting some of the Hike/Bike Brakenridge Park geocache series. (Geocaching is a GPS treasure hunting game.)

We attempted 23 caches on the list of 50 I created the day before. We didn't continue past 23 because the heat was getting to us. We found 13 of the geocaches.

This was the second time that FlyFisher and I rode our bicycle to geocaches. Riding bicycle is a great way to zip to cache to cache. For those that haven't geocached via bicycle ride are often short but compaired to hiking it really helps get the cacher to a hides faster.

Here are some photos of the adventure at Brackenridge park in San Antonio, Texas. I encourage all my readers to try geocaching and to try it via bicycle!

Skyline (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

Ducks  (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

River Bend  (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

Four Bridges  (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

In the Trees (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

Along the Trails  (Geocaching via Bicycle at Brakenridge Park)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

USS Lexington and Bikes

This week my wife and I wanted a change of scenery to ride our bicycles at so we headed to Corpus Christi, Texas. While there the local newspaper had a front page article about how the city is aiming to be more bicycle friendly! What timing!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A look at the Sun Cruiser

In the Summer of 2010 my wife and I decided to purchase some comfort bikes... we came home with 3 speed aluminum frame Sun Cruisers from Britton's Bicycle Shop in San Antonio, Texas. Here are some photos of our rides:

Ride along SA River south of downtown.

Sun Cruz

Diptic App - Sun Bicycle

Sun Bicycles (Sun Cruz 3spd Alloy) HDR1

Pair of Beach Cruisers in HDR