Since taking part in the Million Mile Challenge last May, Jane Kuhn has rediscovered the joy of biking. Here's her story.
Last year I joined the Million Mile Challenge and, at the urging of a bicycle shop employee, became part of a team that we named BABs (Bad A** B*****s). May 2014 turned out to be the most fun I’ve had in my life for many years. Bike to Work day, Mall to Mall ride, Grizzlies Game ride, Clovis Farmer’s Market rides, and special rides that our team made up — eat a carton of yogurt ride, the Ride All Day the last day ride, the end-of-month celebration potluck, the fun of going neck and neck on miles with the team that challenged us, the victory lunch ride with the gracious challenge team, rides to listen to live music, making up bike songs and singing while riding, and so much more. It was always exciting to see who won the daily prizes for logging miles and one of our team members won some great prizes that we all enjoyed together.
Because of the huge amount of fun and laughter I had in May I decided to buy a commuter bike, Zippy, with saddle bags, and started riding all over Fresno and Clovis — to my appointments, doing errands, visiting friends, and to work. All that in addition to my fun weekend riding on my road bike, Star. I am riding all year now and have learned how to ride in all kinds of weather. I am now down to one tank of gas a month in my car and am healthier than I have been in decades.
The whole-hearted, fun-loving and free-spirited people and friends that I have met bicycling have added a richness to my life that I cherish today and will forever. I am so looking forward to May 2015 — BABs will be back in full force, creating more joy, laughter and crazy adventures, riding on the high that feels like flying — a sense of pure joy and freedom.
Bike Month has come to an end. Together, we rode dozens of thousands of miles, burned millions of calories, won 31 days of prizes, and had a whole heck of a lot of bike riding-related joy. One of the final Bike Month matters to take care of: Grand prizes. You're all winners in our book, but the following people are the actual winners.
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS
|Specialized Sirrus Bike from Steven’s Bicycles||Michelle Perry|
|Kid’s Free Agent Champ BMX Bike from Rubber Soul Bicycles||Jan Del|
|Market Bag from Linus Bike||Russell Walls|
|$100 to spend on a custom Rickshaw Bagworks bag||Brian Goss|
|Zenaida Cellars Getaway:
|Good Ideas Pack:||Michael Boyer|
|$75 to Sunnyside Bikes||Aaron Williams|
|New Belgium Prize Pack:
|Two passes to Six Flags Magic Mountain||Maria Potter|
|$100 Target gift card||Liz Perez|
To view all the prizes for the month, check out the prizes page. And thanks once again to our awesome, awesome sponsors for making all this possible.
See you in the bike lanes!
Yvonne Moreno is a local rider who dabbles in a little bit of everything — mountain, road, you name it. We wanted to find out more about how she rolls.
I Bike Fresno: Hi, Yvonne. What kind of bike do you ride?
Yvonne Moreno: I ride everything from a beach cruiser to a Trek Madone road bike and a Trek mountain bike.
IBF: When and why did you begin biking?
YM: I used to weigh 300 pounds, four years ago. I always saw people going down Friant on their bikes and wondered how in the world can they accomplish that? I took my first spin class at the local gym and fell in love with it, and decided to take it out on the road. I went to my local bike shop and got fitted for my first road bike, and it has been history since then.
IBF: Did you ever take on Friant Road yourself?
The first time I went down Friant to Table Mountain Casino, I cried tears of joy that I am actually one of those cyclists I used to see going down on Friant. I actually did it. Cycling has been my number one passion since then, I hardly ever use the car now. It’s my exercise, my commute and also my joy ride. It truly has been life-changing, to say the least.
IBF: What’s your favorite thing about bicycling?
What I love about bicycling is the community. They have shown me so much love over the past couple of years, something that I never have experienced before. I have also made a lot of friends, some of which I consider my best friends — all through cycling. I love the freedom you experience when out on the road. It’s like you’re flying. You miss seeing things while riding in a car, but on a bike you see much more. I have accomplished so many goals on a bike that I would not have possibly imagined doing.
IBF: What are some of your favorite routes?
One of my favorite routes has to be a mountain bike trail down by Millerton Lake called the Blue Oak Trail. It’s a beginner mountain bike trail that is so much fun. It has your typical rollers with some technical sections, including rock gardens.
IBF: Is there any particularly memorable ride that stands out for you?
It’s more of a memorable experience for me — it was racing cyclocross this past season. What a rush it was. At first, I heard many talk about cyclocross and I did not know what it was. I decided to take a clinic on it and I completely fell in love. It consisted of everything I loved all in one. You have your trail riding, with some mountain biking and road biking mixed in. Overall you got dirty, and I guess that’s what I liked! I raced all season and the happiness it brought me was hard to explain. That is one experience I will never forget and I plan on racing this upcoming season for sure.
Thanks for taking the time to chat, Yvonne!
Doug Morris, 65. Clovis, CA.
Bike: Giant Cypress.
Doug Morris became an avid bike rider in 2009, when he sold his BMW motorcycle and Aeronca Champ airplane following his brother's paralyzing motorcycle accident.
Living near Sunnyside and Highway 168, Morris has several trails available to him including the Dry Creek/Enterprise Canal Trail and Sugar Pine Trail.
“The Fresno Council of Governments publishes an online map that shows all the bike routes in our area and I keep that on my iPhone in case I need to find a bike lane,” Morris said. “I will use any and all of these routes depending on my destination.”
Before he began bicycling, Morris commuted on his motorcycle all over the world. He took his BMW bike everywhere from Clarkston, WA to West Berlin and cities all over California. When he was nearing his sixtieth birthday, Morris decided he had to make a lifestyle change after his brother’s severe accident as well as after multiple warnings from his physicians that his health was on the decline.
“It was dawning on me I might have to sacrifice my fun-filled sporting activities before my age and luck turned against me.”
Around this time, he met Byron Watkins, founder of I Bike Fresno. Morris saw Watkins’ dedication to cycling and was soon inspired to get a bicycle.
“When I started riding I felt like a kid again and started seeing the bicycle as a real alternative to a motorcycle or an airplane. I now believe bicycles, motorcycles and fixed-wing aircrafts have much in common,” Morris said.
While the family still has a car or two around for passengers and large loads, Morris prefers using his bicycle for everything, from exercising to commuting to work. Morris takes the I Bike Fresno motto, “Biking = Joy” to heart; he has vastly improved his health and learned more about Fresno and Clovis than ever before. His doctors are impressed with not only the weight he has lost, but how strong his vitals have become. All of this, thanks to getting on his bike and just riding.
Morris can be seen today trekking through the Fresno/Clovis bike trails on his Giant Cypress, purchased from Steven’s Bicycles.
What was once an unknown dirt-covered, garbage-ridden trail is now paved, cleaned and named.
For those of you living in Northeast Fresno there’s a new way to cut through the Woodward Lake neighborhoods to Friant Road and Copper Avenue. Using the Northpointe Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail that links Callaway Avenue to Friant and Copper, you can avoid the residential traffic on North Millbrook and cut your ride time by up to five minutes!
With an increasing number of people moving up to the edge of North Fresno, this new trail looks like it’s going to help Fresno continue being the bike-friendly city we know it to be! Keep an eye out in the area for more developments as the population grows and the city looks to widen and connect the area trails for better access for all Fresnans.
Until next time, keep cool and keep riding!
I Bike Fresno checked in more than 150 bikes Saturday at the second annual Catacomb Party on the Fulton Mall.
We were blown away by the great reception we received and were happy to be a part of this exciting new event in Downtown Fresno.
I Bike Fresno was stationed on the north end of the mall across from the beautiful Warnors Theater where we welcomed bike riders from Noon to Midnight. Our friends from the Fresno Bike Party hosted guided rides from the historic Tower Theater to the I Bike Fresno Bike Valet tent. Thanks to Fresno Bike Party and all the volunteers who helped watch over everyone’s bikes while they enjoyed the amazing live music from more than 40 bands, food trucks, skateboarders and street art!
The number of bikes we parked at Catacomb Party showed us that despite the triple-digit weather, Fresnans aren’t afraid to ride their bikes in this great bike-friendly city! We are continually impressed and excited to see the outpouring of support from our community bike riders and love seeing that support grow with each passing event!
Until next time, stay cool and keep riding!
Have you been to the Farmers Market in Old Town Clovis this summer? Did you know that we host a FREE Bike Valet there on Fridays?
The Clovis Farmers Market is held every Friday night near the intersection of 4th and Pollasky. They have a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and cheeses, games, crafts,treats and live concerts for everyone to enjoy!
Gather up your family and friends and ride down scenic Old Town Clovis for what we know to be a memorable experience.
There’s nothing quite like riding your bike and enjoying Old Town’s quaint architecture and small-town charm. Once at the Farmers Market, keep an eye out for I Bike Fresno’s Free Bike Valet signs. We’ll take care of your bike all evening so you can experience the event with the knowledge that your ride is safe!
You can enjoy the Free Bike Valet at the Clovis Farmers Market every Friday through September 27 from 5:30 pm to 9 pm.
See you there!
My first Bike Month went by faster than a bicyclist flying down Audubon over the 41 by Woodward Park. May came and went in the blink of an eye and it’s great looking back on how fun everything was. Between the Mall-to-Mall Ride, Kaiser Permanente Bike to Work Day, our awesome daily prize giveaways and my own evenings spent riding around Woodward Park, this May brought some much-needed changes to my lifestyle and opinion on biking.
I’ve seen so many great benefits gained from Bike Month. Riding on a regular basis I’ve started to see positive changes to my body, and I’ve noticed just how agile, and strong my body really is. My legs have toned and strengthened and I can tell my endurance has improved tenfold. I’ve started to trust in my own body, a drastic improvement over where I was in April.
I’ve also made some new friends on my early morning rides. It’s encouraging seeing friendly and familiar faces on the Woodward trails. It’s not easy to keep going at 6 a.m. when your body isn’t fully used to that routine, but support from friendly joggers, fellow bikers and the occasional family of rabbits kept me pedaling.
But the coolest part of Bike Month and the Million Mile Challenge is seeing how excited everyone in town has been to gear up and ride on. Activating our community has been really rewarding and a ton of fun.
We had 1,276 riders participate and log 263,996 miles, surpassing last year’s total by 26,219 miles!
As the Fresno heat latches on for the next four months and we drift further away from Bike Month, I need to remember just how much fun I had and not let my happy green mountain bike gather dust for another 11 months. You should do the same and keep up the spirit year round. Keep your monthly riding goals and let’s carry on the Bike Month spirit year-round.
‘Till next time, ride on!
Riding in Fresno is great since our weather is fairly mild throughout most of the year, but with the end of another perfect spring comes the notorious triple-digit Fresno summer.
With the thick summer heat barging in during June and not budging until October, it’s important for all Valley bicyclists to keep the following tips in mind when riding:
- Protect yourself from sunlight and sweat! Make sure you’re wearing something to protect your head and eyes. Try a hat/helmet and sunglasses. You can also try putting on a headband under your helmet against your forehead to keep sweat from getting into your eyes.
Use a sunscreen with a 45 SPF to protect your skin against dangerous UV rays throughout the year, but try one of the brands that offer them as cooling mists. It sticks better to your skin and cools off better than the lotions that can get messy when you sweat.
- Freeze your water bottles before you head out to keep your drink colder, longer.
- Speaking of water- STAY HYDRATED! This goes for everyone this summer, not just bicyclists. Make sure to drink enough throughout the day to prevent heat exhaustion.
- Invest in proper clothing that come made with breathable fabrics. This type of fabric allows your sweat to dry up faster and can provide your skin some relief. According to this great article from Healthy Living (http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/evaporating-sweat-cool-down-9657.html), sweat works to cool us off when moving air hits the surface of your skin and evaporates the sweat to bring your skin’s temperature down.
- Early to bed, early to rise can make a rider healthy, happy and cool! Try to adjust your schedule to ride before 10 a.m and after 8 p.m. The triple-digit weather means we can feel the suffocating heat as early as mid-morning through the evening. Plus, who doesn’t love an early morning ride in the park as the sun rises?
And make sure to check out our Safety page under Resources where you can find information on safety procedures from Bike Safe California, the California Bicycle Coalition and more.
There you have it folks, and remember that if you ever feel light-headed or exhausted, veer off the path and take a break for a swig of refreshing H20! Gear up and ride on!
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