Posts Tagged ‘slo bicycle coalition’

Everything breaks.  It is a law of the Universe.  At some point in its life span, an object will begin to wear, degrade, and eventually come undone.  However, some of our tools, pieces of clothing, appliances, and furniture last longer than others.  For the past 80 or so years, planned obsolescence — the intentional design and manufacturing practice meant to ensure the failure of a product — has been a major contributing factor to landfill crowding, waste, and woefully poor construction.  As seen in Annie Leonard’s animation, The Story of Stuff, precious natural resources and good, hard-earned cash are being squandered in the pursuit of acquiring junk and replacing it with new, poorly-made models.

The clear answer to ensuring the longevity of your stuff is simple: fix it.  Yet, where do you go nowadays to make simple repairs that will not break the bank?  Head on down to your local repair cafe, a concept that is beginning to draw proponents of conservation, tinkerers, caffeine hounds, and community advocates.  Beginning in the Netherlands two and a half years ago by a former journalist, the world’s first Repair Cafe occurs in an Amsterdam community center every couple of months.  The gatherings are open to whoever needs assistance or to those willing to help others tune up their miscellaneous odds and ends.  Branching out from its initial humble incarnation in the foyer of a theater, the Cafe is now supported by an official foundation, small donations, and grants from the Dutch government.  There now exist over forty similar start-ups throughout the country, and even a Repair Cafe bus.  The Foundation is working on translating DIY material and tutorials for use in the  United States.

A little closer to home, repair collectives are sprouting up in community centers, coffee shops, and auditoriums.  The West Seattle Fixers Collective holds meetings twice a month at the West Seattle Tool Library, featuring events such as re-sewing umbrellas, repairing espresso makers, laptops, appliances, and mending antiques.  In New York, the Fixers Collective, which has been running since 2008, began as part of an art exhibit in Brooklyn, and continues as a project in residence at Protues Gowanus, and interdisciplinary gallery and reading room.  Fixing sessions include “Master Fixers” who have a range of knowledge and experience, apprentices, and drop-in visitors looking to putter and socialize.

Here in San Luis Obispo, you can cruise on over to the SLO Bicycle Coalition’s Bike Kitchen (860 Pacific St., Suite 105).  The space comes equipped with tools, gear, parts, and experts who can help guide you in your mission to tune up your ride.  The Coalition offers seminars on traffic safety and bicycle maintenance with hands-on demonstrations.  The Kitchen is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7pm, and Sunday from 12-4pm.  Day use is $5 (plus any parts purchased), and Coalition members receive 4 free visits.

Give your possessions a little TLC instead of the old heave-ho.  Ask a friend, attend a repair cafe meeting, or search for a video on YouTube.  Your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you!


Time to inflate your tires, polish your helmet, and squeeze into that old riding spandex!  May is Bike Month in San Luis Obispo, and whether your are a seasoned pro or a beginning biker, there are plenty of fun activities planned for you and your trusty set of wheels. Here are some highlights of the over 60 free events scheduled county-wide during the upcoming weeks:

Commuter Bike Competition- How many friends and coworkers can you motivate to cycle for their commute?  Compete with other local businesses in the same size bracket to see how many miles you can ride to and from the workplace!  Register your company today by visiting the San Luis Obispo Regional Rideshare website.

Kidical Mass- Take the children out on a spin around town with the just-for-kids version of the Thursday, May 3 Bike Happening at 5:30pm.  Costumes are encouraged for this year’s theme of “Rainbows”.  Meet at Mitchell Park and follow the leaders through downtown San Luis Obispo!

Bike to Bites- On Wednesday May 9, head over to Atascadero’s Galaxy Theater for pizza, root beer and a movie!  The ride starts at the Community Center for a quick safety lecture at 3:30pm.

Bike-In Movie-  Leave the car at home for the San Luis Obispo Bike-In Movie on Thursday, May 11 at the Mission Plaza.  A showing of Napoleon Dynamite begins at 7:30 pm under the stars.  Bring snacks, blankets, and a friend!

Bikefest- Arroyo Grande will be holding the Iras Memorial Bikefest on Saturday, May 12 starting with a Bike Parade at the Rotary Bandstand on Nelson St. at 12:30pm.  From there, the party pedals to Branch Street Deli with food, beer from New Belgium Brewing Company, and music from blues and jazz band, Moonpie.

Montana de Oro Group Ride- Take in the scenery on Saturday, May 12 for the Montana de Oro Group Ride.  Meet at the Ranger Station at 1pm to wheel up Hazard Peak Trail.

Tweed Ride- Don’t be surprised to see many a dapper lady and gentleman on Sunday, May 13.  They will be gussied up to take part in the SLO Tweed Ride, beginning at the Triangle Park near the Railroad Station at 1.  Play croquet, listen to music, and munch on crumpets.  Visit the Tweed Ride’s official site for more details and outfit recommendations.

Women’s Bike Workshops- On Monday, May 14, beginning at 6pm, join your sister cyclers for bike workshops and tutorials.  Sign up through the SLO Bicycle Coalition for a free spot and details on time and location.  Sorry, no boys allowed!

World Bike Relief Poker Run- Play a game of chance through downtown San Luis Obispo for a good cause.  Benefiting World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit that provides bicycles to third world nations, participants take off from Central Coast Brewing on Saturday, May 19th at 10am to begin their walk or ride in search of playing cards at local businesses.  Donations are $5 a hand, and there will be prizes, food, and beer on tap.  Stick around for a raffle after the Run!

Cote de Tolosa Velo Challenge III- Tolosa Winery and the SLO Bicycle Coalition host a beautiful 52-mile ride on Sunday, May 20.  The event is free, and leaves the Winery in Edna Valley promptly at 7am.  Lunch is provided for those taking part in the event.  With over 5,000 feet of climbing, this journey is for serious cyclers only.  Register at Tolosa’s events page.

Bike Workshops- Become bike savvy through a day of workshops held at the SLO Bicycle Coalitions Headquarters in downtown San Luis Obispo on Monday, May 21.  The first of a series of lessons begin at 6pm and will go over basic rules of the road, dispel common myths, and provide tips on ow to ease your commute around town.  Stick around for their 7pm session where you will learn basic bike maintenance and repair skills.  Reserve a spot through the SLO Bicycle Coalition website.

Dad’s Big Wheel Race- Bring the best plastic toy ride you can find, haul it to the top of the Jennifer Street Bridge in San Luis Obispo, and race with your fellow costumed crazies.  Padding comes highly recommended for this lighthearted competition on Saturday, May 26 at 3:30 pm.  Dad will award prizes for Hottest Hot Wheel and Coolest Costume.  Move to Gus’s for social hour and bruise-nursing afterward.

Pedal to Paella- Gather at Santa Margarita Park on Sunday, May 27 at 2pm for the fourth annual Pedal to Paella.  Tour the alleyways to wind up at the Educated Gardener Nursery for paella, friends, and music.  Bring your own drinks, dishes, and flatware.  Ingredient donations appreciated.

Bicycle Advocacy Mini-Summit- Learn to make communities more bike friendly through advocacy and awareness on Wednesday, May 30 at 6pm.  Held in the SLO Library Community Room, you can reserve a seat at the discussion through the SLO County Bicycle Coalition.

Bike Month Blowout- Party with your fellow road warriors at the Creeky Tiki in San Luis Obispo on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30pm.  Commuter Bike Competition will be presented, brand new bicycles raffled off, and plenty of food, music, and drinks to fuel your ride for the months ahead!