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Bike Connectedness… Casey from Canada

Casey is a long way from home.

One of the things that I love so much about riding the bike is that it gives me the ability to connect with people I would have otherwise never met tooling around in my Jeep.  I have met several interesting folks just because I was meandering around on the bike and taking pics.   Take this morning’s example;  I was taking some shots of this little boat over by the giant cranes on the Mobile River and Casey walks up to me curious as to why I was photographing his little boat.  We struck up a conversation and I found out that Casey is a fireman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  He put this little 14 foot boat in somewhere in Minnesota and with its little 15 horsepower motor has brought himself to Mobile, Alabama.  It took him over 16 days and several nights camping along the Mississippi River, but he made it. He did confide in me that he spent 3 days in hotels along the way.  He wasn’t even sure what day it was.  He lost one somewhere in there.  He thought it was Wednesday.  So Apparently he had found someone to buy his little boat somewhere on Dog River, but was nervous about taking the little 14 footer into the bay.  If he sells it, he gets to reward himself with a flight home.  I gave  him my email address so he could keep me updated on his status.

I am not saying you need to talk to every stranger on the street, but biking certainly opens up opportunities to get to meet people, that you would never even see buzzing down the road in a car.

Cycle on!

The Little Boat that Could...AND DID!


Bikes Make Communities Better

Mobilians on Bikes, a local bicycle community in Mobile, AL supports many rides throughout the year.  One such ride is an easy ride to the Saturday morning  farmers market in downtown Mobile.  I fully believe things like farmers markets, where buyers and sellers get to know each other, build stronger communities.  They also help keep money local.  So those turnips you just bought, you can feel good that the financial exchange will have a more positive financial impact than a purchase made at a national chain.  Bikes perform similarly in that they build stronger communities because they foster more interaction between people in the community and the cheap transportation keeps more money in folks’ pockets to spend locally.  A cyclist is not behind steel and glass and therefore has to interact with the sounds, smells, and small details that you’d miss if you were in a  car.  Here’s an example, on our way down to the farmers market we ran into a breast cancer awareness and benefit walk.  As cyclists, we were privy to the conversations and sounds of the walk and we could easily talk to the walkers as we waited for a gap to get through.

A local breast cancer awareness walk brought 25,000 people to the streets.

Since we were on bikes we could hear the conversation amongst the walkers, chat with them, and take in the sights and sounds of the event.

Along the ride down each one of us is able to enjoy the details in sight, sound and smell of the neighborhoods we pass through.  When we get to our destination at Cathedral Square we are all treated to sunshine, neighbors, and local produce and artisans.   The combination is a real asset to building a positive, interconnected community and is something I love to support.  All the while we are getting our bodies moving, soaking up some rays, and producing those nice endorphins created from the physical activity combined with good friends and neighbors.  What is not to like about that?


Well when you get a promotion you buy your colleagues doughnuts.  Luckily there is a Krispy Kreme less than a mile from my place.
Here I’ve got 2 dozen strapped to the back of my bike.  Man I love my commute!

My commute may burn off 1/4 donut each way. Maybe.


The Beach on Bikes: Camping at Grayton Beach State Park

camping trip group photo

Our happy bike gang. Grayton Beach State Park really treated us right!

My family and I just got back from a great trip to the beach with friends and had an awesome time, partly because of what we didn’t do. That’s because we didn’t get stuck in beach traffic, rent a pricey condo, or spend hours watching TV. Instead, we camped out in the fall with with friends and spent all our time having fun. Fall bike camping on the Gulf Coast is a great way to enjoy the sand, sights, and surf without the heat and crowds of summer. Continue reading

Cycle Chic Going Mainstream

Fashion house Missoni is marketing some very chic looking bikes through Target.  I like it and I think a woman would look great on one of these.  What do you think?

Nice Rack Ride

So last weekend Mobilians on Bikes, the local bicycle users’ group, hosted the Nice Rack Ride.  The Nice Rack Ride was a bike crawl to 4 pubs that provide bike racks for its customers.  Not many businesses in Mobile provide customer parking for those who choose to arrive by bike.  The lack of safe, secure bike parking comes up regularly in surveys that reveal the inhibitors to cycling.  No one wants to get their bike stolen or ruined and good bike parking can be a big encouragement for folks to visit a place via bike.

The ride was also a fun way to show that a person can do a lot of social stuff using bike transportation.  It’s a fun way to get around and the riders that night certainly found that out.  I was pleasantly surprised we had several newbies in the group.  The new folks were very energetic and had great attitudes, a wonderful addition to the veterans in the group.  Here are some pictures as we get ready to leave from a neighborhood coffee shop that, of course, has a bike rack.  There were 26 people in total.

Several members got dressed up and showed that you can look good on a bike in the middle of summer here in Mobile.  Yeah, everyone was perspiring a little bit but nothing 10 minutes in air condition couldn’t handle.

Heels and bikes, no problem.


The group hit up a diversity of bars, one mexican bar, one corporate bar, one gay bar, and one irish bar.  I bet most people had never been to all of these bars and so at least one was new to them.  Most folks got food and drinks at the first stop, the Ok Bicycle Shop and Taqueria.  The Taqueria has a very nice back patio that exudes a cool atmosphere once the sun goes down.  The margaritas and mojitos are great there.

After the Taqueria, we cruised down to the Royal Street Tavern.  I had never been to this spot before and I was thoroughly impressed.  The piano player was good and the drinks were well priced.  And best of all is that the bar is attached to a hotel so bar guests can go up to an 8th floor balcony to chill out outside and get some great views.  This bar/lounge will definitely be on my radar the next time I’m going out.

After the Royal St. Tavern we rode to Gabriel’s which is a local gay bar that offers a bike rack for its guests.  The folks at Gabriel’s were very nice and we had a blast there.  They allow smoking inside so I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like it.  But luckily there were hardly any smoking guests so the air was fine.  Most folks stayed inside but they do have a nice back deck.

After Gabriel’s we hit up my neighborhood favorite, Callaghan’s Irish Pub.  A customer recently purchased a bike rack for Callaghan’s so luckily we were able to add them to the list.  It’s a great local watering hole truly deserving of a bike rack.

It was  great night on bikes and we will do it again.  Everyone in the group imbibed responsibly and so the night was a fun and safe one.  A big thanks goes out to the bars that provide customers a bike rack.  Way to go!

Taco Tuesday

In my quest to get more folks riding bikes I really need to keep on finding fun things for folks to bike to.  This includes coming up with gimmicky rides that I find on Google or just pop into my head.  Google gets most of the credit though.  It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.  Well a friend of mine recently posted on Facebook a picture of their fun time at a local Mexican restaurant.  In the post she mentioned that they were partaking in Taco Tuesday with a happy hour special of $2 for 2 tacos and $3 margaritas.  Well, thank you friend for a  great ride idea.  Who wouldn’t want to ride their bike to get cheap tacos and cheap margaritas?  So last Tuesday the premier of Mobilians on Bikes’ Taco Tuesday Ride began.  We’re going to make it happen the fourth Tuesday of the month.  Even in the heat of July several of us biked across town while cruising at an uber casual pace so as to not show up sweating too profusely.  It was  a blast and the ride was very easy even considering it took place during rush hour.  We primarily took the neighborhood streets to get to our destination, Fuego.  When we got there we realized there really was not a good spot to park our bikes so we took an up front car spot.  Let me correct that, we took a vehicle spot.  You see we were able to fit 8 bikes easy (could have fit more) into 1 car (vehicle) spot.  And you know what, the staff at Fuego were very cool about it.  As they should be because I don’t think many cars are showing up with 8 people in them.  I bet the average is maybe 2 passengers per car with a lot of cars just having one occupant.

Front row parking for the bikes

As we walked up to the door we saw this sign in the window….

Future bike friendly business!

Wow, I like this place already.  So these folks are catching on and they are in a good spot to attract casual cyclists because they are close to neighborhoods.  Well we had a blast eating our tacos and drinking our margaritas.  It was a fun time with some good company.  We even got a chance to speak with the owner and he wanted suggestions for his bike rack.  Very cool, we will be back.  I’m already looking forward to these again…