Friday, February 13, 2015

Winter Bike to Work Day 2015

Ask my husband and he'll tell you winter is not my favorite season. So it's no surprise when I woke up today and rolled down the street, I had NO IDEA today is Winter Bike to Work Day! Did you?! With so much going on lately I did not realize there was a national day for biking to work since I bike to work year round anyways.

Today was filled with birthdays of several special people in my life, Valentine's Day is tomorrow, the Pedal for Palentine's Day meetup I organized for tomorrow at a local coffee house, and the second Reno Bike Project Slow Roll for Major Taylor is on Monday and oh -- today is Friday the 13th which didn't occur to me until a co-worker reminded me. A black cat did not cross my path today. I would have greeted it because I love cats (and animals for that matter) but didn't see any except for our precious kitties at home.

So as I am writing you, safe and sound from the couch in our living room, I have to say it was another GREAT day!! In fact, I think it was a lucky day...although lately every day seems to be a lucky day! Because on my way home, I decided to stop at an Irish pub where my sweetheart met me for Happy Hour. Before he arrived, I chat with some very nice folks around me who were also dining outside on the patio in Victorian Square. People who drove there, walked there and rode their motorcycles there (with the cutest dog (miniature Dachshund?) named Oscar! on board).

And the weather was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. Unusually warm for mid-February in Reno-Sparks, Nevada. I wore a Cuter Commuter Logo V-Neck T-shirt under a white button up shirt to the office today and on the way home I had to take off my blazer because the temperature was so warm!!

bright v-neck t-shirts for cute bicycle commuters
Make those ugly commutes cute with a Cuter Commuter log t-shirt!

We got the t-shirts in last night. I didn't expect them to go so fast!! I just love the bright turquoise and neon orange colors. They sure help to brighten up those ugly winter commutes! Show that you are a Cuter Commuter and let everyone know you support riding as a way of life with these super soft t-shirts. They feature, not one, but a four-color Cuter Commuter logo screen printed on a combed cotton fabric. To order, just email your size (Small, Medium or Large) and mailing address to info at cutercommuter dot com and an invoice will be emailed to you. There is no shipping cost for local pickups and tax is included in the price of each t-shirt for $24.95. Although the t-shirts are true to size, they are considered "Junior sizes" and are meant to follow the silhouette so if you like your t-shirts to be looser fitting, order a size up.

Looping back to Winter Bike to Work Day, I think I've always been a year-round rider. Before moving to Reno-Sparks, I lived in a place where commuting by bicycle was a huge hurdle because there wasn't a route option that was low-risk enough for me. Not like I have now. So I still rode year round then. The difference was that I rode for recreation away from the city.

I love winter riding. I love the crisp cool air brushing my face while the sun's rays shine down on me. I love being able to wear my boots, tights, (sometimes) scarves, mittens and skirts or dresses because they are so...wintery! It's nice to wear layers and peel off to control my comfort. Soon enough summer will be here and the layers will be minimal to none. So I enjoy the cooler temperatures while I can. Pedaling keeps me warm. And being outside breathing fresh air, passing through neighborhoods keeps the winter blues away for me. If it weren't for my bike, I would absolutely suffer through winter. Like I did when I drove to work only to be stuck indoors looking through windows wishing I was outside when the sun would peek through the clouds. On my bike, winter is another riding season to give me variety and a change of scenery. If you don't ride through winter, I hope you have a chance to get outside this weekend!! You may just like it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Have a Dream of Reno Slow Roll

I have a dream. That the roads of our community would be filled by bicyclists. That we would have access to use the roads without fear of getting pushed off or run over by other people driving motor vehicles. A day when bicyclists of all ages, abilities, gender and bike preference will ride side by side. That day came over Martin Luther King weekend.

It was only the first Reno Snow Roll organized by the Reno Bike Project and over 60 participants showed up ready to ride!

All sorts of bikes were represented as we rolled out of our meeting place through downtown Reno. Recumbent, cargo, cruisers, mountain, touring, road,
Bike bells rang around me as we rode together. The pace was slow so that no one would be left behind. It also allowed us to chat with others around us and people we have never met.
Even though I had plenty in common with my fellow riders, my shyness got the best of me and kept me from approaching others and so all I could do was SMILE and pedal quietly behind.
My personal goal for the next ride is to come out of my shell and introduce myself to someone in the ride that I have never met!
The ride featured a local business so half way through our route, we stopped at the Hub Coffee shop for complimentary hot cocoa and mingled.

Do you have or know of a local business who would like to be featured? Please contact me for details on how to become a Reno Bike Project Business Member and your business could be featured during the next Slow Roll.

Then it was time to leave and everyone I passed was ALL SMILES!!

Well how can we NOT have fun?! Riding bikes is so AWESOME!
After we parted ways, a few of us in the group went to check out The Depot on 4th Street, an antique train depot converted into a brewery, distillery and restaurant. There is a great article about The Depot on the Drinkable Reno blog.
I had a dream about a large community bicycle ride that was for all riders of all ages and abilities and bicycles. And for one day that dream came true!

View the rest of the photos on the Reno Slow Roll album.  Feel free to download and/or share!!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope your year was filled with all good things. I know I have a lot to be thankful for that has happened in 2014!

In the new year, the weekly Ladies' (Bike Repair) Night at the Reno Bike Shop will continue, we have Bike Week 2015 (May 9 - 15) coming up, the inaugural CycloFemme Ride on Mother's Day which will put Reno-Tahoe-Sparks on the world map and more regular fun rides through town to look forward to! I would also like to offer meetups for bicycling skill sharing for anything you'd like to know (how to choose a bike for commuting, how to dress for different weather, how to carry your things, how to navigate the roads safely, how to plan the best route to where you need to go, basic routine maintenance you can easily do, etc.) if there is interest. Just let me know !

Cuter Commuter is also launching an online boutique and storefront offering vintage dutch style bicyclesand stylish but practical bicycling bags, pumps, apparel, flat tire kits and accessories for women!! I am excited to bring to our town options to help you express your personal style! Stay tuned to

Above all, I am grateful for the friends I have made through Cuter Commuter rides this year. I am eager to meet each and every one in the coming year and ride again with old friends!! Until then, I hope all of the roads you travel lead you safely to family, friends and fun!

Have a Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you all the best and happiness in life!!

Sincerely Your Cuter Commuter Sister,

stylish bicycle commuter woman, bike to work

Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Riding in a Summer Dress

The winter season doesn't stop me from riding, especially in a skirt. Tights and boots are popular with younger women in Reno and although I like to wear tights with boots when I'm running errands during the weekends, it's not necessarily "appropriate attire" for the office.

This baby pink dress I am wearing is actually a sleeveless button front summer dress and is perfect for layering!

Asummer dress for winter riding with tights underneath
Under the dress, I wore a thin, long sleeve base layer with sweat-wicking properties. Then slipped a navy crew neck sweater over the dress and pulled on some soft, thick leggings in dark blue. Finally topped off with a light corduroy blazer and short brown boots but you can also wear taller boots if you like with knitted leg warmers if you tend to get cold.

I try to keep my layers to a minimum to avoid getting too hot (and subsequently sweaty) so that I start out a tad cold and then warm up a few minutes into my ride.

This outfit I wore on Tuesday morning did just fine in 34 degree weather, even with wind chill!! Nothing special, just ordinary pieces from my closet. Bicycling to work in regular clothing can be done. Even in a summer dress.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My First Bicycle

My first bike as an adult was a mountain bike. And I'll bet many people would think of getting a mountain bike over say...a road bike when considering a purchase. With its knobby tires and front fork suspension, a mountain bike can be great for hitting potholes, going over large curbs and crossing gritty patches of dirt along your commute.

However, they can be heavier and take more effort to ride on the road because their wider, softer tire with less air pressure flattens more when rolling on the ground. I would pedal several miles on pavement and be out of breathe. I thought, was I really THAT out of shape? I didn't know then that the flattening was "rolling resistance" which kept me from coasting along like I would with less effort on a road bike (which have  narrower tires, less contact with the road = less rolling resistance like ice skates on ice). I didn't really need to go fast, I just wanted to ride a few miles without huffing and puffing and breaking into a sweaty mess. That was probably because I was trying to keep up with my husband on his road bike ;-)

If you really like going off-road on the weekends (because that's what it is designed for) then a mountain bike could make a tough commuting bike. My mountain bike and I went on a few fun rides together but it never saw a dirt trail or gravel road. Sadly we parted and I imagine it is somewhere eating up mud on the mountains!!