A Tweed Ride in San Luis Obispo
Happy Bike Month! Cyclists everywhere celebrate all May long with events designed to nurture bike-positive community. Organizers and private citizens dream up the smörgåsbord of tasty experiences that fill this month with fun, educational activities bringing cyclists together and winning new converts to this pleasant, healthy sport. Weekly Bike Breakfasts hosted by different local bike groups invite commuters to enjoy some pancakes and camaraderie on their way to work, Kidical Mass makes bike time safe & fun for kids and families, and numerous other organized and underground events embody and demonstrate the fun independence and community made possible by the bicycle.
In San Luis Obispo, our usually perfect weather showed right up on time for a Sunday afternoon organized-underground Tweed Ride that began at SLO’s Triangle Park (across from Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café and in the same block as MEZE Wine Bar and Bistro). Hatched by Leslie Bloom and the more artistic side of our local bike community, the second annual Tweed Ride featured music by the Crustacea Jazz Band that inspired folks to dance while milling about before the ride. Participants dressed in jaunty outfits from or reminiscent of the Edwardian period that lent an air of good humor to the afternoon; they brought with them a diversity of noble steeds from vintage bikes to modern rides to hybridized tall (and short) bikes. As the 110 happy, stylish folks headed off slowly on their ride around SLO, their positive energy continued to give charge to that moment and this place.
This delightful event showcased one slice of our very strong and diverse local bicycle community: celebrating bicycles and good fun while obeying traffic rules and touring the sane streets of Happy Town. Part of what makes people in SLO so happy is the great weather plus the great riding opportunities and relative safety. I love seeing so many of our neighbors and friends promoting bike-positive behavior that feeds on itself. We live in bicycle heaven in the Central Coast and especially in San Luis Obispo.
Here’s just a slice of our local bike life wherein private citizens and organizations make our world a better place for people who ride bikes:
– Civic: San Luis Obispo Bike Coalition promotes safe, fun and healthy cycling opportunities and infrastructure in SLO County; Central Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (CCCMB) builds and maintains trails and civility in SLO County parks and open space and has done so for more than 25 years
– Silly: Tall Bike Posse gets welding creative types together to dream, build, and perfect out-there tall bikes; Bike Happening meets up at the SLO Mission the first Thursday of every month (usually in costume) for a silly tour through town together; SLO Little 500 races around the top of the hill, definitely in costume and probably drinking and laughing [NOTE: silly SLO bike events encourage/enforce Leave No Trace/Zero Waste principles—leave no beer can behind!]
– Challenging: the Freeride and Sustainable Trails Association (FASTA) works to construct a freeride trail system for mountain bikes in a Eucalyptus grove high up on Stenner Creek on West Cuesta Ridge; the Côte de Tolosa, hosted by Tolosa Winery, pedals through the more extreme roads and trails around SLO: for expert and intermediate riders only