L-R: Lawrence Risley, Paul & Kathrin Krieg, Martin Krieg, Amy Oleynik Edward Cox, Phyl Cox, Rose Calzontzi, Tammie Lindstrom, John Erickson, Scott Erickson with Ike Crasher, Mary and Mary Ann Blackwell waiting for us on trail.
Everyone I’ve talked to (there were 17 of us) who rode our Sunday, Memorial Weekend ride down the American River Parkway, have all expressed to me that it was a fun, memorable experience. This affirms for me that our Mayors’ Rides still have a purpose. Despite the fact that they have succeeded in fleshing out our coast-to-coast route at BikeRoute.com, we still need to run them because, with what we did Sunday as the formula we plan to build on, they are now helping us gain business support.
In sum, future Mayors’ Rides will travel from the Anchor Lodging purveyor that represents any one of one of our 19 NBG Biking Cities that connect San Francisco with Washington, DC with an official NBG proclamation to the food purveyor we will also have selected. There a food party will let such stores show their products off to the general public as we do what cyclists like to do best, eat, drink and be merry.
And in Sacramento, the fifth NBG Biking city on our list after San Jose, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Oakland, Chris Chisholm and Christina Clarke, of Whole Foods Sacramento, pulled out all the stops to make our arrival from the Larkspur Landing Folsom hotel a celebration infinitely worthy of our ride to get there! Before I tell you about all the wonder they made available for us, you need to know about the magic that preceded our arrival at their store.
At the luxurious and extremely hospitable Larkspur Landing Folsom hotel where I stayed the night (full report soon), and after the delicious continental breakfast (they served food the careful eater I am could eat), there was even more of the same awaiting me out the front door. Jennifer Osborn, one of the marketing managers at the Larkspur was seated at a table where she administered the delicious breakfast food and drink that the Whole Foods Market Folsom people had on hand in ample supply.
In groups of one, two and three, bikes and their riders kept appearing. In time John Erickson was there on his HiWheel along with his brother Scott. Amy Oleynek came without a bike. She would ride John’s excellent riding old HiWHeel. Tammie Lindstrom and Rose Calzontzi pulled in on their mountain bikes. Larry Risley came to tell us that his Mary and Mary Ann Blackwell and Ike Crasher were out waiting for us on the American River Parkway. Sacramento Bike Coordinator, Ed Cox, was there on his Hiwheel along with his wife Phyl on the trick road bike he had made for her. My amazing cousin Paul Krieg (a 42-mile ride, he probably rode twice that redirecting misplaced riders)and his wife Kathrin were there on their road bikes.
Getting to the river path from the hotel was a breeze. A block or so from our send-off, we were crossing Folsom Blvd and on the paved pathway headed for Sacramento. In years past, the way to or from the riverway has never been as straight forward and clear. This would be an indicator for us of the ease and joy we could expect ahead.
It wasn’t long as we easily pedaled the slight downhill path filled with cyclists coming and going, that we reached Mary, Mary Ann Blackwell and Ike Crasher. As per how this casual ride would continue, we stopped and chatted for a while before we took off.
At various times on the path, there were so many bike riders, that it almost felt like we were in 1960s China. On other parts of the trail, families were out with their small children teaching them how to ride. The wonder on their faces, as these kids looked up at those of us on our HiWheel steeds, warmed my heart to overflowing.
It was an additional treat to watch Amy Oleynik as she enthusiastically pedaled away on John’s HIWheel bike. A young woman who serves a counselor at UC Davis, Amy has been riding HiWheel bikes since she was six years old. This THX to her dad, Randy, the man who sells tire rubber to those of us on bikes from yesteryear.
Amy and I even did a rolling brace that Ike Crasher somehow managed to get on film as he held his camera opposite to the way he was riding and looking. He missed me getting my left arm off the bars, but this photo is pure amazing..
Both Ike and John drive transit buses. And they both do so for the city of Sacramento. This was the first time they had ridden bikes together! So at about mile 13, they put their heads together, with Ed Cox, the Sacramento bike coordinator, to get to us to the Whole Foods in Sacramento on mostly tree shaded neighborhood streets!!
And there the perfection of our ride climbed to a new level! Whole Foods was there and waiting for us with a party unlike any I’ve ever pedaled to. Instead of the generic bunches of bananas and mounds of fruit, Clif Bars and tubs full of sugary soda drinks, even Gatorade that one can find at the sag stops of most all organized rides, everything they had for us was good for us! On ice, there was a tub full of four different kinds of kombucha to try. Also under the Whole Foods tent f(there were four) they had set up to protect us from the sun, there was a huge, glass bowl filled with gourmet trail mix.
There was oxygen water, there were cut up watermelon pieces, there were energy bars and so many other edibles and drinkables, we could not sample them all. Outside the tents, on a sandwich board was a huge sign that read, “Welcome National Bicycle Greenway Cyclists”.
While in the adjacent tent, in a roped off area to our right were two smaller signs that read “Bike Parking” and “National Bicycle Greenway Cyclists ONLY”.
As Whole Foods made ours a private party, in the booths that lined the sidewalk entrance to the store, Trinity from Vega Sport was busy sampling drinks from her plant based nutrition system for both us and the pubic to enjoy. I even filled my water bottle with some of their stuff when we left and the hydration it promised seem to work quite well indeed! On the other side of the sidewalk, seitan, a tufu based, meat like treat, was being offered to happy store customers.
In the above video filmed by the Sacramento Whole Foods people of us leaving, you will see our four HiWheel bikes from yesteryear on their way to a finish in Old Town Sacramento where this year marks the 9th time our National Bicycle Greenway has run our Mayors’ Ride on the riverway. We consider the American River Parkway to be the best example of a greenway system anywhere to be found on the planet!
From here, for the last ten miles, I got separated from the group. But we all ended at the park in Old Town Sacramento right at the end of the trail. Under the huge shade tree we enjoyed the late lunch surprise Whole Foods had sent us off with. In fact there was so much food complete with pre-made sandwiches, chips a drink and an energy bar and sometimes more, that Ike and Tammie had a hard time getting all the bags they sent us off with on to their pannier and basket equipped bikes!
What a Day!!