Tag Archives: LGRAB Summer Games

They’re here: The 2011 Summer Games

This Friday, the cycling event of the summer begins! We couldn’t be more excited about hosting the Summer Games again this year—and giving out some wonderful prizes for you players out there.

Things are a little different this year. Instead of three separate parts, we’re asking you to complete 4 out of 10 of the events from the list below between July 22 and August 8. Once you have completed your events, there are two ways to enter:

1) Email us links to your blog posts detailing the activities; or

2) Email us your story and photographs [LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com].

Please use the subject line [Summer Games]. At any time, you can also upload your photos to our Summer Games Flickr pool. By entering, you give us permission to publish your content here.

  • on vacation? rent a bike and go for a ride!
  • write a letter advocating for bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike rack, etc) to your alderman/council representative, mayor, or a local business.
  • take a picture of something along your commute that says “summer” to you, and explain why
  • commute to work by bike or bike/transit if you don’t already
  • perform a maintenance task on your bike
  • explore a greenway or bike path in your city that you haven’t previously visited
  • test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride (road bike, mountain bike, etc.)
  • read a book about cycling
  • ride your bike somewhere new in your city
  • go on a group ride

We will draw for prizes from among the entrants who have completed at least four events. So start planning, and drooling over our prize page.

Major thanks to all the sponsors who are helping us spread the bike love!


 

Want a banner to put on your site to let others know you’re playing the games? Right click on any of the images below to download it — and be sure to link to this post.

 

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Summer Games – Molly, Group Ride with Co-Workers

Another Summer Games contestant who entered via email is Molly from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Molly really went the distance, participating in part 3 of the games during her honeymoon in Montreal, and her stories always put smiles on our faces.

From Molly:

Librarian Cyclists

I organized lunchtime group ride for the library where I work. It was a small group, only 4 people, but we still had fun. We rode to the Farmer’s Market and I think we all came back with asparagus.

Story: There’s an organization in Ann Arbor that promotes sustainable transportation alternatives called getDowntown, and every May they have a Commuter Challenge where they get workplaces to compete to have people do the most sustainable commutes over the course of a month. The University of Michigan Library has a huge team, so I was inspired to do a little Commuter Challenge/Summer Games crossover and organized a lunchtime group ride from the library to the Wednesday Farmer’s Market. The weather was great but the turnout was low, probably because I forgot to send a reminder email. But the four of us who did gather had a fun ride to the market. One of our participants interviewed all the other participants for a segment on her radio show. She asked us all what we planned to buy at the market; I think we all said asparagus.

{Awesome! and I can’t resist including her sweet bike date story!}

Piet and Molly

Piet was impatient with my attempts at documentation. Anything for a chance to win a Batavus in the Let’s Go Ride a Bike Summer Games.

Story: We’re finally getting some spectacular weather here in Michigan, so after we got home from work on Friday we were still itching to ride our bikes some more. I thought, “Bike date!” ran off to put on some earrings and fancy shoes, and we biked to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. After the ice cream, we encountered a random gang of cyclists zooming around. We didn’t recognize any of them, which was weird, and it turns out they were all from out of town visiting. We joined their gang for awhile and made a haphazard loop around campus. It was totally spontaneous and fun, but I had trouble keeping up on my lazy commuter bike, so after awhile we gave up and had a leisurely pedal home.

{Thank you, Molly! To see all of Molly’s entries, visit her Summer Games Flickr set here.}

I love the idea of getting a group of friends or co-workers together for a lunchtime ride. Has anyone else done something like that?

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Summer Games – Natalie, Bike a Greenway

Enjoy another Summer Games entry sent to us through email. Natalie and her family explored the Virginia Capital Bike Trail for Part III, Bike a Greenway.

From Natalie:

We went on the first part of the Virginia Capital Bike Trail, which is under construction and eventually will connect Richmond to Jamestown and Williamsburg. This spring, we rode one of the longer sections in the middle, but we hadn’t ridden the part that was in town.

You start by going through a door-sized opening in the flood wall, near the canal walk downtown. There are some odd but somehow pleasing sculptures back there (which can’t be seen from the road because of the flood wall) and a map. The first half mile goes along the old canal under the train trestle. They put a corrugated metal roof under the tracks to keep hot oil from falling on people using the trail. This first section ends at Shiplock Park, and it’s just a mile long. My child liked that there was a small stop sign and railroad crossing sign just for the cyclists near the end of the trail!

We looked around the ship lock and rode back by the old tobacco warehouses that are now condos and apartments, and then parked at pizza place for lunch. Not a long ride at all, but it was nice to get out and it was too hot (mid 90s) for a more involved ride.

I guess this could be considered a greenway and exploring a new area. We don’t have anything called a greenway here, and the only other bike trails are for mountain bikers who like technical rides. I’m looking forward to when the Bike Trail is completed in a few years and hope more of it follows the river!

{Thank you, Natalie! Very interesting to see how this trail snakes under the highways.}

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Evie – Future Batavus BUB Owner

Congratulations again to Evie of the lovely blog, Now for Then. She will very soon be the owner of a shiny new Batavus BUB courtesy of Fourth Floor Distribution.  Evie won the bike by completing two events for each of the three parts of the games.  However, she went far above and beyond merely completing the events; she incorporated the challenges into her life with enthusiasm and wrote about it all so wonderfully.  The fun radiates through her blog.  Here are Evie’s entries.

Bike date – ride with a friend and dress up.

Ride with your family.

Test ride a different kind of bike.

Go grocery shopping by bike.

Explore a new part of town by bike.

Go on a picnic by bicycle.

Evie, you and your bike Carmen are awesome!  I think she and Mr. Bub will get along very nicely.  :)

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LGRAB Summer Games Round III and Grand Prize Winners

The moment is here! Dottie and I wanted to find a way to draw for the prizes together, so we gave Wetoku a spin. The sound leaves something to be desired, but it was fun to be on screen together. Watch the video, or just click through the jump to see the list of winners if you can’t stand the suspense. :)

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Summer Games – Kari, Say Hi to a Cyclist

The LGRAB Summer Games have come to an end and we’re getting ready to announce the final winners tomorrow morning. Many thanks to everyone who played! We’re not done with Summer Games fun here, though. Over the next week, we’ll be posting entries that blog-less people emailed us and also putting together more recaps.

The first emailed entry comes from Kari in Minneapolis. This is such a fun story – enjoy!

Nicole and her custom bike

From Kari:

Yesterday, during my commute home, I complimented a woman on her unique bicycle while we were both stopped at a crossing on the Greenway. As we both took off and she receded into the distance, I realized that I could have asked her for her picture and used this as my second entry for the games! Her bike is super cool (evidenced by the photo below) and I was sure I wasn’t going to see anything that cool or unique anytime soon.

She was already pretty far ahead of me, but I decided that I was going to catch up with her anyway! I booked it hardcore in 3rd (my bike is a 3 speed) and I managed to catch up with her, happy but a little out of breath. She was super nice and obliged me with a photo. I told her about the contest and she said she read your blog, too! Her name is Nicole, and her bike was custom-made for her by her boyfriend, Matt, who works at Calhoun Cycle, a bike shop in Uptown.

It’s a really sweet bike in person (she’s sweet too, btw)! It’s not so clear in the photo, but the bike has a smaller front wheel and larger backwheel, plus a handmade chainguard that manages to look sort of steampunk in it’s handmadeness. I think he made the kickstand from scratch, too. Very awesome! Nicole and I geeked out bike-style about custom-made bikes and how hard it is to find European-style bicycles in America. She told me that she was really happy that I stopped her, since people normally ask her “why her bike is so wierd” instead of commenting on how INCREDIBLY AWESOME it is.

So here’s Nicole! Thanks guys!

{Thank you, Kari and Nicole! I love how this story brings two bike lovers – and LGRAB readers – together.}

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A Different View of Chicago

This morning Mr. Dottie and I set out at 9 o’clock for brunch at the home of friends. The catch: they live over 15 miles away (31 miles roundtrip) in Hyde Park, aka Obama’s neighborhood. The ride was totally worth it for their fantastic food and company, plus I always like an excuse for a bike expedition.

Thanks to the Lakefront Trail, the ride there was simple and beautiful. From our house we rode a mile east to the Trail, then 14 miles south down the Trail, then a mile west to their house. I often ride along the north side of the trail, but very rarely along the south side. The south side is much quieter and less crowded, more nature-like and removed from the city.

Me at Promontory Point - view of skyline from the south side

Greg and Sir Raleigh at Promontory Point

Museum of Science and Industry

I'm on a boat! Not really, I only wish I were.

Part of the skyline from the south

Chicago skyline with kid biking

I wish I could convey the feel of the 90-degree heat, burning sun, miraculously cold lake breeze, cookout smells, boom box music, children laughing… We returned home at 5:30 pm, exhausted in a good way, feeling alive.

This is going down as a Summer Games event, “explore a new part of town by bike.” Although I’ve been there before, I don’t go often, and I’m not eligible for prizes, anyway :)

Read about my ride to Hyde Park last year here.

While you’re at it, check out this fun write-up with photos of the south side Lakefront Trail from Bike Bliss.

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Nashville and the Long Way Home

Well. It’s the final stage of the LGRAB Summer Games and I have to say that the competition for the Batavus BuB is fierce.  But! There are many more of you who could be contenders, if you complete an event (or two) this week.

Though sadly ineligible for a prize, I took the long way home on Friday. That day (the same day Kim @cottenmusic saw me in the Village), this just meant going a few blocks out of my way on S. Douglas Ave. since I was already running late for my evening plans.

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Wide and gently curving with slow-moving traffic, the street is terrific for cyclists. At the turn of the century, when the neighborhood was being planned, the center lane held a trolley car. Of course in the 1940s all that went away.

More pics from my long way home:

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Will I ever get tired of pics of heels on asphalt? probably not.


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Take the Long Way Home

Am I the only one who hears the Supertramp song in my head based on the post title? I blame my dad.

Today I did indeed take the long way home. Normally my commute route is a major diagonal street (Lincoln Ave, for the locals). Diagonal streets are favored among both cyclists and motorists because they cut through Chicago’s usual grid – after all, the quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line. Due to the heavy bike traffic, this street is a designated bike route and there are either bike lanes or sharrows the entire way. However, due to the heavy car traffic (and bus traffic and truck traffic), it can be stressful.

There is an alternate street route, which I’d never taken as part of my commute before (Armitage and Racine).

The route is along two secondary streets at a right angle, instead of the one diagonal street, adding a little less than one mile to the ride. For someone outside of a big city like Chicago, these would probably be busy streets, but they’re calm compared to my normal route. One street has a bike lane and the other has wide lanes but no bike lane. With very few stop lights and many four-way stop sign intersections, they’re ideal for bikes.

My ride was much calmer than usual and, surprisingly, I got home in pretty much the same amount of time as usual. Maybe 3-4 minutes longer. I’ll have to take the “long” way more often! Conveniently, this way took me right by a quaint neighborhood wine shop. Sauvignon blanc is the perfect treat after a ride in 94 degrees.

This is going down as an event for the Summer Games, take the long way home.  I’m grateful that I took the opportunity to try something new, thanks to the Games.  I look forward to hearing about everyone else’s adventures. :)

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Bicycle Picnic in the City

On Monday (hooray for holiday weekends) I rode a few miles, set up my blanket under a big tree by the lake, laid out my spread of fizzy drink and fresh berries, and read a novel for a couple of hours. Although the local news warned that because of the 90 degree temps everyone should stay in the air conditioning (sigh) the day was beautiful in the shade with the legendary Chicago wind keeping things cool.


The gorgeous location, so private and quiet, was amazing for a city as big as Chicago. The city has so many lovely spots for those who put forth the small effort to find them.

This is going down as an event for the Summer Games, go on a picnic by bicycle. Bicycle picnic was the first event I came up with when Trisha and I started planning the Games. I’m excited that it’s finally come around and I hope others take the opportunity to have a bicycle picnic of their own :)

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A Red Batavus BUB

We are less than three weeks away from the final Summer Games prize drawing. The Batavus BUB is our grand prize, very generously offered by Fourth Floor Distribution. I have some more BUB photos that I’ll post periodically to keep you all motivated. You can see a previous photo of Mr. Dottie on a black diamond frame BUB here.

A Red Step-Through Batavus BUB from Copenhagen Cyclery

{Note that this is not the actual grand prize BUB, just one from the floor at Copenhagen Cyclery. The prize BUB is coming straight from Fourth Floor .}

Good luck!

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Camera Karma

As Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games was coming to a close (how has it been six weeks since we started these??) I spent a lot of time reading everyone’s entries and planning how to participate myself.

So imagine my joy when, last Wednesday, I realized I was carrying a load (small box of books, plus a laptop) on my bike.

Then imagine my chagrin when I arrived home, pulled out my camera to get some photographic evidence . . . and realized I had left my memory card in my iMac at the office. Duh.

Luckily I had a backup method: telephone!

The haze over the lens pretty much says it all about the sort of humid, sultry weather we’ve been having lately. And the uptilted seat? well, that’s something that will be addressed when I write up my “complete a bicycle maintenance task” post.

I plan on being a much more timely poster when it comes to Part III!

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LGRAB Summer Games, Part III: New Territory

We are now entering the final phase of the Summer Games. How time flies! Ladies and gentlemen, your challenge awaits.

June 28-July 18: New Territory

  • Ride a greenway (“nature” bike trail)
  • Have a bicycle picnic
  • If you don’t normally ride to work, commute by bike, or by bike/train or bike/bus
  • If you do commute, take the long way home: add distance to your usual ride
  • Explore a new part of town by bike

Prizes for this round (to be awarded to anyone who plays in Part III) include:

Winners will be determined by random drawing on July 19. As always, email us your blog links or your stories and photos using the subject line “Summer Games Part III Entry” (and check out our Flickr group). Don’t forget that you must complete two events in each round to be eligible for the grand prize of a Batavus BUB. See our original post for complete details.

Thanks to all the sponsors and players! You can drool over the complete prize list here.

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Drumroll Please (Part II)…

We have the winners from Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games!

Watch the video for a dramatic reading of the names or go beyond the fold to bypass the suspense.

Continue reading

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A Peek at the Batavus BUB

The Summer Games are getting really exciting, especially now that the prize-winning has begun! The Batavus BUB is our grand prize, very generously offered by Fourth Floor Distribution. I have several BUB photos that I’ll post periodically to keep you all motivated. Here, Mr. Dottie checks out a diamond frame BUB.

Mr. Dottie on the BuB

{Note that this is not the actual grand prize BUB, just one from the floor at Copenhagen Cyclery. The prize BUB is coming straight from Fourth Floor .}

Too bad Mr. Dottie is not allowed to win prizes – he and the BUB look pretty good together. Good luck to everyone else!

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Drumroll please . . .

We have the winners from Part I of the LGRAB Summer Games!

Watch the video for a dramatic reading of the names, complete with curious cats and me trying to pronounce “Clarijs.” Or just check out the snap below. Colleen, Linda, Dale & Beany, we’ll be in touch to get your mailing addresses—congratulations.

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LGRAB Summer Games, Part II: Learning Experiences

Well, the first phase of the LGRAB Summer Games is over, and we have had a blast reading and sharing your incredible, inspiring entries–more than 50, at last count! We’ll be drawing for the first round of prizes tonight, so be sure to get your entries in by noon today if you want to be included.

The Learning Experiences portion of the contest starts today, and I’ve been looking forward to this one. Even non-bike owners can participate, since two of the events don’t necessitate having a bike of your own. My bikes are especially excited at the prospect of me performing a maintenance task. I am especially excited about test-riding a different type of bike: drop bars, here I come.  Ladies and gentlemen, your challenge awaits.

June 7-June 27: Learning Experiences

  • Perform a maintenance task — big or small!
  • Decorate your bike
  • Read a book about cycling
  • Carry a load on your bike — groceries, etc.
  • Test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride

Prizes for this round (to be awarded to anyone who plays in Part II) include a Mark’s Rack from Rivendell, a canvas utility pannier from Minnehaha and a Bates Crate. Winners will be determined by random drawing on July 29. As always, email us your blog links or your stories and photos using the subject line “Summer Games Part II Entry” (and don’t forget to check out our Flickr group). Don’t forget that you must complete two events in each round to be eligible for the grand prize of a Batavus BuB. See our original post for complete details.

Thanks to all the sponsors and players! You can drool over the complete prize list here.

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Sunny Side Up

Given that Jerk Season has become our most commented post in record time, I figured I’d take this opportunity to highlight the sunny side of cycling. The sunny side is much bigger than the dark fringes!

On Wednesday, I had the great pleasure of meeting Cherilyn of Bike Bliss. She, her husband and their 3 sons were visiting Chicago as part of their mini Midwestern tour. A beautiful family all on bicycles! She and I broke away for a leisurely ride along the lakefront and a great discussion of how important the online community is for supporting people – especially women – who may not have a supportive network in their hometowns.

Cherilyn of Bike Bliss

Last Sunday, me, Greg, Amanda, Arielle and a whole fun group enjoyed a picnic dinner party in an urban park. My rhubarb-discovery summer continued with Amanda’s delicious homemade rhubarb pie.

Arielle and her bike Ruby

Amanda, her boyfriend and their bikes

Amanda's Rhubarb Pie

Amanda's awesome picnic basket

I’ll put these rides down as my “Schedule a bike date with a friend or partner — dress up!” event for the Summer Games :)

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Social Cycling Week 1 Roundup

One week into the Summer Games, things couldn’t be off to a better start. We continue to be amazed and impressed at the number of people who are playing along! If you need some inspiration, here are links to the entries we’ve gotten so far.

Go on a group ride

Wondering what would be considered a group ride? Try one of these: dropping off the kids at school by bike with another family;  touring Munich by bike; attending a bike rally; tour your home city by bike; or join a Ride of Silence or the Tour de Cure.

Kara of Knitting Lemonade and her friend bikepooled to work in matching helmets!

Leave a friendly note or say “hi” to another cyclist

This one is a little harder than it sounds–we cyclists move fast and not everyone carries a pen and paper in their panniers! Still,  Sox at Pedal and Coast managed to snap a pic of the cyclist she said hi to at a red light.

Carolyn took the opportunity to leave a note telling another cyclist about Critical Mass.

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Ride with your family

How cool is this picture of Xander from 416cyclestyle on a ride with his wife & kids?

Mark took his family to dinner on an ebike, while E at academichic went with her husband and baby to pick up their CSA share.

Recruit a non-biking friend

Claire in Toronto convinced her husband to give bike commuting a try.

Go on a bike date–dress up!

S. and her husband T. took in the sights of Munich by bike.

Cyclin’ Missy grabbed a beer and dinner with friends.

It’s not too late to start–the Social Cycling event is going on through June 7. Check out our Flickr pool for more inspiration.

p.s. if you don’t see a link to your entry here, and you blogged about it: we don’t have it. Email us at LGRAB (at) letsgorideabike (dot) com with the details.

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Let the Games Begin! Part I: Social Cycling

Ladies and gentlemen, the Summer Games officially begin today. First up, the Social Cycling category. Local events going on during National Bike Month might make this even easier for you (for example, I plan on getting my group ride in on Nashville’s Bike to Work day this Friday).

Over the next three weeks, you need to complete at least two events from the following list. Be creative with combining events, but please go on at least two separate rides. Once you have completed your events, there are two ways to enter:

1) Email us links to your blog posts detailing the activities; or

2) Email us your story and photographs.

Please use the subject line [Summer Games – Part I]. At any time, you can also upload your photos to our Summer Games Flickr pool. By entering, you give us permission to publish your content here.

Remember, you must complete two events from each of the three categories (six events total between now and July 18) to be entered to win the Batavus BuB.  However, those who compete in this category – Part I: Social Cycling – will be eligible to win a set of Clarijs Panniers (My Dutch Bike), a Terry Botanika flare skort and Euro Halter (Terry Bicycles) or a Nutcase helmet (Nutcase). Prize winners will be determined by random drawing on June 8. A huge thank you to the sponsors for their support of bike fun!

Ready, set, RIDE!

May 17-June 6: Social Cycling

  • Go on a group ride
  • Leave a friendly note on a bike, or say hi to a cyclist at a red light
  • Schedule a bike date with a friend or partner — dress up!
  • Recruit a non-biking friend for a ride
  • Take a ride with your family
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