Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh there will be a market in that day...

Judgement Day, pfft. It's Bike to Market Day! Actually, I kind of forgot about it until now, but it's a good excuse to be nostalgic about last year. You remember, when I got extra excited and created a loop to four participating stores. The mission was to seek out new bike paths, free stuff, and discounted groceries. Commence commerorative picspam.

My quest began with the Food Mill, the small Oakland natural foods fixture.

I hadn't biked there before - or since - because it's literally uphill both ways. It wasn't the most auspicious beginning. I conquered the hills but then the store was just totally devoid of pomp or circumstance surrounding the occasion. (Don't let the picture fool you - the festive bike parking is a daily feature.) Also, the cashier's chosen topic of conversation was the biker who was killed in the neighborhood recently. Thanks dude. Oh well, once reminded of the existence of the event, the manager came through with the free giant pack of in-house cookies. Yum. Also, I found malted milk powder!

I had better luck at my next stop, Farmer Joe's. Finally, some pomp.

There were some great guys from EBBC and the neighborhood association tabling outside and doing free bike parking. Plus the swag was by far the best here, I got a whole tote loaded with fruit and sundry. Even the lady hitting me up for change outside was cool, asking about my bike and recommending a rack/pannier for my groceries.

Then there was a brief stop home to unload. Then off to the Alameda Natural Market. I love the ride along the bay, in all its industrial splendor, and over the drawbridge.

(And last year I was still in blissful ignorance of the dead cat surprise.)

ANM wins for best signage!!

Last but... actually, yes. Least. I hit up Whole Foods, which offered no discount, just a measly free container of trail mix. With raisins. And the ride was hella windy. But at least I finally remembered to stop off at the Oakland Museum on the way and take a picture of their awesome installation of planters.

And thus ended a grocery-ful day. Always a good day in my book. And I had friendly chats with fellow bikers and bike-adjacent people. But did Market day inspire me to "make it a habit to bike to my most routine destinations?" In a word, no. I was one of the few who showed up because I already wanted to do that. The event just didn't have much presence - I don't think the casual shopper even noticed anything was going on, except maybe at Farmer Joe's. I got the feeling it took a backseat to the 2834786 other events scheduled for bike week/month. That's ok, but why settle when you can't spit in this town without hitting someone passionate about bike and food culture? Get those people with the crazy bike blender out front! And why was the panhandling lady the only one who offered me helpful advice about carrying my groceries??? How about some more targeted outreach, demoing racks/panniers/bike baskets or something. Maybe if I ever get around to getting involved with the EBBC I can help rev things up a little. Today, well, I'm just going to go pick up some free cookies.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I want a bike blender! That way I could combine my morning exercise with breakfast preparation. And it would be the perfect thing for Bike The Drive, the annual bike awareness day where Chicago closes off Lake Shore Drive to all traffic except bikes, from 5:30 am to 10:30 AM, the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Why didn't Lance Armstrong know about this healthy alternative performance enhancer? He could have saved himself all the negative publicity and possibly even jail time.