On tour: Pedaling cargo in the East Bay

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east bay cargo bikingHeading to the venue with Pedal Express

Just quick post from the beginning of the Dinner and Bikes tour! Our first event is tonight, a sold-out show at the Arbor Cafe in Oakland. The cafe serves coffee roasted by a company called Bicycle Coffee, and has an indoor wall rack for customers to hang their bikes. Tonight’s show is a benefit for local advocacy org the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, which pulled the event together on short notice. Can’t wait!

We didn’t hang our bike up, because it’s too long — the friends we are staying with lent us their Xtracycle, and we’ve been cruising around Oakland and Emeryville in style. At least, I’m cruising in style. In a reversal of our situation a year ago, Joe’s been working hard to keep us in motion and dodging the not always friendly car traffic while I take photos and wave at passersby.

east bay cargo biking

We had some excellent company this afternoon — Foresta from local courier cooperative Pedal Express came by to help haul our books & gear a couple of miles up the road to the venue. We took the lane, riding side by side and chatting, up busy Martin Luther King Ave and were treated as a normal part of traffic — no gawking and pointing, no camera phones, no honks and yells. It was a refreshing glimpse of the future I dream about.

We get on the train in a few days and will end up in Kansas, where we’ll rent a car and head to Kansas City, MO, Topeka, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Austin (hopefully), Houston, Baton Rouge, and onward — big cities and small, bike friendly places and ones that are heading that way, often by routes that might seem mind blowingly unfamiliar to those of us who have absorbed some of the orthodoxies of the current bicycle movement’s trajectory. Assuming my equipment holds up (though already this is a questionable assumption…), I’ll be posting photos and writing about what we find the whole way. Stay tuned right here!

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