Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Group Ride Route:

We thought of this ride as a 'best of' our East Oakland trips: we rode around Lake Merritt, up East 15th Street to the Sunday Fruitvale Farmers’ Market. The round-trip route was just over three flat miles. We rode at a leisurely pace, stopping along the way to point out some of our favorite houses and buildings. The group was very eager and interested; they all answered passers-by as they asked about our sign! Here are some photos of our ride from City Hall to the Fruitvale Farmers' Market:

We stopped at the half-way point to see how all of our riders were holding up. We took a short conversation break, and then continued on our way.

It was great to come across this small sidewalk garden full of beautiful flowering plants. The local community had decided to green up their sidewalk in a two block area. Within the plants were signs that said: "These flowers were planted to make these streets better for children who live & walk here. PLEASE PROTECT THEM."

Our friend Stew found us as we were riding along (he lives in East Oakland...) and joined us for part of the ride. He shared with us some bike stories; he rides from East Oakland to Palo Alto every day to teach. Before he had to leave us and ride back home, he filled out a survey:

The market was very busy on this Saturday morning. Our group riders walked around, explored the plazas and met with some of the vendors. We told them about our first experience at the Fruitvale Village Plaza, when the security guard told us to leave the plaza. This led to an interesting discussion about public space, or the lack of them, in the contemporary urban fabric. An architect/urban planner team called REbar is creating an excellent project in downtown SF about 'privately owned public spaces.'

We spoke with the guy selling hand-made crafts and clothing. He was very interested in our tandem bike; one of his children is blind, and he wants to find a way for them to bike ride together. A tandem would be the perfect solution! He described East Oakland as "sometimes hard core" and West Oakland as "a good place to live.'


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