He doesn't know it, but Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey will be riding his bike at Robert's and my 27th Wedding Anniversary celebration next week.
Oh, Mayor Bailey knows he will be riding his bike, he just doesn't know it is at an anniversary celebration.
We will also be celebrating TC member Shirley Jones and her husband 25th Wedding Anniversary.
Why am I spending my anniversary riding a bike with the Mayor?
Every Tuesday and Thursday when Triathlon Connection Riverside rides bikes along Victoria Avenue and other surrounding streets we all complain about the bike lanes in the area.
I blogged about some of the concerns in this blog:
I actually posted that blog on the City of Riverside's facebook page and invited the mayor to ride with us.
This was the reply:
City of Riverside, CA - City Government Thank you for sharing your concerns with us, Kandi. First of all, we sincerely apologize for your frustrations. Please report any unsafe materials (glass, debris, etc) to 311 (or 826-5311). You can also download a free 311 app which will make things even simpler. We will definitely pass your concerns along to Mayor Bailey and other departments. Please stay tuned to http://riversideca.gov/publicworks/traffic/bicycleprogram/ for upcoming projects and programs. Also, please join us on one of the Bike with the Mayor events around various parts of Riverside. They do not only take place along SART. Again, thank you for being a proactive member of our community!
My husband was worried that Mayor Bailey would accept my invitation to ride with us and I would change our regular Tuesday HILLS Yes! ride or our Thursday Flat ride to be "Down Central Avenue to the Riverside Plaza during Rust Hour" ride.
I can NOT ride my bike safely from my house to the Riverside Plaza to go the grocery store. There are 3 lanes and NO bike lane.
It's a mile from my house and I will NOT jeopardize my life by riding my bike to the plaza.
I want to ride my bike, but it's not worth it.
So, I bitch, bitch, bitch about it.
My first instinct was to do exactly what my guy was afraid I would do....have the mayor ride his bike from my house down Central Avenue to the plaza.
But I thought about it....
and I will NOT jeopardize Mayor Bailey's life either.
But I still wanted the Mayor to ride with us.
I wanted him just to ride on Victoria Avenue in the bike lane.....and stay in the bike lane while he is riding.
(Truth be told - riding in the bike lane is sometimes as dangerous as riding on Central Avenue from my house to the plaza.....)
So I started my "ride with Triathlon Connection Riverside" campaign. After I posted my blog and invitation on the City of Riverside's fb page the conversation went like this:
Hi Kandi, Just saw your message. Sorry, Tuesdays are council days. In meetings all afternoon and evening. How was the ride?
We ride on Thursdays also. We'd love for you to join us.
(at this point I posted on facebook that I was Letterman and Rusty Bailey was Oprah.....Letterman tried FOREVER to get Oprah on his show and she always had an excuse why she couldn't make it....I saw foreshadowing.)
Would love to. I usually need three weeks notice for any invitation. My schedule books up pretty quickly. Please contact my scheduling secretary, (I deleted her name and number).
We ride every Tuesday and Thursday. I will call Jetta and work on getting our ride on your schedule.
I did call his secretary and it went like this (paraphrased)..."Hi, This is Kandi DeCarlo and I am with Triathlon Connection and we want to schedule our weekly ride on the Mayor's calendar. We ride every Tuesday and Thursday."
His secretary explained about Tuesdays being the council meetings and he is booked up way in advance, blah, blah, blah, but oh-looky here on his schedule he does have an opening on JULY 2, unless of course you are already booked up with something because it is the Fourth of July week.
Fourth of July week? I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking that JULY 2 is my 27th Wedding Anniversary and my guy is going to think I am CRAZY if I book the Mayor for a bike ride on that day.
Does this look like a crazy bike? Maybe just a crazy bike rider? I'd try to ride that bike.
But I am a crazy bike-rider, so I gulped and told the Mayor's scheduling secretary that JULY 2 would be perfect.
6 p.m. from my house.
Then I had to tell my guy what I did.
He didn't flinch.
I said we could just make it an event and have champagne and chocolate milk (the best recovery drink) after the ride.
Yes, Rinny can come on our bike ride also if she wants to. The more the merrier.
Robert embraced the idea of the Mayor bike riding on our anniversary (even though the Mayor doesn't know it) so much that my guy suggested we get a cake.
He is the best.
Then I found out that it is one of my training client/regular T/Th bike rider's anniversary also - her 25th.
So we are getting her guy on a bike to join in all the fun.
After all, we will be going slow, but go, in the bike lane.
Here's my recent FB conversation with the Mayor:
So glad your scheduling secretary Jetta set the ride up for July 2....We are all excited you will be riding with us. No worries. We will keep it slow and keep you safe in the bike lane on Victoria Avenue. See you July 2 at 6 pm for a nice, casual ride. Message me if you have any questions or anything. Bring anyone you want along to ride. Kandi
Looking forward to it. Will try to bring the family.
After riding along Victoria Avenue today I may even change my mind about having the Mayor ride in the bike lane.
I couldn't ride in the bike lane through parts of our ride - too dangerous.
Filled with water and dirt.
Places lifted up because of tree roots.
Overhanging tree branches.
I may insist that he ride OUT of the bike lane and in the street to be safe.
But while I am keeping him safe I want my bike riding friends to give him an earful about what the roads are REALLY like in Riverside.
I want my guy to complain to the mayor (instead of me) about the grading and redoing of the road, but NOT the bike lane.
I want Lyn (aka Rusty) to tell how he does not feel safe riding his bike 1/2 mile from his house to the gym on Arlington Avenue.
I'll be happy to tell my concern that I can't SAFELY ride my bike from my house to the plaza.
I want my bike-riding friends to tell their stories and make suggestions.
And have fun!
Celebrate love and bike riding and fitness and love!!!!
I have already been practicing my speech for the champagne/chocolate milk toast after the ride.
"Robert, here's to the past 27 years of wild adventures (wink, wink). May the next 27 years include health, wealth, fun, fitness and more wild adventures, including riding bikes on SAFE bike lanes in Riverside."
If you are in Riverside and you want to join us for the ride on JULY 2 at 6 p.m. from my house, we would love to have you join us. Just comment or leave a message for my address.
Now, what do you think? White or chocolate cake?