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Urban Bike

Urban Bike is an ongoing series, a collection of articles resulting from cycling trips I take around the valley, but mostly Urban Phoenix.

Basically it’s an excuse to get on my bike and ride and at the same time have a purpose. Not that cycling in itself is not purpose enough, but it fun to have a destination, to explore the city, take photos and write about it.

It’s quite astonishing how much one can learn about a place when the pace of travel is slower. Not only do you get to see more without also doing it slowly by walking, it’s good for the soul and oh, it gives you an excuse to try gelato.

Hopefully it will get you to jump on your two wheeler and exploring Phoenix.

Found 11 blog entries about Urban Bike.

Rancho Solano in Uptown Phoenix just of Central Avenue. It's a rather nice niche-hood. Homes have large green sprawling irrigated yard, the trees are green and mature and the streets don't abide by the grid pattern that most of Phoenix does. 

About in the middle of the neighborhood is another of those street islands - little morals of land in a sea of asphalt. This one is rather charming, and much larger than the street island in Windsor Square near by. 

It's well shaded, it has lots of grass and unlike so many a vintage light post. Plus that, almost mandatory, bench.

street island in rancho solano

ranch solano

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When I took a bike ride a few weeks ago to catch some hills along the Southern foothills of Camelback Mountain I make a wrong turn into Vermont Ave expecting to get through somehow, but that street turned out to be a look closed off from access to those hilly streets closer to the mountain. 

What I did find is another street island, one of those little earthy gems in the middle of a stream of asphalt. 

This one too, like the last one I covered in Windsor Square has a bench in the middle for someone to sit in. Though here is certainly more desert like with creosote bushes and a few saguaros and a beautiful view of Camelback Mountain.

Sorry for the quality, but it was a very bright day and I took with with a phone.

Where: from 44th Street

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Today was slightly cloudy - good, warm and busy day for a bike ride. So many people were out in the streets. Encanto park was full of kids, houses had open doors, open garages with people doing their thing, the golf courses were full of flying balls and restaurants were loud as usual. 

The above, gives you an idea of where my two wheels took me today.  And as a small break on the way home I stopped off at this quaint and rather lovely area occupied by Shine Coffee.

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Since I've had two coffees already today I decided to go for a small chai, specifically the 'first street chai' if I remember the name correctly. You can see it on the bottom right, just don't touch it, it's mine. 

I'm really liking this place. Hopefully I can enjoy some more time here

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On a rather hot January day, my bike went into the back of my TT - yes, it fits, and we drove down to one my properties in North Central Phoenix where the car was left. Instead of riding through the mountain preserve like I usually do I drove around it. The fact is that taking the same route over and over simply bores me after a while. That goes even from driving the same streets. That's usually a signal to move.

The weather was perfect and the sun blazing enough to drive people en masse to the local parks and the streets. I was surprised how busy it was.

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(photo: Artur)

All downtown Phoenix parks were filled with people enjoying the city life, the weather, the dry summer grass that makes the parks look like wheat fields in the late summer. 

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Now that it's cooler riding is a blast and I should be doing more of it, but I'm not. I have to run 2 companies and another new start-up, but those are really excuses. What's on my mind is a mountain bike, something that's been eluding me for years or ever since I stopped BMX racing years ago and went to street riding. I miss being rougher with a bike on the trails and in the streets. I need to adrenaline of jumping. So soon my carbon Trek will be joined by a carbon hard-tail by Ibis cycles.

None the less I was able to knock out 57 miles while also showing 2 properties to prospective tenants and checking up on a clients vacation home in the Woodlea historic neighborhood.

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One of the properties I was showing was a triplex about to be purchased by one

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A cycling trip to the newly opened Giant Coffee near the Phoenix Art Museum  This is an urban Phoenix blog originally posted at PhoenixMarketTrends and now move here. urban_bike_giant_coffee_2_440 Giant Coffee just opened recently and I've had several chances to have some coffee there and lounge around: once by car and twice by bike.
I like the bike part better because it just feels right to ride up to this modern contemporary building lay the bike against the wall along the the many others and walk into the fully opened front while fuses the interior and exterior space together.
It's the openness and fairly nice interior that make this place quite pleasant to be in: it's got the looks and feel of a truly great place: add to that friendly service and good, not great,…
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The trip distance both ways from my house to Downtown Scottsdale: 41 miles, with some small detours. The destination was arbitrary. I figured Cartel Coffee was going to be open so I headed toward it from the North side of Mummy Mountain then down the streets near Scottsdale Road through places like the under ground parking and interior courtyard under Camelview Plaza where I saw  at least a dozen people being pulled by their dogs.

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Scottsdale on a Sunday morning is pretty empty, but not completely. When I rode by The Breakfast Club all seats were full and it looked like a bunch of people were waiting for their turn at some morning grub. It must be good. After some here and there, I decided to have a latte to go at Cartel Coffee. I like this Cartel

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Moving the series Urban Bike, over from PhoenixMarketTrends, is becoming hard work. This post was released in mid fall last year and makes me very impatient for fall in 2011. I can't wait to jump on my bike an ride over fallen leaves and listen to how they crumple under the skinny wheels.

It’s been a gruesome while since my bike saw much pavement in the last 2 months.  I guess when I think of the places I may ride to, I immediately get a tingle of boredom, but that’s more because of a lack of imagination or the forgotten realism that there are places to discover in Phoenix, that nooks and crannies lie all around and that cycling is a pleasure.

The latter is a, ‘not doubt’, it’s just the city that got me down. I’m a bit mad at Phoenix or more at the

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The fifty mile bicycle route meanders, in part, through the lush green streets of Central Phoenix, under the canopy of huge trees, expansive irrigated lots and historic homes.sonoran_bike_way_430

The Phoenix Sonoran Bike-way is a 50 mile route stretching between Cave Creek and South Mountain with much of it going right down the center of Phoenix except for when it splits down Cave Creed Rd. or Dreamy Draw only to meet again close to Loop 101.

The photo on the right is from part of the Bikeway in North Central Phoenix along 3rd ave. South of Maryland.  Heading south this route ends at a cul-de-sac with a narrow passage to allow bicyclist through between two homes.   Since this is an older part of the city the landscape is lush and green creating a very un-desert like…
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[ This is a repost of an urban bike excursion originally posted at Phoenix Market Trends. We'll be doing another one when the weather cools off becasue the coffee scene has changed a bit. ]

Compare downtown Phoenix to just a few years ago and the difference is almost dramatic, startling and intriguing.   Not so many years ago there was no place to go, nothing really to do and there were few people around. coffee_shops_in_phoenix_400

Now, while still far from urban, Central Phoenix has lots of places and reasons to be there and Coffee shops have become a staple in Midtown and Downtown Phoenix, especially independent coffee shops.  So when Arizona Coffee put a list together of the independent coffee houses I decided to visit my favorites and check out the new ones, I’ve not been

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