Thanks, Volunteers, Supporting Businesses & Organizations, for a Successful Solano Stroll!

AS&R volunteers parked hundreds of bikes at the 44th Annual Solano Stroll!
Photo courtesy Amy

Albany Strollers & Rollers had another successful Solano Stroll (the 44th annual!) on Sunday, September 9th.
Thanks to the many volunteers who were busy from 9am-5:30pm on a bluebird day, we parked more than 280 bicycles on our “Moved By Bikes” Valet Racks at two Bicycle Valet Parking lots. Visitors from Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, San Leandro, Pinole and beyond had ridden to the Stroll – some with an assist from BART – and expressed gratitude that we were there to look after their steeds. More than once I was told that without our service, they would have skipped the event.

People of all ages, bikes of all types!
Photo courtesy Patsy Reese

Our Bicycle Valet Parking volunteers were expertly led by Sylvia Paull, Barb Altenberg, Joseph Friedman, Mac McCurdy and rackmeister Ken McCroskey.
Volunteers Shauniece Williams (who worked all day with barely a lunch break!!), Dave Nicely (he of 3 Stroll booths!), Mike Gill, Nico Primmer, Joan Gallagher, Shantee Baker, Anne Malamud, Bryce & Lyell Nesbitt, Reuben from Brooklyn, John Alexander, Ian MacLeod, Tony Caine, Jackie Wang and Jacky Zhao helped check in, park and retrieve bikes. We needed every single one of you to make the operation go smoothly! Extra added bonus – there were zero unclaimed bikes at the end of the day!

Our table was hopping all day and volunteers answered any & all questions!

Of course, AS&R had its usual information table in front of the west lot. Longtime “super volunteers” Michael Primmer & Lynn Eve Komaromi, new “super volunteers” Megan Padilla & Jean-Marie Enjuto, Eileen Walsh, Nick Pilch, Ken McCroskey, Peter Maass and I engaged people and did outreach on behalf of AS&R  – and cycling in general. We spoke to Stroll-goers of all ages, answered questions about all aspects of bicycles, bicycling & walking, signed up 18 new members (if you’re reading this, welcome!!), and sold a bunch of “Check for Bikes” clings & bumper stickers and our reflective leg bands (Jean-Marie was a pro!)
As I was suffering from a wrenched back, I especially appreciated the proactive setup crew (Michael, Shantee, Eileen, Ken, Nico, Barb & Sylvia) who lifted, moved, hung, taped and placed tents, tables, banners, racks, signage and gear flawlessly!

Where else can you scooter down a Red Carpet?

The support of businesses and other organizations is crucial to our success at this and other event:
A big shout-out to Pat, owner of local businesses Bua Luang Thai Cuisine & Tay Tah Café, for again sponsoring our BVP service and providing delicious lunches & coupons for some volunteers. Pat’s support is so important and we really appreciate the extra effort she puts into helping us at all our events. Del of the new restaurant Brazilian Breads at the top of Solano provided lunch to the volunteers at the Wells Fargo lot so we all

Everyone enjoyed Kim’s Cafe’s Iced Tea on a warm September day

enjoyed delicious lunches! Cathy from Kim’s Cafe & Sandwiches brewed up some special Mango Mint Iced Tea for volunteers & visitors, and Desiree of RXBAR donated hundreds of delicious protein bars for all the volunteers and many visitors, too!

Special thanks to Grizzly Peak Cyclists who lent us their two pop-up tents via Sherie Reineman, Robby from Abrams Claghorn Gallery for letting me store some of our large gear in the back of his gallery, Bradley Blackshire for purchasing drink dispensers & trays for AS&R, Fern’s Garden and BikeLink for providing gift cards, Laurent from Rendez-Vous Cafe Bistro for sponsoring our reflective bands, Janka from Floor Dimensions for the “Red Carpet” that led cyclists up the ramp to our west lot, Francesco for building the customized ramp, and Brad & Linda Carlton, who lent us their folding tables.

Upon further reflection, we had another great Solano Stroll!

A final thank you goes out to Allen Cain and the Solano Avenue Association, who make Bicycle Valet Parking a priority for this huge regional event and put us in a position to succeed every year. It’s an honor to be associated with one of the region’s longest-running and best street fairs!
We hope that YOU will join us for #45!
If you’ve gotten this far and appreciate the service AS&R provides, please vote for us (you!) in category #32 for “Best of Albany Community Service” award here!
Thanks, all!

Photo courtesy Ken McCroskey

See you soon!

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