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Art Hop. You've heard about it. You've talked about it. Maybe you've been once or twice. Had a few glasses of wine, looked at some art, went home. But clearly you have never truly experienced Art Hop the way it was meant to be seen.
Art Hop is simultaneously one of the best things going on in Fresno and the most vexing problems we face. The main problem being: how do I get to all these galleries, some of which are a few blocks away from each other? Do I drive? Waste gas and time looking for good parking. Do I walk? Spend half my night hoofing it around, getting all tired and sweat? It would be nice if we had some kind of real functioning mass transit system to take me around (not to insult our much maligned FAX system), but don't hold your breath.
Enter Bike Hop: Critical Mass meets Art Hop, and pretty much the most fun you can legally have on a bicycle.
It started last month when about a dozen people met at the freshly minted Re-Cycle bike shop on Van Ness. The riders ranged from about age six to age sixty (although the six year old was not technically a rider, since he was being pulled in a trailer attached to a bike), with nothing in common except an affinity for cheap wine, art, and bicycles. They rode cruisers, track bikes, mountain bikes, single speeds, racing bikes, cheap bikes, nice bikes and everything in between. There was no plan; the mob rode to whatever gallery was close and interesting, hitting about ten different galleries before splintering at Broadway Studios.
The organizers behind this event are the owners of the aforementioned Re-Cycle bike shop, Ben Kloos and Brian Welch (Bike Hop was previously run by the Fresno Bike Coalition). Re-Cycle has just opened its doors in the old building of Bicycle Works. They offer sales and service, although they specialize in restoring vintage and classic bikes.
This month Bike Hop starts at 5:30 at Re-Cycle on Thursday, November 3rd. Re-Cycle is located at 1461 N. Van Ness in the Van Ness Village in the Tower District, near the old College Pharmacy. The shop will be open beforehand if your bike needs a tune-up or some air in the tires. If you don't have a bike, come anyway. They have bikes staring for as little as thirty bucks.
On the off chance you can't make it out to Bike Hop, you should still swing by Re-Cycle some time. They've got a pretty nice collection of freshly restored vintage bikes, and all month they're fixing most flat tires for free as part of their grand opening special. So go out and support a new Tower business.
Questions about Bike Hop or Re-Cycle can be fielded at (559) 268-2863