By Chris Murphy

What do these things have in common? 1. Top of the parking garage in downtown Modesto. 2. The top of the Briggsmore overpass. 3.Top of the Memorial Hospital parking garage. Answer, these are the highest points in Modesto where you can ride a bike. Modesto with an average elevation of 89’ above sea level means that these spaces may be all of 150’ high. Why is this significant? It means that Modesto is flat and that makes it really easy to ride a bike virtually anywhere in town with out breaking a real sweat.

How truly easy is it to ride a bike in Modesto? In the words of Sgt. Pepper, “It’s getting better all the time”. There are more bike paths, cycling lanes are more visible and function and we have a trail system that is really useful. The Hetch Hetchy, the Virginia Cooridor, the Mensinger trail and the developing Tuolumne River trail are become quite popular. My house backs up to the Dry Creek Mensinger trail and I can tell you for sure that this is extremely popular and it is so fun to watch the athletes, the casual cyclists, the families with kids on training wheels all out enjoying our trails. Hopefully, soon, there will be a good connection from the Virginia Corridor to the Mensinger, but progress is being made so get out and enjoy.

For Sunday Brunches, try your bike. There is ample bike parking in downtown Modesto. Most residents only live less than 3 mile from down and it is an easy trip. Plus you will feel better after a nice Sunday Funday when you ride your bike home.

You can get in on the action by checking out the group rides at our local bicycle shops like Fun Sport Bikes and with the Stanislaus Bicycle Club. If you are more into the competitive mountain biking, check out the Modesto Composite High School team lead by local outdoor advocate and firefighter Darin Jesberg. There are some amazing terrain trails down at the Gateway Park west of the 9th St Bridge that will get you in shape fast. Super fun. (Photo courtesy of the Modesto Composite Dust Devils Drone)

May is Bike Modesto Month
Bike Modesto Month celebrates bicycling as an essential mode of transportation. Join people across the Modesto area and ride your bike all during the month of May! To get yourself ready to ride, we recommend the following:

• Give your bike a tune-up. Check the tire air pressure and make sure the other components such as brakes, handlebars, chain, and seat are properly adjusted and secured.
• Check your gear. Make sure your helmet fits properly. Add front and rear lights to your bike if you plan to ride in the dark. Add a face mask to your biker’s wardrobe.
• Remember the rules of the road by riding in the direction of traffic and obeying stop signs and lights.
• Enjoy the fresh air and remember to greet others from a safe distance (at least 6 feet).
• Keep an eye out for walkers and joggers and remember who has the right of way on sidewalks and bike paths (they do).
• Find a good place to tuck mobile devices when riding. Do not text/talk while riding.

After you’ve logged some miles on your bike, log on to for Bike Bingo and a chance to win prizes. Also, be sure to join fellow cycling enthusiasts on May 20 for Bike to Work Day.

Bike to Work Day 2021
Modesto’s Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 20. Start your day off feeling motivated by riding to work, school, or whatever your destination may be. Cycling enthusiasts should meet at the Tenth Street Plaza at 1010 Tenth Street between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. From there you can depart for your day and feel great. The first 100 cyclists will receive a free reusable bag, Bike Modesto tee shirt, and a grab-and-go breakfast snack bag. Masks are required for this event for all ages and please be sure to practice social distancing while on and off your bike.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.