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    National Burger Day is May 28: We're binging on beef, bacon and buns
    by SAVANAH DUFFY and JONATHAN LO
    May 24, 2017 | 151 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Savanah Duffy holds the Bare Lil Lamb burger from Raglan Public House in Ocean Beach, which eclipses Jonathan Lo. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Savanah Duffy holds the Bare Lil Lamb burger from Raglan Public House in Ocean Beach, which eclipses Jonathan Lo. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Jonathan Lo and Savanah Duffy chow down their burgers at Raglan Pubic House in Ocean Beach. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Jonathan Lo and Savanah Duffy chow down their burgers at Raglan Pubic House in Ocean Beach. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Jonathan bites into the BANG burger at Stuffed!, a blue cheese-stuffed patty, with bacon, fried onion straws, and BBQ sauce. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
    Jonathan bites into the BANG burger at Stuffed!, a blue cheese-stuffed patty, with bacon, fried onion straws, and BBQ sauce. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
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    The BOOM burger at Stuffed! is topped with spicy mac ’n’ cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sauce, and served with tater tots. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
    The BOOM burger at Stuffed! is topped with spicy mac ’n’ cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sauce, and served with tater tots. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
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    Burgers are on the menu at every beach bar, and the coastal region offers plenty of popular burger joints. And since May is National Hamburger Month and May 28 is National Hamburger Day, the Peninsula Beacon decided to sample and highlight burgers in Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific and Mission beaches, and La Jolla. Ocean Beach - If you’ve ever been in Ocean Beach for more than five minutes, odds are you’ve heard about the burgers at Hodad’s – and for good reason. Hodad’s’ burgers are hearty and satisfying, and that unique OB-community atmosphere just adds to its appeal. Hodad’s menu includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bacon hamburgers, bacon cheeseburgers (each in a mini, single or double size), among other options, such as the chicken burger or veggie burger, for the non-red meat eaters. - Raglan Public House, on the corner of Niagara and Bacon, offers a variety of burgers that are sure to appeal to whatever mood your taste buds are in, whether you’re feeling tropical (Maui Waui – includes grilled pineapple and bacon), spicy (Kiwilango – includes sliced jalapeños, hot sauce) or classic (Average Joe – includes American cheese, ketchup, mayo and mustard). But if you want to experience the best of Raglan, try the Bare Lil Lamb. The mint dressing gives it a refreshing taste, while beetroot adds a burst of sweet flavor, complemented by tomato chutney and garlic aioli. Don’t forget to add a sunny-side egg. Vegetarian or not a red-meat lover? Try the Cluck & Squeal (chicken, bacon, avocado), the Chica Bunga (chicken, jalapeños, coconut raita, mango chutney, garlic aioli), the Wake & Bake (swordfish, coleslaw, avocado), or the Holy Roller (tofu, avocado, garlic aioli, coconut riatta, spicy peanut dressing). - The Tilted Stick on Voltaire Street promotes its drink menu of hard alcohol, mixed drinks and beers, but its food menu deserves a shout out as well. Along with tacos and wings, this bar and grill offers its Bac-N-Cheezeburger, a quarter-pound burger and the BBQ Stick (double-cheeseburger with BBQ). The casual pub atmosphere and pool tables makes this the perfect place to have a fun evening. Point Loma - Nestled neatly in Liberty Public Market and only offering outrageously overloaded options, Stuffed!, like the name suggests, will leave you full with their cheese-filled patties. In similar style to the name of the joint, Stuffed!’s burgers also have quirky names. Here, the management challenged us with the BANG and BOOM. The BANG offers a blue cheese-stuffed patty, peppered smoked bacon, fried onion straws, pickles, and BBQ sauce while the BOOM puts forward American cheese-stuffed patty, topped with spicy mac ’n’ cheese, peppered smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Stuffed! sauce. And indeed, they left a BANG and a BOOM in our mouths. To say the least, we were completely stuffed after the meal. - Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern features a beautiful view of the marina as well as a cozy outdoor patio. Inside, they offer the ridiculously huge Cowboy Burger. The burger offers onion fritters, BBQ sauce, Anaheim chiles, bacon, cheddar, and a 100 percent New York sirloin patty stacked into a formidable beast of a burger. - When you talk about burgers in Point Loma, there is no way you can leave out Slater's 50/50. A classic, Slater’s regular burgers have patties made with a 50/50 blend of beef and bacon. The Original 50/50 has a standard 50/50 patty accompanied by bacon, pepper jack, a sunny-side-up egg, avocado mash, chipotle adobo mayo, and brioche. One word describes this burger: juicy, make sure you have plenty of napkins when you try to tackle the 50/50. Pacific Beach - Rocky’s Crown Pub at Ingraham and La Playa is home to some of the best burgers in San Diego, but don’t be fooled by the bar’s simple menu – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and fries. There’s a reason why the place is always busy, and that is simply because these burgers require nothing outside of the basics to be phenomenal. Beef patties that are thick, juicy and perfectly seasoned are balanced out with just lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonnaise. In this no-frills wood-paneled pub – with a no-nonsense attitude – don’t bother trying to order trendy sandwiches with avocado options, just belly-up to the bar with a beer and tasty burger. - Bare Back Grill on Mission Boulevard has just what you want if you’re looking for above-average bar food, particularly when it comes to their burgers. Burgers such as the Bare, Big & Dirty (includes two huge 100 percent organic beef patties, two fried eggs, bacon and more) are the perfect meal after a long walk on the boardwalk. Or, if you’ve had your fill from their drink menu, try the Lil Bitties (two “hobbit-sized” 100 percent organic beef burgers). Sit inside for their bar atmosphere or outside to enjoy their outdoor patio. - The Slider Brigade at Crushed on Garnet Avenue has a few different delicious slider options, including PB BBQ (three homemade beef and bacon burgers with red jalapeños, mozzarella, crispy onion rings and BBQ sauce), and the Bifteki (three lamb burgers with tomatoes, onions and romaine, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce and feta cheese), with a chicken parmesan slider option as well. If you showed up for the relaxed atmosphere and drinks, make sure you stay for the sliders. Mission Beach - Draft, on Ocean Front Walk in front of Belmont Park, allows patrons to enjoy their food on a boardwalk patio while basking in the sun and people-watching. The Draft burger had a juicy patty with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise, and because we ordered it Draft-style, with sunny-side egg, bacon, crispy onions, and beer cheese were added in. Right after the first bite, yolk and burger juices oozed out. The bison burger had a thick patty with poblano pepper, grilled onions, muenster cheese, and cumin mayonnaise. Surprisingly, with so many strong individual flavors, nothing in the bison burger overpowers the others; the flavors blend together perfectly and yet you can still distinctly taste each ingredient. For the vegetarians out there, the veggie burger has tofu bacon, fried green tomato, pickled pepper, chipotle mayo. - Guava Beach on Mission Boulevard is the epitome of a beach bar out of a brochure. Pool tables, sports on the TVs, beer on tap on full display, and wooden tables and counters. Their Diablo Burger, which has the Guava’s Famous Burger in it, is accompanied with pepper jack, serrano peppers, and Sriracha aioli drizzle for a delicious kick for those who like spicy food. - At Miss B’s Coconut Club on Mission Boulevard, there is only one burger on the menu, but there only needs to be one burger on that menu. The Coconut Club Burger sports an all-natural angus beef patty with the usual lettuce, tomato, red onions, mustard, and pickles, as well as roasted garlic, cilantro aioli, kolache roll, and your choice of cheese. It seems a little much, but they all combine into a nice blend of flavor. La Jolla - Beaumont’s might offer only two burgers, but it’s well worth your time and appetite. The Char-Burger is your basic burger, made with 100 percent angus beef, house aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion. But Beaumont’s Burger is the main burger attraction on this menu. A half-pound, three meat blend of veal, pork and beef contributes to a thick, juicy patty with a more flavorful taste than your average beef burger. The burger is topped off with sun dried tomatoes, feta, basil aioli, and balsamic glazed onions for a mildly sweet and tangy finish. Eat this Beaumont masterpiece inside at one of their high tables, or sit outside and enjoy people-watching while lounging on their plush sofa seats in the patio area. - Relax at The Lodge at Torrey Pines and enjoy The Grill’s famous Drugstore Hamburger, a classic burger with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. The outdoor patio area makes The Grill a nice seating area for the day, and the fire pits contribute to a cozy feeling in the evening. Don’t forget to order a local craft beer to add the finishing touch to your meal. - La Jolla Brewing Co. has more than just quality craft beers; they’ve got a great bar food menu as well. Try their Rogue Wave Burger (a classic burger with horseradish mayo), or their LJBC House Burger. The LJBC House Burger is made with premium beef, bleu cheese, Portobello mushrooms, buffalo wing sauce, tomato and green leaf lettuce on a pretzel bun. Have a happy and fulfilling National Hamburger Day everyone!
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    Apple Tree Market opens on Newport Avenue
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 23, 2017 | 1552 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The boutique grocery store owner said Apple Tree is new and improved with a full-service meat department with a staff butcher, produce and dairy departments, and a deli. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The boutique grocery store owner said Apple Tree is new and improved with a full-service meat department with a staff butcher, produce and dairy departments, and a deli. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Apple Tree Market is open for business in Ocean Beach in a downscaled space at 4978 Newport Ave. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Apple Tree Market is open for business in Ocean Beach in a downscaled space at 4978 Newport Ave. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    After a nearly four-year wait, and a grueling remodel, the new Apple Tree Market is open for business in Ocean Beach in a downscaled space at 4978 Newport Ave. “It turned out to be very beautiful,” said Apple Tree's owner, Saad Hirmez, of his 7,000-square-foot remodeled space, about half the size of his previous location at at 4949 Santa Monica Ave. The market's space has been downsized – not its selection, Hirmez said. “There's ample selection and merchandise, and it's going to serve the community very well,” he said. “It's going to work out just great.” The boutique grocery store owner said Apple Tree is new and improved with a full-service meat department with a staff butcher, produce and dairy departments, and a deli. There are other store upgrades as well. “We have a lot of organic items,” Hirmez added. Apple Tree's new retail space has gone through several reincarnations over the years. In turn, it's been a surf shop, a gym, a bazaar and a Bank of America building. The Hirmez family acquired the building and it has been remodeling since February 2016. Hirmez said the remodel took longer than expected. “It's easier to rebuild a new building than it is to go through a remodel. With a new building you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to put in new plumbing, electrical, etc. When you're messing with an old building, it's a different process. You have to replace everything that's there, which is likely old and may not be up to current codes and standards.” The entrepreneur said everything in the Apple Tree, which had a soft opening May 22, is “brand new and up to date – all fresh.” Hirmez noted his liquor license has been carried over from his former location to sell beer, wine and spirits. According to him, that license includes several agreed-upon conditions including: no single cans of beer, no half-pints or miniature bottles of spirits, no fortified wines and no sales after midnight. Hirmez said there was a flurry of activity by he and his team just prior to Apple Tree's re-opening. “We were putting in 15-, 16-hour days,” he said. “We're all excited to finally be giving the community the store that they deserve. They've showed tremendous support for us opening. We've gotten a lot of excitement, and buzz, from the community and our customers.” The Apple Tree Market was acquired in 1988 by the Hirmez family, which took over the property previously used by Safeway at the corner of Cable Street and Santa Monica Avenue. The market's lease there ended in 2011. It ceased operations on Dec. 31, 2012. Apple Tree Market Where: 4976 Newport Ave. Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Info: 619-222-0102.
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    Former Midway post office sold, mixed-use project planned
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 22, 2017 | 1579 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Point is planned for the site by the buyer, a joint venture whose managing member is an affiliate of San Diego-based real estate developer Hammer Ventures.
    The Point is planned for the site by the buyer, a joint venture whose managing member is an affiliate of San Diego-based real estate developer Hammer Ventures.
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    The 16-acre former post office distribution center in the Midway District has been resold for $40.05 million with plans for a $325 million, mixed-use project called The Point. The Point is planned for the site by the buyer, a joint venture whose managing member is an affiliate of San Diego-based real estate developer Hammer Ventures. The seller was Rexford Industrial Realty LP. Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. of Los Angeles had previously acquired the former U.S. Postal Service annex facility at 2535 Midway Drive in October 2015 with plans to redevelop the property into new industrial spaces for $19.3 million. A Rexford statement at that time said the transaction “presented an opportunity to acquire and reposition two prominent industrial buildings in a dense, supply-constrained infill submarket in central San Diego.” The former postal property consists of two buildings with a total of 373,000 rentable square feet on 16 acres, near the Valley View Casino Center arena in northern Point Loma. HFF’s equity placement team, led by director Bryan Clark, worked on behalf of the buyer to arrange joint venture equity for the acquisition. Hammer Ventures was founded in 2000 and has developed property worth more than $1.5 billion. An urban master plan is being developed for the property, which sits at the gateway to the greater Point Loma area within a short walk to Liberty Station. Peninsulans weighing in the sale of the old post office site were cautiously optimistic about it. “This is good news,” said Midway Community Planning Group chair Cathy Kenton. “I’m happy that, finally, this important piece of our community will be moving forward with a plan. We look forward to learning more about the proposed project from the new owners/developers.” “When I received the news I was smiling to know that a major portion of the Midway/Loma Portal/Point Loma area was in store for another 'major' upgrade,” noted Anthony (The Captain) Theodore of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on Shelter Island. “There are more upgrades on the way." “With the fate of the old Midway post office, you just never know what the end result will be for that location,” said Robert (Tripp) Jackson, immediate past president of the Point Loma Association. “The hope would be a use that's compatible, and needed, in that location, surrounded by business, military housing and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. It's centrally located, and I would think many options could be explored.” However the former Midway central mail processing and distribution facility ends up being redeveloped, local planners want it to mesh with their community plan now being updated. Previously, immediate past MCPG chair Melanie Nickel said the neighborhood was open to “mixed use or a residential senior center on the site. “We want to be sure that whatever goes there does not make local traffic any worse than it already is,” Nickel said. Midway planners also expressed a desire to see the redevelopment of the old postal building and environs acknowledge the aviary roots of the Dutch Flats Urban Village. Dutch Flats was once the testing grounds of San Diego aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.
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    Ocean Beach serves up 25 years of flavors, flowers and fun at its farmers market
    by JONATHAN LO
    May 17, 2017 | 10355 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sampling sea urchin at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Troy Orem
    Sampling sea urchin at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Troy Orem
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    An eclectic mix of people and products at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    An eclectic mix of people and products at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Buskers usually line the sidewalk during the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Buskers usually line the sidewalk during the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The flower booths are popular at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The flower booths are popular at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    “Barney and Friends,” “Super Mario Kart,” “The Bodyguard,” Cartoon Network, and the Ocean Beach Farmers Market. What do all these have in common? All of them are turning 25 this year. The Ocean Beach Farmers Market traces its origins back to the late 1980s; Ocean Beach was struggling to revitalize its downtown area, which looked bleak because of loss of business and general community fervor. After numerous town hall meetings and workshops, residents put together a list of projects and events they wanted to enact or revive. One item on that list was a farmers market. Thus, in 1992 the first OB Farmers Market was funded and set up on Newport Avenue, two blocks from the beach. It was and still is managed by the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA), a private non-profit merchants guild. Denny Knox is the executive director of the OBMA, and has overseen the running of Ocean Beach Farmers Market since its inception. Even with all the excitement surrounding the farmers market, it took five years for it to be able to sustain itself. Until then, the OBMA was pouring money into it to keep it afloat. To combat that issue, Knox said, “We made a concerted effort to bring visitors here and make this a destination for people who like an eclectic community. There’s not a lot of places like Ocean Beach.” Moreover, OBMA listened to community feedback on the farmers market. “People made suggestions all along. Having music, having crafters, and we have a number of local merchants who go out and go to the farmers market even though they have a nice shop,” said Knox. Now, the attraction has evolved into a unique mix of local music and booths. “We’ve had a good number of businesses start here at the farmers market,” she said. “There’s quite a few people who made a product and they’ve been able to branch out and get it in stores.” There are a myriad of reasons as to why the Ocean Beach Farmers Market has stayed so popular. “It’s fun. It’s just fun. It’s very different. OB is a very social place,” said Knox. “If you like people-watching you’ll love our farmers market.” Moreover, the farmers market is close and convenient to many. Not only is it just two blocks from the beach, but it is also nested in the downtown area, surrounded by numerous restaurants and bars. The market is also within walking distance for many, and for those further out, the 35 and 923 bus routes have a stop right next to one end of the market. On the longevity of the Ocean Beach Farmers Market, Knox beamed, “I’m surprised at how the farmers market has gone on for so long and how rock solid it has been over the years. I really appreciate it because we want it to be successful.” The loyalty of the Ocean Beach residents also greatly contributed to the success as well as the OBMA’s efforts to spread the word. Indeed, there are now around 100 booths, some three-quarters of whom have been around for a long time. OBMA has also found that about 45 percent of the farmers market visitors are not from the area. OBMA does not only work with the Ocean Beach Farmers Market, though. The market makes enough to sustain itself and then some. “The extra funds allow us to plow back into the community by doing projects and programs that are needed to make OB better,” Knox said. OBMA has a hand in various community events such as beautification and small fairs. When asked if there were any changes, reasonable or unreasonable, she wanted to enact on the OB Farmers Market, Knox mused, “I would expand the street by four feet. I would also like to string lights across the palm trees all the way down the street. So when it’s at night or at dusk, those lights would kick in and we don’t need to have our own lights.” Knox also expressed a desire to have an area devoted to cooking classes at the farmers market, but unfortunately there is no space for anything of the sort to be possible. The Ocean Beach Farmers Market is located at 4900 Newport Ave. It takes place every week on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association is located at 1868 Bacon St. OBMA will also be having a giveaway of reusable produce bags on Wednesday, May 17.
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    Plenty brewing in Point Loma for bicyclists in May
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 16, 2017 | 1874 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Take a ride through Point Loma with a group of friends and visit bike-friendly eateries. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY BIKE COALITION
    Take a ride through Point Loma with a group of friends and visit bike-friendly eateries. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY BIKE COALITION
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    May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, and communities across San Diego, including the Peninsula, are seizing the opportunity to promote the pastime. The special month includes Bike To Work Day on Thursday, May 18, when thousands of San Diego commuters will be cycling to and from their places of employment.  The month-long event is being observed by bike-centric businesses and community healthy-lifestyle activists alike. "We love seeing more and more cyclists come to The Hub since we opened three months ago,” said Sandy Hanshaw, owner of bike-themed The Coffee Hub and Cafe at 2907 Shelter Island Drive. “We've created a fun place that caters to cyclists and our local community everyday." Hanshaw noted The Coffee Hub will be a stop along the way during Bike to Work Day May 18. "Our Bike to Work Day pit stop will promote Bike Month and safe riding to educate cyclists and tourists alike," she said. Hanshaw's husband, Andy, is executive director of San Diego Bike Coalition, which, since 1987, has been advocating for cyclist's rights, promoting bicycling as as mainstream, safe and enjoyable alternative form of transportation and recreation. "Though we treat every month like bike month, May brings bicycles into the spotlight for a month of two-wheeled activities and events,” said Andy Hanshaw. “During National Bike Month, we hope to inspire people to embrace bikes as a form of everyday commuting that makes our region a better place to live and ride all year long." San Diegans like few things more than summer weather, riding bikes and exploring new places to enjoy the local growing craft-beverage culture. Locals and tourists alike may be surprised that Point Loma is also a community for libation exploration. Bikes and brews The following breweries and wine bars in Point Loma are accommodating riders for under-the-radar bikeable craft-beverage tours: • Fathom Bistro, Bait and Tackle (1776 Shelter Island Drive): This cozy, dockside taproom offers a selection of craft brews and bar bites in a chill environment in the only craft beer bar on Shelter Island. • The Wine Pub (2907 Shelter Island Drive #108): This contemporary-styled, community-oriented eatery showcases 25-plus domestic and global wines by the glass with a large selection of local beers on-tap. • Eat at The Pearl (1410 Rosecrans St.) – Tucked away in The Pearl boutique hotel, this restaurant serves expertly crafted cocktails along with wines and beers. • Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (4990 N. Harbor Drive): This casual tavern features burgers and beers with a complete view of the marina.  • Bay City Brewing (3760 Hancock St. in Midway area): Dubbed informally as "Point Loma's Brewery,” Bay City offers a wide array of the finest ales for the finest city. “We are huge supporters of the bike community. We believe that with the incredible weather, there is no reason that San Diego should not be more of a biking city,” said Hana Pruzansky of Bay City Brewing Co. “Our brewery is centralized to so many bike paths, and being located in a more industrial area it is refreshing and exciting to see bikers stop in to enjoy some beers on our patio. For this month, any bikers who visit us will receive a 50 percent off token to the brewery,” she added. “We love our bikers, and encourage guests and staff to get out and bike,” said Natalie Richards of The Pearl. “We offer free cruiser rentals to our hotel guests and every last Sunday of the month we have ‘Bikes N’ Brunch’! Pedal to The Pearl and receive the bottomless mimosas for $2.50 (with purchase of entrée).” Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more people to give it a try. National Bike to Work Week is May 15-19.  Whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment, or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons for riding, claims the League of American Bicyclists on its website.  As a national sponsor, the League of American Bicyclists provides resources to help plan biking events in your area. Each year, the number and diversity of Bike Month celebrations continues to grow, accelerating the momentum around bicycling nationwide. The League of American bicyclists was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers and pedestrians. Back then, to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads. The success of the League in its first advocacy efforts ultimately led to the nation's national highway system. Bike to Work Day When: Thursday, May 18. Pit stops: Mixte Communications, 4827 Voltaire St.; Partner- Moment Bicycles, 2816 Historic Decatur Road; Coffee Hub & Cafe, 2907 Shelter Island Drive. Info: iCommuteSD.com.
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