Here’s To Love (And Bicycles)

Most of the time love is but a distant thought underlying the continuous struggles of daily existence. If you’re in a relationship you’re either loving it or hating it. (It’s said there is a thin line between love and hate, something I’ve witnessed and experienced myself.) There is one day a year, however, that pushes these thoughts to the front of everyone’s minds: Valentine’s Day. For those in love it can be blissful, but stressful to orchestrate, and for those who are enjoying their single-hood, it can evoke a multitude of emotions.

Oh, the ominous Valentine’s Day, how it continues to vex the world. Love—as I would hope you all know—is not about a day of the year; it is about being it, doing it, and feeling it. Love is about getting bold and being vulnerable.

Yes, shit will inevitably hit the fan, but didn’t some philosopher out there say, “It is better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all?” I think they were on to something. Regardless, even if you see Valentine’s Day as just another a day of the year and it’s not important to you, it is important to others—most importantly, maybe your significant other.

An interesting thought to ponder is passion for worldly things that are not people. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that; a communal infatuation we have here in Chico is the love of bicycles. There’s nothing grander than a brisk ride in the midst of a perfectly seasoned day. I surely have a warm place in my heart for my trusty bicycle steed. It’s a relationship of self and bike that has evolved nicely.

Fortunately for all lovers and bicyclers, there is an event that has been crafted to hone harmonious melodies of love for you and your partner; whether your partner is your bike, your friend, your mom, or your everywhere man: Love & Bicycles. 

A beautiful jaunt through Chico would surely be a great way to impress your loved one. Starting out at the Habitat Lab, cyclists will voyage together (with instruction) and check out the Butte Environmental Council’s Humboldt Community Garden, across from Marsh Junior High School.

There will be exquisite opportunities to bask in love with coffee tasting hosted by Naked Lounge Tea & Coffeehouse, and chocolate tasting by the Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?

After biking back to the Habitat Lab, a delectable local-focused dinner will be served, with dishes such as braised lamb, root roast, and French carrot soup, provided by Blush Catering; featuring fresh produce from GRUB CSA Farm, and bread from Tin Roof Bakery. While you dine, there will be a private concert by the Railflowers to stir your heart. Hearing these stunning female vocals would turn any Valentine’s Day into a success.

There are only a few tickets, so think fast; 60 folks are destined to have a great time. Tables will be set for two, with a common table for those looking to mingle. If you’re interested in sitting with friends, make sure you give the wonderful Sammey Zangrilli (yes, the same Sammey Zangrilli who puts on the Chico Bicycle Music Festival) a shout-out so she can accomodate. Tickets are $50 per person, or $40 if you have to skip the bike ride.

There will also be a photo booth with a tandem bike to seal the memory. Bonus prizes of bike lights will also be given out, donated courtesy of Sammey’s g-ma.

Have kids? Have no fear, Sammey has thought of it for you! Childcare will be available (and nearby—only two blocks away!), but needs to be reserved as soon as possible. Children are $10 each per hour for the first child, and $10 per additional kid (flat, not hourly). Childcare providers are certified and trained professionals.

Pretty much all you have to do is show up and have a good time. Bonus! You can even feel super grand about your amazing date, because all proceeds will benefit Butte Environmental Council and Chico Bicycle Music Festival!

Anyone who has attended one of the bicycle-centric events here in Chico has seen the pedal-power generator. Maybe you have even jumped aboard and helped generate power for local and visiting musicians. That magical piece of machinery is in need of repair, and Love & Bicycles is a fundraiser to make that happen.

If you’re more into letting your singleness stand out like a mane on a lion, there is a V-Day Independence Party at the DownLo, with comedy, music, and yes speed-dating, to quell your love-questioning heart. Any donations collected will go to benefit the Chico Peace and Justice Center. This is also the inaugural event for the radio program Love in the 21st Century, of 90.1FM KZFR Community Radio. Of course, you can also come if you’re happily involved, but Julian (radio personality and all around jester) may encourage you to take a speed date challenge and test the depths of that love.

Whether you’re into it or not, Valentine’s Day is coming and it may be a good time to figure out how you might spend it. Writing love notes to strangers and inviting out unsuspecting friends or coworkers is highly encouraged.

Cheers to the mystery of love.

More Information: 

Tickets to the Love & Bicycles ride/dinner/concert, Feb. 14, 4-9 p.m., are available at the Chico Natural Foods Cooperative (818 Main St.), Naked Lounge Tea & Coffeehouse (118 W. Second St.) and at the Butte Environmental Council office (116 W. Second St. #3). 

Cost: $40/$50 per person.

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