San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo, center, joins a group of bike riders near the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library during Bike to Work Day in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, May 11, 2017. The library was one of more than 90 energizer stations in Santa Clara Valley and San Mateo County to give cyclists a chance to stop for snacks and goodies. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)

The 25th annual Bike to Work Day is upon us Thursday, and I’m sure some of the folks who regularly commute via bicycles are amused by all of us amateurs trying to figure out our gears and pedal inside the lines of the green bike lanes that have sprouted up everywhere.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, of course, would love to see more of the once-a-year commuters turn into more regular cyclists. You can start by pledging to ride on Thursday, and if you’re more enthusiastic you also can get a team together to register for the Bay Area Bike Challenge, committing to ride for the entire month of May.

There are more than 150 “energizer” stations around the Bay Area, where cyclists can get tote bags, refreshments and aid if needed. One of the big ones is at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library in downtown San Jose, where San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Shiloh Ballard and others will provide remarks during a 7:15 a.m. program. That will be followed by the traditional “Movers and Shakers” ride, a 7-mile trip along the Guadalupe River Trail to VTA headquarters on North First Street. Any member of the public can join for all or part of the ride.

Three “Bike Away from Work” events are also planned starting at 5:30 p.m. at LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale headquarters, Summit Bicycles in Palo Alto and Cyclismo Cafe in Redwood City. They’re free to attend, but you’ve got to register for the Palo Alto and Sunnyvale events at You can also get more bicycling resources as well as maps to energizer stations at or

Don’t forget your helmet, and remember: Spandex is just an option.

FIVE-ALARM FEAST: Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, San Jose City Councilwoman Pam Foley and Campbell Police Chief Dave Carmichael are among the judges for Saturday’s second annual Orchard City Chili Cookoff in Campbell. The event, hosted by the Rotary Club of Campbell, is sanctioned by the International Chili Society — who knew? — and will include professional and amateur competitions.

Parking and admission are free, and there also will be a live music stage, a beer garden and kids activities, as well as chili tastings. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Lucy’s Parish at 2350 S. Winchester Blvd. More details are at

SPOONFUL OF ANNIVERSARIES: Scott and Shannon Guggenheim at 3Below Theaters tell me they were delighted to discover that “It’s a Small World (After All),” one of our nation’s most enduring earworms, turned 55 years old last month. You might think that’s the perfect retirement age, but I happen to love the song — which plays endlessly through its eponymous ride at Disneyland and is featured in the musical revue “A Spoonful of Sherman,” currently having its U.S. premiere at 3Below.

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