Coop Tour Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to bike to do the tour and the event?
No, the coop tour is certainly open to anyone who has an interest in backyard coops and urban gardens, whether you bike, walk , drive or scooter is fine. The routes created for the coop tour are primarily designed for bikes and they take bike passage ways that cars will not be able to follow. We provide all of the coop addresses and information about each coop so you can decide which coops you would like to visit and how you like to get between coops. Coop owners will not be setting up car parking area at their coop stops, so plan to park and walk a little ways if getting to the coop stops by a car. There is also a Google map that shows all of the coops and addresses that can also be used for navigation.
Is this event FREE?
Yes – The event is free, but you must register to get the coop tour maps, coop stop addresses and agree to the liability waiver to participate.
Where and when should I start the event?
The coops are open from only 9 AM to 4 PM only on Tour Coop Day only! Please do not attempt to visit the coops before 9 AM or after 4 PM or on any other day. This is a self guided set of tours and you can start, stop at anytime and anywhere on the loop and drop out and finish and do a smaller part of a loop. The ideal situation is to start a tour near your house and pick up the tour somewhere along the route. We encourage coop tourists to start at various points along the route to discourage concentration of people parking for this event in neighborhoods at the official start of the loops. We have designed several routes to start at the train station if you wish to train to the start of the tour.
How many coops do most riders visit?
Depending upon which route your choose, you could easily spend all day, 9 -4 AM biking and visiting coops on the longest loop. Probably the shorted loop you can do will take at least 2 hours. Plan on about 30 minutes to bike to and visit each coop.
Is the Silicon Valley Tour De Coop a “bike” ride or backyard farm tour?
Both or either? Depending upon the route and your purpose for the ride, it can be viewed as a challenging bike ride will stopping at the some coops. OR it could be very focused coop and backyard farm research day to plan your own coop and farm! We encourage both types of participants.
Is there any support on this event?
This tour is a self guided tour and you and your group must be self sufficient in terms of finding your own food and water, able to handle any bicycle repair issues and navigate yourself back to your start location if you leave a loop early. It’s easy to get lost temporarily so have your smart phone available to help direct you to the next coop stop if needed.
Can I help out?
Coop owners have graciously opened up their gardens and yards for this event and they might need some help parking and managing bikes, directing coop tourists and helping them with tour information. They might need a restroom or food break too during the day or brought food if they are giving coop and yard tours continually. If you wish to contact and volunteer for a particular coop before the event, please contact the coop tour organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put in touch with that coop owner. On the coop tour day, you can ask the coop owner if they need any help.
What are some strategies for a successful coop tour?
- The ride and coop stops will probably take you much longer than anticipated as there is much to be learned about coops and raising chickens from these urban farmers so start early and allow yourself plenty of time. The routes are selected to be quieter, biking friendly routes but not always direct routes.
- Carefully review the routes and maps and directions before starting your tour and plan for some possible early exit strategies and the routes you might take. Also look at the routes and consider how busy some of the routes with traffic.
- Plan or bring your own food/picnic and water and decide on a suitable location for any lunch stop. Some coop stops are offering picnic tables and the routes go by parks with restrooms and water. Plan for some time to relax at the coop stops and meet other future coopsters. Restrooms will NOT be available at coop stops so use the restrooms at parks that the rides go by or other places like coffee houses and restaurants.
- Plan to bring some money as some coop stops will be setting up kids lemonade stands and selling simple snacks. Some even selling coops or honey!
- Bring a camera/phone! Take pictures of your coops to help you plan your coop project!
- Invite a friend or group and have them register and attend the event with you.
- Celebrate chickens by creating your helmet chicken accessory.
- Have a fun time!
Do I need a coop tour ticket to get into the coop stops?
We anticipate that if you appear at coop stop and look interested in chicken coops, you will be welcomed into their backyard urban garden! If you want to look official, have a printed coop tour map handy in case there are any concerns that you might be trying to sneak into a coop stop without proper authorization! If asked, just explain that you really like chickens and start clucking to show that you are serious about chickens!
Will I be able to contact these coop owners later?
We do not plan to release coop owners name, phone or contact information. If you want to follow up with a particular coop stop owner, please request their contact information when visiting their coop stop. Most coop owners will be glad to share their information for followup. Bring items to gather contact information.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed on the coop tour! Dogs and chickens rarely mix well and this is just not a good venue to bring a dog.
Will there be honey bees at the coop stops?
Yes.. several of the coop stops and urban farms also have bee hives so this is a great tour if you are interested in starting a hive in your yard. If you are allergic to bees, check in with the front yard volunteer if possible to find out if bees are on that coop stop. The website page for each coop stop will indicate if they have bee hives.
Where can I get a Tour De Coop Shirt?
Check out our Posters page for information on how to make your own coop tour shirt!
Special bike Tour De Coop Jerseys are also available for sale!
Bike parking and bike security will be handled differently at each coop stop so be prepared to park and lock your bike securely if needed. Coop owners will be working to find spaces and walls, fences, etc for convenient bike parking. Tour de coop organizers and coop owners are not responsible for the safety of your bike or other valuables at a coop stop.
What Road markings and signage will there be?
This year we are offering a variety of coop tours routes and many miles of routes so we won’t be putting out any arrows on the roads but we have put more efforts into the maps and cue sheets. We now use RideWithGPS maps that you can download for your phone with the routes.
At each coop stop will be a coop stop sign.
What is the best way to navigate the Coop loops?
First we recommend you review your options in terms of the mileage, number of coops, the routes (traffic area, freeway overpasses, etc) and your set of riders. Select a coop tour that fits your interest and your abilities.
Then print out the maps and cue sheets for that tour and get familiar with the general route ahead of time. Have water, and food options and bailout options available.