Grant Park’s New Senior Center

Posted on November 11, 2014 by  
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Grant Park Senior CenterWith the opening of the Grant Park Senior Center last week, Los Altos seniors will have a second location for casual gathering and programs. During the center’s pilot phase scheduled through January, volunteers will open the facility 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.

“This will help us look after a sector of the community that is underserved,” said volunteer coordinator Lynette Lee Eng. “These are the people who have made Los Altos what it is today.”

Although the city of Los Altos provides a steady stream of programming for local seniors at the Los Altos Senior Center at the downtown Hillview Community Center campus, it is not very accessible to older residents who live south of the downtown core and who may have limited transportation options.

Seeking a solution closer to home, a group of residents, including Rita Mitchell, successfully lobbied the Senior Commission with a proposal for a satellite location at Grant Park.

“A lot of older people can’t drive or can’t drive very far, so they aren’t able to get to the other center,” said Mitchell of why the Grant Road location meets an unfulfilled need for seniors living near her.

At the ribbon cutting for the Grant Park program last week, more than 80 residents stopped by to explore the new space. Mitchell said most of the people she met walked to the center from their homes – something they couldn’t previously do.

Seniors will find a small but sensibly furnished space that includes enough nooks and crannies for multiple small-group activities. Eng anticipates a variety of programming in the space, from coffees to card games, book club meetings, seasonal produce and plant exchanges, and themed presentations. A growing media-share station offers books, magazines and DVDs for visitors to borrow. An upright piano sits in the corner, ready for some musical play.

The Grant Park Senior Center is located at 1575 Holt Ave.  For more information, call 947-2797.

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New Bike Center In South Los Altos

Posted on February 13, 2013 by  
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Undiscovered Country’s Terry Morse envisions that in time, cycling enthusiasts will view his new Los Altos bike center the way children view a certain Southern California amusement park.

“Our mission is to make people happy through bicycling,” said Morse, who relocated his bike center from Mountain View to 2249 Grant Road in November. “It’s our corporate mission – kind of like Disney.”

The center’s co-founder and managing director, Morse noted that turning his Los Altos business into the happiest place on earth for cyclists means offering more than your run-of-the-mill bike shop.

To that end, Undiscovered Country is part bike shop and part travel agency, Morse said, offering 60 guided bike tours throughout California this year. Trips range from three to nine days, with group rides along the coast and through wine country and the Sierra, as well as treks to southern locations like Palm Desert, the Salton Sea and Borrego Springs.

Morse said the catalyst that prompted him to start Undiscovered Country with his wife in 2005 was his personal dissatisfaction with commercial bike tours.

“The commercial tours were long on things like cooking classes, wine tasting and gourmet picnics and less on the cycling,” said Morse, who operated the business out of his Palo Alto home before opening his first bike center in Mountain View two years ago. “It’s not satisfying for the cyclist. With us, you actually ride your bike from place to place. A lot of the other tours just drive you to a place and let you out of the van to ride your bike. That’s a bus tour with bikes, basically.”

And while tours are a major component of his business, Morse also provides typical services such as bicycle repairs and rentals, as well as a limited selection of retail items.

Morse envisions his new location as a local hangout for cyclists trekking along nearby Foothill Expressway. Additional offerings by Undiscovered Country include snacks, beverages, free Wi-Fi access and even the use of a shower for local cyclists.

“We’re not a traditional bike shop with a lot of items to sell,” said Morse, pointing to his business’ proximity to Lucky Supermarket at 2175 Grant Road, a common park-and-ride destination for cyclists. “It’s more about servicing and being a clubhouse for cyclists. We’ve wanted a space for a long time for tours and rentals, so when (the Los Altos location) became available, we thought, ‘Why not offer up a space people can use?’”

Despite being a relative newcomer to town, Morse said he’s pleased with his decision to relocate to Los Altos, noting that his center has received positive early reviews from customers.

“When people come in and see it, they get pretty excited,” he said. “They come in expecting a bike shop and leave knowing it’s a lot more than that.”

For more information, visit www.udctours.com.

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