By Melissa Porter, Health Promotions Division, Utah County Health Department
The League of American Bicyclists has designated the Utah County Health Department as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business. The application is very well put together and easy to fill out. The employees at the League of American Bicyclist were very helpful. Per my request they sent me an example of another county health office application from a previous year. The application example was helpful when filling out the application. The League employees are more than willing to answer my questions.
When we were named a BFB, the League provided us with feedback that is very detailed and specific to our organization. The Health Department is proud to be Provo’s second BFB, and our goal is become a Silver-level BFB within the next four years.
Being a bicycle friendly business means that we are working toward a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers and other residents of Provo. It also means helping our communities be safer, happier, healthier and more sustainable through bicycling. For more information please visit the League of American Bicyclist website: http://bikeleague.org/business
In my work at Bicycle Collective, I’ve met fellow bicycle advocates throughout the state and heard their experiences biking in their respective cities.
Just in the past month I’ve heard horror stories from a friend in Ogden about having glass bottles thrown at her from a vehicle whizzing past. I’ve heard from dozens of mountain biking enthusiasts in the Salt Lake area who have had their $3,000+ bikes stolen from their garages.
No, Provo is not immune to these sorts of problems; it has its fair share, but I’d like to offer a positive outlook from personal experience. Though we have much to improve, Provo is a bike-friendly city.
I’ve bike commuted since 2012 and have seen the worst of it; cyclists speeding toward me head-on riding the wrong way in the bike lane, inattentive drivers swerving into my travel area, and that guy in the lifted pickup who laughs as he drives past you, rolling coal all the way. We’ve all had one too many encounter with that guy.
But while completing my annual post-finals century ride around Utah Lake last week, I was more than pleasantly surprise to not have even one negative encounter with a motorist. Keep in mind this includes suburban sprawl like Eagle Mountain and tiny farming towns like Elberta, typically seen as bicycle un-friendly.
While riding, I reflected on my past two years of bike commuting in Provo and tried to recall any sour memories, but I couldn’t! In fact, since returning from my mission in 2015, I haven’t had a single negative experience with a motorist that was caused intentionally.
Some may think it’s just luck, but I believe that our presence, as normal people who choose to transport ourselves bike, is noticed and respected. Thanks to the incredible support from local agencies like Provo City, Provo Bicycle Committee, and my fellow staff and all our 400+ volunteers at Provo Bicycle Collective who jointly push for bike safety and even dedicate a whole month to celebrating cycling, biking to and fro has never been safer or more fun.
Take a ride around the city today and realize what a great place we live in. Yes, Provo has shortcomings to overcome before becoming a model city, but it is a bicycle-friendly city and becoming more so each day.
As the final touches of landscaping and paint our applied along 300 South the past few weeks, Provo’s first bicycle-friendly intersection at 200 East/300 South is getting rave reviews. Here is one from from Tony Dittmer of the Maeser Neighborhood, who lives just north of 300 South:
“I work up in Lehi and take the FrontRunner when I bike to work. In the past crossing 300 South has been such a pain. Recently UDOT installed a new bicycle signal at 300 South and 200 East. I love this intersection. I have often looked for paths that were less busy for biking. I prefer not to ride close to heavy traffic. In the past I would have to ride on the shoulder or University Avenue until I passed 300 South, but now thanks to this signal I have a very mellow commute home.
Photos courtesy of Karen Tapahe
200 East has very light traffic and there are signs when you get to the intersection to take the lane. When approaching the intersection you pull into two curbs in the middle of the intersection where there is a friendly sensor and bicycle traffic signal and you don’t have to wait long before it changes and let’s you go right through and across 300 South. Crossing 300 South used to so dangerous, but not now thanks to this signal. The new bike lanes along around 300 South are also very welcome. I love Provo and the steps we are taking to make it better.”
The Utah County Health Department now has covered bike racks!! The bike racks were donated by Utah Transit Authority (UTA). They are being used by department employees and visitors to the county offices.
When Melissa Porter, a department health educator and member of the Provo Bicycle Committee, noticed the current bike racks were only available outside, with nothing protecting them from rain, snow and ice, she began her quest to install bike racks in the parking garage located east of the Health Department building.
Melissa worked with Brady Christensen, Building and Grounds Division Manager, to identify a location and to install the bike racks. She also designed wayfinding signs. Melissa said, “Signs are key to letting people know you have bike racks available. We hope this will encourage employees to bike to work.”
The bike racks are being promoted through the employee email system, the county newsletter, and through their Facebook page.
On February 23 , 2017, Melissa and her co-workers had a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the racks for use. “It was a lot of fun using the big scissors,” Melissa exclaimed.
For the past six years, Provo Bicycle Committee has been recognizing outstanding bicycle commuters for their contributions to Provo by awarding the Golden Spoke Award. We believe in cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation that can help create a cleaner, healthier, and safer society.
Two years ago, we began recognizing winter bicycle commuters with the help of Canyon Bicycles, the sponsor of the winter award.
After a nomination and unanimous approval from the Provo Bicycle Committee, Josh Gubler has been chosen as the winner of the 2017 Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award.
Josh and his two daughters ready to embark to work and school, respectively. December 2016
One afternoon in January, while riding around town, I spotted Josh riding his bike home from work. It was probably the coldest day of the year and Josh was decked out in a full ski mask and lobster mitt gloves. Not even the snow and freezing temperatures stopped him from biking!
Since December 3, 2015, Josh has commuted by bicycle to work, often dropping his kids off at school, also on their bikes. In his nearly 15 months of bicycle commuting, Josh has saved over 1.5 tons of C02 emissions that he would have created by driving and likely burned over 90,000 calories.
After I presented the award to Josh during a city council meeting in February 2017, he told the council he started biking to save money but has found that it offers him time to relax and see the city. He encouraged citizens to help make the city a friendlier place by choosing to bike instead of drive. Doing so, he said, would reduce pollution and increase a sense of community within our neighborhoods.
The Provo Bicycle Committee would like to congratulate Josh on winning this award and showing all of us that it’s still possible –and fun–to bicycle commute during winter.
Because of the popularity of PBC’s Earn-a-Bike program, they’ve decided to launch a new camp for youth ages 6-18.
“Provo Bicycle Collective is excited to announce a summer full of programs designed to help youth learn problem-solving, safe riding, and bicycle mechanic skills!
Bike School is a week-long day camp designed to teach youth safe bike riding and basic bike mechanics through hands-on experience. They experience everything from fixing a flat, to learning how to ride safely to school, to riding their bike on the Bonneville Shoreline mountain bike trail.
• Fix common mechanical issues, fixing a flat tire, adjusting brakes & gears
• Properly use hand brakes and shifters (for older riders)
• Ride courteously on paved trails
• Ride safely and confidently in the road, including using signals and lights
• Securely lock bicycle
• Ride confidently on beginner mountain bike trails
May 2017 is going to be the best Bike Month yet! Check out some of the incredible events planned by Provo City, the Provo Bicycle Collective, the Provo Bicycle Committee, and other organizations.
Plus, keep watching the blog (and this page) for Bike Month updates.
Provo Bike Challenge
Monday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 31
Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Provo is eligible to participate in the Provo Bike Challenge. This event is an easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues, and the Provo community to ride more. Participants are asked to record their daily/weekly miles ridden (using the Strava app) and points will be awarded throughout the challenge.
Participate for a chance to win weekly prizes and giveaways. Those who finished at the top of their category (Organization, Female & Male) will be awarded at the end of the challenge and honored during Provo City’s Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 20th. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
Monday Night Ride
Every Monday in May | 9:00 pm
Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N)
Meet new friends during this leisurely, low-pressure evening ride! Meet at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) each Monday night in May for a casual ride through the streets of Provo. We’ll be meeting at the same time and place for a similar ride. Come to as many as you can! This event is family friendly and all ages are welcome. Please bring lights for your bike! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
Bike to Work Day
Tuesday, May 2 | 7:30-9:00 am
Breakfast Stations hosted by employers, large & small, across the city
Provo businesses will host stations located throughout the city and hand out free breakfast, drinks, and other treats to people who arrive by bike from 7:30 – 9:00 am. (Provo City’s breakfast station will be open at 6:30 am for early bird riders.) Pick up some breakfast and coffee, get to know your fellow commuters, have your bike looked at by a pro mechanic, and connect with the Provo Bike Committee and other community volunteers. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
Wednesday, May 3, 10, 17 & 24 | 8:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)
Each Wednesday in May at 8pm the Provo Bicycle Collective will be hosting a movie night. Every week will be a different bike-themed movie. They will all be family friendly and a little over an hour in length. Make sure to bring your bike and a blanket as well as your favorite movie snack. For more information, follow the Bike Collective Facebook Group.
Bike Theft Prevention Clinic
Friday, May 5 | 6 – 7 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)
In an effort to decrease the amount of bike theft in Provo, we’re hosting a free informational clinic to show you how to keep your bike safe from thieves. Join us at 6:00 pm for a presentation from an officer from the Provo Police Department and a representative from the Provo Bicycle Collective. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
Tuesday, May 9 | 7:00 pm
Provo Library at Academy Square (550 N University Ave)
Provo Library is hosting a bike tune-up class to help you know how to get your bike in top shape for Bike Month. The class is totally free and open to the public. This is your chance to ask a bicycle mechanic for techniques on tuning your bike. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
Overnight Bike Trip
Friday, May 12 | Meet @ 6pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)
Meet at Provo Bicycle Collective at 6pm and leave shortly thereafter. Our 10-mile route takes bike lanes on University Avenue and the Provo River Trail the whole way. We’ll set up camp at Nunns Park and get a fire going. Smores will be provided.
To accurately predict how many campsites we need, please select “going” on the Facebook Event Page if you are planning to go and comment how many children you’ll be bringing. We’ll need one site per ten people. Please bring food for the night and morning, a tent or something to sleep in, and warmer clothes as it’s often colder in the canyon than in the city. There will be a bike trailer to help you carry your stuff; up to 100lbs of supplies. Please bring $2/person or be able to pay with Paypal/Venmo to split the campsite cost. RSVP on the Facebook Event Page to claim your spot.
Saturday, May 13 | 2:00 pm
Historic County Courthouse Lawn (Center Street & University Ave)
This is a women’s only ride to empower women in the world and on bikes. Come make new friends and enjoy a slow paced 5 mile ride around Provo. We encourage all ages and skill levels. The ride will end at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) where the Provo Bicycle Collective will provide snacks.
Worldwide Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 17 | Meet @ 6:30 pm, Ride starts @ 7:00 pm
Dixon Middle School (750 W 200 N)
Join the Provo chapter of the Worldwide Ride of Silence on May 17th to ride to honor people who were killed or injured while biking this last year and last several years. We will begin at Dixon Middle School and go for a short, slow, silent ride with brief stops at the ghost bike memorials for Doug Crow and Mark Robinson, and return to Dixon Middle School where we will have light refreshments.
Provo Bike Picnic
Saturday, May 20 | Meet @ 4:00 pm, Ride starts at 4:30 pm
Meet at Utah Lake State Park (4400 Center St, Provo) | Picnic @ Lakeview Park (2825 W 1390 N)
There’s no sweeter way to spend your Saturday afternoon than a bike picnic. Meet us at 4pm at Utah Lake State Park for a fun, causal bike ride. We will pedal on over to Lakeview Park to enjoy a homemade picnic. Be sure to pack your own food and blankets.
Fun Fun Underground Forrest Race and BBQ!
Saturday, May 27th | 7:00 pm
Paul Ream Wilderness Park (1600 500 N)
The FUFFR is back! This event is more of a bike-themed party than a race. The course weaves through trees and streams in Paul Ream Wilderness Park. You’ll get dirty, wet, and likely crash. Last time, we completely shredded a single speed cog on an old beach cruiser. We’ll send 4 people at a time through the course on beach cruisers provided by Provo Bicycle Collective. Winners of each group will race in a final run and the winners will be crowned as the champions of the FFUFR 2017. Hot dogs will be provided; please bring a picnic-style side to share! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
May 2nd – 6th | 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)
Want to celebrate bike month but need a bike first? Provo Bicycle Collective is offering 10% off everything in store, even with our already low prices. We’ve got an ever-changing selection of refurbished bikes, locks, lights, racks, helmets, panniers, etc. Everything you need to make biking your primary mode of transportation. We’ll also be selling beach cruisers in need of repair for $20 each for you to fix up and ride for the FUFFR race later this month. Come to the shop and see what’s in store!
May is National Bike Month and Provo is celebrating the many benefits of bicycling!
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 – you’re going to love the events and activities we’ve got planned. The city has put together a month full of events and activities to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride! We look forward to seeing you at:
The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Utah Valley Hospital, Provo’s second largest employer, as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly workplace. This award honors employers who have a strong commitment and dedication to bicycling. In order to achieve this designation, UVR was measured according to the following criteria:
Support local, state, and national bike advocacy
Offer classes on bicycle safety and maintenance
Share bicycling information and resources with employees and guests
Track data related to bicycling
Have dedicated staff focused on bicycle-friendly improvements
Be easily accessible by bike
Offer convenient, secure bike parking
Foster a positive internal bike culture
Celebrate Bike-to-Work Day and Bike Month
UVH’s new Employee LiVe Well Bike Locker Room is just one of ways that the hospital shows its commitment to being a bicycle-friendly employer
About the achievement, UVH administrator Scott Walker observed, “This designation and our future commitment to promoting bicycle is in perfect alignment with all of our LiVe Well efforts. In 2017, Utah Valley Hospital will actively support Provo’s Bike-To-Work Day and Bike Month. We are just laying a foundation here. As the new Utah Valley Hospital, which is currently under construction, takes shape, watch for other changes that will help us align our facilities and our culture with a two-wheeled lifestyle.”
Among these changes will be improved bicycle parking for employees and visitors, accommodating pedestrians and bicyclist through its enlarged campus, and support for the city and UDOT making the surrounding streets more bicycle-friendly.
The blue lines indicate existing bike lanes, the pink lines show planned bikeways. In the near future, UVH will be surrounded by bike lanes allowing employees, visitors, and others to safely and conveniently bike to and through the hospital campus.
UVH’s willingness to make accommodations for those who opt to bicycle make it a better employer, health care provider, and member of the community.