Inspiration

You may have noticed that here at BikeProvo we love bicycles as transportation. We love discovering our city from the saddle of our steel steeds as well as running our errands and getting to work. What you may not know is that some of us (particularly me), have a soft spot for lycra and racing. I am not a particular fan of elitism or snobbery (which can be found in any asset of cycling by the way). If anything I am a student in what has been termed the ‘school of pain’. I love jumping on a fast light bike and pedaling out 200 miles in a day. I love taking skinny tires off road in homage of those who rode before me. Basically I love the bike’s ability to push my limits and take me to beautiful places. So, it is with this explanation that I give you this wonderfully inspiring video from Rapha. The guys and gals at Rapha support and live all those wonderful things that all of us love about bicycling: community, friends, places, food, life. If you are not a lycra clad road warrior you should at least be able to appreciate the beauty of the places they are riding. Enjoy.

 

Rapha Continental – The Movie from RAPHA on Vimeo.

What It’s Really About


Creative Commons License photo credit: sa_ku_ra

I am a bicycle rider and a lover of Provo city. My favorite way to start off a conversation with someone who asks why bicycles are important or, how bicycling benefits Provo is to say, “Bicycles are a figurative and literal vehicle for change.” I then go on to explain the economic (first part has the good stuff),clean air (click “why is it important”), and health (do you really need a link for this) benefits of riding bicycles . The hardest advantage to quantify is that of building communities. It is really hard to explain to someone who has not ridden since they were a kid how the simple act of  riding a bicycle can encourage people to get involved, or to clean up their neighborhood. Thanks to our good friend Tod Robbins that discussion just got a lot easier.

Tod introduced us to a great article, which is aptly named, ‘The real reason why bicycles are the key to better cities.’ In the article Kasey Klimes outlines the ‘X’ factor of bicycling. While the article may get a little pie in the sky at times it does have a lot of great things to say about bicycle riding and community building. One of my favorite passages from the article is,

“Suddenly livability isn’t an abstract concept, it’s an experience. Human scale, connectivity, land use efficiency, urban fabric, complete streets… all the codewords, catchphrases, and academic jargon can be tossed out the window because now they are one synthesized moment of appreciation. Bicycles matter because they are a catalyst of understanding – become hooked on the thrill of cycling, and everything else follows.”

The article goes on to show that until someone physically gets out in their community they are not going to notice what it may need or, what it may have to offer. I have personally experienced this realization myself multiple times here in our wonderful little city (not to mention all the times I have seen it with non-bicycling friends who have come with me  for a ride). I have discovered parks, buildings, events, and friends that had just been blurs while I was driving in a car. From the saddle of your bicycle the world really can be a a more inviting place.

I also really liked Klimes’ comments about the idea of ‘selling the idea of bicycling’,

‘The bicycle doesn’t need to be sold. It’s economical, it’s fun, it’s sexy, and just about everyone already has one hiding somewhere in their garage.

Invite a motorist for a bike ride through your city and you’ll be cycling with an urbanist by the end of the day. Even the most eloquent of lectures about livable cities and sustainable design can’t compete with the experience from atop a bicycle saddle.’

This is not to invoke that idea of motorist vs bicyclist. While there can be misunderstandings between different road users I do not subscribe to the idea that all motorists are out to hit bicyclists or, that all bicyclists are out to enrage motorists. The reason I love this comment is really two fold; first, Klimes is calling the bicycle ‘sexy’ (something I often do), second, and more importantly, he is outlining how to help people understand the place they live. It really is as simple as getting on your bicycle and riding.

Next time you are out on your bicycle be sure to look around, enjoy the ride, and really get to know your neighborhood. Finding a new secret or discovering a new perspective is always a great excuse to get other people riding and, if Klimes is right, that is one more step in making Provo even more awesome. Have fun, ride safe, and make sure to smile and wave every once in awhile.

 

 

Provo Bicycle Committee Meeting This Thursday (May 26)

Don’t miss this week’s Bike Committee meeting! Here are the details from committee chairperson Zac Whitmore:

“Our meeting this week will be Thursday from 5-6pm. We will be meeting in the City Building (351 W. Center Street). You can find us on the second floor in the council meeting room at the end of the hallway. These meetings are open to everyone so please come out and help.

This week we will be analyzing information gathered from Bicycle Week, talking about Bicycle Ambassadors, looking at some maps for bicycle lane placement based on some money that has been set aside for bicycle lanes, and finally talking in general about how to make Provo better for bicyclists. We hope to see you there.”

If you want more information about these meetings and bike happenings in Provo, please be sure to sign up for the Bike Committee email list. The committee chairman sends out a couple emails a month with a lot more detail! You can get on the list by sending your email address to: bikeprovo@gmail.com.

As always, don’t forget to join the Provo Bicycle Committee Facebook Group and follow the BikeProvo Facebook Page.

Thanks for Making Provo Bicycle Week a Hit!

Friends, thanks for riding your bike and participating in the Provo Bicycle Week events. This week has been a busy one. Together we:

– rode on 6 incredible group bike rides

– watched 1 bike-in (inside due to rain) movie, complete with high-speed car / bike chase

– checked out each other’s rides during 1 Bike-to-Work Day with Mayor Curtis and UTA

– passed out 256 Provo Ride Guides to interested cyclists

– tuned-up 50+ bikes for local riders absolutely free (thanks, Zac!)

– received well over 1,000 individual visits to our website

– enjoyed dozens of free goodies and discounts from local businesses (like Jamba Juice, Einstein’s Bagels, and Station 22)

– Met about 100 new friends that signed up to be in the loop with emails from the Provo Bicycle Committee (email bikeprovo@gmail.com if you still need to be added to the list).

Today’s pictures are from the first Provelo Ride to Utah Lake from Provo Canyon. To end Bike Week in style, we spent a gorgeous (finally rain-free) afternoon riding leisurely through the Provo River Trail, enjoying a picnic on the marina, and getting to know new friends.

The bad news is that Bike Week is over. The good news is that Bike Week was only the start to a summer full of cycling events for you and your friends / family. Keep checking the blog (and the Facebook page) for updates about bike picnics, rides, and more!

Saturday (May 21) Provelo Ride – The Best Ride of the Week!

Kid StokerThis Saturday, we’ll be hosting the very best ride of Provo Bike Week. Join us as we cycle from Provo Canyon to Utah Lake. Bring a picnic for your family and friends to enjoy while we lounge by the lake. For those that aren’t quite up to making the whole trip, you can still come along by meeting us half way.

Cyclists should meet the group at 10:30 a.m. at the mouth of Provo Canyon. We’ll be standing by the trail just next to the main parking lot (the Canyon View Park and Ride Lot).

Less adventurous rides can catch up with the group by meeting us at 11:30 in the Fort Utah Park parking lot – 325 N Geneva Road. (From this location, we’ll be past the mess of the freeway reconstruction and it should be pretty easy rolling for less-adventuresome riders).

Cyclists from our group will receive free admission to the lake (Thanks, Utah Lake Commission!) While we eat our lunch, we’ll be enjoying a gorgeous view from the back patio of the marina.

The forecast shows a gorgeous day for tomorrow, but even if there’s a little drizzle, don’t let that keep you from the adventure! Tell your friends and family to come along – let’s kick the summer off with an amazing ride to the lake!

Creative Commons License photo credit: tandemracer

It’s National Bike to Work Day

My NYC Biking Story: Lucette Gilbert from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

As Jamie has been showing Bike Week in Provo has been going really well despite our extra soggy weather. A big 10 points to all of you who have been riding to work, or school, or just riding. Our friends over at StreetsFilms have put together yet another great video to lend you some inspiration for riding. Stay dry, stay riding, and we will see you tomorrow when the sun will be out and we will be riding from the mouth of the Canyon down to the lake for the first Provelo! And just remember if Max can do it so can you.

Take the Downtown Provo Survey & Tell Our Local Leaders How to Improve Downtown for Cyclists

If you haven’t already heard, Provo is asking residents to fill out a survey about our downtown. It’ll only take a few minutes for you to give your feedback about downtown restaurants, events, infrastructure, and, of course, BICYCLES!

Do you think that downtown is bike-friendly? How can the city improve? Should there be bike lanes on University Ave? Do we need more bike racks? Now is your chance to let the city know how you feel.

Take the downtown Provo survey now. And, please, tell your friends too!

Edgemont Family Ride Today (Friday May 20)

Bike Trailer

Yesterday, we met some new cycling friends at Station 22 downtown and enjoyed a scenic family ride through Provo’s westside.

Today, don’t miss the Edgemont Ride! Meet up at Timp Kiwanis Park at 5:30 p.m. Just look for the group of cyclists. The ride will end at Pantrucas Chilean Restaurant where riders interested in dining will get 10% off any purchase. (Thanks Pantrucas!)

As always, bring your friends, siblings, parents, kids, grand-parents, in-laws, godparents, etc.

You can see the complete bike week schedule here.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Aaron Orchid Bucky

Don’t Miss These Two Terrific Thursday Rides

Andrew and his bakfiets
In honor of Provo Bike Week, there are two exciting rides planned for today.

First up is our Bike-Friendly Business Ride. At 1:00 p.m., ride your bike to Station 22 Sandwich Shop (22 West Center Street) from wherever you are. You’ll meet up with other friendly cyclists from around the city and get a 20% discount just for riding your bike. (Thanks, Station 22!)

In the evening, don’t miss the Provo Westside Family Ride. Meet up at Fort Utah Park at 6:30 for a ride around the (soon-to-be-renamed?) Westside. Bring the whole family along (of course, feel free to come with friends or by yourself). It should be a blast!

Find out about our Friday and Saturday events by reading the Bike Week Schedule.

Creative Commons License photo credit: richardmasoner

How Has Provo Bike Week Gone So Far?

Despite the rain, Provo Bike Week has been a blast.

On Tuesday night, ten or so cyclists braved the elements to come to a (now indoors) showing of Quicksilver (a movie with an actual bike / car chase) and a well-made documentary about Provo’s Critical Mass ride. The documentary maker was even on hand to talk about his project, and we’re hoping that he’ll do an update about bikes in Provo now that several years have passed.

Today, students rode their bikes to BYU for bike-to-school day and enjoyed free tune-ups compliments of the Provo Bicycle Committee. Committee Chairman Zac Whitmore also put on a free bike tune-up clinic at Joaquin park this evening, where I’m told he helped get quite a few bikes ready for the summer season. Thanks, Zac!

Bike Week isn’t over yet folks, be sure to check out all of the events on our Bike Week Schedule.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dno1967b