Provo Bicycle Collective Gives 90 Bikes for Bike to School Week

From Provo Bicycle Collective:

“When the school district asked us to participate in Bike to School Week this year, we went all in. Provo Bicycle Collective originally promised 75 bikes to local elementary schools, but the requests kept coming after that, until we reached 90 bikes.

Why did we promise this? Because every kid deserves a bike. Most of us remember our first bike as a child because it gave us freedom; freedom to explore at the speed of discovery. Every child deserves this feeling.

This week, most of those bikes were given out to children who didn’t already own a bike. To say they were thrilled is an understatement. I’ll let this photo do the talking from here.

If you’ve ever volunteered with us, know that you played a huge part in this. All giveaway bikes are refurbished by volunteers like you. We can’t thank you enough! See more photos of these kids here and don’t forget to share!

If you’d like to ensure all kids get a bike, regardless of family income, donate today!Just $50 gives a bike to a kid in need!”

Federal Highway Administration: Use Funds for Separated Bike Lanes, Road Diets, Narrow Roads, Curb Extensions, and More

new lanes 1

The Federal Highway Administration recently released a game-changing document addressing some common misconceptions and / or excuses that keep communities from building bike infrastructure. Here are a few of the myths I found most interesting:

Myth: The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is the only Federal funding source for pedestrian and bicycle projects.

Myth: Federal transportation funds cannot be used to enhance the local roadway network.

Myth: Separated bike lanes cannot be built with Federal funds.

Myth: Federal funds can’t be used for road diets.

Myth: The only design standard that can be used on Federal-aid highway projects is the AASHTO A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (Green Book).

Myth: Lane widths cannot drop below 11′ on the NHS and 9′ when Federal funds are used on local roads.

Myth: Curb extensions, trees, and roundabouts cannot be used on the NHS.

Myth: Bicycle and pedestrian projects must be within the existing Right of Way (ROW) to be eligible for a Categorical Exclusion.

Check out the full document here.

Reporting from Provo’s Mobile Active Trasportation Tour

matt

By Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair

Photo: Jim Price

What was the hottest ticket last month in Provo? It may have been the Mobile Active Transportation Tour (MATT), an introduction of Provo’s active transportation routes for city elected officials, transportation and planning administrator, and bicycle advocates. Though attendance was capped at 40 participants, over 50 riders from up and down the Wasatch Front joined the tour on May 20th, one of five MATTs this year held in the state which are coordinated by Bike Utah, Mountainland Association of Governments, the National Park Service, UTA, and the Wasatch Front Regional Council.

On a beautiful morning on one of the few days it did not rain in May, participants arrived by train at the Provo Frontrunner Station where they were greeted by Gary McGinn, Provo’s director of Community Development who under the mayor’s direction is coordinating the implementation of the Provo Bicycle Master Plan. Due to the many participants, cyclists broke into two groups for the ride. On Center Street, Bill Peperone told the group about the tremendous transformation of the downtown and how the city is working to make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. On 200 East, engineer Brad Jorgensen talked about plans for the street to become a Neighborhood Greenway and the groups saw 16 sharrow (shared lane) signs that neighborhood activists had painted on the street earlier that week in preparation for the Complete the Street 200 East block party. One city engineer from the Salt Lake Valley remarked that he loved such community involvement and interest in making streets complete.

At BYU, the group learned from Bob Ross about the administration’s ongoing efforts to make campus more accommodating and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. MAG’s Jim Price showed them the College Connector Trail, and Doug Robins of Parks met the group on the Provo River Trail as the traveled parallel to University Avenue and reported that Parks would intends to upgrade that trail to the “Murdoch Canal-standard.” That was a nice segue to the transition to that trail as the group entered Orem, and concluded the ride at MAG’s office on 800 North where they participated in an Active Transportation committee meeting. The tour highlighted Provo’s completion of, plans for, and process of integrating biking and walking with transit (most importantly BRT), housing, shopping, employment, and recreation destinations.

Thanks to Provo City and BYU (and Outdoors Unlimited which provided a few bikes for participants who were not able to bring one along), which were assisted by the Provo Bicycle Committee in hosting the event.

Tragic Bicycle Accident in Lehi: Please Consider Donating to the Memorial Funds

Our hearts go out to the victims and loved ones affected by the tragic bicycle accident on Redwood Road. The accident took the lives of two experienced cyclists headed to work Bryan Byrge, 39, and John Coons, 35.

Please consider donating to the Paypal memorial funds to help with funeral expenses and supporting the victims’ families: John Coons Fund and Bryan Byrge Fund. Beginning tomorrow, you should be able to donate by walking into any Utah Wells Fargo location and requesting to contribute.

Whether you drive, ride, or walk, please be careful out there.

Innovative Bike Security Device Developed by BYU Student Entrepreneurs

BikeandTrunk

There’s a handy new bike device currently being developed by students in our own backyard. Jeffrey Hall gives us the low down on the “Flatlyn”:

The Flatlyn (pronounced flat-line) is an innovative bike security device developed by a group of BYU student entrepreneurs and biking enthusiasts. The device keeps your bike secure while it is on a bike rack on your car. The hardened rubber anchor rests inside the closed trunk of the car with a cable extending to your bike, allowing a secured anchor point to attach your existing bike lock. The device can also be used as an anchor for the same purpose in a car door. Now you can secure all your toys–bikes, snowboards, surfboards, even skis–quickly, easily, inexpensively, and safely.

ProductShot1

The product has been launched on Kickstarter but they need your help for their first manufacturing run, so head on over to Kickstarter and back this innovative project. For a pledge of $25 or more, you can get your very own Flatlyn when they are shipped out in December.

BikeonRack

Bike and Build Program Helps Restore Historic George Taylor Jr. Home

george taylor 2Did you notice the commotion at the historic George Taylor Jr. home in downtown Provo last week? It is getting some much-needed restoration help from the non-profit Bike and Build Program. Over 28 self-funded cyclists are riding for 11 weeks and helping improve neighborhoods along the way.

The Daily Herald reports:

“Their demolition work in Provo was different to the other 15 days of home building they take part in during the trip. Some, including Cindy Freimark, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, were quite surprised to be working on such a historic building.

‘Whoever moves in will be so lucky because it’s so beautiful,’ she said.”

A couple years ago, this historic building was slotted for demolition. But, thanks to volunteer groups like Bike and Build and Habitat for Humanity, it will be a highlight of downtown Provo in the coming weeks. Thanks for helping out with our community, Bike and Build cyclists!

To learn more about this program (and see if you might want to volunteer for an epic building ride next year), check out their facebook page and take a look at the video below:

 

The Safety in Numbers Effect

The safety in numbers effect as it relates to cycling is that the more bicycles on the road the safer each cyclist is.  More info here.  This effect was recently seen clearly in a study of bike crashes in Minneapolis.  As more and more people commuted by bicycle, the ratio of bike crashes to bicycle commuters dropped.

s

This is really encouraging information, because it means that one of the best ways to increase cyclist safety is to increase the amount of cyclists!  The more people riding their bikes the safer the roads will become!

 

Ride safe.

Barefoot Provo Woman Catches Bike Thief

In other awesome, only-in-Provo news, a local woman recently tracked down a bike thief, rescued her husband’s ride, and had the culprit arrested. Here’s the scoop from the official Provo Police blog:

On October 8th, 2012 at approximately 10:30 pm a Provo resident called police to report their bike had just been stolen from the area of 200 S 500 W.  The victim, a 5’4” 24 year old female, chased the suspect barefoot for a few blocks before waving down a motorist.  The victim, who did not know the motorist, asked the stranger for help.  The motorist agreed and the victim got into the car where together they began to follow the alleged thief.  Once inside the car the victim called police and guided officers to the Smith’s parking lot at350 N Freedom Blvdwhere Officers took 50 year old Randy Johnson into custody. Randy was booked into the Utah County Jail for theft and failure to stop for police.“This is a great example of good people helping one another.  Citizens who are alert to suspicious activity, and report that activity, are one of the most valuable assets a police department can ask for.”  -Chief Rick Gregory

Way to go, barefoot Provo lady!

Bike Share SLC

Capital Bikeshare Spring 2012 Expansion
Creative Commons License photo credit: EuanFisk

On Tuesday June 19th Salt Lake City officially announced their bike share system which will launch around March 2013. The initial fleet will have ten separate kiosk with 10 bikes at each kiosk. This news could not come at a better time with bike shares blowing up all over the U.S. Washington D.C. in particular has had some really great success with the program based on one report that showed bike share has replaced five million miles of driving, and saved the average user $891 annually (compared to a $75 dollar membership)!!

The Salt Lake bike share has been made possible by a public/private partnership, and will run nine months out of the year. The other three months the bikes will be store out of the weather to protect them. This will be a great addition to the new FrontRunner train.

(Proposed SLC bike)

I am super stoked for Salt Lake, but have to ask where are we Provo? We have a new convention center, a top rated trail, and a beautiful city, this could be something for the new Downtown Provo Inc. to look into. If anyone knows them they really should put a bug in their ear. Make sure to check out a very detailed write up on SaltCycle.

New Bike Stamps, But Where Am I?

USPS just came out with some really awesome bicycle themed Forever Stamps. You can buy them and use them whenever you get around to it and not have to worry about future price hikes, which is pretty cool. The stamps feature a kid riding a bike, a cycle tourist, a triathlete, and a BMX racer.

All of these portrayals are awesome, and it is great to see some bicycle love on such a large scale, however I cannot help but ask where am I? I put on spandex and ride on the road, I throw on a Camelback and hit the Mountains, I love to load up my panniers and hit the road for a few days, I even have a BMX bike I like to ride to 7-11 for slurpees and curb jumping. Above all however I am a commuter I use my bike for transportation. It seems these stamps sum up all popular portrayals of bikes, and what is wrong with popular portrayals of bikes. They are either toys for kids or pieces of precision sports equipment that require special gear and clothing.

What we need is more bikes for bikes sake more bikes that we can jump on without funny shoes or stretchy clothes. Again, I love my stretchy clothes, and fancy shoes, but it is not as approachable as just any old bike. These perceptions of childhood, or elite entry, keep a lot of people from riding in a lot of ways. What I would like to see is a stamp that has a beach cruiser and a basket, or a patched together single speed commuter and a normal guy/gal with a backpack on. Here is to the normal bike, here is to the everyday rider, here is to you and me.