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.
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!
On March 14, over a half dozen bicycle enthusiasts and city officials from Provo attended this year’s summit at the Marriott Ogden Courtyard, a short ride from the Ogden Frontrunner Station. The highlight of the summit was without question hearing from our own one and only Mayor John Curtis, a true bicycle enthusiast. Here are what some of the Provo participants learned:
(Photo: Chris and Kendra Blinzinger on a bicycle tour of the Pacific Coast)
I attended a breakout session for the county I live in. I was impressed that UDOT is more than happy to hear and assist with enhancements for bike friendly roads. While funding is limited, UDOT asks local governments to include them in their planning because when they work together, they can incorporate enhancements into planned projects. When they are not involved with community planning, the community will either not receive assistance with their projects and have to fund 100% of that project or they will not complete that project because of lack of funding.
They are true planning partners for bike friendly communities and communities who want to become bike friendly. Additionally I saw a planner from the US Forest Service in attendance. This suggests that the USFS is may be a potential partner for bicycle accommodations in and around Forest Service properties. It is obvious that it is in the bike community’s best interest to involved. Partners in their ideas and projects to get the most bang for the buck. Great conference.
Whether you are an engineer, a health specialist, or a bicycling enthusiast, the Utah Bike Summit has something for you! I enjoyed both the breadth of the discussions and presentations. The two things that will stick with me the most were the Mayor John Curtis’ presentation about working with elected officials and a presentation about tactical urbanism by Mike Lydon.
Mayor Curtis focused on the importance of becoming friends with public officials. Before you approach them with an idea, conduct research to find out what has been tried before. You don’t want to recommend something that was already attempted unsuccessfully! Start the conversation off by complimenting the elected and city officials for the things that they have done to help the bicycling community instead of demanding to see the changes you want. Then, clearly state the things you would like to see happen. Mayor Curtis also suggested thinking outside of the box: it’s quite likely they haven’t regularly ridden a bike since they were a teenager. Invite them to go on a bike ride or test ride a new bike from a local shop. Emphasize quality of life issues and how safer roads will strengthen the community.
Mike Lydon was the summit’s keynote speaker. He is an urban planner from New York City who specializes in “Tactical Urbanism.” This was a subject I knew very little about before the summit. Essentially, it’s a technique to make cities more people-friendly! They’ve done everything from widening bike lanes to turning parking into park space. He also talked about how typical people can get started doing projects like this. As a matter of fact, the Utah Department of Health has opened applications for a mini-grant! Is anyone else ready to apply? Let’s keep changing Provo! Bike on!
The Utah Bike Summit 2017 was a great reminder of why we advocate for cycling. It’s always reassuring to see changemakers come together to share strategies and partner up to make Utah a more bikeable state. My favorite part was hearing from Carlos Braceras, Director of UDOT. He shared with us a story of retrieving the bike he had as a kid at his mother’s house when she passed away not long ago. He shipped it home and restored it because of how much it meant to him; he even tried to convince his wife to let him hang it on the living room wall – to no avail.
He then proceeded to update us on some UDOT projects and told us how now 9 out of 10 people in Utah live in an urban environment, making biking, walking, and transit ideal modes of transportation. In 35 years, Utah’s population will likely double and Carlos assured us he’s not hoping our miles of road will.
Above all, I’m pleased to see that many are rallying for the cause. Mayor Curtis once told me that we have a winning cause, and I’m happy to be on the winning team fighting for active transportation.
Three things stood out for me:
UDOT, from its top echelons to its regional offices, is an agent of bicycle-friendly change. UDOT Director Braceras’ presentation and the breakout sessions in which each regional office met with its local partners amply illustrated that. Much of the talk the Region Three session was about how their team has very effectively worked with Provo officials and advocates on projects such as the North University buffered bike lanes and 300 South bike lanes and bike-friendly intersection. More projects like the Bulldog Blvd protected bike lanes (2018), the Provo River Trail extension (2019), and bikes lanes on 500 West/State Street (2019?) are in the pipeline thanks to this partnership.
Provo is regarded as a model. Braceras gave a shot out to Mayor Curtis as a “visionary” for his support of active transportation and transit. And the room was packed for Mayor Curtis’ presentation.
Photos courtesy of David Iltis/cyclingutah.com
Public outreach in the form of tactical urbanist demonstrations should be a part of very major active transportation project to educate and build support for change. After Mike Lydon’s keynote, the Utah Department of Health announced a mini-grant opportunity to engage the public with new active transportation ideas. The Provo Bicycle Committee plans on applying for one of these to use for a project already in the works or for another one we would like to see happen in the next few years.
In short, the summit offered lots of ideas to put into practice to make Provo and Utah County an even better place to live.
Late last fall, UDOT dramatically transformed North University Avenue by installing bike lanes—almost of all buffered—from 700 North to 5200 North, where they connect to the Provo River Trail on the north end of the Riverwoods near the mouth of Provo Canyon.
Here is what they look like from a drone.
A photo taken last November of the new buffered bicycle lanes across from the Riverwoods. UDOT soon thereafter installed “no parking” signs so bicyclists like the one pictured no longer have to go around cars parked in the lane.
In total, UDOT added 3.27 miles of buffered bike lanes in each direction, or 6.54 total miles. These are the first buffered bike lanes on a state route in Utah. They also added .88 miles in each direction, or 1.76 total miles of standard bike lanes on the south end from 700 North to University Parkway, where a lack of width and too many driveways did not allow for buffered bike lanes. They posted over 112 signs along the route—from “No Parking” to “Bike Lane” signs—and in addition to the lines, painted many bike markers on University and at every cross street with traffic lights on that section to signal to bicyclists that the overhead radar will detect them at those intersections.
Here are some of those markers:
And in more detail. The third marker is one of those as a cross street, in this case at Bulldog.
“The University Avenue project came about because we knew that many people use it to gain access to Provo Canyon,” observed UDOT’s Matt Parker. “We realized that there are different users and that many people do not want to mix with pedestrians on the Provo River Trail as it is dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists if the cyclists are moving very fast. Those who ride on the road are the ones that would not be comfortable on the trail and we saw many people riding on the road with no bike lanes. Obviously something needed to be done to ensure that all users could use the facility safely.”
What is even more exciting than these lanes on North University is that this is not a one-time move by UDOT but part of a trend and emblematic of a change in UDOT’s culture. Several years ago, UDOT Regional Offices began to form active transportation committees. The committee of the Region 3 Office, which oversees the 6 counties of Utah, Wasatch, Juab, Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett, is led by Parker. The committee referenced the Utah Collaborative Active Transportation Study (UCATS) map and coordinated with Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) on the existing infrastructure. They looked at existing gaps in the infrastructure and tried to start filling those gaps with recommended projects. They validated that information by asking those who ride and are employed by UDOT, discussing the projects with MAG and cities in Utah County.
In short, as UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall emphatically declared at last year’s Utah Bike Summit last year, UDOT is transforming itself into a department of transportation rather than a department of roads. UDOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recognize that transportation is moving people, not just vehicles/cars. Parker’s role in Region 3 is to ensure that UDOT spend its resources. “If we can get more people using other forms of transportation,” Parker recognizes, “we can move more people more efficiently. I am an avid cyclist and would—like many people—ride my bike more if we had better infrastructure that ensured our safety.”
Here is a big shout out to UDOT leadership—from Director Carlos Braceras and Marshall at the top to Region 3 Director Teri Newell, Parker, and their team in Orem. Thanks also to Mayor Curtis and Public Works for their support of this project.
We look forward to more projects in the near future. This summer, Parker reports, bike lanes will go down on Geneva Road between University Parkway and 400 North in Orem. And of course, as part of the BRT project, the lanes on University Avenue will be extended south from 700 North to 600 South. Elsewhere in Provo, UDOT is looking to put in lanes on State Street (500 West) and to close existing gaps in the bikeway network. UDOT’s dramatic transformation and bike-friendly policies almost have us wishing there were more state roads in Provo.
This month, the League of American Bicyclists announced that Provo has improved its ranking as a Bicycle Friendly Community to silver up from bronze, which we achieved four years ago. Of the 103 communities recognized in this round, Provo was just one of four to move up in rank. Provo now ranks among around 100 communities ranked at the platinum (5), gold (25), and silver (about 70) level.
Notably the League highlighted the leadership of Mayor John Curtis and the advocacy of our committee in its press release:
“Several communities stood out for the on-bike examples of their mayors and for their recognition of how bicycling can bring people together. Provo, UT, moved from a Bronze to a Silver award. Mayor John Curtis has become an avid road cyclist and a regular bike commuter since he was elected mayor — committing to ride 100 days during the year. Through his commitment and the efforts of the Provo Bicycle Committee, there has been a sharp increase in political and community support of bicycling in Provo.”
In the coming weeks, I will share some of the feedback we received from the League about how we can continue to make Provo even more bicycle-friendly, but for now let’s celebrate this recognition and thank everyone who helped make Provo a better place to live, beginning with Mayor Curtis and the folks in Public Works, Community Development, Parks, and the Police Department, as well as you, the members of the Provo Bicycle Committee!
Provo Bicycle Committee Chair, Aaron Skabelund, recently submitted the Bicycle-Friendly Community application to the League of American Bicyclists. A BIG THANKS to the dozens of folks in the Committee who helped prepare the application during and outside of our monthly meetings since the beginning of the year, and a BIGGER THANKS to them and others for all you have done over the last several years to actually make Provo more bicycle-friendly.
Four years ago, the league recognized Provo as a bronze-status Bicycle-Friendly Community. This month was the deadline to renew that status and request to move up in rank. We are of course aiming for a gold but what really matters is how the application process actually helps us make Provo a more bicycle-friendly community. We certainly have made a lot of progress over the last four years thanks to everyone’s efforts and the forward-looking leadership of Mayor John Curtis, the city council, and city engineering, planning, parks and rec, police, and economic development officials who have worked closely with the Committee (and the Collective) to improve Provo’s quality of life for everyone.
We look forward to applying again in several years when a number of transformative projects, such as the Bulldog Blvd protected bike lanes, the 200 East Neighborhood Greenway, and BRT, are complete.
Another purpose of the application is to learn what we can do better. The league will provide provide Provo with detailed feedback when they notify of us their decision.
But the Bike Committee reviewed the application, a number of ways we can do better and make Provo more bicycle friendly became obvious:
– As called for the Bicycle Master Plan, the creation of a Bicycle (and Pedestrian) Coordinator position within the city.
– Dedicated city funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements
– Setting specific bike mode share goals (for 2020 and 2030, for example)
– Conducting official counts of the numbers of bicyclists in Provo
– Continued progress on creating a truly safe and convenient integrated network of bicycle lanes and trails throughout the city and connected to neighboring communities (the map below shows where things stand now)
– Bicycle parking requirements for all new developments and active encouragement for existing developments
– An active Safe Routes to School coordinator in the Provo School District (every child living within a mile or so of school should be able to safely walk or bike to school!)
– Bicycle education being offered at schools beyond Provo Peaks (which will start this fall thanks to the Collective
– Provo City Corporation and local businesses and organizations becoming Bicycle-Friendly Businesses
In short, we have made a lot of progress and have a lot to do. If you would like to join us making Provo an even better place, please join us! You can sign up for newsletters on the right-hand column of this webpage.
Every summer and fall, when Provo City Public Works performs work on roads, city engineers seek to implement recommendations for bicycle lanes called for by the Bicycle Master Plan, adopted by the city council in 2014. Although the bicycling community would like change to happen even faster and more dramatically, we are thankful to Engineering for the progress that the city is making in creating a truly integrated network of lanes and trails that residents can use for both bicycling—both recreation and utilitarian (riding to school, work, and to run errands).
At this month’s committee meeting, city traffic engineers officially—and compared to past years—belatedly announced this summer’s bike lane improvements. But it was worth the wait. Here are some of this year’s projects (some of which are well underway now):
– Bike lanes on 500 West from 300 South to the new Westside Connector at about 2000 South. (This one is huge! Finally residents of southwest Provo will have a safe option to ride into the city center.)
– Lanes on Indian Hills Drive/2780 North.
– Lanes on 900 West between Center Street and 500 North (another really important stretch).
In addition, Matt Parker, UDOT’s Region Three’s bicycle coordinator announced at the meeting that UDOT would be installing bike lanes on University Avenue from near the mouth of Provo Canyon all the way down to 700 North this fall.
We would also like to publicly—and yes, belatedly—thank Public Works for the improvements that were completed last year, in 2015. They included:
The addition of bike lanes on 2300 North and 1450 East near Rock Canyon
Looking east on 2300 North
Headed west on 2300 North (the Provo Temple is on the left)
At the intersection of 2300 North/1450 East and the road to the Rock Canyon parking lot
Facing the other direction near the intersection of 2300 North/1450 East and road to the Rock Canyon parking lot
Climbing south on 1450 East
Again, the view to the north on 1450 East
The extension of the lanes on 3700 North to the intersection at University Avenue (where Will’s Pit Stop is).
Looking toward 50 West and University Avenue on 3700 North (on an inversion day when more people besides the photographer need be bicycling)
The extension of the lanes on 620 North to Geneva Road eliminating a one to two block gap
Heading west on 620 North approaching Geneva Road
620 North and Geneva Road
A reconfiguration of the bike lanes (through the elimination of the center median and restoration of on-street parking) on Independence Avenue from Center Street to 820 West.
Independence Avenue headed south close to Center Street
Independence Avenue near 500 North
Independence Avenue near Freedom Prep Academy just south of 820 North
Again, a huge thank you to everyone in Provo who is working on making our streets safer for all road users. Get out and ride the new lanes (and check out the roads where we’ll be seeing even more lanes soon).
More than 30 communities worked together with regional transportation planning offices, UDOT, UTA local leaders to be chosen out of 585 other applications.
The exact plans aren’t finalized, but take a look at this awesome rendering of a Provo ped / bike bridge from the imaginations of Urban Design Associates working with the Giv Group.
No more climbing between freight trains to get to the Frontrunner station (dangerous!) or missing your commute. You guys showed up at UTA community meetings, talked to MAG reps at bicycle committee meetings, and sent a clear message with survey responses and emails. Thanks for speaking up, everyone!
The Provo Bicycle Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of its fifth annual spring/summer Golden Spoke Award. The award is presented to someone who demonstrates a commitment to bicycling by doing something very logical—using a bicycle as an everyday tool to get around—to work, to school, to run errands, and perhaps for recreation. The award may also be presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to bicycling becoming more of a safe, pleasant, and common sense way to get around. It is called the Golden Spoke Award because each bicyclist and each bicycle advocate is like a spoke in a wheel that helps make Provo a more bicycle-friendly community and improves our collective quality of life. Each of us can advocate for bikes, more bike-friendly complete streets, bike lanes and trails, and most importantly each of us can bike wherever and whenever possible. Many of us take many trips that are about a mile or so, which can easily and pleasantly be completed on a bicycle.
This year’s recipient of the Golden Spoke Award is Susan Krueger-Barber of Joaquin Neighborhood, and by extension the members of the Complete the Street group from Joaquin and Maeser that organized a fantastic street party last June as a way to help people reimagine 200 East as a Neighborhood Greenway, a public space that accommodates and is safe for people on foot and on bike, and not just for those in cars. The 200 East Neighborhood Greenway will run from 600 South, north past the downtown, and end at 800 North at BYU. It will serve as safe and pleasant route for people to move between these neighborhoods, the Frontrunner Station, the downtown area, and BYU.
For example, there are many BYU employees who live north of Provo in northern Utah County and Salt Lake and regularly take Frontrunner to Provo but currently do not have a safe route to bicycle from the station to campus. For them, this Neighborhood Greenway is a dream come true. It will provide a safe route for them and others by discouraging through auto- traffic on 200 East, and give priority to bicyclists and pedestrian through traffic calming devices like bulb-outs, sharrows, and safe intersections, such as the one being built as part of the 300 South project. And on cold, wet days, these colleagues and other colleagues who are less enthusiastic about riding a bike look forward to having a frequent and quick transit option to get to and from campus with BRT in 2018.
Susan and her Joaquin neighbors understood this vision and working closely with Community Development and Public Works made some temporary changes to the street to help folks imagine how much better it could be.
Perhaps the best way of explaining what they did is to show you a video about the event:
Isn’t Susan’s enthusiasm infectious? She was the energy behind this project, and ably supported by Celeste Kennard, Sage Pearson, Chris Wiltsie, and dozens of others. Thanks to Mayor Curtis and members of the city council, including Chair Santiago for attending the party. We are planning to stage another act of city-sanctioned tactical urbanism on 500 North from Joaquin to Dixon in conjunction with Bike to School Week in September. We look forward to your support.