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Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award (Courtesy of Canyon Bicycles)

Austin Taylor
Provo Bicycle Committee

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.

Spring 2016 Golden Spoke Award Winner: Susan Krueger-Barber

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.