Bringing Copenhagen to Utah: Sign Up for the Utah Bike Summit Before This Friday

2016-summit-logoThe Utah Bike Summit is the statewide bicycle conference. The summit brings together everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah’s bicycle industry, planners, engineers, representatives from Utah’s tourism industry and health fields, and local and state government officials in order to make Utah more bicycle friendly. Regardless of your interest in bicycling (transportation, recreation, road, mountain, commuter), the Utah Bike Summit is for you and all are encouraged to attend.

This year’s summit will be held on April 5th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City and we are bringing Copenhagen to Utah. This year’s keynote speaker is Danish bicycle transportation expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. Here is a link to one of Mikael’s TED Talks. We will also have a closing address from Andy Clarke who served as the president of the League of American Bicyclists for 12 years before stepping down last year. In addition, there will be an update from UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall. The remainder of the day will be filled with breakout sessions that cover a wide variety of subjects related to increasing and improving bicycling across Utah.

Register here by Friday March 19th before prices go up or seats run out.

A group from Provo will be headed up and you’re invited to join in the fun. Follow the Provo Bicycle Committee group to meet up with fellow Provoians. This is a fantastic way to start getting more involved, find out what’s planned for Utah, and learn how to become an advocate for bikes in our community.

Early Registration Now Open for the 2015 Utah Bike Summit Featuring Gary Fisher

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The seventh annual Utah Bike Summit will be held Friday, April 10, and will gather citizens, riders, bicycle advocates, government officials, tourism and health representatives, and Utah’s bike brands to discuss, plan, and promote efforts to make Utah the most bike-friendly state in the country. The Summit will take place at the Provo Library at Academy Square (go, Provo!) and is open to the public, regardless of where, how, and why you ride.

This year’s keynote speaker is Gary Fisher, Founding Father of the Mountain Bike. Gary is a dedicated bicycle advocate and responsible for laying the early foundations for mountain biking. He is credited with developing some of the greatest innovations, including drum brakes, triple chainrings, motorcycle-style brake levers and 29 inch wheels. Gary is a longtime bicycle advocate and works to inspire people to get out and ride.

In addition to the keynote address, the Summit program will include presentations addressing topics relevant to people who ride bicycles for both transportation and recreation. The afternoon agenda is packed with breakout sessions looking at topics varying from making bicycling an equitable transportation choice to e-bikes, promoting bicycle safety, and creating a bicycle friendly ecosystem. A post-summit reception closes out the day’s activities at The Underground Social Hall.

More information about the Utah Bike Summit and how to register can be found at www.bikeutah.org/2015summit.

Big News: 2015 Utah Bike Summit to Be Held in Provo

Screen shot 2011-06-28 at 8.53.52 AMHere’s some huge news for our increasingly bike-friendly city: the Utah Bike Summit will be in Provo for the first time ever this spring. While the summit has traditionally been held in Salt Lake, this time they’re making the trek to the Provo City Library on April 10, 2015.

Even better, this summit will feature a keynote address from Gary Fisher. Gary is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and recognized as The Founding Father of Mountain Bikes.

640px-Gary_Fisher_(5685217988)Following the summit, participants will hop on their bikes and ride over to a swanky after party in downtown Provo.

More information and online registration will be available soon at BikeUtah.org. Bike Utah and the Provo Bike Committee have been working non-stop to make this an event to remember.

For now, please mark your calendars and get the word out as much as you can (please, help us make this a success!). If you would like to be a sponsor or have connections to a restaurant that is willing to make a food donation, please contact us at bikeprovo@gmail.com.

Image: Gary Fisher in 2011, Creative Commons, Wikimedia

What Provo Can Learn from the 2014 Utah Bike Summit

bikegroup2Last weekend, many Provo cyclists, employees, and city officials headed down to the University of Utah for the 2014 Utah Bike Summit. We were inspired by the speakers and the collective enthusiasm of a talented group that is working to “make Utah the most bicycle-friendly state in the U.S.”

We have a long way to go, but there has been a palpable shift in attitudes towards biking and walking the state level…and a surprising number of projects are in the works. From Provo’s end, Deputy Mayor Dixon Holmes and Bike Committee Chair Aaron Skabelund manned a table about the shiny new Provo Bicycle Plan (woot!).

Here’s the low down of what happened during this all-day conference and what Provo cyclists can take away from this meeting of minds:

On the Need for Cyclists to Speak Up – Ralph Becker (Mayor of Salt Lake City)

Mayor Becker spoke about the many bicycling projects going on in Salt Lake. He particularly focused on the need for cyclists to SPEAK UP. When it comes to bike lanes, it’s hard for city council members to make a decision when there is opposition from people that are concerned about change. By coming to the table and weighing in on these issues, cyclists can make things happen. (We’ve seen this happen in Provo too…the more people that are talking to their council members about these issues, the more we’re able to accomplish).

Mayor Becker also commented on the huge success of the Salt Lake bikeshare program, GreenBike. So far, it is considered to be the most successful program for a city of that size and has been able to operate with 70% funding from the private sector. Way to go GreenBike!

The Power of the Pedal – Sarai Snyder (Founder of Cyclofemme Ride and the Girl Bike Love Website)

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Provo cyclists were particularly excited to hear from Sarai, since Provo will be hosting its first Cyclofemme Ride on May 10th. Sarai focused on the transformative power of bicycling and her efforts to encourage more women to ride by creating the Cyclofemme event. In particular, she pointed out that we focus too much on the challenges of cycling and the potential dangers – in ways that scare off some beginning cyclists. Sarai encouraged us to tell “really great stories” about our own experiences cycling rather than focusing only on problems. The Cyclofemme ride will encourage bicyclists of all levels to “Come Ride with Us.”

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Sarai gave a special shout out to the upcoming Provo Cyclofemme Ride and, after the presentation, several of the women from our group were able to meet her and talk about what is happening in Provo.

UDOT & MPO Updates – State and Regional Transportation Representatives

While cyclists have sometimes struggled with state agencies, there is a noticeable shift in attitudes towards complete streets. Andrew Gruber, Executive Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council specifically noted that UDOT is “changing direction.” Both UDOT and regional representatives discussed an increased commitment to what they are calling “active transportation” (basically, walking or bicycling). And, they backed up their words by sharing recently completed projects and projects in-the-works.

UDOT has added over 500 bike signal detectors (those fantastic little systems that let traffic lights recognize waiting cyclists…so you don’t end up with a 20-minute red light during off-peak hours). They’ve also been changing the way they do chip seals and rumble strips to work with the way cyclists ride. The state is working on a number of projects that we will post about on the blog in the near future. UDOT representatives stressed that having a plan in place is the most important thing cities can do to help the state take action (good thing Provo’s Bike Plan just passed…)

The new UDOT Traffic App will allow us to check for bike routes and routes that have shoulders over 4-feet wide on any state-owned road. We can also use the UDOT See, Click, Fix App to report problems we encounter on the road.

Jim Price from the Mountainlands Association of Governments (the county representative over our area) discussed the grants that were awarded to help Provo and other valley cities complete their bicycle plans. Jim stressed that MAG has an “Aftercare Program” to help cities implement the plans they’ve created – something that Provo will likely benefit from. He also reported progress (more detail on these in later posts) on the Spanish Fork River Trail, the Mapleton Lateral Canal Trail, and the Murdock to Jordan River Trail. Most significantly, he announced the completion of the Provo River Trail to Murdock Canal Trail connection. Horary! Continue reading

Sixth Annual Utah Bike Summit Aims to Make Utah the Most Bike Friendly State (With a keynote from Provo’s own Mayor Curtis)

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SALT LAKE CITY – April 15, 2014 – The sixth annual Utah Bike Summit will be held Friday, April 25, and will gather citizens, riders, cycling advocates, government officials and representatives from some of the world’s biggest bike brands to discuss, plan and promote the efforts to make Utah the most bike-friendly state in the country.

The Summit will take place at the University of Utah Guesthouse in Salt Lake City, and is open to the public. Attendees can register online at www.utahbikes.org/SummitRegistration.

This year’s keynote speaker is Sarai Snyder, founder of the women’s cycling blog Girl Bike Love and the global CycloFemme ride. The goal of both of these efforts is to grow and empower the future of women in the sport of cycling. Sarai also sits on the Women Bike Advisory Board for the League of American Bicyclists.

In addition to this year’s keynote address, the Summit will host two roundtable discussions featuring leaders from UDOT, UTA, WFRC, MAG, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Odgen Mayor Mike Caldwell and Provo Mayor John Curtis.

The afternoon agenda is packed with breakout sessions addressing a variety of Bike Friendly advocacy topics and a post-summit reception closes out the day’s activities at Contender Bicycles.

To highlight some of the cycling opportunities that can be developed through community and interagency cooperation, a group ride is planned the next day following the Summit on the Murdock Canal Trail. The ride will depart from the Orem FrontRunner Station at 9:05 a.m.

“We invite anyone and everyone, cyclists and those interested in how cycling can be integrated into Utah’s transportation infrastructure, to attend this year’s Bike Summit,” said Phil Sarnoff, executive director of Bike Utah. “After attending, we hope attendees will be inspired and return home with information and new skills to work with their friends, co-workers, families and local government officials in supporting Utah-based cycling programs, events and outreach activities.”

See the full agenda here. For more information, visit www.bikeutah.org.

About Bike Utah

Bike Utah is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization made up of recreational and commuter cyclists, bicycle manufactures and retail shops, and transit advocates working to improve bicycling conditions throughout the State of Utah. The mission of Bike Utah is to integrate bicycling into the everyday culture of the state.