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***BIKEBECUE UPDATE***

photo credit: Alt-n-Anela

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The Bikebecue that will be happening tomorrow night has moved locations. You can follow the link above to see were the park is I do not know the exact route we will be taking. The event has been moved closer to Rowley Press. We will be headed to Paul Ream Wilderness Park. The park is right off the Provo River Trail. The time and meeting location are the same; 6pm at Rowley Press. So grab some food and come ready to have fun.

"Bikebecue" adding to the events of Bike Week

photo credit: philxthomas

There are a few great bicycle events coming up next week. The first one that has been confirmed and nailed down is as follows:

The wonderful Leland Rowley over at Rowley Press is putting together an awesome bike event in conjunction with the Mayor’s Bike-to-Work Day – Provo’s first ever Bikebecue! The event is taking place on Tuesday, May 18th. We will be leaving from Rowley Press (39W 200N Provo) by bicycle at 6pm en-route to Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. If you do no feel up for a ride that far (I have done it with new riders, it is not that bad), you can meet up with us at the mouth of the canyon and ride the rest of the way in. Here is the info straight from Leland’s event on Facebook:

Bikes, BBQ, Bike Polo, Bikes, Smoothies made on the Provo Bike Council’s Bike Blender, some Bikes, perhaps Bike Jousting (if we can figure out how to do it without killing people) and more BBQ. Why not come?

We are biking up to Vivian Park to have the best BBQ ever. I will bring charcoal and perhaps a match or two. You will bring whatever treat you want to cook up.

Let me know if you have any questions!

PS: If you need a bike, let me know and we will try and find one. I have a couple laying about that you could borrow if you speak quickly ūüôā

PPS: If you don’t want to bike all the way from Rowley Press, feel free to meet us at Bridal Veil or anywhere else along the trail for a bit of a shorter ride. Still come to Rowley Press if you like, and then you can carpool with the others who are meeting there.
(Hopefully these cookies will also be making an appearance. Hint hint Krysta.)
(Hopefully these cookies will also be making an appearance. Hint hint Krysta.)

That’s right, you read correctly: bikes, BBQ, pedal powered smoothies, polo, and non-lethal jousting. This is going to be a BBQ for the ages. Do you really want to have to tell you offspring that you missed it? I personally could not live with that guilt so I am going to be there. To top off all the awesomeness Leland is also making spoke cards to commemorate the event. If any one needs a bicycle contact Leland or BikeProvo as I have some extra bicycles that have not been claimed yet. We hope to see you all out for this evening of bicycling and friends. As Paul Fournel says, ‚ÄúFriends in life who are bike friends are double friends: soup and sandwiches.‚ÄĚ So, bring your soups, sandwiches, chickens, hamburgers, tofu burgers, and come ride your bike.

What Do You Love About Cycling in Provo, Bike Committee Chair Zac Whitmore?

As a new feature, I’ll be asking cyclists of all sorts what they enjoy most about riding a bike in Provo. The fist fist victim / volunteer is our very own Bike Committee chairman, Zac Whitmore.

Zac and his family have been car-free for the last 2 1/2 years (yes, even in the winter). He can often be seen riding around Provo in his green custom Surly Longhaul Trucker, complete with a brass bell.

“I like to run into other riders I know and stop and chat,” he says. “In downtown it’s the fastest way to get around.” Zac cycles to work, school, bike committee meetings, and just about everywhere else he goes – sometimes with his daughter carried along in a trailer. “Everything looks better from a bike,” he says.

Tell us what you love about bike riding in Provo!
Whether you’re a hard-core mountain biker or a casual cruiser, I’d love to share your story. It takes only a few minutes to snap a picture of you on your bike and ask you two questions: 1. What kind of bike do you ride? 2. What do you love about riding in Provo? See, it’s easy. If you’d like to participate, just send an email to: bikeprovo @ gmail.

The Power of Community

(The little one ready to go.)
(The little one ready to go.)

This is a personal story. However, it is a great example of what a community can do when we come together and are all aware of each other and each others needs. My family and I have been car-free for 2 1/2 years. This decision was based primarily on the fact that we really love bicycles and how the world looks from the saddle of a bicycle. All of the other benefits of not having a car (no payment, no gas, no emission, etc.), were just perks on top of a passion. Our little girl, the one in the picture, has only ever known bicycle travel. Sure we have rented cars from time to time and even taken the occasional ride from a friend but, those miles driven do not even touch the miles pedaled.

A few months back we had a bicycle locked up at our apartment complex with the trailer attached to the back of it. We had done this often and had never really worried about anything happening to the bike or trailer. Early the next morning my wife and daughter left for a trip with some family. I stayed behind to finish up some work and school stuff. When I came home from work that evening I noticed the trailer was not on the bike. I checked all the spots we usually would have put it and did not find it. After looking in vain I called my wife. She had not moved it and, had no idea where it was. This is when we realized someone had stolen the only way we had to get our little one around town. My brother and I  jumped on our bicycles and searched all over the downtown Provo area. We came up with nothing.

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Free Swag, Free Fun at Provo Bike-to-Work Day – May 18

Don’t forget to participate in bike-to-work day on May 18. Before pedaling to work, show up in front of the¬† Provo Historic County Courthouse at 7:30 a.m. for a UTA-sponsored cycling event including: free food, free bike swag, free bike helmets (first 50 participants), free bike tune-ups, and a celebratory 3 mile ride with Mayor John Curtis.

This is a great way to have some fun and show your support of cycling in Provo. Take a look at the Bike-to-Work Day Facebook event and help spread the word by inviting your friends.

Why Yes, the Provo Bike Committee is Famous

Last month the Provo Bike Committee donated tools and time at the first-annual Farrer Elementary Bike Rodeo. Check us out in the video below, from Provo Channel 17.

If American Idol isn’t working out for you, come help the Provo Bike Committee this summer. Join us in the sweet limelight of public access television.

Or, just come on down because bicycles are fun to ride and an important way to strengthen our community. Every month there are new ways for you to lend a hand. Join the Bike Committee Facebook Group for up-to-the-minute news about Provo cycling advocacy. And, don’t forget to become a fan of BikeProvo for updates on everything bike-related in the valley.

Council Meeting on BRT

photo credit: Edgar Zuniga Jr.

Last night was the council meeting about where the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was going to be placed in Provo. The BRT is a bus line that will run from Provo to Orem and connect the Front Runner stations that will be operating within the next two years. The decision that was made last night was whether this bus line was going to go on University Ave. or Freedom Blvd. The council voted 6-1 for the line to go on University Ave. You may be asking yourself what this has to do with bicycles?

If you follow this website or the Provo Bicycle Committee Facebook you will know that in the projected plan that was presented to Provo City bicycles were not going to be an option on University Ave. once they completed the BRT. With this in mind the Bicycle Committee got people together to ride to the meeting and make sure that cyclists voices were heard. We (cyclists) had a showing of about 16 people at the meeting. About 5 of those 16 stood up and spoke to the council about the need for cycle lanes on University if there was going to be a BRT. Some members of the Provo Bicycle Committee (Tod Robbins and myself) stood up first to present the statement that was previously prepared and to help dispel what seems to be the biggest fear for this project, that bicycle lanes will take away on street parking. Everyone that spoke did an awesome job and, in my opinion, really let the council know that there are many cyclists/citizens in this city who want good safe bicycle lanes as well as livable communities.

After most of the bicycle advocates presented their cases many business owners stood to express their concerns about which road the BRT would be placed on. Almost every single one of the business owners who expressed their concerns also spoke up for the need of more bicycle lanes. This includes the General Manager of Provo Marriott Hotel who actually said “There should be a bike lane on 9th (9th East), University, and Freedom because we need more bike lanes.” The support also included one business owner who gave my favorite quote of the night, “If I were a politician I would be buying a bicycle.” It was really neat to see cyclists and non-cyclists working towards a mutual goal. Once public opinion was done UTA came forward to present their plan and desire to set up on University Avenue. There were many questions about the project that were non-cycling related. They had to do with why University was better than Freedom.

On the cycling front we really saw two champions step forward from the City Council: Sterling Beck and Steve Turley. We at BikeProvo know that Sterling Beck is for cycling and seeing cycling thrive in Provo. He has made that evident by his support of cycling events and organization in Provo as well as by his comments last night to make sure bicycles have a spot in this project. In the meeting Steve Turley also pointed out that it was entirely possible to have parking, bike lanes, and green space, based on the measurements that were given by UTA and the suggestions made by the Bicycle Committee. Hopefully we can see more bicycle acknowledgment from Councilman Turley in the future.

photo credit: ebis50

All and all this meeting was a good step in the right direction. But, there is a lot more work to do. Now that UTA has the green light they are going to move forward and do final engineering that will include block by block analysis of what will work were and what may have to be sacrificed for what. We as the cycling community need to make sure that bicycles do not fall by the wayside. We need to contact our council members and let them know that bicyclists/citizens want these lanes to exist and want Provo to keep striving towards livable communities. Often we talk about the need for change or the desire to make a difference. This is our chance to effect change and make a difference; this is our chance to set a precedent. Let’s not let it pass us by. In closing, I want to give a big thanks to everyone who has showed their support so far and for all those who were able to make it to the meeting – thank you.

Yehuda is Back!!!!!!!

What’s that, you have never heard of Yehuda Moon? Well, you obviously have not lived yet. Yehuda Moon is a daily online comic that gives awesome insight into the bicycling world from all riders’ perspectives. Yehuda Moon himself is a year round, car free, transportational cyclist. He works at the Kickstand Cyclery with Joe a purebred road cyclist, and Thistle a kick butt bakfiets mama. The comic follows the adventures of Yehuda, Joe, Thistle, and a revolving cast that have all the same encounters, adventures, and issues that most riders have dealt with at least once. From time to time Rick Smith (the artist/author) will take a break from the comic. The last break just ended and now my mornings are complete again (my home page is set to Yehudamoon.com). I hope you all enjoy the link to the comic and make it a daily visit to add to the love of bicycles in your lives. If you really like it I recommend subscribing to the comic as it will help keep it going. Hope your day is full of sunshine and tailwind.

Rides, Classes, Discounts and Dozens More Ways to Celebrate Utah Bike Month

From commuting workshops to the Bike Bonanza, there are dozens of events planned for National / Utah bike month. Cities throughout the state are participating, so you can enjoy the Bike-to-Work-Day ride right here in Provo or branch out and attend state-wide events all month long. To find a complete listing of happenings, take a look at the Utah Bike Month website.

If you attend any of these events, please let us know by emailing your experience and any snapshots to bikeprovo AT gmail. We’d love to share your adventure on the blog.

Salt Lake City Awarded Silver Recognition as Bike-Friendly City

A hearty congratulations to our neighbors from the North! The League of American Cyclists recently announced that Salt Lake City has achieved silver status as a bike-friendly community. They were previously awarded bronze status in 2007. Park City is the only other town that makes the cut – they were also awarded bronze status in 2007.

Although I don’t have the details yet, I have it on good authority that Zac and the Provo Bike Committee will soon be working with our local leaders to improve bike-friendliness in Provo. Here’s hoping we make the list in 2011!