Bicycles and Art.

Many have said that bicycle riding is an art. Which I believe to be true. If riding is an art, that would make anyone who knows how to ride an artist. Making patterns and lines with their daily rides all over the canvas that is the city. New riders would be like kids with crayons. Coloring with whatever medium they are given or that they see their friends using. More seasoned riders could be compared to artist that have really found their medium. Honing in their tools (bicycles) and really picking how they will express themselves (route usage). You may be asking, “Why all this heady talk about art and medium etc.?” First, I really want to call my self an artist :). I do not have that quality to take the ride and translate it into something tangible. I even have a hard time explaining to non-cyclists the feelings or ideas I have while riding. Second, I really respect people that can take ideas or images and do something with them. Adam Turman of Minneapolis is one of those people.

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S240?

(Bike Camping is the best!)

S24O is a term brought into existence by Rivendell Bicycles. They came up with this acronym to represent overnight bicycle camping trips or S24Os (Sub 24hr Overnighters). I am sure the term bike camping would be more simple but S24O just rolls off the tongue better. The great thing about S24O’s is that they are not 100 mile touring trips, they are not multi day commitments, and they help you get to know your area in the most intimate way possible, by bicycle. The goal of the S24O is to leave home at a decent hour of the evening, ride your bike to a given point, pitch your tent and relax. The next day have yourself some breakfast check out the area a little bit then head home. Ideally you choose locations that are short distances and provide the most amount awesome. These trips can be all asphalt or dirt or a mixture of both. The best thing about them is if you forget something you will not die, and if you did forget something essential (think sleeping bag) you could ride home and sleep comfortably in your bed.

With that info out of the way I will formally announce the first S24O of the summer. This first trip is going to be all asphalt and will be a nice 15 mile ride up the canyon to South Fork. We are going to all ride up and have dinner at the campsite, tell stories, sing songs, or whatever it is that you like to do while camping. YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVIDE ALL YOUR OWN FOOD AND GEAR. I am sure there will be extra soda or granola bars laying around but the point is to bring the food and gear you will need. Which brings me to the next item. What will you need?

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Bike Smoothies!!

(A Satisfied Customer.)

Today was the unveiling of the Provo Bike Committee’s smoothie machine. The event was at MadDog Cycles in Provo and was a great success. Many cyclists of all ages came by to get their fill of smoothies. Being in a hustle to make the smoothies when someone was there, we did not get many pictures of people actually buying smoothies. We did however get some pictures of the in between action.

(The big picture with the wonderful Carol Ann.)

(This also became the cash register.)

("Is it done yet?" Oh Yeah.)

(Bike trailer promoting bike smoothies with a bicycle drawn on it. Awesome!)

(Three BikeProvo fans.)

This last picture deserves some attention. These three lovely ladies showed up at the stand just before we were heading home. They came over and said they had heard about the event right here on BikeProvo! Needless to say we were really excited. All three of them pedaled their own smoothies and chatted it up while they drank down the fruits of their labors. We did not get their names (Sorry guys. If you want, give us some names in the comment section and let everyone know how good those smoothies were). We were really excited to see some of our very own readers show up and support the event.

All said the day was great we had a pretty good turnout and talked with a lot of people about BikeProvo and the Bike Committee. We are trying to get set up at the Farmer’s Market in Provo. We will keep all of you updated on what happens there so more of you can come out and get a cool delicious drink. A big thanks to MadDog Cycles for letting us use the front of their store and their customers. Also a big thanks to the Committee volunteers for helping cycling culture and awareness grow in the valley. Final thought: Pedal long or pedal short, just get out and pedal.

(Not only are the smoothies Pedal Powered but, so is the tent table and all the fixings.)

APHA Report: Killer Cars?

Just more info on why driving and not riding or walking is not only boring but is also not good for you. Here is an excerpt from the American Public Health Association’s report:

Our dependence on automobiles and roadways has profound negative impacts on human health: decreased opportunities for physical activity, and increased exposure to air pollution, and the number of traffic crashes. The health costs associated with these impacts, including costs associated with loss of work days and wages, pain and suffering, and premature death, may be as high as several hundred billion dollars.

This exact info was brought up in the UT Bike Summit that happened a few months ago. The presenter spoke a lot on the effect of inactivity and what the costs are to communities and to the individual.  Getting rid of your car may not be the answer. Trying to replace all trips within 2 miles of your house with a bicycle may be a step in the right direction. Check out the 2 mile challenge (just type in your address and see what is within two miles) and, the Clear Air Challenge for more on what you can do. You can read the full report here. As always expensive and complicated issues being solved by something as simple as riding your wonderful bicycle.

(Bike and Rootbeer nothing more simple.)

Pedal Powered Smoothies Anyone?

Pedal-Powered Smoothie Blender
Creative Commons License photo credit: Iburiedpaul

This Monday (5/31) at MadDog Cycles in Provo (936E 450N Provo) from 10am-4pm the Provo Bicycle Committee is going to be pedaling smoothies as a fundraiser for the Committee. Make sure to take some time and ride your bike over to support the Committee in making Provo a better place to live. Smoothies will be sold for $3-5 dollars. See you there.

p.s. Make sure to put this up on your Facebooks, Live Journals, Smoke Signals, or whatever it is the kids are using these days.

New York Times and Opinions.

Crashed Fiat Uno in 1990

Creative Commons License photo credit: markhillary

Today there was a very interesting opinion piece on the New York Times website. The piece is titled “Do We Tolerate Too Many Traffic Deaths?” The article points out that while traffic-related deaths are at a lower number than they have been for years, traffic-related deaths are still the #1 killer of citizens in the U.S.A. between the ages of 1-34.

The number of deaths per year from auto accidents is right around 40,000. Many experts added their opinion to the question to help shed some light on our tolerance. Here are a few of my favorites.

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What Do You Love About Cycling in Provo, Graduate Student Tod Robbins?

If you’ve been involved in the Provo cycling community, you’ve probably met Tod. Tod Robbins rides a magenta ’73 Schwinn Collegiate with an original speedometer and a brass bell. He has pedaled his vintage ride for over 1,000 miles and often chooses cycling over driving.

“Things seem richer in Provo when riding a bike,” says Tod. “It lets me explore at a faster pace than my feet – discovering new neighborhoods and places you would usually just drive by. When you’re on your bike, you discover all sorts of neat things.”

Although he is leaving for graduate school this summer, Tod has worked tirelessly over the past months to improve bicycle culture and community in Provo. He’s leaving the city better than he found it – hopefully he’ll be surprised at the progress we’ve made when he returns.

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.

Riding in the City: Mythbusting, a Link, and the Need for a Ride.

(Deep in thought.)

This post is in response to some questions BikeProvo has been receiving on riding laws and etiquette. I actually attempted to write a post on this subject and kept running into issues between my opinion, reality, and the law. There definitely will be some Provo specific posts on this issue. First however, I need to get everything straight and clear on how it will be presented. I am sure that a few hearty bicycle rides will help me straighten this all out. Until that time I am going to debunk one of the biggest cycling myths out there and give you all a link to a great document put together by UDOT. The UDOT document is a great starter for anyone wondering what our rights are to the road and, how to ride correctly on the road.

So, what is the biggest myth in cycling? It goes something like this…

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Bicycle Coalition seeking Executive Director.

The following is a release from the Utah Bicycle Coalition.

Executive Director Wanted

Summary

The Utah Bicycle Coalition seeks a proven leader, entrepreneurial fundraiser, visionary manager, knowledgeable advocate, and a powerful communicator with a deep commitment to our mission to serve as executive director. The initial employment term will be for a period of four months. We anticipate compensation for this period to be $3,000 per month. Future compensation is dependent upon the success of the candidate in fundraising efforts.

Utah Bicycle Coalition Mission Statement

The mission of the Utah Bicycle Coalition is to promote and preserve the safety, opportunities, and responsibilities of cyclists and pedestrians through legislation, education, and facilities development.

  • To work for good laws and legislation which promote safe cycling and walking.
  • To participate in transportation planning and construction providing accommodations for safe cycling and walking.
  • To educate cyclists and motorists about safe cycling, sharing the road, and obeying the law.
  • To assist in the development, growth, and effectiveness of local cycling advocacy groups.
  • To develop a network of safe cycling routes throughout Utah.
  • To promote sustainable, healthy lifestyles.
  • To support Utah’s cycling industry.

The Utah Bicycle Coalition advocates for increased bicycle use by promoting the bicycle as an everyday means of transportation and recreation. Cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, maintain good health, and travel around town.

There are risks to cycling that can be mitigated by educating both our fellow cyclists and motorists in how to properly share the road

Qualifications for Executive Director Position

·       Commitment to the mission
Must have a deep personal commitment to Utah Bicycle Coalition’s mission and goals. An everyday bicyclist who is passionate about bicycling’s vital roles in transportation is strongly preferred. The executive director should be committed to long-term employment with Utah Bicycle Coalition (minimum three years).

·       Fundraising
Experience in fundraising for public interest or advocacy work from a diverse range of funding sources including private foundations, non-profit services, government services, individual donations, membership sales, and events. Fundraise to sustain the Executive Director position. Experience with writing and managing grants is preferred.

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Something to work for.

I am a dreamer. The following video which is two minutes of commuter traffic in the Netherlands looks like a dream come true to me. 33% of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle; in Utah it is about 5%. I would say we have a little room for improvement. Next time you need a gallon of milk, or want to go to the movie, or any little trip, think about taking your bike instead of you car. Change comes one bike, one trip, one rider at a time. Enjoy the dream. (Thanks Jeff on the onesy for the tip.)