Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The New Year, Part 2

My posts are generally narcissistic, like yesterday's. I was gonna do that again today and write about the ride I took last night. But, in a moment of clarity, I remembered that this blog isn't just about me. Hell, there are a bunch of other bloggers who write way more interesting and funny than me all the time. Instead, I thought about the direction of the beat bike blog as it enters a new year. Our founder and most chillest blogger, Will, has left for beautiful environs of Key West. Does that leave us without keel for '09? Probably. So, what now? In 2008, we wrote about a bunch of stuff, but also did some stuff, including, but not limited to:

  • 2 races
  • cleaning up the river
  • making critical mass a more viable thing in Hartford
  • making critical mass not a nasty and contentious thing like it is in most other cities
  • garnering press support (???)
  • some other stuff that I'm probably forgetting
What should 2009 be about? Loyal reader(s), please tell us. Should we put together some more Hartford races? I'm definitely going to work on the 'cross race, but that's more a CCBA thing. Should we do something to promote more bike commuting? Should we raise money for a bike related cause? Should we start a trips for kids mountain biking program? Should we do something to get more youth involved with the whole riding a bike thing? Should we do none of that and reform are image into something cooler and angrier?

We're adrift! Please help!


ben said...

I always thought it would be cool to set up shop somewhere to educate non-bikers on bikers traffic rights. My wife thought I was crazy but I'm sick of being disrespected for choosing to ride my bike. My cousin was complaining a few weeks back how bikers shouldn't be riding in “the middle of the road”. As my face grew red with anger, I had to explain that we can't ride on sidewalks and pot holes, sand and parked cars force us to take the lane. A little education can go a long way.

ben said...

Oh, and how could I forget. MORE PUB CRAWLS!!!Cheers

Brendan said...

two birds with one stone: set up in the middle of the road with beers

Murbike said...

More suburban stuff -I live in Newington, grew up in E Hartford, and ride downtown a lot. The commuting idea would reach out to those of us who don't live directly in the Hart.

Sign me up for the Trips for Kids thing. I've been taking my kids on trips for a while, and am willing to share the fun...

I've been eyeing the pub crawls for a while, and have made a resolution to take part this year. Promise.

Murbike said...

Your post got me thinking of something else -

When I was a kid, my Dad would take us on an organized ride at midnight through the streets of Hartford.

I thought it was a phantom memory, so I Googled it, and found a mention in a NY Times article from 1996 about the Parks Ride (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E7DC1139F935A15756C0A960958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all).

How about an adventure like that?

Ryan S. said...

Hey all, my name is Ryan and I go to the University of Hartford. Myself and a few friends are in the midst of starting a cycling club there, and we are also in need of ideas. We're hoping to do some fundraiser activity this coming semester, and we hope to get UHa kits and race as a team in the spring. So I guess this is just a heads up to say we hope to have some evens going on in the spring for anyone to attend.
One of our ideas is a criterium around campus...it's a 1.8 mile road around campus that we'd like to have a crit on, open to every rider. I'll try to keep this blog posted about our club in the future.

chillwill said...

hey! i'll keel you!! i'm not on the farm anymore, we have the interwebs, electricity and indoor plumbing here on the island! and its like 70/75 all the time with bicycles everywhere!

here's a few thoughts:

it might be a good idea for us to give some bike input for the planned renovations of the Bushnell park/LOB cut-through. i mean the long term NRZ plan as well as any sooner work, just to make sure they're also thinking about bicycles!

a cycling club at UHa!? right on Ryan! there's prolly some great collabro possibilities and energy.

Crit mass!!! first, beg, barter and plea for carol to make another flyer, the winter ride one was the hotness as el prez would say. though i still like my ghetto flyers, actually been passing some out here. i think if we continue keep with the original vision of it being a celebration and not a protest, and keep the amazing vibe, we won't have the troubles other cities have.

pub crawls. alley cats. y'all betta still be makin' those happen!

stoning birds? uhh, i guess its ok as long as you eat them!

all that cross race race stuff sounds awesome too. y'all kick ass!

i still have like $30 from some of the bloggers to make more stickers and will get on that this week and ship them north! i've been sticking them up here as well!

I'm super happy so see so many ideas and energy good on ya mates!

Mark said...

You should hook up with Charlie Berenstein in WH for "Take a Kid Mountain Biking" program he runs each year. Not sure whether he did it last year or not but at least it would give you a starting point.

Karma said...

I agree with Ben that the bikes as transportation angle has to be at the top of the list. This aspect of cycling affects all of us pretty much everyday all year round and we have all had our scares. I think just by riding we set the example for others to get out there and this increases awareness but education for drivers and bicyclists has to be integrated as well.

And of course we cant abandon hope for functional bike lanes, even if these were as basic as a couple arterial links between the 'burbs and beat.

Brendan said...

Ryan S- Are you aware of the Downtown Criterium? I've never ridden it because I'm scared of road racing, but it seems like a good time for those who aren't. I'm assuming that they're going to have it again this year. UConn has a cycling team, I don't really know how it came into being. I assume you've got to start with club status or something like that.

here's a website about last year's

Brendan said...

Murbike- Our fellow blog, Ken, was instrumental in the Park Bike Tour stuff.

Brendan said...

excuse me, "fellow blogger"

Carol said...

I'd be happy to do more publicity - flyers, etc for you guys. Just let me know - carolmontanaro@mac.com

Also, something Steve told me about that I'd like to try to get going here is an Art bike ride - people decorate their bikes or themselves in an artsy way and ride. Might be a cool way to get new people - including kids - out on a ride.

chillwill said...

carol...you ROCK! ....a lot!

I was asked to plan a bike tour component for the Open Studio Weekend the city had back in November. I was super excited, but couldn't do it as i was not going to be in Hartford at that time. It might be a go for the next one, lemme know if you are interested and i'll pass along some contact info.

any sort of art/bike ride sounds awesome...good luck and i hope to see pictures!