Friday, May 17, 2013

When NPR is your Friend

Had the opportunity to chat with Colin McEnroe on Thursday afternoon.  Oddly they decided the conversation was interesting enough that it should be shared with the larger regional NPR audience.  We were in studio on Asylum Avenue with Mary Collins and Kelly Kennedy.  Mary is a professor at Central Connecticut State University and has written a beautifully titled book, American Idle.  Mary was also instrumental in organizing a bicycle festival, Wheel Fun Day, in West Hartford this coming Sunday.  Her goal is to poke and prod the City of West Hartford into being proactive about Complete Streets infrastructure.  Kelly Kennedy is the exuberant Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut, and rep'd the rare BWCT jersey right into the studio.  We talked about helmet technology, mutual respect, and the pure joy of cycling.  At one point I suggest we "fill the streets with dancing bears,"  and it made sense in the moment.

Unfortunately we ran out of time before I could shoehorn in some discussion of education for cyclists.  Bike Walk CT plays an integral role in bringing Traffic Safety 101 and League Cycling Instructor training to the state.  I'm facilitating and taking an exhaustive 3 day LCI training seminar this weekend in Hartford.  There are action ready programs and certified volunteer instructors ready to incorporate bike safety education into youth physical education programs. Teaching our kids this skill set would pay us back for decades.  On Thursday night Valerie and I were brainstorming our LCI course training assignments and slides.  After consuming some creativity juice, we did pretty well with Valerie's cover slide on bicycle brakes.  You be the judge.

On Colin's show one of the conversation topics was Bike to Work, since National Bike to Work day was the next day.  I rode over to East Hartford early this morning to water my community garden plot and plant some squash.  After that I met up with a group a P&W employees from Glastonbury that were riding to the Hartford BTW breakfast.  More than 200 bike commuters of all shapes, sizes, and configurations mobbed the plaza of the Old State House, spilling over into the lawn.  Excitingly the event has become a draw for those that want to be seen and green, such as Mayor Segarra (in a neon public safety jacket) and James Redeker, the CT DOT commissioner.  Hartford is gearing up to create a Parks and Open Space plan that includes bike route connections between their large and under-utilized parks and green spaces.  It smells like a Bike Plan under the guise of the Parks and Recreation department.  As I find out more, will let you know.

Next week we have an East Hartford Bike to Work breakfast on Thursday, May 23rd.  6:30-9AM on the corner of Main Street and Ensign, right across from P&W.  Fingers crossed for the same splendid weather, but the event runs rain or shine.    Anyone can attend, even if you don't work for the behemoth that is my employer.  And despite the mis-worded form, you can also pledge to Bike to Work on the Bike Walk CT website.  A pledge puts you in the running for the bike schwag raffle, always good stuffs.

And I got some winter shoes on sale.  They are pure awesomeness.  I hope it snows soon.


Brendan said...

So, bike commuting = dorky white men?

Tony C said...

Wait. There were two womens on Colin's show.

Tony C said...

Although, your observation of the P&W photo is dead nuts. We do have a couple women on our email list for the P&W Cycling Club. None made it down to Hartford. Perhaps we'll see a few on Thursday at the East Hartford event on the 23rd...