Sunday, May 11, 2014

So Much Bike

Bike to Work.  Bicycle skills.  Dinner and Bikes.  The next couple of weeks brings a critical mass of bicycle based activity and I'll be trying not to drown in the sea of spokes and chain rings.  I'm finding myself a bit over programmed, but it's hard to say no to the goodness of non-motorized transportation and what it does for a community, the local economy, and our much maligned planet.  Any way you can chip in to spread the word or volunteer at an event would be much appreciated.

Overflowing bike parking at the Urbana Farmers' Market.
After traveling back to the Midwest last week for vacation, I was reminded how awesome Champaign-Urbana, Illinois is with it's huge bicycle, pedestrian, and transit mode share.  In a small community of approximately 150,000 they support three bustling business districts.  The community has the typical chain mall crap north of the I-74 highway that skirts the northern edge of the city, but you won't see the bike, walk, and transit users spending much time there.  Their dollars get spent locally, and at the weekly Urbana farmers market - that includes local and regional food production.  It is mind shifting to see entire families show up to the market riding bicycles.  Not just that one odd ball, but many families.  On cargo bikes.  With bike trailers.  Using trail-a-bikes.  Some with the little ones riding along on their own separate pixie bikes.  It can happen, and there is no reason this can't become the norm in Hartford.

With that motivating vision in mind, I'll take the space below to remind folks about the fantastic bicycle orgy that is taking place in the next couple weeks.
  • Wednesday, May 14th.  6:30-9:00AM.  Bike and Walk to Work Breakfast in East Hartford.  Sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, Goodwin College, American Eagle Federal Credit Union, and the Town of East Hartford.  Right across the street from Pratt & Whitney on Main Street.  Near the Goodwin College Community Garden plots.  We'll have bagels, coffee, fruit, and juice to fuel the rest of your day.  There will also be retro-reflective and very adherent stickers being handed out to participants.  As bicycle commuters we know that visibility is important, both in numbers and in reflectivity. 
  • Wednesday, May 14th.  6:00-7:30PM.  Free bicycle safety information session at the Arroyo Recreation Center in Hartford's Pope Park.
  • Thursday, May 15th.  Free admission to the Real Art Ways Creative Cocktail Hour if you show up on a bike.
  • Friday, May 16th.  Bike to Work in downtown Hartford at the Old State House.  There are 23 total Bike to Work events statewide.  Bike Walk CT is trying to change the norm for Connecticut commuters.  Facebook event invitation - for spreading the word.
  • Sunday, May 18th.  Traffic Skills 101 course in Canton in cooperation with Benidorm.  A comprehensive 8 hour course including classroom topics, hazard avoidance drills, and a road ride.  Special note - I plan to brave Rt 44 (Avon Mountain) at the ass crack of dawn on the 18th since I'll be riding over to teach this course.  
  • Sunday, June 1st.  A 4 hour course (TS101, Part 1) in Simsbury.  This continues quite a streak of bicycle awesomeness in this Hartford burb.  They are already a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community, there is a town bike share program, and the Farmington Valley Greenway goes right through town.
  • Saturday, June 7th - Dinner and Bikes in Hartford.  Vegan dinner.  Bicycle movie shorts.  A book talk by Elly Blue on Bikenomics.  Facebook event invitation - for spreading the word.
Dinner and Bikes.  Bikes and Dinner.  We'll see you there.
Whew.  I'm worn out, and the week hasn't even started yet.  Keep being awesome and I'll see you on two wheels (or on foot).

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