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Monday, March 30, 2009

Denver is Planning a City-Wide Bike Share Program


Mayor John Hickenlooper and several community partners today (January 14, 2009) announced plans for a citywide bike sharing program – Denver B-Cycle – that will make 500 bikes available to the public at 30 to 40 stations throughout the city beginning this summer. Read all the details here. In the photo note the fully enclosed bike with the docking station and the Parisian businessman ready to head off for a meeting. Read more about this system by clicking on Bike Share at the bottom of this post where the labels are.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fort Collins Bike Co-op Seeks Volunteers: HELP (WANTED)!







Bike Mechanics– Experienced or apprentice mechanics to help with Earn-A-Bikes, prep library bikes, and restore impounded and donated bikes.

Bike Co-op Greeters- Friendly greeters needed every day the Co-op is open. Help Co-op customers with bike problems, issues and answering questions.

Bicycle Retrieval Squad- Help needed to retrieve lost and abandoned bikes as necessary. Have a truck? All the better. Or use our bike + trailer to bring bikes in.

Bike Co-op Art Department- Help wanted to provide artwork for shirts, murals, posters, diagrams, signage, decals, and countless other fun stuff!

Bike Library Checkout Volunteers- Meet, greet, and entertain visitors to the Fort by checking out library bikes from the kiosk or Bike Co-op during the week.

Community Outreach, Bike Safety & Mechanics Classes- Join our team to take bike ed. To school groups, CSU and other community groups.

Earn-a-Bike Assistants- Help organize, coordinate, and promote our E-a-B program to any & all who would like to build and earn their own recovered bike.

Fundraising and Grant writing needed- Help us find that next mini-grant, major donation, and $5 monthly subscription to feed the Bike Co-op system!

Ghana Bikes Project- Help us & the World to send 450 abandoned bikes to Ghana with the Village Bicycle Project.

Iron mongers, tinkers, tinsmiths and blacksmiths needed- we need help recycling iron, steel, aluminum and more to keep it out of the landfill.

League Cycling Instructors in Training- Join our team of League of American Cyclists Bike Ed instructors who will develop and teach Bike Ed. To schools!

Newsletter Editor- We need a wordsmith to help us tell the world what we’re doing! Work with all our lead volunteers to keep people informed, inflamed, and inspired!

Racing Volunteers- Help monitor, and cheer the National Collegiate Cycling Championships in May 2009 and 6 day races around the oval this summer.

Valet Bike Parking- Bike Parking at community events make the Co-op more visible in town, spread the word, and ask for tips and donations to the Co-op.

Volunteer coordinators- Every single activity listed above needs help with coordinatin’, innovatin’, and activatin’. Maybe that would be you?!

Tabling- Customer service and sales people need to help spread the work about the Bike Co-op and our need for volunteers of all flavors!

Check out the Co-op web site today and get in touch!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On Street Bike Parking in Downtown Fort Collins: The Back Story



The story that follows, from the Coloradoan, announces 5 brand new on-street bike parking racks in Old Town Fort Collins sponsored by New Belgium Brewing. This brief note brings you a few photos and a little bit of the back story of how these racks came to be. (Maybe our Bike Coordinator, Dave Kemp, will follow up with some further commentary). About 2 years ago the folks at Matter Bookstore and the Bean Cycle asked for an on-street bike corral to accommodate all the bikes in front of the Bean (bottom photo above). One business on the street objected to the loss of one automobile parking spot.

So Dave Kemp went to work and came up with five spots around Old Town for racks like the one shown in the first photo - a net gain of something like 100 parking spots since each rack holds twenty or so bikes! Nice work, Dave!

Now all we need is that on-street rack in front of the Bean Cycle!

Old Town Fort Collins adds On-Street Bike Parking

In a copyrighted story today, Trevor Hughes writes in the Coloradoan about new on-street bike parking in Old Town Fort Collins. (Although we don't like the lead sentence): "Depending on how you look at it, Old Town has either just lost five parking spaces or gained dozens more."

(Trevor, why not write: Downtown Fort Collins just got dozens of new, free parking spaces, thanks to New Belgium Brewing!)

Here's the rest of Trevor's story:

"Workers on Friday installed five permanent bright red bike racks in five downtown parking slots, blocking the slots off from vehicle use but offering dozens of new places where cyclists can lock up while patronizing downtown businesses.

The racks went up in front of Café Ardour, La Luz, the Rio Grande, Trailhead Tavern and Mugs Coffee Lounge. City bike coordinator Dave "DK" Kemp got signatures of support from business owners on each block, spending more than a year answering questions and addressing concerns.

"This makes a statement about our community," said McCabe Callahan, the owner of Mugs. "I think it's a great thing. It's encouraging more people to ride their bikes and not drive cars."

New Belgium Brewing Co. - the Fort Collins-based bike-friendly brewery - partnered with the city to create the racks. New Belgium provided the $10,000 necessary to design, build and install the racks, and the brewer's logo is featured on each. The racks,

designed by BHA Designs and built by M&R Fabricators, also resemble the city's new logo, with swooping curves topped by Horsetooth Rock.

The rack locations were chosen because the neighboring businesses see large numbers of cyclists al-ready. The existing racks outside Ardour, for example, are packed on weekend mornings; and on nice Saturday afternoons, bikes are locked to virtually every object in front of the Rio.

Kemp said moving the bike parking onto the street makes sidewalks more inviting and easier to travel, something Callahan said would help his business.

The racks also have the backing of the city's Downtown Development Authority. Executive Director Matt Robenalt said Kemp did a good job securing widespread support for the project.

"It's responding to a definite increase in bicycle traffic in downtown," Robenalt said. "Fort Collins is a cycling community. It's part of the lifestyle here."

On Friday morning, cyclist Sarah Uhl was one of the first riders to use the new rack outside La Luz. Uhl, originally from Philadelphia, said she's impressed with Fort Collins' commitment to cycling. Uhl works at New Belgium as a tour guide but said she had no idea her company was helping put in the racks.

"It made my day," she said. "It was a really wonderful surprise.""

Friday, March 6, 2009

New Belgium Recognized as Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business


Congratulations to New Belgium Brewing! This just in from the League of American Bicyclists. The photo shows New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins hosting a winter bike to work breakfast.

Washington, DC - March 05, 2009 – The League of American Bicyclists is proud to announce New Belgium Brewing is named as a platinum level Bicycle Friendly Business and is one of the 34 new BFB award winners. This is the second time BFB winners have been announced since the program's inception in 2008 when the League announced the first 13 designees.

“We’re delighted to highlight New Belgium and the ways in which they are getting more people on bikes,” stated League President Andy Clark. “In today’s challenging economic climate, businesses with healthy, happy and productive employees are going to be the most competitive and the most sustainable – the Bicycle Friendly Business program recognizes some of the best examples of this in practice.”

The BFB program recognizes socially responsible businesses that promote healthy, happy, and green workplaces and provides a road map to become even more bicycle-friendly in the years to come. “Businesses across the nation are rising to the challenge of reducing their carbon footprint and improving the health of their employees - we are excited to be able to provide a roadmap to help achieve both these goals, and to recognize those companies that are leading the way," said Clark.

“It’s an honor to be recognized at the League’s highest platinum level rating,” said New Belgium spokesman, Bryan Simpson. “As a brewery founded on a bike ride through Belgium, we do bike advocacy from Tour de Fat to Team Wonderbike because it’s an important part of who we are and how we want to manifest on this planet.”

Bicycle Friendly Businesses are corporations, organizations, nonprofits and associations that weave bicycling into their business culture and give employees and customers the opportunity to be active stewards of their personal and environmental health through bicycling. When bicycling is infused in an office or company culture, great things happen: reduced health care costs; more productive employees; improved worker and customer; satisfaction; smaller carbon footprint; and increased corporate social responsibility.

Applying as a BFB is easy and free. Applicants receive technical assistance from the League staff as well as tools to evaluate and assess their bicycle friendliness through the application process. The BFB application is available online at www.bicyclefriendlybusiness.org.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Does City Council Have to do With a Platinum Bike Plan?



Everything. City Council sets policy in 2-4 year increments. They approve plans (like the Parks Master Plan that was just approved or the Bike Plan approved last Oct. 7, or the Bicycle Advisory Committee created by Council also last October 7th.)

Some people seem to like bike lanes, bike trails and paths, others think they are "extras," or childish, or even wasteful.

We've got several candidates running in Council districts 1, 3, and 5. We think you should support Ben Manvel in district 1 (that's Ben with the "One less car" on his shirt in the photo), Dale Lockwood in Distruct 3, and Kelly Ohlson in district 5.

Keeping incumbents, Manvel and Ohlson on Council is absolutely critical. Adding Lockwood would be a great touch to a supportive Council.

If you want a great summary about all these races, read Eric Fried's latest piece in Fort Collins Now. Pay special attention to his comments about Kelly Ohlson's opponent, Andrew Boucher: "all his columns rehashed the same points. Ready? Regulations, fees, taxes: bad! Nanny state: bad bad! Free market, Realtors, entrepreneurs: good! Open space, bicycles, transit: childish. Cars, roads, development: grown-up. Unions: bad. Poppaw, Manvel, Roy: badder. Ohlson: baddest."

Do us all a favor: Send Kelly Ohlson $25 today to help with his campaign, and vote for Kelly Ohlson, send Dale Lockwood another $25 and vote for him too. And send that last $25 contribution to Ben Manvel and vote for him if you're in District 1. Your vote, of course, depends on your Council district. But they all need your $25!