The 2014 National Bike Challenge is about to kick off on May 1st. This fun program is organized by the League of American bicyclists with the goal of getting more people on the bike for both recreation and transportation. As the challenge aims to change our transportation habits, it runs for five whole months from May 1st to September 30th.
The simple fact of getting more bikes on the road increases rider safety, and cities like Portland and Davis with many cyclists have very few cyclist fatalities. Getting more people riding in and around Tallahassee is one of the goals of the Capital City Cyclists and we are therefor hosting the local part of the challenge. We’re covering the counties of Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla. It’s free, and there are great prizes to win. It’s also fun to see how you and your workplace or team is doing with respect to the rest of Tallahassee and the rest of the country. In last year’s challenge the Gainesville Cycling Club won the award for the best team, nationally. We should give them some competition this year! Just go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up. When you do, you can search for and join the Capital City Cyclist team. You can of course also join other teams that will be set up by participants in the coming weeks, or you can start your own team. Also, look for your workplace and/or school, or consider becoming the coordinator for your school or workplace.
The challenge runs from May to the end of September, and each month there are prizes to win. The rules are simple, 20 point for each day you ride, and one point for each mile you ride. You can log your miles manually, or use your smartphone or Garmin GPS device to upload your rides to endomondo, mapmyride, or moves. The bike challenge website can then sync the rides you enter there. While all rides count towards points, miles, and calories burnt, miles you ride instead or using your car for transportation count towards dollars and CO2 saved, so you can keep track of your savings and your reduced CO2 footprint. The web interface is brand new, and the League had to rush to get it set up in time. You’re bound to have some questions, but you can post these easily in the comment section on the website and get these answered.
While the challenge itself starts May 1st , you can sign up already during the “warmup” period and get used to it. May 1st all counters will be set to zero.
Those that participated last year had great fun with the challenge. It’s a great and free way of contributing to the cause. Give it a try yourself and spread the word among you colleagues and friends! Go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up!
Sometimes it is hard to find a good parking space for your bike at businesses and parks around town. There’s not always a convenient traffic sign around, and trees are not very amenable to U-locks. While new construction in central Tallahassee ( the Multi-Modal Transportation District or MMTD ) is required to provide bike parking at a rate of 10% of car parking, existing businesses have no such requirement. Therefor the city has decided to start a bicycle parking program.
There are two types of bike parking that are proposed: bike racks and bike corrals. The bike racks are black inverted Us with a City logo, and will be only be installed at city owned properties like parks and community centers, and in public right of way. Businesses interested in installing bike parking on private property can contact the city planning department for help with placement and design. Also a “Bike Parking Guide” will be developed by the city/county planning department. It is also proposed bike racks and art can be combined with the installation of artists designed racks, similar to a very successful program in Toledo.
Bike corrals typically replace one parking space for cars with 10-16 parking spaces for bikes. A first proposed location is College Avenue, near Jasmin cafe, with additional locations along Gaines, All Saints, South Monroe, and Midtown.
The enthusiastic support by the mayor and commissioners at their March 26 meeting now make it possible to find funding sources for this program.
So I must open by apologizing as it has been TOO long since my last Presidents Paceline entry. I could discuss all the club has been up to (which is a lot) but I thought it would be more fun to get back in the swing of things by geeking out on cool bikes – that IS why we all ride after all
With that mindset I thought I would share a recently found favorite of mine – the Vintage MTB Workshop (www.vintagemtbworkshop.com.) For some this will be a look at early off-road bikes and for others it will be a trip down memory lane allowing you to reminisce how these bikes (or ones similar) from two decades agos “felt” as we turned each pedal stroke.
For me I cannot help but remember lusting over the early 90s Klien Attitude. I never personally got to own one myself however, working in a bike shop, I did get to ride a few in my time. Along with Cannondale, Klien was one of the first companies to popularize the use of thin-walled oversized aluminum tubes which are commonplace today. Before the use of this once “radical” tube design aluminum bikes were flexy (anyone else recall watching the slow motion replay of Sean Kelly’s sprint victories atop his Vitus and how the front and back wheel went almost sideways?) Klien was famous for their consistent smooth welds and unyielding strong stout frames along with their garishly fantastic multi-toned paint jobs. They also where one of the first to use the now common double oversized pressed-in headset designs to allow for a light-weight steering assembly that still tracked strait as well as press-fit bottom brackets and unified handlebar and stem. This integrated “frameset” design (frame, fork, headset, stem, seatpost, and BB) allowed Klien to be on of the first to push the limits of endurance and lightweight design which is now the standard for all high-end bicycles.
The Klien Attitude also fit the mold of the quintessential MTB race bike of the early 90s era. Stiff frame, low handlebars, crazy paint, and built for speed. These bikes where not comfortable but they where fast with every push of the pedals propelling you forward and a frame geometry that allowed you to instantly change your line. It was this design that I first fell in love with in the world of bikes and still gets my heart racing today…
What was your first bike love?
TMBA Trail Care Crew Visit
The Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association (TMBA) just wrapped up a very busy 4 day visit from the International Mountain Bike Association’s current Trail Care Crew – Jesse and Lori. You can find more general info about the Trail Care Crew in general here: https://www.imba.com/tcc
The Tallahassee visit’s main event was a free, one-day Trail Building School, during which Jesse and Lori taught sustainable trail building. TMBA scheduled the Trail Building School for Saturday, March 1st. The event consisted of morning classroom training held in the city’s Meyers Park Community room, free lunch donated by Dave’s Pizza Garage, and an afternoon of on the ground training in Tom Brown Park. We had great turnout with a mix of TMBA members, locals, a handful of people from out of town, and staff from local and state land managers. Organizing this couldn’t have happened without all the hard work from the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation staff Chuck Goodheart and Craig Brickser.
The Tallahassee Trail Building School project reestablished a portion of the Magnolia trail in Tom Brown Park that was removed during the construction of joint city/county public safety complex and the Red Cross center on Weems Road.
The participants of the Trail Building School bench cut a beautiful piece of singletrack between the new buildings and the adjacent retention pond. This trail will be connected with the existing Magnolia Trail in a follow-up TMBA workday on Saturday, March 15th.
In addition to the Trail Building School, TMBA scheduled an afternoon Land Manager Training session where Jesse and Lori talked with our local trail land mangers about the practice of designing, building and maintaining sustainable trails.
TMBA also managed to squeeze in participation in the Thursday evening event – Speed Date Local Leaders. Mike Yaun and Matt Wilson from the TMBA board; a few TMBA members -Sarah Wilson, Neil Dimacali, Joseph Petty, and Craig Brickser; and Jesse from the Trail Care Crew talked with County and City Commissioners, Leon County Administrator Vince Long, TPD Chief Michael DeLeo, and Tallahassee Director of Parks and Recreation Dee Crumpler. The event was a great opportunity to discuss with local leaders the importance of biking for the Tallahassee area.
Finally TMBA held several great social events related to the visit. Friday night included a social ride and meal with several kegs of beer brewed by TMBA Event Coordinator and brewmaster Joseph Petty; the Friday night meal was hosted by Higher Ground Bicycle Company. Saturday night was a post Trail Building School celebration at Juicy Blue Tapas Bar & Bistro in the Four Points by Sheraton, which had been gracious enough to donate a free room for Jesse and Lori’s stay in Tallahassee.
Last, but not least, Matt Wilson lead a Sunday morning social ride that starting at Tom Brown Park that included trying out the new section of Magnolia Trail and was a great send off for Jesse and Lori.
written by Mike Yuan
Recently The Village Square hosted an event called “Speed Date Your Local Leaders” that was attended by several CCC members. Here is a summary of their experience, written by Joe Barnett:
Village Square’s “Speed Dating”
by Joe Barnett
Several Capital City Cyclists members attended the event including Neil Dimacali, Mike Yaun, Joe Barnett and probably others.
The list of local officials was impressive. City Commissioners Scott Maddox, Nancy Miller, Gil Ziffer were there along with County Commissioners Kristin Dozier, Mary Ann Lindley, and Nick Maddox. Also in attendance were the County Administrator Vince Long and Supervisor of Elections Ian Sancho. There were also representative from Leon County Schools like Jackie Pons and Forrest Van Camp.
About 30 tables were set up at St John’s Church. Local leaders had about 7 minutes to sit at each table and discuss any issues table members brought up. And we got to eat free pizza!
At my table I asked the new chief of police, Michael DeLeo, about safety. He said our narrow roads are dangerous. I wasn’t sure if he was talking about canopy roads or wanting to widen other roads. So I mentioned that in Killearn Lakes our roads were narrowed and now the cars have slowed from about 43MPH to about 33 MPH making it safer. We also have bike lanes.
I asked about every commissioner if the 200-300 million of the sales tax dollars would go to more 6 lane roads or not. They told me how there will be a LOT of sidewalks and completion of the bike network.
I mentioned I am worried that if we keep making 6 lane or bigger roads it will be dangerous and ugly sprawl like Atlanta, Orlando, L.A….. I told them how Greenville, Duluth Minnesota, Sarasota, Thomasville, have very busy downtowns and ALL have two lanes with street parking. Most liked that idea, and are supportive of Bike -Ped issues, but all felt we need a Capital City “outerbelt”…. just like other sprawl cities…
The event was a great opportunity see speak one on one with our local officials. Tallahassee is a relatively small community and even a small group like the CCC can have a big impact if we can regularly have a presence at these types of events.
“The Village Square is a non-partisan public educational forum on matters of local, state and national importance. We are dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues, and recalling the history and principles at the foundation of our democracy.”
Here’s a talk at TEDxFSU by Liz Joyner, Executive Director of To The Village Square:
Have you heard of Bicycle House?
Bicycle House is a non profit community bike shop located on Jackson Bluff Rd, near the FSU Stadium. They have a special interest in providing bikes to people who need bikes for transport, not just recreation. Often these are people who can not afford cars and can barely afford a bike.
But its more than a bike shop. Bicycle House has become a gathering place for non-traditional cyclists. Its a place to meet new people and learn new skills. it provides a service to a population that might otherwise never be exposed to cycling or have the opportunity to own a bike.
Bike House also operates a hostel for travelling cyclists. The shop is located on Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier route and in 2013 they hosted more than 300 touring cyclists!
The non profit organization has been growing at a rapid pace and are in the process of expanding to the space next door. Once complete they will have space to run a full time coffee shop and have an additional 5 workstations (complete with tools) dedicated for member use.
Do they give away free bikes?
Not exactly. To get a bike from bike house you must schedule an appointment and meet with a volunteer to assess your needs. Then a bike is chosen from their stock of donated bikes and a volunteers helps you to assemble or repair the bike to suit you. People are asked to pay what they can for the bike, sometimes that amount is zero.
Isn’t that bad for local bike shops?
Historically, no. Most of the people Bike House serves have been to local shops and have not found what they needed. Even the least expensive bikes at a shop are too expensive and some feel overwhelmed by the bike shop experience.
Bike House often refers people to local bike shops when their stock of used parts does not meet their needs. And many people start out with an inexpensive used bike from Bike House but after getting “hooked” on cycling go to a bike shop to purchase new bikes.
How can I get involved?
There are a few things you can do if you’d like to help out or learn more:
- Donate your unneeded bike parts.
- Donate your time. Volunteer to work at the shop for one 4 hour shift a week
- Help spread the word.
Find out more at www.bicyclehouse.org
Club Holiday Party
& Board Member Elections
Saturday December 14th
American Legion Post 13
229 Lake Ella Drive
The annual club holiday party will be quite an event this year designed to foster merriment for all members! See our list of events below and join in on the fun when it suits your fancy! Registry online to receive calendar reminders at: Eventbrite/a>.
6pm – Food, Club Merriment, and Board Elections
- Meat and drinks provided
- Bring a side dish or dessert
Enjoy conversation, background music, bicycle stories, and camaraderie of fellow cyclists!
The ballot box will be open from 6pm until event closure. An email will be sent to club member the next day with vote tallies and election results.
7:30pm – Capital City Cyclists President’s Report and Club Awards
The 2013 club president will provide a year-in-view update and club Awards will be delivered
8:30pm until… – After Party with the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association
- Wine and Beer provided
- Cash bar available
After 9pm the music will be turned up and it will be time to get rowdy Dancing and general body moving encouraged.
This is a reminder about the Capital City to the Sea Trails Public Workshop #3! There will be two corresponding workshops, one in Leon County and one in Wakulla County. Below is the information for each workshop. You can also visit the project website at www.CC2ST.com for more information.
Public Workshop #3 for Leon County
December 3rd at 6:00PM
Jack McLean Community Center
700 Paul Russell Road, Tallahassee, FL 32301
Public Workshop #3 for Wakulla County
December 5th at 6:00PM
Wakulla County Commission Chambers
29 Arran Road, Crawfordville, FL 32327
We encourage you to attend one of these workshops and ask that you send this information to coworkers, neighbors, family, and friends in the region! This is the final workshop for CC2ST, so come prepared to participate and provide your input!
Please feel free to contact Kate Widness (contact information below) if you have any questions or comments.
Capital City Cyclists to Receive Award at the first annual Share the Road Celebration of Cycling
Capital City Cyclists is honored to be recognized as leader in the state for our Kids on Bikes program and it’s work in educating school children about safe cycling.
In the last two years our club has worked hard to provide a sustainable funding and infrastructure to run this program in the Leon County and surrounding areas. The mission of Kids on Bikes is to provide engaging, educational opportunities for kids to learn skills and awareness of how biking positively impacts their health, environment and lifestyle. The two major programs that we put on under Kids on Bikes are:
- Florida Traffic and Bicycle Safety Education Program - where we taught at 8 different Leon County Elementary Schools and reached about 5,000 3rd-5th graders to teach them properly Bicycle Traffic safety. We provide the bicycles, helmets and student intern instructors to help teach this course at the schools along side their PE teachers.
- Trips for Kids – we connect with local children groups such as the Boys and Girls Club and Boys Town (foster kids) and take these kids out on a fun mountain bike ride around Munson Hills and use bicycles as a vehicle for lessons in confidence building, achievement, health, and fitness. We’ve reached out to over 100 different kids this past year and even trained 19 Boys Town kids to ride in The Ride for Hope.
Club president, Zach Finn, will be at the award ceremony taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013, at Hollis Center in the Rinker Fieldhouse, on the Stetson University Campus in the City of DeLand, Florida.
You can learn more and register for the event at: http://bikeflorida.org/events/share-the-road-celebration-of-cycling/.
By: Donny Authore
What will it take to become Tallahassee World Champion at this year’s Spaghetti 100? Maybe the winner will emerge from an early breakaway or possibly a late solo attack, or perhaps a sprint finish will rule the day. Even though it’s hard to predict, some key strategies can ensure that you will have a great finish.
First of all, sign up now — you cannot win it unless you are in it.
Second, ride your bike! It is amazing how much a few sufferfests can improve your fitness.
Third, adding some hills to your training in the next couple of weeks would certainly be worthwhile — Spaghetti 100 features an awesome route on some of north Florida’s finest roads for cycling, with no shortage of hills.
Finally, rest and eat! In the 3-4 days leading into the ride, forgo the heavy workouts and eat a bit more than usual.
Ride day: Winning will certainly take some serious power at a few key moments. The good news for many of us is that cycling is as much about brains as brawn, so if you’re ready to roll it could be you who pulls on the rainbow jersey. Despite all the uncertainties about possible outcomes, in most cycling events the smart money is on a “critical point” lasting 5-10 minutes that will separate the true challengers from everyone else. Once the lead group is established, the real battle for Tally supremacy will begin with lots of attacks and counter moves.
In the end, the victors that emerge will be King and Queen. The best part of the day, as always, is the fun times with friends and fellow cyclists at a great event like the Spaghetti 100. But there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, with bragging rights on the line.
Donny Authore is the 2012 Tallahassee World Champion in the 100 mile route for the Spaghetti 100. He won last year from a dwindling peloton and broke away with local Scot Benton. In the last 10 miles he dropped his breakaway opponent and solo’d to the finish. When Donny isn’t wearing the rainbow stripes of the Tallahassee World Champion around town on his bicycle, he can be found doing research and teaching students at Florida State University’s College of Business.