President’s Paceline

I’ve had the pleasure to have been in a paceline with many of you, but this will be my first one that I’m pulling while sitting in a comfy chair, sipping a great local beer.

Cycling has always been an important part of my life. Born in the Netherlands, it would have been nearly impossible not to spend part of the day on a bicycle. When I was 4 years old, my mother brought me to kindergarten on a bicycle. I was in front, in a seat mounted to the handlebars, while my older brother was in a seat on the rear carrier. It was really exciting to get my first ”big bike’ when I was 9, so that I could ride my bike to school by myself. The bikes have changed over the years, but they got me to school and to university for many, many years. For me the bicycle was an economical means of getting to school, to work, or the track club, but not so much a sport. At the time, environmental or health considerations did not play a role for me. That changed a bit when I got to Grenoble, France. Work was in the valley, about 200 m above sea level. Home was in the mountains at around 1000 m. Most days I took the car (a Peugeot 205), but the days I took the bike (also a Peugeot) really made the ride home quite a ‘sporty’ exercise. However, it was not until the Maglab got me to Florida and I became a member of Capital City Cyclists that I ever rode in a paceline, and here I am trying to write one.

I’m honored to have been entrusted with the club’s presidency for 2017. This will be the club’s 35th year after its inception in 1982. That year the original TOSRV (Tour of The Suwannee River Valley) and a push for bikelanes on Miccosukee road led to the first cycling organization in Tallahassee. This combination of great rides with your club buddies as well as an advocacy platform to spread the joys of cycling is a great tradition that I am committed to continue.

There is a lot of positives. We see more and more cyclists on our roads. The city and county want to promote active transportation. But 2017 does present some challenges to the club. We’ve been very fortunate to have Paul McManus run the Kids on Bikes and the Trips for Kids Programs and be the Spaghetti 100 Ride Director for many years. However, Paul has indicated that he will not be able to continue to do that this year as his growing business requires his full attention. Fortunately, Paul will stay around as a board member, and we greatly appreciate all that Paul has done for our organization over many years. There are other challenges. Our membership is significantly below the levels of a few years ago. There are few new participants on club rides. We have not a lot of young members. Not a lot of women or minorities.

Fortunately, we do have a great board to address these challenges. Kelly Beacher is our capable treasurer, Sarah Dugger our resourceful secretary, Garry Breedlove is our welcoming vice president. And who does not know Jim Mann, our Ride Group and membership Director, advocate Joe Barnett, and Karen Loewen who will help with our communication. And we are very fortunate to have Paul McManus and our previous past president Brady Irwin to share their experience and knowledge.

Foremost, we are here to serve our members and to advance cycling at all levels. I will be pleased to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas, criticism, thoughts. Just email me at hans@cccyclists.org.

Ride on,
Hans

Havana Hills Ride on Feb 26

Logo Havana Hills Ride

Spring comes early this year with the Havana Hills Spring Classic Bicycle Ride on Sunday Feb 26. The 88 or 48 mile routes take some of the most scenic and challenging roads in the Tallahassee area. You’ll get treated to lots of hills, and to views of southern mansions, oak trees, farm lands, and pecan orchards. The road is 100% paved and marked with White Arrows at each intersection. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Havana volunteer Fire Fighters. More information can be found at the Havana Hills Ride website.

Matthew Beard Memorial Ride to the Sea

Ride begins on the St. Marks Trail at the Wakulla Station Trailhead on December 10th, 2016 at 10am. The ride is FREE and is intended to allow all levels of cyclists to ride to show their support of victims and survivors of DUI drivers. Riders will have support along the way, including snacks and drinks. The ride follows the St. Marks Bike Trail to the St. Marks River Park in St. Marks, Florida. Here is where the river feeds into the Apalachacola Bay at the Gulf of Mexico — a beautiful area in a little sea oriented town. At the park, riders will be able to make a dedication to a loved one, and sign a pledge to be a designated driver and not drink and drive. Free t-shirts OR water bottles will be given to partipants. The total out and back ride distance is 14 miles. The ride is organized by the Florida State University Police Department with support from the Florida Department of Transportation. Email Major Jim Russell for more information at JLRussell@fsu.edu. Helmets required – safety first! Please come out to make a statement that cyclists support DUI education and enforcement, to keep all of us safe!

Holiday Party and Annual Membership meeting!

The Capital City Cyclist will have their annual Holiday Party Dec 10th. Join us at 6:00 pm for an evening of fellowship, fun, and food at the home of Jim and Jane Ann Mann. Their address is:

3329 Nottingham Drive
Tallahassee, Florida

This is also our annual membership meeting featuring the election of your club’s officers for 2017.

Food and beverages will be provided by Capital City Cyclists. RSVPs are requested to biscuits_glb@yahoo.com.XmasPartyImage

Cascade BikePed Bridge Opens

Many of us who have seen the construction stages of the Cascade Bike Ped bridge, have been impatiently waiting for this to be finished. It carried a pretty hefty price tag, almost as much as a few hundred yards of Capital Circle, but now we can enjoy passing over this unique bridge connecting Capital Cascade Park with FAMU Way, constituting a crucial section of the Capital Cascade Trail that will connect downtown Tallahassee to the city of St Marks with a continuous multi-use trail. For those that have not been on the bridge and on FAMU Way, you should certainly give it a try. And you will count, literally. There is an official bike and pedestrian counter on the bridge. You’ll see that the city and the Blueprint folks have not forgotten about bicycles. There’s 2 bike repair stations along the trail along FAMU Way, as well as some misters. Certainly a great addition to Tallahassee, which recently made the list of the 50 Best Bike Cities in Bicycling Magazine.

Hop on: The 2016 National Bike Challenge has started!

The 2016 National Bike Challenge has just kicked off on May 1st. This fun program is organized by the People for Bikes 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.

You should sign up, but this is also a great opportunity to get your family, friends, and colleaques to sign up to get them on the bike more often.

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.
Just go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up. You can join existing teams, 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, and also Stava !! 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.

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!

Love To Ride Tallahassee

November is Love To Ride Tallahassee Month
November is Love To Ride Tallahassee Month

Are you interested in seeing more people cycling in Tallahassee? Love to Ride Tallahassee aims to show more people just how easy and enjoyable cycling can be. All people have to do to take part is experience that great feeling you get on a bike by riding for just 10 minutes or more.

We’d like your support to spread the word, champion cycling and encourage your workplace to sign up.

What?
• A fun and free incentive based bicycling initiative for local workplaces.

Workplaces are invited to compete between November 1-30 to see who can get the most staff riding to win individual and team prizes.

Why?
• Create a buzz about bicycling at your workplace.
• Great way to encourage people to rediscover cycling.
• Win prizes!
• For new and experienced cyclists.

It’s quick to register your work team online, visit www.lovetoride.net/tallahassee.

Love To Ride Tallahassee is sponsored by the City of Tallahassee, CRTPA, Leon County, Planning Department, Commuter Services of North Florida, and People for Bikes

Capital City Cyclists question new Transportation Plan

You’ll not find any bike lane project in the new draft cost feasible plan. Nothing along the Tennessee St/Mahan Dr corridor in spite of it being a US bicycle route. No bike lane on Olson Rd, a rare connection over the I-10. No uphill bike lane on Woodward Avenue connection College Town to the FSU campus. In a somewhat extraordinary move the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) eliminated all 31 proposed bike-lane projects from the needs plan. The reason? It is hard to calculate the costs, as some may need right of way, some may need getting rid of on road parking, some may need stormwater facilities. While some of these arguments have some validity for a few of the projects, many of these projects have their origin in the 2004 Leon County Bike/Ped Master plan, and had a pricetag attached to them all this time. It is certainly no reason to eliminate all 31 bike lane projects from the long range plan. Capital City Cyclists and other local cyclist have made it clear to the commissioners on the CRTPA board that they find this not acceptable. Bike lanes need to stay one of the options in the long range plan.
This is not to say that the plan does not have anything in it for cyclists. There are Blueprint projects, but they are financed by local sales tax. Of the state and federal dollars in the first time period (called Tier 2  2020-2024) the cost feasible plan proposes the Florida Arts trail, a shared-use trail along SR 12 connecting Quincy and Havana. It proposes a shared use trail from the Wakulla Environmental Institute to US 98, part of the Capital To The Sea trails. In Leon County it contains the section of the Goose Pond Trail from Mahan/Fort Knox Boulevard to Weems Rd. Allthough Leon County has 75% of the population of the 4 county area the CRTPA plan proposes less than 20% of the available federal and state dollars  for bike/ped infrastructure to go to Leon county, and nothing to the MultiModal Transportation district. While the FLorida Arts trail and Capital To the Sea Trails are great projects, Tallahassee commuters get short-changed.
The next meeting on this draft transportation plan will be a public meeting April 27 at Jack McLean Community Center at 6 pm -7:30 pm. Please attend if you can.
JoBarnettAdressingCRTPAboard
Joe Barnett addresses the CRTPA board

 

Long Range Plan in the Making: Are your priorities addressed?

If you care about transportation and have some time to spare, you can help decide the regions transportation priorities.  This is close to the last possibility of providing your input in the long range transportation plan. The Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) is now finalizing the list of projects that our region will try to get (partially) funded with state and federal dollars. This list will not change much in the next five years until the next long range plan, and it’s important that missing links for cyclists are included in this list.

The current draft list of bicycle and pedestrian projects can be found here, and the draft list of proposed roadway projects here. These lists are very much reduced from the original list of about 1500 projects. Some of these projects were duplicates, others were already under construction while some have already been funded. There is also a long list of bicycle and pedestrian projects that are expected to cost less than $300,000.00, and which are supposed to vie for a very limited amount of federal and state dollars dedicated mainly to bicycles and pedestrian projects.  But a large number of suggested projects in what the planners refer to as the opportunity plan have been relegated to a longish list of projects called miscellaneous projects. The idea is that these projects are mostly maintenance of existing facilities in which the CRTPA has very little say. You can find that list here.  What is of concern for cyclists is that a large number of projects concern the addition of paved shoulders on various roads. While the state currently as a rule adds paved shoulders to state roads when they are up for resurfacing, that does not seem to be the case for county roads like Tram road. If you share my concern about that, please let the CRTPA know.

All comments with respect to the draft lists should be provided soon, preferably before March 21. You can send your comments to Jack Kostrzewa (jack.kostrzewa@talgov.com), and I’d appreciate if you copy us on that as well (hans@cccyclists.org).