Category Archives: Tour de PATH

Bicycle Ridership

Some variation of children and I made it out three times this week on the bicycle. Monday morning we cruised into Ritter Park to meet up with friends, who are interested in family cycling and wanted to test ride our Yuba. Monday evening there was a grocery ride. Wednesday I met up with my Tour de PATH chairperson and we walked the town looking for ride sponsors, passing out our new I Bike PATH bike stickers (from BikeButtons/OrganicHaus), and leaving registration forms.

What I noticed right away were the volume of bicycles and riders every time I went out. I think I was only able to capture 10% of what I saw, and most of the time, because we were both moving, they weren’t great photos. Here are some of the better images.

Four friends began commuting by bicycle this week, as children are being released from school, and morning routines are changing. Two other friends bought bicycles and they are also learning their way to work. We learned there were 10 employees at Huntington Prime who bike commute. Our PATH champion, Bethany, at RTI said she’s been doing everything by bike for over a month now. Another friend had her handlebars reconfigured to attach a front mount seat to ride with her son.  It’s happening Huntington. Thank you all for being out there and trying so hard to gain a new perspective. We believe that more riders is the most simple thing we can do to make riding safer for us all.

Any one notice the theme in the pictures? All these riders were on sidewalks or pedestrian crosswalks and many going against the direction of traffic, making crossing dangerous or difficult. I watched some bike down a sidewalk in one direction, cross in the middle of the street to the opposite side walk, so they could use the pedestrian walkway under the railroad tracks.

Not one bike was at a bike parking space. The other photos were on the trail and inner circle at the park, where their is no auto traffic.

Most people do not feel it is safe to ride on the streets, despite it being illegal to ride on the sidewalks in our downtown area. Despite the bike lane that is being painted and signed on 4th Avenue. Despite the low volume of slow moving cars and traffic lights at nearly every block/intersection. Despite me riding on the street with my two children aboard and my teeny-tiny efforts to encourage people otherwise.

Feelings are important and if there is anything I can do to help people feel safer, please let me know. I would even ride with you and help show you my chosen routes and how I stop and where and why, and we would all go slow. Which is one of the objectives of Cycle Socials. Perhaps it’s time to schedule another.

 

Miles Walked: 3.5 Biked: 59 Bused: 0 Drove: 0 Carpool: 6.8 This week
138.1 2266.5 1176.6 3691.8 294 Since August 14, 2011

 

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That’s a Lot of Miles

Closing out our spring break festivities with three bike rides, was not predicted, but was very much appreciated.

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This morning Stacy G. and I rode 12 miles to scout out the 8 mile city route for the Tour de PATH community bike ride happening July 7 (register here!). We were so happy to be checking out the course, making some adjustments to meet the wide variety of cyclists and skill levels, as well as seeing the plethora of businesses who serve the PATH community.

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We made a short stop at Pullman Square at the end of our ride and were treated to a guitar serenade by Phil. Sweet chap.

When I arrived home, I found three children at the neighbor’s and Oliver and Brent playing trains. The three us rolled off on the newly acquired Jamis and my trusty Yuba to look over a house in a neighborhood nearby. The home owner was very interested in our cargo bike, as they just had their first child and were moving to a city where they hoped to do more cycling together. He took the Yuba for a quick spin and even took our photo with the bike, which was admittedly, very cool. The Yuba has celebrity status in Huntington and I enjoy it so much when other people are having fun with it too.

With the house tour over, and the children all home again, we packed up for a much needed trip to the grocery. Our five miles round trip were very slow going. My legs were exhausted by this point, but I pulled through. Oliver in the iBert, Avery on the deck and minimal grocery weight divided between my bags and Brent’s. I was ready to give up when we made it to our street. I breathed slow past each house in my lowest gear and stopped at the bottom of the driveway. I was done for the day.

It feels phenomenal to know I rode 18 miles today. I am left with a twinge of sadness that spring break is over and I have so little time on the bike to show for it. I do feel I will have to strengthen my resolve to ride, as I committed myself to 30 days of biking in April. I even managed to get my sister Shannon to sign up. I hope it lifts her spirits and gets her back on the bike, at least for 30 days. Maybe you would like to join me and 1800 other cyclists world wide, as we pedal each and every day for no other reason than to get on our bikes.

While you are considering cycling challenges, check out the National ChallengeRob Gusky with sponsoring company, Kimberly-Clark, has a personal interest in seeing WV cruise to the top, so let’s help Rob (native of WV, currently living in WI), each other, and this great state, put forth some cycling pride. I won’t hold it against you if you live in one of the other fine 49, we need a little competition 😉 So in the spirit of family//bike//words, “Get out there!” Or if you prefer a little Chateau a Velo, “Be good to each other.”

Miles Walked: 0 Biked: 18 Bused: 0 Drove: 0 Carpool: 0 This week
127.1 1764.6 1176.6 3559.1 200.9 Since August 14, 2011

 

A Day Downtown

Thursday last week, Stacy G. and I were presenting the Tour de PATH to the Downtown Partners requesting sponsorship and providing information about the ride. Try as I might, none of my sitter options worked out and I took three boys to a business suit gathering at the CVB. My plan was to occupy my youngest two with sugary cookies from River & Rail Bakery and hope baby L was sleeping or happy in my arms. The plan worked. Children with cookies, baby sleeping. The presentation was quick and successful and we then we loittered about.

We were walked around Heritage Station in the rain, letting the boys run and jump and play. We scheduled another meeting with the Shopkeepers Association and then drove over to Pita Pit to make introductions. Nathan, the owner, had supplied me with some fabulous data about their bicycle delivery service for the LAB BFC application, and I wanted to shake his hand in gratitude and let him know about the Tour. I am still raving about their efforts to support bicycling with their employees and with the community. 80% of their deliveries are by bike in fair weather. They purchased a bike for the shop, and outfitted it with a bread basket rack. They organized a training ride with the Huntington police department and help costumers lock up out back if they arrive by bike.

We arrived in two vehicles and had to pay a quarter to the meter. Not fun. Then Stacy G. and I parted ways. I was heading to Trendy Tots to drop off two totes full of consign-able clothing. I discovered no street side parking, a blocked alley way, no rear parking and a blocked road. I ended up parking on the other side of a four lane and ran across the middle of the street with totes, leaving children in the car. At this point I was miffed at my transportation situation. On the bike, I could have parked at the door. Granted, it was raining, but lightly, and I like the rain. Alas, baby L is too little, and not my baby, so van it was. In and out, in and out. Buckles, straps, sliding doors. 5.6 miles of cruising around town.

All in all, the boys were wonderful. I don’t plan to take them out if I don’t need to, but I held it together for this trip. The largest inconveniences were needing hot water to warm the baby bottle, carrying two of the children, and their bags, changing diapers on the go, and everyone getting off their nap schedules when they fell asleep during the 2 mile drive home. It’s times like these I feel I need to call in a Duggar for consult.


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Planning the Tour de PATH

Savannah's Bistro

In November, after reading in the local paper about the Kidical Mass event I organized, Stacy G. contacted me about assisting with a revival of the Tour de PATH. Somehow she felt I might like to see our one and only bicycling network finished during my lifetime. We both felt most of Huntington would love to see it completed and if anyone reading this has $8,000,000 to donate, RTI assures me they would have the entire 32 mile (I have read 60+/-miles elsewhere) system complete in 12 months. It has been nearly five years since the inception and at the current rate of grant income, disbursements, property acquisition, and prevailing wage hurdles associated with state and federal funds, it may be another 5 to 10 years before anything is complete. I caution to say this is not quoted information, simply the impression I was left with during meetings with powers that be.  Since I don’t know any multi-millionaire donors, I agreed to help organize the Tour as a community ride to demonstrate the usefulness of PATH and hope to raise funds and awareness.

Preparedness. Three headlights, greasy gloves, Brent's research tool (a.k.a. his anxiety reduction device).

Have you ever organized a massive community event? I haven’t. I did serve on a committee for a children’s festival in Buckhannon, WV, but my contributions were minimal. This event is involved. In order to make progress in setting up an event to raise funds for a project, you need funds. Is it the old adage of you spend money to make money? Somewhat.

We would all like to think everyone is freely giving of their money for a great cause without expecting anything in return. In the case of PATH, your donations will assist in completing the PATH. All those bike lane signs we have seen along 4th Avenue for two years will have actual bike lanes to correspond with them, if there was more money. The idea of guerrilla marking the lane in with paint or chalk was suggested to me recently, but I saw what happened when a university student created a breast cancer awareness bridge. The attention was heart warming, but no true action became of those promises to write a book or repair the bridge. The same decrepit structure is still there and it’s been repainted white. Likely costing the city more money.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if NPR could pick up the great story of our Create Huntington organization and all the other citizens and government workers who are constantly striving to improve life for everyone? I meet more and more people weekly, like Stacy, who has dedicated her unpaid time to aid in launching the local food movement, community composting project and the Tour de PATH.

Stacy and I are helping to plan a fun, family event, launching from Heritage Station on July 7, 2012 at 10AM. We are rallying support from the area to offer attendees entertainment, education and recreation. Riders will be offered three different course options to tour different expanses of PATH as a group. We are ironing out details for a free bike valet, what I believe will be the first for the city at any event. We encourage businesses, agencies and groups to sponsor the ride with donations of cash or in kindness. For everyone, we welcome you all to register to ride.

Our plans were coming together last night over dessert at Savannah’s Bistro. When we realized the restaurant was closing Stacy jumped on the Yuba deck and I took her over to the Frederick to wrap up our brainstorming, editing and course of action. It was great fun, the riding the bike, and the planning. We were both giggling and exclaiming our love of cycling to all the bar hoppers on 4th. I still think a pedicab service would be a great addition to our city, if anyone is looking for some pocket money. There were people everywhere.

The night was hovering in the low 30s and flakes were falling. When we rolled back to Stacy’s vehicle she took the Yuba for a spin. I captured her first ride on my camera’s video setting for Film February. She pulled up next to me and said, “hop on!” I think Stacy has been bitten by the bicycling bug. It was exhilarating.  It was also getting very late, nearing the midnight hour. We said our parting remarks, I called the husband to assure him I was on my way home, and wondered through the snow fall, by way of the park, toward home.

Stopped in the park to enjoy the snow fall as I rode home.

All this talk about Tour de PATH was just primer to get you jazzed up join us July 7th. Registration will open May 1 and more details will roll out soon on Facebook and PATH’s website. Stay tuned, I know you will love it!

Miles Walked: 0 Biked: 52.3 Bused: 0 Drove: 4 Carpool: 17 This week
121.6 1526.4 12.6 2568.7 94.7 Since August 14, 2011
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