Make Voting Fun – Bike There!


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Posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Bike Parking, civics, civility, fun, government, Photos, politics, Velo | Leave a comment

Bee-utiful Bike Rack


Discovvered this honey of a bike rack at Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

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Bicycles as Yard/Garden Art


Increasingly, I am observing vintage or used bicycles being employed as yard/garden art. In this post are two examples from one street (16th) here in Traverse City, Michigan.

Bicycle are a terrific decorative addition to the yard/garden or can be also utilized as a planter when the bike has a basket, as is the case with both of these examples.

Adaptive reuse of bicycles in this manner is environmentally friendly, as it keeps them out of landfills; it promotes cycling in a subtle and visual way; and it is an artistic and whimsical addition to the local steetscape. Sounds like a win-win-win option we all should consider when deciding what to do with our used bicycles.

Peace!

Posted in art, Bicycles, cities, civics, culture, environment, land use, placemaking, planning, Trikes, Velo | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Every City Needs a Norte!


Source: elgruponorte.org

Traverse City, Michigan is blessed to have an organization like Norte Youth Cycling (a.k.a. El Grupo Norte). Not only do they strive to make bicycling fun and safe for kids of all ages, but they also are tireless advocates for nonmotorized transportation initiates in the city and Grand Traverse County.

One cannot help but notice the bright orange and navy blue outfits and logos, particularly when a “bicycle train” passes. Led by ever-energetic former Manitoban Ty Schmidt, Norte has grown rapidly since it’s inception in 2006. Norte was Ty and wife Johanna’s response to seeing lengthy lines of cars valeting kids to and from area schools and the then woeful number of kids walking and/or bicycling to/from school.

Source: elgruponorte.org

Today, Norte has a variety of programs beyond youth bike trains, which include advocacy for walking and biking, a mountain bike club, youth empowerment projects, educational programs, a summer bike camp, Christmas tree pickup by bike in winter, a clubhouse at the Civic Center that has grown so fast that it’s being replaced by a Wheelhouse, and active involvement in championing Safe Routes to Schools initiatives locally. Did I say they were tireless?

Kudos to Norte for their awesome efforts to promote bicycling and walking in the Traverse City area and to Ty and Johanna for tackling a problem that plagues schools across the nation – the daily traffic jams associated with parents driving their kids to/from school instead of them biking, walking, or riding the bus.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed as Ty Schmidt and Norte received the 2018 Govenors Champion for Health Award. Perhaps Norte’s mission statement says it best:

Norte is dedicated to building stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart.

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Brave new cycling world


Well, it appears that robots have mastered bicycling. As one commenter stated on YouTube, “here’s the future winner of the Tour de France.”

Posted in Bicycle Commuting, Bicycle Planning, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Biking, culture, Cycling, entrepreneurship, sports, technology, Velo, video | Tagged | Leave a comment

Stylin’ for Bike to Work Week


Posted in Bicycle Commuting, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Biking, Commuting, Cycling, fun | Leave a comment

Go Green Trikes keeps on rolling!


Hanging basket care in Old Town – Used with permission from Go Green Trikes.

Back in 2014, this blog posted two stories about Go Green Trikes of Lansing. Go Green Trikes is an environmentally sensitive business begun and directed by entrepreneur Yvonne LeFave and provides last mile delivery, freight and moving, shopping and errand mobile advertising, event support, and chemical and gas free lawn services by cargo trike in Greater Lansing.

I am pleased to say that Go Green Trikes is still rolling and growing. Their customer based is increasing as their provide more services. Particularly popular are yard care and maintenance services such as eco-friendly lawn care and yard waste removal.

Used with permission from Go Green Trikes.

Yvonne has kindly agreed to allow me to post some photos of her ever-growing business empire and pass along that they were pleased to eek out their first profit in 2017 (though she admits she did not pay herself). A further sign of success has been inquiries about franchising in other cities in Michigan and Illinois. The firm also received the “Business partner of the Year Award” from Lansing’s Old Town Commercial Association in 2017.

2017 Business Partner of the Year Award – used with permission from Go Green Trikes.

Like any other new business, there are growing pains, but given founder Yvonne’s tenacity, leadership, and ability to fill niches in the marketplace, this blogger believes Go Green Trikes will continue pedaling down the pathway to success in 2018 and beyond. BicycleTrax wishes Yvonne all the success in the world and hopes she is personally able to reap some of the financial rewards of her hard work in 2018. Well done!

Posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, Alternative transportation, Bicycles, Bicycling, Biking, branding, Cargo Bikes, cities, Cycling, economics, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, marketing, pictures, planning, product design, sustainability, transportation, Trikes, Women | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tucson completes “The Loop”


Over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Tucson and Pima County celebrated the completion of the “The Loop”a 131 mile shared use trail that encircles the this terrific Sonoran Desert city and provides extensions to the south, north, and northwest.

This is a perfect example of what can be done by a community to enhance non-motorized transportation in its midst. Combined with a numbers bike lanes, a bike share program, bike parking, and numerous other infrastructure, it is clear why Tucson is rated so highly by the League of American Bicyclists – Gold ranking, along with 14 businesses/schools also ranked. Congratulations on the completion of this terrific project and we look forward to utilizing The Loop during our next visit to Tucson!

Posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, Alternative transportation, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycle Planning, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Bike Parking, bike sharing, Biking, cities, civics, climate change, colleges, Commuting, culture, Cycling, environment, fitness, fun, geography, government, health, infrastructure, land use, placemaking, planning, spatial design, Statistics, tourism, trails, transportation, Travel, urban planning, Velo, walking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A city with trash pick-up services by bicycle 


Hat’s off to the folks of Northampton, Massachusetts, where Pedal People has been operating a successful curbside human-powered bicycle pick-up service for garbage/recycling/compost since 2002. The cooperative has a fleet of 12 bike trailers that can each haul up to 300 pounds and a staff of 14.

The following list of reasons to use such an environmentally sustainable service (found on their website) provides an excellent summary of the benefits:

 

Ten reasons to switch to Pedal People for recycling & trash service

    1. Clean air: Diesel exhaust particles can cause or exacerbate many health problems, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and have been linked to cancer and premature death [1].
    2. No pavement damage: Trucks cause nearly all of the load-related damage to pavement. A vehicle weighing five tons causes over 100 times as much damage as a vehicle weighing one ton [2]. Getting trucks off the residential streets means the pavement lasts longer, saving the city and its taxpayers money.
    3. Quiet: There’s no engine or compactor noise with us.
    4. Local economy: A greater percentage of the money you pay us stays in the local economy instead of getting spent on foreign oil.
    5. Less waste: Trucks are most efficient at transporting large quantities long distances. Picking up residential trash requires many stops and starts. Every time a truck accelerates from a stop, it emits soot and smog-forming pollution. Pedal People consolidates the trash and recycling, so trucks can do what they’re best at. We also provide entirely human-powered compost service for no extra charge with trash pickup.
    6. Service: We offer personalized and flexible service. All the trash (up to 30 or 60 gallons per pickup, depending on your plan) and both kinds of recycling are picked up at once — no need to remember which week is which. If you don’t want to bring your trash to the curb, we can pick it up anywhere our bikes can easily go for no extra charge.
    7. Reliability: In our 15 years of operation we’ve done 233,557 pickups and have rarely had to postpone due to severe weather.
    8. Guarantee: If you’re ever not satisfied with our service, we’ll refund the unused portion of your bill at any time.
    9. Donations: We’ll bring bags of clothing to a donation box for no extra charge.
    10. Cost: For small and medium sized pickups, our prices are very competitive, and if you’re switching from another service, your first month is free with no obligation to continue. We also offer a 15% senior discount.

Sources:

  1. Union of Concerned Scientists, “Has Heavy Diesel Equipment Fouled Your Air?” (http://go.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/trucks_and_buses/page.cfm?pageID=1212)
  2. US DOT Federal Highway Administration, “Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study” (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reports/tswstudy/Vol3-Chapter5.pdf)

Particularly impressive is the fact they have nearly reached a quarter million pickups since the inception of Pedal People. Well done!

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Trekking the Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail


The Dune Climb bike parking area

We spent part of Sunday afternoon biking a portion of the magnificent Sleeping Bear Dunes Heritage Trail between Pierce Stocking Drive and Glen Haven. The approximate 10 mile round trip took us through/past a variety of lovely ecosystems including woodland, open field, wetland, and dune landscapes.  The entire trail is just over 20 miles in length.

Source: National Park Service

Dune Climb as seen from the Heritage Trail

Over the hill and through the woods

Newly fallen leaves along the trail

Uphill climb

 

Posted in Active transportation, Bicycle Planning, Bicycles, Bicycling, Bike Commuting, Biking, Cycling, environment, fun, geography, health, infrastructure, land use, pictures, placemaking, planning, tourism, trails, transportation, Travel, walking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment