Rick Brown 2016
Congratulations to all those who participated or who are participating in Winter Bike to Work Day 2016 on Friday, February 12th. This is terrific event that inspires people to get outside and embrace Winter and all its glory. Well done!
I am particularly proud to see my new hometown of Traverse City to be listed as the leading American city for pre-event registrants. Booya! Here is a list of the Top 25 cities for committed registrants (over 10,000, as of 1:30 pm EST) around the Northern Hemisphere and a weblink to the complete list of over 1,500 cities.
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Oulu, Finland
- Novi Sad, Serbia
- St. Petersburg, Russia
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Moscow, Russia
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Helsinki, Finland
- Bergen, Norway
- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Skopje, Macedonia
- Gothenbeug, Sweden
- Traverse City, Michigan, USA
- Oslo, Norway
- Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
- Trondheim, Norway
- Tampere, Finland
- Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Washington, DC, USA
- Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
- Stockholm, Sweden
Interested in being the Tour Director for the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB)? Well, here’s a link to download and open a job description containing more information about the position.
You would think this would be an obvious safety concern to those involved, but lately it has been quite surprising and dismaying to see so many pedestrians and cyclists walking/pedaling at night in dark/non-reflective clothing. Not only is it harder to see them in dressed in this manner, but add in the dulling of motor vehicle headlights by road salt, less hours of daylight, unlit streets and roadways, and the narrowing of road shoulders due plowed snow and you have a dangerous combination of factors that must be addressed before a tragedy occurs.
The number of people walking/pedaling the roadways here in the Traverse City area in dark gear has been significant enough for both my wife and I to wonder if local communities should consider adopting laws which require the wearing of bright clothing or reflective gear. Public safety officers would be able to ticket those who don’t oblige without good reason. Granted, you can’t fix stupid, but for the sake of the rest of us, perhaps such laws would at least be a step in the right direction and may wake those up who are not thinking through the potential dangers of their choices.
Public safety campaigns via the media, hospitals, law enforcement, schools, community groups, and walking/biking advocacy groups would be another way of spreading the word – one which should be painfully obvious already.
Lastly, for those among us who unfortunately cannot afford to buy bright outerwear or reflective gear, donations of money or clothing to homeless shelters, school,s and community groups would be a great way to reach those most in need of assistance. A little bit can go a long way when parlayed with the gifts from others in the community.
Any other ideas beyond those listed above would be most welcome. Please pass them along.
Thanks to Norte! for posting this great photograph of Christmas tree recycling by bicycle taking place here in Traverse City. What a super-Eco idea for removing your Christmas tree!
My cousin happened to post this photograph from Christmas 1959 of me sitting on my first tricycle at my grandparent’s home. I was barely two years old and from the picture, I obviously took a liking to my new three-wheeled contraption.
Receiving one’s first bicycle or tricycle is an important step in childhood growth and development. It provides self-mobility beyond just walking or crawling and helps establish some of the earliest stages of independence and courage. No longer is one strictly tied to holding Mom and Dad’s hand.
While I was too young to have any vivid memory of this handsome tricycle, I have very fond memories of each of my bicycles since then. The one that will always standout head and shoulders above the others was my blue Schwinn Stingray with the banana seat and removable plexiglas windshield. It was with my Stingray, also a Christmas gift, that I was first able to truly explore the world beyond the narrow confines of my subdivision street. I adored that bicycle and to this day can recall so many fun-filled adventures spent riding that bike.
Isn’t that exactly what a gift is supposed to be all about? Something that is not just a tangible item, but one that also has intangible benefits. In the case of a bicycle or tricycle, it is one’s first steps (or pedals) towards independence and self-awareness.
Forming an early bond with a bicycle also has the added reward of creating a life-long love affair with them. As we all know, once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget how to do so. Similarly, once you experience the absolute joy of riding a bicycle, no matter how young at heart you are, you will never forget that love and will carry it with you for all of your days to come. Namaste!
This charming statue is located in Clinch Park along the TART Trail and the Traverse City, Michigan waterfront. The statue was created by Verna Bartnick and depicts a parent teaching their child to ride a bike, as they must eventually let the child ride off on their own.
I cannot think of a more fitting statue to locate along a bike trail, as it clearly depicts the sense of adventure, challenge, joy, fun, trepidation, and wonder of first learning to ride a bicycle. It is an accomplishment that no one ever forgets. Enjoy!