So You Love Bicycling…

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, DRBC, Outreach 

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition Supporters,

The DRBC would like to start by thanking you for your past support.  Everyone who rides knows getting more people on bikes more often makes better riding. With your help, we intend to continue that mission.  

A couple of ways you can help us is what you have done in the past, giving time helping at events and monetary support. The other is free of both. Follow us via the websiteemail or Facebook. We need to know you are there! Please send us your name or like us on Facebook so we can add you to our roster of cyclists who want a better bicycling environment here in the Coulee Region.

Here is what DRBC has been doing for the bicycling community this last year from October 2012 to October 2013:

Oct 2012

Light up the Night event at UWL Eagle Rec Center, Oct 18

Feb

Supported the 2nd Annual Bike Winter, (in conjunction with Wisconsin Bike Fed) various events between Feb 10 – Feb 23

Supported a Winter Riding Tips Workshop/Fashion Show at Earl’s Grocery and Saloon, Feb 17

April

Offered bike tips/education at Earth Fair at Myrick Park, Sunday April 21

May

Supported Fitness Festival, Saturday May 4

Assisted at Hamilton/SOTA Bike Rodeo, May 9

Organized Bike to Work Week Saturday May 12 – Friday May 18

June

Supported Summer Leisure Rides from the Wine Guyz

July

Organized Bike Valet at River Fest

Celebrated the City of La Crosse construction of a bump-out for the Bike Corral on 4th Street

Aug

La Crosse Public Library Bicycle Rodeo – Main Branch – Aug 2

Family Ride trail ride and camping at Perrot State Park – Aug 17

Bike Safety Rally – Franciscan Healthcare-Mayo Clinic Health System – Aug 31

Sept

Supported Bike Fest – Labor Day Weekend

On-going

Continue to expand DRBC Business Partners Program – businesses that offer great

discounts to DRBC Members!

 

Presently we are working on artistic style bike racks for the arts district in La Crosse, expanding bicycle recycle programs and creating events year round to help you ride, even in the winter.

 

The coming years in the bicycle community are looking pretty exciting. All around the US and the world people are looking back at the humble bicycle as a viable form of transporting themselves and cargo. Cities are seeing how the infrastructure for bicycles is a fraction of what it costs to accommodate an automobile and how cyclists tend to support more local business. People are starting to realize that their car is taking a very large chunk of their income. I personally like having an extra $9100 (AAA national average cost of ownership) in my pocket every year. Just having an extra $200 a month from not buying gas is pretty nice.

Riding bicycles helps save you money, makes you healthy, connects you with your community and put a smile on your face. We believe in ‘More People on Bikes More Often’.

Please help us continue our mission.

 

Michael Baker

President

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition

 

Website:

http://www.driftlessbicycle.org

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DRBC/190046991773

Email:

info@driftlessbicycle.org

Postal mail:

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition

P.O. Box 423

La Crosse, WI 54602

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Hauling Couch

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Gear, How To, Lifestyle, Outreach 

8ft couch with kickouts.

8ft couch with kickouts.


I took the challenge of moving a couch, by bicycle.

It started with my wife’s desire for a new couch, ours was getting pretty, well, not pretty. It was about 10 years old and it was time. She picked one out this winter and we ended up making room in a corner to store the old one. My friend was having a garage sale across town recently, time to get it out of the house.

I designed a heavy trailer for towing behind the Xtracycle, tested it with something lighter, then, planned the big haul.

The couch was an 8’ overstuffed with kickout recliners on both ends. It wasn’t light. Not as heavy as a sleeper, but close.

I strapped the two hundred plus pound couch to the trailer and got rolling. At that weight, I had to use the granny ring in 3rd and 4th cogs on the flat road.

It was a pretty good slog (sorry, the word slog is the best descriptor I can think of). The sale was 7 miles away.

Made it with no problems, even felt I could encourage the sale by offering to deliver it.

It did sell, I did haul it, though twice as far as I had written on the tag (4 more miles slogged). The buyer was a bit surprised.

Would I do it again? Yup. Maybe not over 5 miles though. I crawled up a few short hills with that thought we all have when we are doing something kinda crazy, but made it.

Why did I do it?

Well, because the bike can…

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Moving a House(hold) on a Bicycle

June 15, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, How To, Lifestyle, Outreach 
Hauling couch

Hauling couch

I watched this video showing someone being moved, from one residence to another…only using bicycles. Think about that. Hauling all your stuff from your house, across town, to another house. Seemed impossible, even watching the video. I still had a hard time believing it worked. They hauled boxes and beds and couches and tables and lazyboy chairs. Everything by bike.

There were a couple big trailers for beds and couches, but otherwise just standard cargo bikes and kid trailers.

I found several other videos from many cities in the US and Canada, same concept.

The most interesting thing, almost no one on a bicycle knew the person they were moving.

A call goes out to the local cyclists (many who did know each other) and they show up. One person commented on how you have to get to these events early to get the big stuff. She was hoping to get the couch!

The standard cost…Lunch and beverages.  

On one move, the owner said it only took only 3 turns to move her. She said it normally would take her all weekend to move herself by car.

Sounds like fun,
I’m in, anyone else?

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Des Moines, Iowa. A Pleasant Suprise

June 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Lifestyle, Outreach 

I recently spent the weekend in Des Moines, IA. I took my mother for a marble convention/show and decided to look into the local bike scene.

I found a well organized group (DMBC) which had put together a community bike shop (very professional looking) with store front, bike stands ect. They were closed when I had time to ride over but I did look in the window and was very impressed with the setup. Carl Voss told me they started in 2008 at a different location, moved to the new location last year and now have 13 workbenches.

They also ran a bike valet during the Saturday Farmers Market (Awesome market!) which runs 26 weeks through the summer. In a corner of a parking garage right on the street the market was on were a couple volunteers (Jacob and Dan) handing claim tickets and parking bikes. I got a chance to chat with Dan for a bit and enjoyed a great bike conversation. They set a record a few weeks ago, 411 bikes, which proves Des Moines is a great place to ride.

Jacob hooked me up with his dad to point me to great places in the downtown area for my evening exploration. Jenifer also gave me several great suggestions for eating and was planning to catch up with us. I checked most of them out and found the downtown to be a fun place to hangout.

The favorite is el Bait Shop. This is the place for the beer connoisseur. If you can’t find a beer you like here, you don’t like beer. Beer News recognized them as most beers on tap at 130+. They have a bike parking lot to die for with 100+ spots and a bike repair station, lots of outdoor patio seating and are supposed to have good food (I regrettably wasn’t hungry having been subjected to the equivalent of Chuck E Cheese).

The city has lots of bicycle infrastructure. Lanes, paths and bridges (one really impressive one!). Riding around was easy, even with one of my wings in a sling. The people were nice and I didn’t feel worried at all cruising around at midnight. The city seems to be working toward a walkable, ridable downtown area.

The downtown on Saturday night was alive with music and many beer gardens. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday morning I found my way to Mullets. Right on the river and bike trails. Yelp said best bloody mary. Ah no… It was a mix and just above standard having rim spice and the ability to add Tabasco from the at the table trays. They do have a selection of good beer on tap, nice atmosphere with upper and lower patio decks and lots of bike parking. The food smelled pretty good (I had to wait having to go somewhere else for brunch).

I would like to thank everyone at DMBC for showing me their city. They are very proud of the cycling culture they are cultivating (sorry, couldn’t resist the Iowa corn joke) and I look forward to my next visit.

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Spot’s Parking Lot

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Guest post by B.C. Brown, La Crosse resident and author of “Spot’s Parking Lot”

I have great admiration for the determined and courageous individuals who make their commutes and other trips by bike in all types of weather (like Mike) and on all types of roads (where legal, at least).

I’m afraid, though, that I fall into more of the fair-weather, sometimes brave, but sometimes cautious-cat category. Some potential trips just make me go “nah.”

They’re usually to sprawled areas, and besides the multilane roads and high speeds at which people are driving, part of what makes them unfriendly and dangerous-feeling to the unmotorized is the overly generous amount of space dedicated to parking. Those seas of asphalt that must be crossed. It’s always nice when establishments offer bicycle parking near the door, but sometimes getting to that door is, well, rather daunting.

If we want places that feel walkable and bikeable to larger numbers of us, we need to reconsider this development pattern.

“Spot’s Parking Lot” is my recently published children’s picture book wherein a terrier does the considering. Donald Shoup, author of The High Cost of Free Parking writes: “Spot’s Parking Lot will not only entertain children but also subtly educate them about cities, economics, and the environment.”

More info and related bits of writing (more for adults) are available at http://www.espressopress.com. The book (softcover, $8.99) is available for purchase locally at the Myrick Hixon EcoPark gift shop.

B.C. (Bridget) Brown, b.c.brown@earthlink.net
(Not to be confused with B.C. Brown the multigenre novelist in Indiana, or Brigit Brown, Wisconsin State Trails Coordinator…)

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