In August Bike-N-
Shane MacRhodes, a certified instructor through the League of American Bicyclists, facilitated the summit with the assistance of Injury Prevention staff Maria Bailey and Jo Fisher from August 13 to 15. League of American Bicyclists’ instructor Sylvia Craig also helped out on Saturday.
Twelve Alaskans from around the state participated in the summit, representing a diverse range of professions and cycling backgrounds.
The weather turned out great, if a bit warm for some of the northerners, with drizzling rain holding off until near the end.
Rental bikes were used for those who traveled great distances to attend. Before anyone could straddle their wheels, however, they got a lesson on proper helmet fitting, as well as how to do a safety check of their bikes. Within a short time, attendees were already bike commuting back to the hotel, a long trip for some and a warm up for others.
On Friday the event continued with a Traffic Safety Class that included both classroom and bike riding skills instruction.
One of the goals of the summit was to provide instruction on safe bike riding and the other was to assist the attendees with planning their own bike event in their communities. Shane provided numerous resources and ideas and broke the group into smaller groups to discuss and brainstorm how to run events in their own towns. Some great ideas were exchanged and there should be some excellent bike events in Alaska in the near future.
The weekend ended with a large group ride that included participants, instructors and other Anchorage bikers. Sadly for some, the ride ended at the bike rental shop downtown where attendees had to bid a fond farewell to their two-wheeled steeds.
Injury Prevention is glad to report that all the attendee’s stayed upright on their bikes and no injuries were reported, despite some serious right-hook drills!
Since the summit, other events have already been held throughout the state. It is great to know that the information presented in Anchorage has already been disseminated to other Alaskans.
A trailer full of bikes that could travel to Anchorage-area schools to teach students Bike Safety was first dreamed up by Anchorage-area League Certified Instructors (LCIs) back in 2009. Thanks to the Alaska Injury Prevention Center (AIPC) and the Safe Routes to School Grant they wrote, that dream is now a reality.
Just before school started in August, ASD Health and PE teachers got to take a tour of the trailer and test ride some of the 35 Bike Friday OSATA bikes at their annual in-service. OSATA = One Size Adjusts to All and can shrink and expand to fit someone from 4’0” to 6’2”. Teachers are excited about bringing the bikes to their school. Their main concern was that sharing one trailer between all 130 ASD schools and programs will be difficult, as it will be very popular.
The trailer is a full-service, one-stop shop for bike safety that includes not only bikes and helmets, but also safety gear, tools, repair equipment and education materials to teach students how to ride safely. In addition, the trailer comes with a full curriculum – Bikeology – that leads students from bike basics to the rules of the road with the focus always on safety.
The goal of the program is teach students that bikes can be a great form of transportation not just a toy. Students of all ages need activity to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition, junior high students who learn the rules of the road from a bicyclist’s perspective will likely be better drivers when they get behind the wheel of the car.
The trailer, bikes and gear will be officially donated to the Anchorage School District by September and students will be learning to bike safety skills soon after that.
Teachers check out the adjustable Bike Friday bikes.
Teachers getting a rundown on the bike trailer and the Bikeology curriculum.
Some sweet Bike Friday OSATA bikes ready to go.
On September 9th, Bike Anchorage celebrated the 2015 Bike, Bus & Walk Commuter Challenge and all of our winners. It was another fantastic summer for the Challenge. Here is the recap:
- 623 people joined the Challenge
- 93 Teams
- A total of 85,239 miles by bike
- A total of 27,432 miles by bus
- A total of 3,489 miles by foot
Our winners were:
- Business category - XS (1-4 employees): Kittelson & Associates, Inc. with 63.7% of their trips by bike, bus or foot.
- Business category - S (5-15 employees): Trek Store of Alaska with 56.5% of their trips by bike, bus or foot.
- Business category - M (16-50 employees): Kinney Engineering, LLC with 33.3% of their trips by bike, bus or foot.
- Business category - L (51-200 employees): The Anchorage Museum Art Peddlers with 11.6% of their trips by bike, bus or foot.
- Business category - XL (Over 200 employees): The Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game Fin and Fur Commuters with 5% of their trips by bike, bus or foot.
Award winner: Kittelson & Associates
Award winner: Trek Store of Anchorage
Award winner: Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Fin and Fur Commuters
We also had some outstanding individual achievements that are worth highlighting. First, we had several folks who made 100% of their trips to and from work this summer by bike, bus or foot. This outstanding achievement is inspiring, to say the least. These participants will receive a gift certificate from the Moose's Tooth or Midnight Sun Brewing. Congratulations to:
- Gary Katsion with Kittelson & Associates
- Ryan Young with AES Bikers
- Sean Eeyore with Evading Car Interiors
- Brian Lamson with Kinney Engineering
- pblock with RDI Riders
- orind with Keep'n the PeACE
- Waryhoose with the Alaska Railroad Chain Gang
- Brig2nowhere with Honey Badgers Don't Car
- Mistertoad with the Alaska Railroad Chain Gang
We also had some particpants that chalked up some serious miles. Our top miles were:
- flyrescue with the 176 WG - Alaska National Guard with 1748 miles by bike.
- Jan with Keep'n the PeACE with 5664 miles by bus.
- aerode92 with the 59th Signal Battalion with 471 miles by foot.
The Summer Challenge wouldn't be possible without several people. First, a huge round of thanks goes out to Alex Jones and John Hettinger of RDI, Inc. They are the masterminds behind the Challenge's web interface. We simply couldn't host the Challenge without their help. Second, the Challenge wouldn't be what it is and we wouldn't have all the amazing awards and door prizes without Catherine Call, Blue Sky Studios and our co-sponsors at AIA Alaska. Third, the Awards Party and Fashion Show would not have been possible without the amazing support of Alaska Public Media, Alaska Pacific University and folks from the Trek Store and Paramount Cycles. We also want to thank Alaska Public Media for all the work they put in to promoting the Challenge throughout the summer with the on-air reminders about the Bike Fridays bike stations around town.
We also want to extend our thanks to all the businesses that donated some great gifts that we were able to hand out as door prizes and awards for Challenge participants. Thanks goes out to:
- The Alaska Railroad
- The Alaska Club
- The Bear Tooth and Moose's Tooth
- The Bicycle Shop
- The Trek Store of Anchorage
- City Diner
- Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop
- Great Harvest Bread Co.
- Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
- Snow City Cafe
- Spenard Roadhouse
- Steamdot Coffee
- Alaska Public Media
In addition, we need to thank all of our Bike Fridays bike station hosts who helped encourage all of us to go by bike through the summer. Thanks to:
- Alaska eBike Store
- Alaska Public Media and Alaska Pacific University
- Alaska Regional Hospital
- Credit Union 1
- CRW Engineering
- Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union
- Great Land Trust
- RIM Architects and Corvus Design
- Trek Store of Alaska
- United Way Emerging Leaders
- Visit Anchorage
And of course, none of this would be possible without our amazing team of volunteers. We hope you enjoyed the Challenge and that it inspired you to leave the car at home. And finally, thanks to all of our particpants! Congrats to a great summer supporting active transportation. Stay tuned for more fun and exciting events that will encourage you to go by bike!
This summer Bike Anchorage tried something new, and it really took off.
Each ride took a lot of coordination and involvement from multiple people all along the way, including generous donations from businesses and individuals (from ice cream to homemade zucchini soup). Bike Anchorage would like to thank each ride leader:We couldn't have done this without dedicated volunteers to pick up fun topics and donate their evenings to touring people throughout town. We'd like to thank those ride leaders, contributors, and all those who came out!
- Community Ride kick-off to Midnight Sun: Charlotte Foley
- Pocket Parks Tour: Hannah Brewster
- Lakes of East Anchorage Tour: Chelsea Ward-Waller
- Bike to Berk: Zack Fields
- Architect Tour: Mike Price
- Raspberry Alley Tour: Tim Kosednar (watch the video here!)
- Harvest Tour: Sage Cohen (watch the video here too!)
- Foodie Tour: Charlotte Foley
- The Nines Ride and awards party: Charlotte Foley and Sage Cohen
Supporters of a more bike-friendly community and generous donations were provided by:
- Rachel at Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop
- Tom Livingston for his architecture knowledge!
- Walt and Barb Morgan for zucchini soup and homemade pickles and wine
- Elena Hinds with 5 kinds of berries
- Rachele Feller with cherries
- Elissa Brown with Wild Scoops: Homemade Alaskan Ice Cream
- Anchorage Park Foundation for its fun mobile phone app "My Anchorage Parks"
- Christina Young and Kristin Hall at Alaska Public Media and Chris Pavadore and Tim at Alaska Pacific University for our Community Ride Celebration space and appetizers
- Rosemary Austin and the models from Paramount Cycles
- Christina Grande from Trek Store/Alaska
- Paxson Woelber for photography
- And many more!
These volunteers hosted 9 different Community Rides this summer aimed at building community amongst our neighbors--all by bike! The aim of each ride was three-fold:
- to share low-traffic, cut-through and shortcut routes to travel through various areas of the municipality to help us all feel more comfortable and confident bicycle commuting through town.
- to learn about a particular aspect of our home city through unique cycling themes.
- to connect community through new friendships and shared riding experiences.
The Anchorage bicycle community is truly a special crop of people who care about each other and our neighbors. This was another way to find community with our neighbors and new friends. Thanks to everyone who contributed big and small to a great first year of these Community Rides, and we're excited to bring in new ideas and try some new things next year!
Decorate your helmet. Decorate your bike. Dress yourself up! We're celebrating our summer "Community Ride" hosts and participants with our 9th and final ride on 9/9. We're celebrating our Summer Commuter Challenge participants with an awards party. We are celebrating the support of our mayor and police chief. And we're celebrating all our treat station hosts with an end of summer bash!
As part of Bike Anchorage's Bike Fridays, there will be several bike stations around town August 28th to encourage you to leave the car at home and go by bike. This is our last Bike Fridays of the summer. You can check out the stations and details regarding when they will be up and running on our map.
The stations are all individually hosted by businesses, agencies and organizations that all support a bike-friendly Anchorage and want to see more people go by bike. Please be sure to thank them when you stop in.
A big thanks to our Bike Fridays Station hosts: Alaska eBike Store, Alaska Public Media & Alaska Pacific University, Credit Union 1, CRW Engineering, Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union, Great Land Trust, RIM Architects & Corvus Designs, Stantec, Trek Store of Anchorage, United Way Emerging Leaders and Visit Anchorage.
If you are a business, agency, or organization and are interested in hosting a bike station as part of the annual Bike to Work Day and/or part of Bike Anchorage's Bike Fridays for 2016, please contact us at [email protected].
And check out this awesome promo put together by Alaska Public Media
Photo courtesy of Alaska Public Media and Alaska Pacific University.