as the horticulture educator with the Cooperative Extension Service for Payne County, soon had an opportunity to make an impact for bicyclists in his own community. Kevin Mussett, a longtime Stillwater bicycling advocate, approached Lowell Caneday, OSU Regents Professor in leisure studies, to ask for assistance in securing bicycle-friendly status for Stillwater. Caneday was quick to make the connection to Reed, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the College of Education’s leisure studies program. As part of his creative component, Reed compiled an application on behalf of the city of Stillwater to the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community program. The program “is a tool for states, communities, business and
universities to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people.” A number of factors gelled to move Stillwater forward as a bicycle-friendly community. While Reed was responsible for compiling the 88-question application, he is quick to point out that the process required the support of city and university officials, including Stillwater Mayor John Bartley and city transportation director Jason Peek, among others. The process led to the formation of the Stillwater Bicycle Committee. The League of American Bicyclists awarded Stillwater “Bicycle Friendly CommunityBronze Level” status in the fall of 2012. Stillwater is only the third city in Oklahoma and one of 259 nationally to achieve the designation.
Many positive steps continue to happen. OrangeRide, a new bicycle rental program, is now available at OSU, and a campus bicycle committee has formed at OSU as well. The city also re-striped the roadway on Hall of Fame Avenue near Boone Pickens Stadium to include bicycle lanes. Reed is slated to complete his master’s in May 2014. Though it will not be in bicycle, the degree is allowing him to focus on an area he is most passionate about in bicycling. “The majority of the coursework I have chosen has a significant application to bicycling, much more than I ever imagined when I began the degree,” Reed says. His work has affected the Stillwater community and bicyclists for years to come. “The BFC project was the perfect opportunity for me to do a small part to give residents of this area a better chance to experience the power of a bicycle,” Reed explains. C h r i st y Lang
PHOTOs courtesy keith reed
Maine provided the starting point for Keith Reed’s trek across on America on his bicycle (inset). Photos include the starting point of Acadia National Park (top left), Lewiston, Maine, (above) and an early sunrise along the Maine coast (right).
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Published on May 28, 2014