to Work, School & Fun.
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BIKE to Work, School & Fun
2014 Bike to Work, School and Fun Week Events Even if you aren’t interested in changing the way you commute, you will still have a hard time finding an event that won’t be enjoyable for you. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are a baseball fan or an outdoor sports enthusiast or a local food connoisseur, all you have to do is get involved! Here are a few of the events planned for this year’s Bike to Work Week: Commuter Challenge May 10-16th Register your company at bikenevada.org, log your miles all week long, pedal with your fellow employees, and win prizes. A healthy and fit workforce is a happy workforce. Bike to Work Raffle May 10-16th Register on bikenevada.org, log your miles and you will have a chance to win a prize. Rack Em Up at School Contest May 12-16th $3,000 in prizes is on the line as local elementary, middle and high schools pedal for school pride in this contest for best decorated and fullest bike racks. Register your school at bikenevada.org or contact MJ Cloud at Mcloud@washoeschools.net. Bike to The Ballpark Sunday, May 11th This event is organized by the Washoe County Health District and is held on May 11th. Come kick off Bike to Work Week by riding to an Aces game in their beautiful stadium in downtown Reno. Bike Valet from the Reno Bike Project will be available at the game for all riders. Cyclists will also get special discounted admission for participating. Contact Phil Ulibarri for more info. 775.328.2414
Mayoral Challenge Ride 9:00AM, Thursday, May 15th Join us at Sparks City Hall for a fun and leisurely ride to Reno and the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. Officials from Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County will pedal in celebration of Bike to Work Week. The Ride starts at 431 Prater Way in Sparks and ends at 490 S. Center in Reno. Shortly after a nutrition and hydration break at The Discovery Museum, participate in the Ride for Reading event! For more information about the Mayoral Challenge Ride, please contact Phil Ulibarri at (775) 328-2414. Ride for Reading Thursday, May 15th Washoe County Safe Routes to School and Washoe County School District Read and Succeed program are partnering to bring Ride for Reading to Reno. Ride For Reading’s mission is to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income neighborhoods. In lowincome neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Reading is an integral part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Our children need materials to read at home and it is our goal to provide the means. Ride for Reading in Reno will be a one-day event, held on Thursday, May 15th after the Mayoral Ride. Volunteer riders will start at The Discovery Museum, 490 S Center St, Reno, NV (the end location for the Mayoral Ride). There we will pick up donated books and deliver them to Echo Loder Elementary School as part of a group. We’ll all get a chance
to meet with the students during a big assembly, and then the children will get to select books to bring home. Please contact MJ Cloud at Mcloud@washoeschools.net for more information. Pedal for Pancakes 6AM to 10AM, Friday, May 16th The Reno Bike Project will open its doors early Friday morning to celebrate Bike to Work Week. From 6-10am on May 16th, RBP will be serving up pancakes, bagels, bacon and coffee to any cyclist who rides his or her bike to the shop. Coffee Shop Stop Friday, May 16th Ride your bike to work on the last day of Bike to Work, School and Fun Week and show your helmet at the participating coffee shops and get a free cup of Joe. These are a sampling of some of the awesome events and partners participating in Bike to Work Week this year. As you can see from the varying types of organizations participating, biking to work and commuter safety is extremely important to the Truckee Meadows. These local non-profits hope to continually inspire shifts towards a cleaner, safer, and more eco-friendly Reno Community. Participating in Bike to Work Week is a great way to show your support for numerous Northern Nevada non-profit organizations, all while enjoying the unique festivities held throughout the week. ■
Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014
INSIDE… Event Schedule Bicycling Culture Businesses Benefit from Biking True Costs of Roads Week Focuses on Safety First Benefits of Biking to Work Basic Cycling Education Clinics Focus on Equipment, Rider Reno Tracks Rack Em Up Mayors’ Challenge Children’s Art Spotlight Participating Bike and Coffee Shops
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A charitable bike ride through scenic Northern Nevada. Proceeds benefit local community youth programs.
Edible Pedal 100® Supports Bike to Work Week.
This publication is printed through a collaboration between the Northern Nevada Business Weekly and the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance.
* Celebrate 15 0 years of statehood w ith a 150km (93.2 mi) challenging ride , 6,600+ vertical fe et * Ride a respec table 50 mile route, 2,800 vertical fe et * Or enjoy a leis urely 10 mile course
Alliance Members: Washoe County Health District, Air Quality Management Division Get Healthy Washoe University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Environmental Health and Safety Nevada Bicycle Coalition Regional Transportation Commission Kiwanis Bike Program Nevada Department of Transportation Safe Routes To School Reno Bike Project Graphics by: Diego Sabogal Web Design by: Chris Gandolfo
A charitable event by:
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
Bicycling culture makes regional impact, shift in local minds Bike to Work, School and Fun week is quickly approaching, and the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance (TMBA) has been hard at work expanding its outreach and gaining new alliance members to build on the success of last year’s weeklong bicycle awareness campaign focused on promoting healthy living and physical fitness through active transportation. Julie Hunter, chair of TMBA and Senior Air Quality Specialist with the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division (AQMD), said she has hoped the biking community was making an impact to those outside the TMBA circle. After seeing success in 2013, she hopes this year’s event, happening May 10-16, will be a big success. She feels the Reno-Sparks area is growing accustomed to a larger number of bicyclists hitting the roads. “There is a group of us out there who work for that goal and advocate for that movement,” Hunter said about the pro-bike culture in the area. “There is so much enthusiasm for trying to make Reno a more bikefriendly community, and having it out there that it is safe to bike on our roads is a huge part of what we push for. “The more people we have out there biking or advocating for biking, the more drivers will be aware of us, the more educated drivers will be about biking
and then more people will bike –– it becomes cyclical. I feel like it has grown a lot and it makes me feel good to hear others say they have seen it too.” Dozens of businesses and corporations around the Reno-Sparks area will participate in the Commuter Challenge to log the most miles on the roads during the work week, giving up their cars to promote bicycle awareness. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), a TMBA member, has been actively transforming Washoe County roads from motor vehicle-centric to a multi-modal paradise for pedestrians and bicyclists, according to RTC Land Use Transportation Planner Patrice Echola. “Washoe County has been identified as a certified bike friendly community with a bronze certification in 2009,” Echola said. “We have added many, many miles of bike paths and multi-modal improvements throughout the county, and we will be applying soon for a silver, gold or platinum certification.”
Garrett Valenzuela Among the many changes made to local roads making them bicycle-friendly, Echola said the RTC is currently developing a bike rack mobile phone application designed to map the grid of bike racks throughout the county. The app will also allow bikers to identify places in the cities where a bike rack should be located or possibly needs repair. “We have the bragging rights to say we are the first bike-friendly community in the state of Nevada, and we want to continue to build on that and work with our local coalitions and advocates for safe bike routes,” Echola said. “I have been with RTC for almost 10 years and over those years it seemed like baby steps, but now they are getting a little smarter and larger as time progresses. “More coalitions and organizations are getting on the bandwagon. They realize obesity is not for them and so getting out and doing physical activity is their answer. If we have a continuous bike lane that comes in front of their house and takes them down to the Truckee River and back they are going to use it.” As both Reno and Sparks adapt to the culture shift the biking community has pioneered, schools in Washoe County have also
jumped aboard the TMBA ship by adding the Bike to School component to the week of events. Officials say relaying the health benefits and safety aspects to children is an important component to continuing the growth of the bicycling community. “It is a pendulum where it is changing,” said MJ Cloud, Safe Routes to School coordinator. “The world was built, cars were built and the roads were built for cars. Now we are realizing the negatives that go along with vehicles traversing and we are looking at the big picture and getting environmental activity and physical activity in there. “The improvements are now bringing more routes for kids to ride. There is a surge for more bike lanes and more safety education. (The biking community and the provided programs) support each other with growing momentum.” For more information about Bike to Work, School and Fun week and its various events, visit www.bikenevada. org. ■
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Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014 You won’t miss morning traffic jams. The average Washoe County resident spends upwards of 30 minutes per day commuting to work and more than $700 per year simply burning fumes in traffic. If you live within five miles of work, cycling could cut your commute time and reduce the cost. “Half of the working population in the U.S. commutes five miles or less to work, with bike trips of three to five miles taking less time or the same amount of time as commuting by car,” writes Kiplinger editor Amanda Lilly. If every person living this close to their workplace pedaled to work on Bike to Work Day, more than 60,000 vehicles would be off the road, reducing tailpipe emissions by more than 150,000 pounds. Bicycling or walking could save both emissions and expenses. The morning commute sets the mood for the rest of the day. Compare getting frustrated in traffic versus being outside on a nice morning away from traffic, either will carry through the whole day. Soon you may not even have to own a bike. There’s been a wave of new bike share programs in major cities like Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Miami, which typically allow riders 30 to 45 minutes of transportation for a small annual fee. When New York City’s bike share launched in May, annual memberships cost $95 — about $10 less than subway commuters spend per month. Two organizations based in Washoe County are currently investigating a Reno/Sparks bike share program. Biking makes for a healthy and happy community. A study of 30,000 people in Copenhagen over 14 years found that those who biked to work lowered their risk of death by 40 percent compared to sedentary people. And in the short term, another study of 100 people in Perth, Australia, who replaced some car commutes with bike trips over the course of a year, found the bicycling improved aerobic fitness, cholesterol numbers, and lowered the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy business trade organization, “Cycling raises productivity: Exercising before work raises an employee’s productivity by an average of 15 percent.
Businesses: How You can Benefit from Biking Cycling will reduce health care costs: Cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15 percent fewer days off work through illness. Cycling helps attract and retain your workforce: In a survey of visitors to Portland, Ore., 78 percent said that the city’s bikefriendliness was a factor in their decision to visit there. Many popular bike commuter studies are done using computer models, not by actually measuring the health of bicyclists and drivers over time. They are done using data from European cities, where longstanding acceptance of bicycle travel should make for safer commutes. Even still, one interesting statistic to emerge from the skimpy science of bike commuting in America is that the more people bike, the safer it may become. In cities like Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis, bike travel has soared in the past few years, but bicycle accident rates have stayed stable. So even though the total number of cyclists on the road is increasing the number of accidents is not increasing. That may be because of new bikeways that separate cars and bikes, or the fact that drivers are getting used to sharing the road with cyclists. As women age, they become increasingly susceptible to bone deterioration through osteoporosis. A team of researchers from a Swedish university found middleaged women were less likely to sustain wrist fractures if they commuted by bike or participated in other physical activities like walking. We could save hundreds of millions on health care expenses. “The most important socio-economic impact of cycling lies in the area of health care,” says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. Nowhere is that more clear than in Portland, Ore. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that “during the next 30 years, Portland’s residents could save as much as $594 million in health care costs because of an investment into biking culture” and “fuel savings of $143 to $218 million.”
When you commute in a car you are always in the corridors of the highest local pollution concentrations, i.e. high traffic roadways. You inhale more harmful exhaust in your car than you would on a bike. Though fuel emissions are bad news in general, drivers are actually more susceptible to harmful air than cyclists. “Studies show you get the biggest hit of the nasties (air pollutants) when you’re inside a car,” notes the Grist’s Umbra Frisk. “Sure, a personal Mobile Emissions Source (cars) appears hermetic, but it’s an illusion: MES occupants are very close to sucking on the tailpipe of the MES just ahead of them. In a bus, riders’ lungs are a bit above these sources. And bikers and pedestrians are on the outskirts.” In fact experienced bike commuters tend to take routes that avoid traffic as much as possible. Businesses will save millions in lost productivity. A recent study by Dutch economic think tank TNO found people who commuted to work by bike were less likely to call in sick. “Commuting to work by bicycle by just 1 percent could save (Denmark’s) employers approximately $34 million in lost productivity from absenteeism,” Oregon State Rep. Earl Blumenhauer writes in American Bicyclist. “That’s assuming a workforce of 7.1 million people. The U.S. has more than 154 million people in its workforce.” “Many studies have shown that healthy employees are productive employees. “The Silicon Valley Leadership Group has long focused on policies and programs that improve health outcomes and reduce overall health care costs for employers and employees,” said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Leadership Group. “A key element of the ACA is keeping employees healthy and addressing rising health care costs through the promotion of wellness in the workplace. Silicon Valley companies are increasing opportunities and making it easier for employees to bike to work…”
by Mike Wolf Uncle Sam will pay you to bike to work. Since January 2012, cyclist commuters have been entitled to a $20 per month tax-free reimbursement for bike-related expenses. This applies to workers who bike at least three days per week to the office. Qualifying expenses include bike repairs and storage expenses, according to the National Center for Transit Research. So the government is here to help. No more frustration looking for a parking spot again. Hundreds of major companies have entered the American League of Bicyclists’” Bicycle Friendly Business” program, and cities like New York require commercial office buildings by law to offer some sort of bike storage. Every bike commuter should invest in a sturdy bike lock; you would not leave your car unlocked with the keys in the ignition during work. Folding bikes are another useful option, as they can be packed into a bag and stashed easily under a desk or a closet. The RTC is developing a smart phone app that locates all racks in Washoe County. Having a safe place for bike parking is a cheap investment considering the benefits of bicycle commuting. Because all of the excuses not to bike are lame. Biking makes you sweat. Drivers are tyrants. You could smack into a car door and knock yourself out. Etc… Start slowly. Buy a good bike helmet, throw a change of clothes into your pack or basket, or, leave some at the office. Research the safest bike route to take (Google Maps offers biking directions in most cities, Reno Tracks), and read up on the rules of the road for cyclists. Find an experienced bike commuter who will “show you the ropes”. Like any form of new exercise, chances are you’ll need time to get in a good groove with your two-wheeled commute. Once you do, you’ll dread driving your car. ■
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
True Costs of Roads “Should cyclists pay a road tax?” That was printed on the side of one of Portland’s MAX light rail trains as it sailed back and forth across the region for six months in 2009. “We already do!” I would grumble every time I saw it. It’s true. And fair being fair, we overpay. Say you own a car. You pay out the nose, an average of $9,519 this year, according to the American Automobile Association (most other estimates are higher). Some of those costs—a percentage of gas, registration, licensing, and tolls—go directly to pay for roads. And it hurts. You doubtless feel every penny. The thing is, that money only pays for freeways and highways. Or it mostly pays for them—a hefty chunk of change for these incredibly expensive, high maintenance thoroughfares still comes from the general fund. Local roads, where you are most likely do most of your daily bicycling, are a different story. The cost of building, maintaining, and managing traffic on these local roads adds up to about 6 cents per mile for each motor vehicle. The cost contributed to these roads by the drivers of these motor vehicles through direct user fees? 0.7 cents per mile. The rest comes out of the general tax fund. This means that anyone who owns a home, rents, purchases taxable goods, collects taxable income, or runs a business also pays for the roads. If you don’t drive a car, even for some trips, you are subsidizing those who do
— by a lot. The best primer on this is economist Todd Litman’s highly readable 2004 report ‘Whose Roads’. A journalist recently crunched the numbers in Seattle and found the discrepancy in 2010 to be as wide as ever. There are many reasons for cities to encourage bicycling, and the economic argument is one of the best. Every time somebody gets on a bicycle instead of in a car, the city saves money. The cost of road maintenance is averaged at 5.6 cents per mile per motor vehicle. Add the so-called external costs of parking (10 cents), crashes (8 cents), congestion (4 cents), and land costs and that’s another 28 cents per mile! Meanwhile, for slower, lighter, smaller bicycles, the externalities add up to one meager cent per mile. The average driver travels 10,000 miles in town each year and contributes $324 in taxes and direct fees. The cost to the public, including direct costs and externalities, is a whopping $3,360. On the opposite pole, someone who exclusively bikes may go 3,000 miles in a year, contribute $300 annually in taxes, and costs the public only $36, making for a profit of $264. To balance the road budget, we need 12 people commuting by bicycle for each person who commutes by car. The numbers continue to be astonishing when you consider the cost of bicycle
Elly Blue, Bike Writer takingthelane.com
infrastructure. It consists mainly of paint and is dirt cheap by comparison to any other sort of transportation project. Portland has transformed itself into a bicycling mecca while allocating less than 1% of its transportation budget to bikes each year, with critics fighting tooth and nail against every penny spent. In tight economic times, when it’s hard to scrape together the cash to fill potholes, even this low level of bicycle spending is often put on hold. But what if, instead, the road tax overpaid by bicyclists were invested into making city streets safer, more comfortable, and more convenient for bicycling? New York City has been doing just that, resulting in tens of thousands of people taking to the streets on two wheels
and, presumably, saving the city a whole hell of a lot of cash. Yet the myth of bicyclists as freeloaders is gaining ground. Proposals for bicycle registration schemes crop up every few months, usually from conservative politicians looking for someone to blame, but also at times from well-meaning bicycle advocates. Never mind that no such program has ever managed to pay for its own administrative costs. Nothing is accomplished by putting up barriers to active transportation. Instead, these barriers need to be removed. Cities — and taxpayers— can’t afford NOT to invest in bicycling. ■ A version of this was originally published at grist. org in September, 2010.
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Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014
Week Focuses on Safety First Garrett Valenzuela Washoe County School District (WCSD) Police Officer Lafayette Webb has been the campus officer at Reno High School for five years, spending every bit of his 40hour work week on bicycle. Webb has nothing against his fellow officers who operate from vehicles, but he prefers to advocate for the physical activity that comes with his job. “The largest advantage is that you can go a lot of places that cars can’t,” Webb said. “For example, the baseball or football fields at Reno High are designed differently than some of the new schools. You can get inside those nooks and crannies and come up to corners quickly and get around them easier. It is also much more personal as far as being able to stop and talk to students and interact with them. That is a huge advantage as well.” Safety is an overriding subject in May’s Bike to Work, School and Fun week, which has branched from competition among businesses and corporations into local schools. WCSD Police will be spreading safety and health messages to young students throughout the month encouraging them to use active transportation to and from school. “Safety, and proper hand signaling, is important because you are giving the child confidence to get on that bike and they are not
confused when they go to a stop sign,” said Officer MJ Cloud, WCSD Safe Routes to School coordinator. “It also is going to show them the danger factor that without letting a car know that you’re turning they may not know and understand that. It can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools it is not dangerous. “Those teachings we do in the schools attack the safety from one angle. An even better angle (Bike to School week) provides is showing the parents your child can do it because the school is supporting the event and it puts pressure on the parent to say ‘if the whole school is backing it maybe I will allow my child to ride to school.’” In his daily routine, Webb said he tries to not only push the safety aspect of riding a bike, but he preaches the benefit of being physically active and keeping healthy. “The number one thing I love about biking is the health aspect and the stress relieving aspect,” Webb said. “My bike becomes a great stress reliever because if I am irritated a little bit I can get on my bike and patrol the area and exercise and let that stress go so I am readily available for our students.” Those healthy and safety benefits are much easier to convey when Washoe County is rapidly becoming a bikefriendly community
with multiple agencies and coalitions embracing multimodal streets. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has been focused on increasing bike awareness and safety in the region and has now begun doing school safety audits, in addition to its regular road safety audits, to identify problem areas for bikes and pedestrians in commuting to school. “We always want to look at a corridor through the eye of safety initially. It’s always about safety,” said Patrice Echola, RTC Land Use Transportation Planner. “We emphasize a need for more pedestrians and we are modifying mile after mile of sidewalks within the Washoe County area so we can encourage people to walk, ride their bikes or ride transit. “I love bicycling and I love walking, and I love seeing other people enjoying those activities. I love being able to be a part of an agency that helps make it better to do those things.” Officer Webb said bicycle advocacy comes natural when you spend your entire workday mounted on a bike seat, and has found more than just health benefits as bike patrolman. “I think the big thing with bike (patrol) is that it is less threatening,” Webb said. “For me, if I am riding around the inner part of the school you are able to stop for a second and say ‘hey, how is it going?’ It doesn’t have that threatening appeal. Not that a vehicle always enforces that, but the bike is more casual. They know who are and you don’t come off as that threatening person.
“I think a lot of teenagers are a little bit intimidated of police officers or authority, so when you are on a bike and they see you like that every day it can disarm them a bit. The perception is that when you see a couple of cop cars people think something is going on or a problem. But parents and students see you on your bike it is less threatening and the perception is more about being there to help them and not intimidate.” Bike to Work, School and Fun week begins May 10 and continues through May 16 and more information about the event can be found at bikenevada.org. ■
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
Biking to Work Benefits Employees, Business Biking to Work is a win-win proposition for employees and employers. Benefits gained from adults who bike to work far exceed the expected improvement in fitness levels. There are many reasons why people choose not to bike to work such as distance, fear of riding in traffic, needing a vehicle at work (or to transport children), and weather. Other reasons include lack of facilities to freshen up and change clothes, no secure place to park a bike, etc. Business owners can take steps to remove some of these barriers so that their employees can experience the benefits of biking to work, including improved health, fitness, and morale. These benefits contribute to a healthier workplace. Employees who bike to work are being physically active, which improves health as well as job performance. Healthier employees
have reduced absenteeism, take fewer sick days and have lower medical costs. Employees who are supported in biking to work also experience better morale. Apart from health and productivity improvements, employees can also benefit from more money in their wallets when they bike to work. Transportation costs account for between 14-18 percent of many families’ budgets. Opting for a lower cost mode of transportation, even if it’s just a few days a week, can help keep money in the bank. Finances and health concerns are leading causes of stress and taking steps to reduce these stressors are a benefit to employees. Employers can support their employees in their efforts to bike to work in a number of ways. The ideas below include low-effort ways to support employees biking to work, as well as efforts that may involve more time and money to organize.
A healthy workforce is a productive workforce Your local resource for worksite wellness:
Proud supporter of Bike To Work Week
Kelli Seals • Participate in the Commuter Challenge, which is a friendly competition to promote Bike to Work week. More information available at the www.bikenevada. org website. • Offer secure locations for employees to park their bikes. Install bike racks or bike lockers, or allow employees to park their bikes in an office or locked indoor location if space allows. Outdoor bike racks may also be appreciated by customers who cycle. • Provide facilities for employees to clean-up after their ride. This should include a location to change clothes and wash up. If a shower is available, let those employees who ride to work use it, otherwise
a sink and mirror should be sufficient. • Provide a location where employees can keep work clothes without having to stuff them in a backpack for their ride. • Offer a vehicle to be used by employees who bike to work who may have an off-site meeting or other work-related transportation need. Employers who support and encourage biking to work can improve their company’s image while getting healthier, happier, more productive employees that are sick less often and submit fewer health care claims. ■
Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014 Education is the key in all aspects of our daily life. It helps us in everything we do and provides the building blocks towards the advancement of a stronger community. As we move forward we can agree we would all like a stronger and safer place to live. If we educate, this is possible. This is especially important in the education of bicycling. When you are on a bike you are vulnerable and it can be intimidating. But if cyclists are educated, they will have the skills necessary to navigate traffic, ride in the correct places and overcome any doubt they may have had. Education has no limit nor does it expire. It is a gift that lasts a lifetime. With all the advantages that come with cycling it would be in our best interest to advocate bicycling education throughout all ages and abilities. Novice riders can become advanced riders, young riders become skilled older riders and non-riders get out there for the first time and feel that freedom. Most people are hesitant to ride due to uncertainty and again that lack of knowledge. So the solution is simple: Educate. This cannot be said enough. Educate people on the health benefits, the economic benefits, and benefits to the community. Educate them on the laws, the etiquette, the proper riding techniques and the responsibility that comes with riding their bicycles. The goal is to have everyone know and feel comfortable on their bike. They should feel like they belong and can ride safely where they would like to.
As a great start for riders, hand signals are very important. They are a way to show the vehicles behind you what you are planning to do and where you want to go. A left turn is signaled by holding the left arm straight away from the body pointing left. A right turn is signaled by bending the left arm straight up. It can also be signaled by using your right arm and pointing right. A stop is signaled by bending the left arm down with the hand flat and backwards. This signal can also be used to indicate that you are slowing down. Using these signals is very important and show vehicles that you are aware of the rules of the road. Rider etiquette is also important to understand. Riding on the road is a great way to commute, run errands or just get where you want to go. Remember that as a rider you have responsibilities and rules that you must follow too. Stopping at a red light and stop signs, traveling and staying in your lane, proper signaling and being courteous to other riders and vehicles are very important. Riding on paths is also a great way to get around or just unwind on a leisurely ride. There are several great paths to ride on locally that are a great way to enjoy our community, enjoy the scenery, and give your body some exercise. Choosing a path is up to you. Some people prefer a tough more challenging ride and some prefer a less intense, leisure ride. This is a great way to explore your community and understand what is right
Riders Should Learn Basic Cycling Education by Albert Jacquez for you. Also, in the world of technology that we live in there are several apps available for smart phones
that allow you to track, record, mark bike racks, and save your favorite rides. â–
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
Clinics focus on equipment, rider by Roger Jacobson, LCI Why do we do bike safety checks and brush up on our riding skills for Bike to Work Week? First and foremost you can’t be a safe rider on an unsafe, unreliable bike. Second, you need to remember the rules of the road to share the road effectively. Your bike needs to be safe with respect to: • Your brakes need to work properly – brakes must be strong enough to slide at least one tire on pavement when you’re stopping. • The gears need to be properly adjusted so you can change speeds and climb hills efficiently. • Tires need to be properly inflated – they generally need to be aired up at least every two weeks and the tires should not show excessive wear. • The chain and cables should be set properly to function correctly and the chain should be lubricated so that it won’t break due to being overly dry. Riding skills refresher can help you ride safer, more efficiently and get to your destination safely. So take the opportunity to join us for the FREE riding and repair
clinics being offered for individuals and families both for the week and to get you started for the summer riding season. Remember, though, that if you need significant repairs you’ll need to take your bike to a local bike shop. The clinics are for basic safety checks and limited repairs --- not for major surgery for your bike. Sign up for your clinic choice at bikenevada.org. Happy cycling! Confident City Cycling Class at REI 2225 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502 April 30, 2014, Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:00 pm Learn the skills to become a bicycle commuter or recreational road cyclist, cycling safely and confidently. The class has three parts: • Preparing to bicycle commute, choosing the right gear, selecting the route. • Safely riding in traffic, effectively communicating with motorists (video) • Dealing with mechanical issues on the road, how to change a flat, how to put a chain back, routine maintenance
Class is taught by a long time local cyclist and an REI shop mechanic.
• Prepare a basic ride tool kit to take on your family rides
Get Ready to Ride for Families Classes at Kiwanis Bike Program 145 Catron Dr, Reno, NV 89512 May 7, 2014, Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:00 pm May 10, 2014, Saturday, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Class is taught by the Kiwanis team who teach summer riding camps for kids and rodeos throughout the year. For more information or to reserve a space call 775-337-1717 or email Kiwanis_bikes@ sbcglobal.net. Limited to no more than 10 people per session.
It’s time for Bike to Work Week and for summer family rides, so bring your bikes (and your kids who ride) to the Kiwanis Bike Shop and tune up your bikes for the season. If you’d like to return we’ll also host refresher rides for the whole family. • Prepare your bikes (ABC quick check and basic tune up) to be ready to ride all summer • Review some of the basics of safe trail riding in our conference room
Safe Riding Clinic at Kiwanis Bike Program 145 Catron Dr, Reno, NV 89512 May 10, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 – 11:30 am Reno Bike Project will be co-hosting a traffic safety clinic for cyclists with Kiwanis Bike Program. This 90 minute workshop will cover the basics for bike safety checks and riding safely on the street. To sign up go to http://www. renobikeproject.com/ ■
Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014 Reno Tracks (renotracks. nevadabike.org) is one of the newest startup successes in the northern Nevada tech community. Starting from a vision of tracking bicyclists by using smart phone GPS technology, Reno Tracks has made consistent, productive steps in bringing to market an application that is over-achieving with limited funding. The short project timeline of Reno Tracks is already having a significant impact on transportation planning in the Truckee Meadows by using crowdsourced bicyclist data. Reno Tracks was developed as a competitive entrant for the Hack 4 Reno app development contest sponsored by the Reno Collective in downtown Reno. The Collective supports incubation of creative, synergistic ideas that have an opportunity to improve our access to public data. Hack 4 Reno is the exciting 24-hour competition to build, test and present a web-based app which addresses transportation improvements in the community. The Reno Tracks team was formed on the spot, including Dylan Kuhn, web developer; Brad Hellyar, app developer; Riley Snyder, journalist; and Scott Hall, bicycle advocate. Together they combined the open source code of an existing GPS tracking app from San Francisco and Atlanta with a cloud server and social media marketing campaign that had style and utility. First the team needed to fork the code from Cycle Tracks Atlanta, and then
scrape the RTC Bicycle Map GIS Data showing existing and proposed bicycle facilities. These components were used to build the interactive map depicting the bicycle GPS tracks saved from the iPhone user interface. Next the bugs in iOS 7.0 were cleaned and the marketing component was published using social media venues including Facebook, Twitter and the Reno Tracks website. After a presentation at the Hack 4 Reno, Reno Tracks was awarded second place in the Live, Work, Play Challenge sponsored by the Biggest Little City category. The Reno Tracks team had achieved success, and began searching for the resources to bring the app into the iTunes Store. The Reno Tracks team approached the Nevada Bicycle Coalition (NVBC) to work together in providing funding, direction and support. NVBC agreed and started off by becoming an app developer for Apple. Even though it sounds strange for a bicycle coalition to become a software developer, it was necessary to go through the iTunes process as a non-profit sponsor. Then the Reno Tracks app was given beta-testing status, and a few copies were installed on team members’ iPhones. On Jan. 21, Reno Tracks was officially available on iTunes and ready for download. Reno Tracks utilizes GPS tracking to collect data on bicyclists’ preferred routes while riding to work, school, shopping or recreation.
Reno Tracks: Startup Success by Scott J. Hall, MPH The data is hosted on Digital Ocean cloud servers and provides aggregate data on route selection, which can then be analyzed by several demographic categories such as gender, age, ethnicity and annual income. The benefits of Reno Tracks are to: • Estimate the popularity of certain bicycling routes and bicycling infrastructure improvements; • Identify targeted areas for road maintenance and street sweeping; • Identify bicycle facilities such as bike racks, parking and bicycle-friendly businesses; and • Allow transportation planners and engineers to identify successful projects before and after construction. Since the launch on Jan. 30, more than 606 routes have been saved and downloaded to the Reno Tracks server which can be viewed on the Interactive map. The Coalition goal is to acquire more than 1,000 tracks from 200 Reno Tracks users by the end of Bike Month in May
2014. This sample size will provide clear evidence about bicyclists’ preferred routes in the Northern Nevada region. The expansion of the Reno Tracks startup can continue into the rest of Nevada including Las Vegas. Improving the stability of the app and providing userfriendliness ensures repeat use and promotion by word of mouth. The open source code is even available to other programmers who want to continue the project in their community across the country. After 24 Hours of teamwork and a $500 investment, Reno Tracks has become a tech startup project that is fueling a transportation revolution in our streets worth millions of dollars. ■
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
Rack Em Up Promotes Health, Clean Air The Rack Em Up program at the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) is a component of the division’s Keep it Clean campaign. Keep it Clean is the umbrella brand that AQMD has developed to promote community outreach and education and establish community partnerships to encourage the community to keep air quality within the Truckee Meadows clean. The AQMD has joined with the Regional Transportation Commission, Safe Routes to School and other government and non-government bicycle advocacy groups in the Truckee Meadows to promote safe and fun cycling. Rack Em Up is promoted throughout the year to encourage alternative transportation, fitness and emission reductions. Being that motor vehicles are the largest source of ozone precursors in Washoe County, helping to educate the community about the benefits of active transportation may lead to behavior changes that can have a positive impact on our community and the air we all breathe. “We support bike advocacy to help encourage the community and help educate the public about active transportation, which would lead to behavior changes that can have a positive impact on our community,” said Julie Hunter, Senior Air Quality Specialist with the AQMD and chair of the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance (TMBA).
Rack Em Up supports bicycle advocacy through outreach and special events. AQMD and Rack Em Up have participated in several community outreach events including the Tour de Nez. During events, the AQMD distribute information regarding the health effects of criteria air pollutants. The AQMD received proclamations from the City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County District Board of Health and the Board of County Commissioners proclaiming May 2013 as National Bike and Bicycle Safety Month and May 11-17, 2013 as Bike to Work, School and Fun Week. The AQMD developed a Rack Em Up at School contest as part of the Rack Em Up, Keep it Clean campaign in May 2013, in conjunction with National Bike to School Day and Bike to Work, School and Fun Week to encourage students to ride their bikes to and from school. The AQMD partnered with Nevada Safe Routes To School to invite all Washoe County Schools to participate in the Rack Em Up at School Contest. “We feel strongly that behavior changes need to start in elementary, middle and high school to make the decision to use active transportation versus driving your own car. We want to start early,” Hunter said. The contest started on May 8th, National Bike to School Day and continued through the week of Bike to Work, School and Fun week. Two contests were held, the first was the fullest bike rack and the second was the best decorated bike rack. There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes for both contests and the winners received gift cards to Scheels. Ten schools participated in one or both of the contests with more than 700 students riding their bikes to school.
In an event held at Cold Springs Elementary School, 115 students participated in what the school promoted as “Tour de Slurpee,” where the local 7-11 participated by providing an incentive. Events coordinated at the schools started with a safety briefing conducted by Nevada Safe Routes To School coordinator Officer MJ Cloud. “We had a great turnout for not only the event but the entire week,” said Laura Ferrera, physical education director at Cold Springs Middle School. “Our bike rack was full of bikes, much more than just a typical week. We feel that the event promoted health and wellness for the Cold Springs community. Instead of having mom or dad drop students off at school we encouraged students to get some exercise and help clean up the environment by not polluting the air quality with vehicle exhaust.” “We have already started planning for a special gift for our students who will be participating this year. Let’s just say the Cold Springs community will see us all on our bikes.” “It is just one day, but it is to change the lifestyle,” Cloud said. “Any adult expert will tell you that if an adult says ‘I am going to do Bike to Work week,’ they never have before and they never thought they would again. But once they do it one time, because we have given them the excuse and pushed them and given them a reason to celebrate, then they realize they can do it.”
The Rack Em Up at School contest showed teachers, students and parents how easy, safe and beneficial it is to ride to school. Incentives can be used year round at schools to continue to support alternative modes of transportation. Using alternative modes of transportation to and from school can significantly reduce traffic congestion and the amount of emissions from buses and vehicles within school zones where idling and emission effects on children are of concern. “Children don’t like to do things alone,” Cloud said. “They want to be involved, they want to meld and be together with other children. We give them this week and we let everyone bring their bikes and encourage them to ride. It is the ‘cool thing to do.’ We also give them those incentives and rewards. Then you see that all these kids have bikes and you’re not the only one who enjoys riding your bike. That one week can actually change the habits of those children from there through the rest of the year.” Register your school today for the 2014 Rack Em Up at School contest at bikenevada.org. ■
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Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014
Mayors’ Challenge Promotes Reading Program Garrett Valenzuela The first ever Ride for Reading in northern Nevada will take place May 15 beginning at 9 a.m. with the Bike to Work, School and Fun Week Mayoral Challenge Ride. The event, which starts at the Sparks City Hall Council Chambers, will see Sparks Councilwoman Julia Ratti, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger and Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung gather for a leisurely ride from Sparks City Hall to the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. The public is invited to participate. They will lead a collection of officials from Reno, Sparks and Washoe County along with dozens of other anticipated participants from the community. Organizers also suspect several hopeful political candidates in the upcoming election will be making the four-mile trek. The ride is part of 2014 Bike to Work, School and Fun Week activities happening May 10-16. The ride to the Discovery Museum is just a pit stop, however, for a nutrition and hydration break before all participants saddle up again and head to Echo Loder Elementary School on Apple Street in Reno escorted by local law enforcement agencies. The Ride for Reading and Mayoral Challenge events are collaboration among Safe
Routes to School, Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance (TMBA) and the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division. Safe Routes to School Coordinator MJ Cloud, an officer with the Washoe County School District Police Department, said Ride for Reading will end with a special surprise for students and children once they arrive at Echo Loder Elementary. “Once the riders get to the school all of the books being donated will be laid out on a table for them,” Cloud said. “The school will then have an assembly where a few of us will share safety tips with them, and the kids can take a pledge to take care of the books and not destroy them.” Cloud said a “staggering” number of children in the United States do not have books at home, which prompted the book donation and the presentation to the children. She said the firstyear event has some room to grow and she expects a few bumps, or growing pains, this year. “I think this year will be all about creativity and having a great team-building experience. I am really glad to have people from TMBA, the Reno Bike Project and Air Quality Management working on the ride this first year. Teamwork always plays a crucial role.”
The Ride for Reading also focuses on the overall goals for Bike to Work, School and Fun week, which improve one’s overall health through exercise. Julie Hunter, Senior Air Quality Specialist with Washoe County Air Quality Management, said all participants in the weeklong event would reap numerous benefits from just one week on their bikes. “Childhood obesity is a real problem and we support active transportation to not only reduce emissions but for overall health reason,” Hunter said. “By forming a relationship with the school district we are hoping to help
kids make those lifestyle changes early and help them understand that riding their bike can be about more than just playing with their friends. We want them to understand that exercise can go hand in hand with keeping our air quality clean for the whole region.” For more information on Bike to Work, School and Fun week, visit www.bikenevada. org, or www.OurCleanAir. com. For more information on the Ride for Reading and the Mayoral Challenge, call Phil Ulibarri at 328-2414. ■
BIKE to Work, School & Fun
Children’s Art Spotlights Bike Week Activities by Phil Ulibarri Fourteen children’s drawings depicting the benefits of bicycling are highlighting the 2014 Bike to Work, School and Fun Week public information campaign according to organizers. The drawings were created by students of the Drawn2Imagine Art Academy for Kids and Teens for the week-long event scheduled for May 10 – 16, 2014. “The drawings are so creative and colorful they have become a special part of the event,” said Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance Chairwoman Julie Hunter. “Not only are some of the
drawings show-stoppers in their own right, we used several of the sketches in our YouTube videos promoting bicycle use in the Truckee Meadows,” Hunter added. Birds with beaks full of buttered pancakes, clouds raining syrup, bikes perfectly suited for Burning Man, and place settings with loudspeakers help promote the Pedal for Pancakes event scheduled for Friday of Bike to Work, School and Fun Week at the Reno Bike Project. A bicycle creatively constructed using wooden bats for the frame, leather gloves for the seat and basket, and hard balls for the wheels, helps promote Bike
to the Ballpark, a discount day for bicycling fans at Aces Stadium on Mother’s Day, May 11. And, vibrant, colorful steaming cups of “Joe,” with an old “penny-farthing” bicycle compliment the drawing promoting the Bike to Work, School and Fun Week event called the Coffee Shop Stop, when cyclists get a free cup of coffee by showing their helmets at participating caffeine parlors. A complete list of events for the week can be found at www.bikenevada.org. According to Hunter, the drawings can be viewed by
visiting the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance Face Book page at Bike to Work Nevada. To view the videos created from the drawings visit www OurCleanAir.com, or on the Air Quality YouTube channel. “Everyone who’s viewed the drawings and the videos are really surprised by their originality and creativity. The Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance is really lucky to have these kids involved,” Hunter added. Drawn2Imagine was founded in Reno in 2010. Beginning as an art studio, the program is now an online art curriculum, for teachers, parents, and kids. Children between five and 14 yearsold participated in the Bike to Work, School and Fun Week project. More information about Drawn2Imagine and founder Kellie Lee can be found at www. drawn2imagine.com. ■
Participating Bike and Coffee Shops College Cyclery Great Basin Bicycles High Sierra Cycling & Fitness North Valley Cycles Reno Cycling & Fitness Scheel’s Sierra Cyclesmith Velo Reno Kiwanas Bikes REI
622 S. Virginia Street 8048 S. Virginia Street 1141 Steamboat Pkwy. #920 2975 El Rancho Dr. #113 5260 Longley Lane 1200 Scheels Drive 7007 S. Virginia Street 3450 Lakeside Drive 145 Catron Dr. 2225 Harvard Way
Academy Bakery Bibo Coffee Company Bibo Coffee Downtown Bibo Coffee University Great Basin Co-Op Hi Point Coffee & Café My Favorite Muffin & Bagel My Favorite Muffin & Bagel My Favorite Muffin & Bagel The Java Bean Whole Foods Java Jungle Too Soul Tea Company Hub Coffee Roasters Hub Coffee Roasters Franz Backstube Bakery Truckee Bagel Co. Reno Bike Project Dreamer’s Coffee House Starbucks @ UNR Purple Bean Coffeehouse
380 Edison Way 75 Foothill Road 460 S. Sierra Street 945 Record Street 240 Court Street 3687 Kings Row 340 California Ave. 259 E. Plumb Lane 2868 Vista Boulevard 295 Sparks Blvd. 6139 S. Virginia Street 246 W. 1st Street 542 1/2 Plumas Street 727 Riverside Drive 32 Cheney Street 3882 Mayberry Landing 18130 Wedge Pkwy 541 E. 4th Street 701 S. Virginia St. Joe Crowley Student Union 1315 West 7th Street
Register, Ride, Win. May 10-16, 2014
Let us help you inspire your employees to try a better, healthier way to get to work! People who bicycle to work arrive invigorated, are more productive and punctual, and take fewer sick days. Commuting by bike will shift your employeesâ€™ attitudes in a positive way! Contact us to receive Reno/Sparks bike maps, find out how to find a Bike Buddy, and for information on commuter benefits for cyclists. Bicycling. Carpool. Vanpool. Walking. Transit. Learn more. Take action. This is Your RTC. rtcwashoe.greenride.com