Elders experiencing city sights via pedicab rides: Could Cycling Without Age come to Stevens Point?

I want to share what I’ve learned about a wonderful program called Cycling Without Age that provides opportunities for elderly to experience their city from the viewpoint of a bicycle. I have heard that there are efforts underway to get a chapter started in Stevens Point, possibly as soon as this summer.

ole pedicab bp pic

Ole Kassow piloting two seniors in a pedicab around the streets of Copenhagen (photo credit: BikePortland)

But before I convey what Cycling Without Age is about and the potential to bring it to our city, I want to start with my reaction to a Copenhagenize blog post I read about two-and-a-half years ago.

That post told of one day in late 2012 when Ole Kassow, who lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, borrowed a pedicab – a sturdy tricycle with an open air passenger compartment at its front that is common in Copenhagen – rode it over to a care home for the elderly in his community, and asked if any of the residents wanted to go for a ride.

The response was overwhelming. It was so popular that within months the care home invested in a fleet of pedicabs, Kassow found volunteers to pilot them, and more residents of the care home were able to experience the joy of riding around their city more frequently.

Such a simple idea with a profound impact. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area, Wisconsin

Report from the November 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting

The November meeting of the Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee took place earlier today. Besides the five committee members and Kyle Kearns of the Stevens Point Economic Development Dept, five members of the public also attended.

Today’s meeting consisted largely of discussions on a variety of topics either as openings to stimulate future actions or as updates to actions recently initiated. The BPAC took no specific action on any of today’s items. Below, I summarize what the committee talked about. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

A day full of examples of building community through bicycling: A report on the Bike Summit

Last Friday, I spent a whirlwind day at Lawrence University in Appleton for the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s annual Bike Summit. I have attended several such Bike Summits in recent years, and I considered this one to be as inspiring and informative as the others, perhaps more so.

About 200 people were in attendance to participate in the day’s schedule of 20 presentations plus several keynote lectures. The interactions among the attendees, both during sessions and in-between, was stimulating and enlightening. From the moment I arrived just before the summit welcome at 9 AM until I started my journey back home just after 8 PM, I was immersed in lectures and discussions on a myriad of topics connected to the issue of making bicycling better. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Education, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Bike Summit this Friday in Appleton will highlight statewide efforts towards better bicycling

This Friday, the Wisconsin Bike Fed is holding its annual Wisconsin Bike Summit. The Bike Summit is a full-day event giving an opportunity to network with people from all over the state who have interest in making bicycling better.

Learning what people in cities across Wisconsin are doing to create better bicycling makes local efforts more effective. We all share similar challenges, so it is extremely useful to discover what has and hasn’t worked in other locales. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Education, Wisconsin

Voicing desires for better walking and biking can spur city leaders to make improvements

[Note: The following is my response to a letter which appeared in the 10/30 Portage County Gazette expressing frustration about the lack of adequate places to walk and bicycle on the street the authors live on. A version of this letter also appeared in the 10/30 Stevens Point Journal.

My response letter was published in the 11/6 Portage County Gazette on p. 23. A version of my response, edited primarily for word count limitations, was published in the 11/13 Stevens Point Journal on p. 5A.]

A letter in the October 30 Portage County Gazette from Jon and Tracy Cronce stated their concerns about the narrow shoulders and the lack of sidewalks on Green Avenue, the street they live on in Stevens Point. Their letter expressed frustration about the lack of safe and comfortable places to walk and bicycle on their street. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Stevens Point Area

Report from the October 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting

The Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee met earlier today to discuss several topics. The meeting was well attended, with 7 community members present in addition to the 5 committee members, Stevens Point Director of Public Works Scott Schatschneider, and Stevens Point City Attorney Logan Beverage.

Here are highlights from the discussions held during the meeting. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

Bike Fun Report: A recap of the 2015 Poky Pedals

This has been another spectacular year for Poky Pedaling Stevens Point. As fall starts to settle in, let us take this opportunity to look back on all the Bike Fun shared with PPSP in 2015.

PPizzaP May 15 riding

Poky Pedalers enjoyed a heap of Bike Fun with PPSP in 2015

This year offered 15 Poky Pedals, the most in the four years that PPSP has been creating Bike Fun, and we averaged over 12 Poky Pedalers on each. Cumulatively, our Poky Pedals covered a substantial portion of our urban area. We spanned Stevens Point from the neighborhoods west of the Wisconsin River to the commercial area along Hwy 10 east of I-39. Poky Pedalers had the opportunity to explore streets throughout the northern half of the Village of Plover on this year’s Poke Around Ride. Another Poky Pedal took us all over Crossroad Commons, where we discovered that accessing this car-oriented shopping center by bicycle can feel surprisingly comfortable, assuming a judicious choice of where one rides. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

Bike Fun Report: Maple Ride

On Saturday, 14 Poky Pedalers enjoyed a pleasant afternoon under spectacularly sunny skies on the Maple Ride. Considering that last year’s Maple Ride was canceled due to gusty, drizzly weather in the mid-40’s, and the 2013 version required hats and gloves to keep (somewhat) warm, we all appreciated the opportunity to ride our bicycles on a beautiful fall day with temperatures in the low-70’s.

Our ride was filled with lovely scenery. Notable segments included the forested Green Circle gravel path along the Wisconsin River from Bliss Ave to Hwy HH and the paved multi-use path through tree-filled Pfiffner and Bukolt Parks. We had broad views of the Wisconsin River and the countless trees which line it as we crossed both the Hwy HH and Clark St bridges. We rode much of the length of both Center St and Prais St, two of Stevens Point’s most comfortable streets for bicycling with many attractive homes nestled among a bevy of trees. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

Saturday should have perfect fall weather for the Maple Ride, our PPSP finale for 2015

Fall has arrived. This Saturday looks to be a perfect day to savor the best of what fall has to offer on the annual Maple Ride, our final Poky Pedal for 2015.

The Maple Ride will meet on Saturday September 26 at 12:45 PM in Iverson Park near the Green Circle gravel path. From there, we’ll slowly ride a 13-mile loop on calm streets and non-motorized paths with a snack stop about halfway through. Poky Pedalers can choose to either bring a snack along with them or else purchase something at our stop location. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

Stevens Point poised for better biking and walking accommodations after adopting Portage County Bike/Ped Plan

Last night at the monthly Stevens Point Common Council meeting, the Council unanimously voted to adopt the portion of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan pertinent to the city of Stevens Point.

Although the Portage County Board of Supervisors had approved this plan in April of 2014, the county does not have jurisdiction over Stevens Point city streets. Because a significant share of the plan addresses bicycling and walking within Stevens Point, the city’s adoption of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan carries significant weight.

Two weeks ago, the Stevens Point Plan Commission had recommended adoption of the plan by a 5-0 vote. Last night’s Common Council agenda included approving the minutes and actions of the Plan Commission, which implicitly included the question of whether to adopt the bike/ped plan. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area