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

Bike Fun Report: September TGIF Dessert Ride

Last night, ten Poky Pedalers got a taste of bicycling at night, as well as some sweet treats, on the TGIF Dessert Ride. Although the weather forecast over the past few days had shown an uncomfortably high likelihood of precipitation right around the time we met, the raindrops stayed away during our ride.

This was the first nighttime Poky Pedal in PPSP’s four years of Bike Fun. Bicycling at night has its own special aura that is hard to describe. You simply have to try it out to feel it. Last night’s TGIF Dessert Ride gave us a splendid opportunity to relish such an experience. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

The Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee: An introduction and a report from the 9/15 meeting

The city of Stevens Point recently created a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to offer guidance to city staff about how to improve bicycling and walking in Stevens Point. This 5-member committee is comprised of residents appointed by Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza who have shown interest in making biking and walking better in the city.

The committee members are Tori Jennings (Chair), Trevor Roark (Vice-Chair), Liz McDonald, Jim Menzel, and Marlene Pohl.

The BPAC has met a few times over the past month or so, primarily focusing on the mechanics of getting the committee started. The most recent meeting was yesterday. (See below for a report on this meeting.) The committee is still in a formative mode as they learn the rules that dictate how a city committee should operate to remain in compliance with Wisconsin state law. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

PPSP’s first nighttime Poky Pedal is this Friday on the TGIF Dessert Ride

[Update Fri 4:45 PM: The weather forecast is not looking particularly favorable for Friday evening. The forecast today shifts the most likely chance for rain a bit later than had been indicated over the past few days, but there is still an uncomfortably high chance of rain – 50-60% – around 7 PM this evening. With temperatures expected to be in the low 60’s, even a light rain could feel uncomfortably cold.

I will not outright cancel the TGIF Dessert Ride, so if conditions seem reasonable as 7 PM approaches, then hop on your bike and join in the Bike Fun. If conditions deteriorate and nobody shows up, then the ride will effectively be cancelled.

By the way, if we have a group of Poky Pedalers downtown ready for Bike Fun when the rain starts to come down, we always have the option to skip the ride and simply head over to the dessert place. Sometimes, you don’t have to actually ride your bike to share Bike Fun.]

This Friday will be our final TGIF Dessert Ride for this year. It will be special because in the four years of Bike Fun with PPSP, this will be the first Poky Pedal where we’ll be riding after dark.

The TGIF Dessert Ride will meet on Friday September 18 at 7PM on the Stevens Point downtown square. From there, we’ll slowly ride our usual 3-mile route to the path through Pfiffner Park, along the Wisconsin River to Bukolt Park, and then retrace our pedal strokes back to a dessert place. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

PPSP Comments to the Stevens Point Plan Commission regarding the Portage County Bike/Ped Plan

[Note: The following is a transcript of a statement I made at the September 8 Stevens Point Plan Commission meeting as they took action to adopt the portions of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan pertinent to the city.]

My name is Bob Fisch and I am the Chief Bike Fun Officer of Poky Pedaling Stevens Point. I am asking you to vote to approve adoption of the portions of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan pertinent to the city of Stevens Point. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Stevens Point Area

Stevens Point Plan Commission votes to recommend adoption of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Earlier this evening, the Stevens Point Plan Commission deliberated on whether or not to adopt the portions of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan that are pertinent to the city of Stevens Point.

The full plan is a county-wide planning document that was shaped over an 18-month period spanning late 2012 to early 2014. The effort in creating the plan was guided by a collection of elected officials, municipal staff, and ordinary citizens. Guidance was provided by a team of consultants with excellent credentials and ample knowledge of current bicycling and walking trends throughout Wisconsin and the US as a whole.

The collective expertise and commitment of all these contributors led to an outstanding document that serves as a blueprint for making bicycling and walking better throughout Portage County. The plan not only makes excellent recommendations for routes and infrastructure that comprise the engineering part of better bicycling and walking, but it also provides exceptional guidance for education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. Continue reading

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

An early-September status update for Poky Pedaling Stevens Point

It’s been quiet on the PPSP website for a bit, so I thought this would be a good time to give a status update.

I just returned from another trip to Southern California to visit my father. I am pleased to report that he is doing substantially better than on my last visit in June.

This trip was the reason there is a long gap between the most recent Poky Pedal and the next one. There are still two Poky Pedals remaining in September, and I’m happy to be back home in anticipation of sharing more Bike Fun with Poky Pedalers.

Because of my numerous trips to California, usually taking me away from Stevens Point for a few weeks at a time, I have made some compromises in running PPSP this year. One such compromise was the balance between creating Bike Fun and writing PPSP posts about bikey news in our area. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts