The cool temperatures and falling leaves leave no doubt that fall has arrived. But before our thoughts turn to the winter months ahead, it is a great time to look back at the recently completed third season of Bike Fun with Poky Pedaling Stevens Point.
The scene at the start of a 2014 Poky Pedal
2014 was an extraordinary year for PPSP. Poky Pedalers shared Bike Fun on 13 Poky Pedals, all of which were new except for the encore Influential Citizen Ride. These averaged more than 24 Poky Pedalers each, almost double the number of Poky Pedalers per ride from PPSP’s first two years. Continue reading
Last Friday, I attended the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison. This full-day event, which is organized annually by the Wisconsin Bike Fed, offers numerous presentations from people working to make bicycling better all over Wisconsin. The Bike Summit is always a great opportunity to gain both education and inspiration.
Bike Fed Executive Director Dave Cieslewicz introducing Eleanor McMahon, Canadian bicycle advocate and member of the Ontario Parliament, at the Rally for Better Bicycling following the 2014 Wisconsin Bike Summit
The Bike Summit presentations lasted from 9 AM until 5 PM, with three concurrent sessions to choose among during each schedule slot. Afterwards, there was a 3-mile group bike ride to the steps of the state capitol building for a rally in support of better bicycling.
The Bike Fed posted a wrap-up about the Bike Summit on their blog. I attended many of the presentations described there, and I certainly concur with their remarks about the many poignant moments throughout the day. Continue reading
I just learned a few minutes ago that there is a public involvement meeting this evening to discuss plans for addressing operational issues with the I-39 interchange at Hwy 10 and WI 66. These issues will include discussion of bicycling and walking access across the interstate at this location.
The crossing of I-39 at this location is the most significant gap in our Stevens Point urban area bicycle network. This is a great opportunity to tell the Wisconsin Department of Transportation about what sort of biking and walking access you want in this area.
The meeting is at Bannach School this evening (Tuesday) at 5-7 PM. The full release from the Wisconsin DOT website appears below. Continue reading
After 32 Poky Pedals over 3 years, bad weather finally caused the cancellation of one. Missing out on Bike Fun is always sad. Yet considering our reliably unpredictable weather, that’s a pretty good track record overall. Rather than dwelling on our poor fortune this past weekend, we should instead be grateful for all the times when threatening skies suddenly diminished, permitting our Bike Fun to proceed.
The Plover version of the Maple Ride was originally scheduled for Saturday. But it became clear in the middle of last week that there was no reasonable hope for cooperative weather that day. At that time, I postponed the ride until Sunday, which had a forecast that was borderline yet provided some hope of enough warmth to enjoy Bike Fun comfortably. Continue reading
It has been an extraordinary year for Bike Fun with Poky Pedaling Stevens Point, and we’ll be completing the 2014 Bike Fun Calendar with the annual Maple Ride. This year’s Maple Ride will take us through Plover on a route different from either of the past two years.
The Maple Ride will meet on Sunday October 5 at 12:45 PM at Little Plover River Park near the tennis courts. (Note that this is a change from the original date of Saturday. Read more about this below.) Continue reading
The annual Wisconsin Bike Summit will take place in Madison on Friday of next week. The Bike Fed organizes this wonderful event to bring together folks from all over our state in order to learn from each other and help make bicycling better throughout Wisconsin.
The crowd at the 2013 Wisconsin Bike Summit (photo credit: Bike Fed)
I always look forward to the Bike Summit because it provides so many informative and inspiring presentations. I also relish the opportunity to chat with people from other cities and share stories about our respective triumphs and challenges. You can read my impressions about last year’s Bike Summit in this PPSP blog post.
The Wisconsin Bike Summit will take place on Friday October 10 in Madison at Edgewood College. Presentations run from 9 AM through 5 PM, and during each of the session slots there will be 3 parallel topic options. The Bike Summit will end with a bicycle ride to the Capitol building – about 3 miles away – where a rally in support of bicycling will take place. You can see the full schedule of speakers and sessions on the Wisconsin Bike Summit Schedule webpage. Continue reading
On a beautiful sunny fall-like afternoon, 27 Poky Pedalers learned about figures from Stevens Point’s past on the Influential Citizen Ride. Starting from Pfiffner Park, we rode a 13-mile loop visiting 10 locations commemorating the ten most influential citizens in the history of Stevens Point, as determined by a popular vote during the city’s 150th birthday in 2008.
Poky Pedalers enjoying the rest stop at the Dreyfus University Center during the Influential Citizen Ride
Our ride took us to Bukolt Park, St Joseph Congregational Home, Schmeeckle Reserve, Lake Joanis, Dreyfus University Center, PJ Jacobs Junior High School, KB Willett Arena, Ellis St, Iverson Park, and the Ruth Gilfry Center. At each location, a brief biography was given of the influential citizen it was named after. (Reverend Mother Mary Felicia Jaskulski does not have a namesake location; the St Joseph Congregational Home is the former academy and convent of the Sisters of St Joseph, built under her leadership.) Continue reading
The inexorable change of seasons is upon us, but there is still plenty of Bike Fun to share in the weeks to come. This Saturday brings the Influential Citizen Ride, an encore Poky Pedal from 2013.
Poky Pedalers on the Influential Citizen Ride in 2013 (photo credit: Karen Hoffman)
This Poky Pedal will visit locations around Stevens Point named after the ten most influential citizens in Stevens Point’s history, as determined by popular vote during the city’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2008. At each location, I’ll give a brief biography of that person, highlighting their influence on the development of Stevens Point.
If you couldn’t join us last year or you heard about it and were disappointed to miss it, this is another opportunity to experience the Influential Citizen Ride for yourself. Of course, Poky Pedalers who had so much Bike Fun on this ride last year that they want to relive that experience are more than welcome also. Continue reading
Over the weekend, Stevens Point became overwhelmed with bicycle-riding zombies, gypsies, Spidermen, and even a Mr Potato Head, all cruising the city in an effort to snap scavenger hunt pics and perform bike-themed challenges. No, this wasn’t some sort of post-apocalyptic alien invasion. It was simply the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza, put on by John Pawlak of Point Area Bicycle Service (PABS).
Spiderman obviously enjoyed Bike Fun during the Extravaganza
Over 110 people participated in this massive Bike Fun event, and smiles were rampant among all the Adventurers throughout the pleasantly warm and sunny afternoon. This was undoubtedly a first-of-its-kind for Stevens Point, and by any measure, the Extravaganza was a huge success. Based on the great turnout, I suspect we’ll see more like this in years to come.
I spent the afternoon riding around taking pictures of the event. Bike Fun radiated from all I encountered, and I hope readers can vicariously share that positive energy from my recap and photos below. Continue reading
Bike share is an extension of public transit providing on-demand bicycle access for short urban trips. Bikes are checked-out from one station and ridden to another near one’s destination for check-in. In one common implementation, a membership fee allows repeated short bike trips of up to 30 minutes at no additional charge. Bike share can extend a transit system’s range, providing “last-mile connections”, and can also improve access beyond scheduled service hours and frequency.
A Bublr Bike in Milwaukee (photo credit: Bublr Bikes)
Bike share systems have been quickly spreading across the US over the past several years. Systems in New York, Chicago, and Washington DC have made headlines, but many smaller cities have implemented some version of bike share. In Wisconsin, Madison has had its B-Cycle system running for several years, and Milwaukee recently launched Bublr Bikes.
The recently adopted Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan recommends that Stevens Point conducts a feasibility study for a small-scale bike share system connecting destinations downtown and on the UWSP campus. Continue reading