This spring, PPSP will give three presentations on local bicycle topics

As spring slowly unfolds around Stevens Point, signs of increased bikeyness have been appearing everywhere. If you were outside during the few recent sunny days with temps above 50, you could hardly help but notice all the bicycles being ridden all over our area.

For Poky Pedaling Stevens Point, spring also brings the release of the 2014 Bike Fun Calendar. Perhaps you’ve already noticed it on the website. I’ll write more about this in a future post.

Spring also elicits bikeyness of a different sort for PPSP. Over the next few months, I will speak at three different forums about bicycling in the Stevens Point area. Each presentation is on a different topic.

Small Cities Workshop
My first presentation will be part of the annual Small Cities Workshop taking place April 15-16 on the UWSP campus. The theme for the workshop this year is “The Built Environment: Planning and Design in Small Cities and Towns.” There are two featured speakers and six panel sessions. The talks and panels are all open to the public at no charge. A program for the workshop is available here.

I will be part of a panel discussing “Transportation Issues in Small Cities & Towns” taking place on Wednesday April 16 from 10:15-11:45 in the Legacy Room of the Dreyfus University Center. My 20-minute presentation (which I believe is first) is entitled “Bicycling for Transportation: Why Small Cities Should Make Accommodations”. I intend to outline both economic benefits as well as equity/community benefits that arise from providing quality bicycle accommodations. Some of what I will mention may be atypical for a session focused on urban planning, which should make for stimulating discussion during the Q&A portion of the panel.

One sidenote is that I will be followed on this panel by Jeff Schuler of the Portage County Planning and Zoning Dept, who will be talking about the Portage County Bike/Ped Plan. This plan has been developed over the past 18 months and now only needs approval by the Portage County Board of Supervisors later this month to become an official planning document for our county. Poky Pedalers are likely to have interest in Schuler’s presentation as well.

LIFE Class
On April 24, I will be holding a class for the LIFE (Learning Is ForEver) program. LIFE is a membership-based organization of retired adult learners providing an opportunity to share learning experiences and discover new joys. LIFE classes are sponsored by UWSP and hosted by their Continuing Education program.

This class is only open for LIFE members. I understand that membership is $60 per year, which permits signup for dozens of classes on a wide variety of topics at no additional charge. I also understand that as a first-time member, your $60 will let you signup for classes now through June 2015. For more information, go to

My LIFE class will be an introduction to PPSP. I will explain what sharing Bike Fun on Poky Pedals is all about. In addition, I will outline the 2014 Bike Fun Calendar to create awareness about upcoming Bike Fun opportunities with PPSP. Finally, I’ll give a few tips about getting your bicycle ready to ride. The 90-minute class will intersperse prepared material with discussion arising from audience questions.

Although I will target this class towards people unfamiliar with PPSP, I expect those who have shared Bike Fun on past Poky Pedals will enjoy the class as well.

MREA Energy Fair
In late spring – although some might consider it early summer – I will be presenting at the annual MREA Energy Fair in Custer, about 10 miles from Stevens Point. This year’s Energy Fair is on June 20-22. The schedule has not yet been released, but I expect my 50-minute workshop to be on Friday June 20.

My workshop is entitled “Local Bicycle News: Awards, Plans, Advocacy and More”. Attendees will learn about several key bicycle-oriented local news stories from the past year or so. Highlights include Stevens Point being named a Bicycle Friendly Community, the creation of the Portage County Bike/Ped Plan, the opening of a new community bicycle shop in Stevens Point, and the progress and controversy regarding bicycle lanes in the future plans for the Division/Church corridor.

The PPSP blog has provided the most complete local coverage of these and other bicycle-related stories, and this workshop is a great way to become informed about recent bikey news from our area. Of course, I’ll take a bit of time to talk about Bike Fun shared on past Poky Pedals as well as what is in store for 2014.

Everything you need to know about the Energy Fair – schedule, admission fees, etc. – will appear on the MREA website closer to the event.

Make your plans
I’ll post more information on the PPSP blog about each of these presentations as their dates draw near. For now, I just want to alert Poky Pedalers in case you want to circle these dates on your calendars.

By giving these presentations, I hope to kindle the flames of bikeyness within all Poky Pedalers. Coupled with milder temperatures and sunny days, I expect there’s gonna be a whole lotta Bike Fun shared real soon now.

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