Encourage road biking
Ways to encourage road biking
About 10 years ago, Huntington was declared the nation’s most obese city. Since then, Huntington has promoted fitness with a vengeance, on several fronts. One is bicycling. The city is installing bike lanes, road signs, separated lanes and other ways to encourage people to get on bikes. :
The community has built the Paul Ambrose Trail to Health, 23 miles through the city, with bike racks along the way. http://paulambrosetrail.org/maps-trails
- Monthly “Critical Mass” rides, great social events, welcome people new to cycling. Between 70 and 100 people of all ages ride together in warm months.
- Bike commuter map for Huntingtonians who ride their bikes to work. This facebook page is a step-by-step history of the way they did it.
- Biking as a charitable activity: Twice a month, Burrito Riders of Huntington make burritos and deliver them to homeless people.
- Long-distance rides. Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts, a tri-state cycling club offers regular long-distance rides.
- See the Bicycle-Friendly Huntington facebook page for more updates!
Want to make it easier for your community to bike?
Here are seven ways to encourage people to get on their bikes and ride.
- Each clicks through to a page of how-to-do-it links:
- > Install bike racks at frequently-used places like grocery stores or restaurant areas
- > Do a bikability survey of your town.
- > Paint bike lanes or bike turn lanes on streets where possible.
- > Make a safe biking map of your community.
- > Encourage a bike store with bike repair and bike rentals.
> Apply for bike-friendly community status
- > Create a mountain biking group.
Here’s a how-to blueprint that will help you take all these steps: http://www.bikeleague.org/content/bfa-blueprint.
Start a bike club that offers group trips, rodeos, bike safety, etc. :
- Start a club that can organize regular rides and work with city officials to make biking safer and more visible. A club makes things happen:
- League of American Bicylists guide to creating a club: www.bikeleague.org/content/resources-clubs
- A plain-language discussion of bike clubs: http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/club.htm
- Decide whether your group wants to promote road biking and/or mountain biking? Mountain biking occurs off-road and involves a different kind of bike. See the mountain biking page. The International Mountain Bicycling Association offers a mountain bike club guide. www.imba.com/chapter-club-regional-development.
Encourage your city government to create a bike plan. Here’s Charleston’s bike plan: http://www.cityofcharleston.org/residents/bike-charleston
Visit other bike clubs/groups. They can help you get started. These club sites feature ride schedules and bylaws, etc.:
Become familiar with the state plan for establishing a statewide Web of biking trails. The goal is a ways off, but it helps to know what it is.
Here’s a list of WV biking clubs and groups:
- Bike Morgantown: http://bikemorgantown.com
- Blennerhasset Bicycle Club (Parkersburg area): http://theopam.com/providers/9-blennerhassett-bicycle-club:
- Mountain State Wheelers (Charleston area): http://mountainstatewheelers.org
- Greenbrier Valley Bike Club: http://www.gvbikeclub.com/#!page2/cjg9
- Panhandle Peddlers (Eastern Panhandle/Charles Town): http://www.panhandlepedalers.com/index.php
- Country Roads Cyclists (Harrison/Marion/Mononglia mostly) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Blackwater Bicycle Association (Tucker County area, mostly mountain biking) email@example.com
- New River Bicycle Union (Fayette County area) https://www.facebook.com/NewRiverBicycleUnion
- Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts (Cabell County area, Ashland, KY) http://www.acecycling.org/
- West Virginia Mountain Bike Association http://www.wvmba.com/ridewv/
- Point Pleasant Bike Trail https://www.facebook.com/BikePointPleasant/
Add yours! If we’re missing anybody, please type the info into the comment section below.
Check out this fabulous map of all trails in West Virginia, on land and water:
This hiking, biking and paddling map is evolving. http://mapwv.gov/trails. More routes and trails are continuously being added. So if your favorite trail is not listed – or if you create a new trail – let them know!
Here’s road biking law in West Virginia:
- WV code Chapter 17C, Article 11. Operation of Bicycles and Play Vehicles
- WV code Chapter 17C. Traffic Regulations and Laws of the Road
Hold monthly Critical Mass rides: a great way to invite people to join in
- Video: http://vimeo.com/40819340
- Proof that it’s catching: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/features/x1430510458/Kenova-soon-to-host-its-own-Critical-Mass-bike-ride
- Get a feel for the national movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_(cycling)
Here’s a fun variation on Critical Mass: Kidical Mass! http://www.asimplesix.com/kidicalmass/. A kids’ party on bikes! Tells you how to do it. Be sure to watch the video
- Create an online way to list rides, races and other biking events. Models:
- Opam (Online Physical Activity Magazine) www.theopam.com. Click on “Things going on:” rail trail rides, breakfast rides, no-car rides, beginner rides, advanced rides. This site covers most of the central Ohio River counties.
- Facebook: Here’s A Bicycle-friendly Huntington page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Bicycle-Friendly-Huntington-WV/391880957559673
- Get your friends cycling. When Parkersburg’s Greg Garrett wants to ride, he e-mails his big list to tell when and where it will start. firstname.lastname@example.org
Offer bike safety courses:
- Bike Morgantown members teach a “Confident city cycling” course. http://bikemorgantown.com/courses.php
- The League of American Bicyclists offers a free Online Bicycle Edcation, Traffic Skills 101 course online. http://www.bikeed.org/courseIntro.aspx. You can take most of the course online, but to get the full class, you must finish in-person. Here are certified instructors for finishing: www.bikeed.org/instructors.aspx .
- Here’s plain-language advice on child safety, etc.: http://www.ibike.org/education/index.htm
- Apply for bike-friendly community status, even if you think you won’t get it. The League of American Bicyclists will send back a useful list of suggested next steps.
- Explore these national sites.