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Encourage road biking

 

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“You don’t need an organized group to ride,” said Mountain State Wheelers president Dennis Strawn. “Just get on a bike and ride!”

 

After ride dinner

Huntington’s Critical Mass bike riders enjoy a restaurant stop after a long ride. Photo courtesy A Simple Six blog.

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. :

 

Want to make it easier for your community to bike?

 

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Parkersburg has embraced bicycling as an economic development tool. “We’ve created an alternative transportation council to make sure we don’t miss opportunities to make it easier for people to ride their bikes,” said Kim Coram, first chair of the council.

 

 

 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

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      As part of its effort to encourage biking, Parkersburg created a yearly Block Party, a day when the main street is closed to all but bike and foot traffic and many fun activities take place in the street. These young bikers are enjoying the day, which has been so successful, the city is now sponsoring smaller monthly events. Photo courtesy The OPAM.

 

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:

 

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!

 

Hold monthly Critical Mass rides: a great way to invite people to join in

 

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In a critical mass bike ride, riders gather and ride together in a troop, for fun and safety and to draw attention to the pluses of bike-riding. This is a younger version: a kidical mass! Photo courtesy A Simple Six.

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:

Offer bike safety courses:

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In small-town West Virginia, here in Richwood, kids are still riding bikes. Photo: Kate Long

Have something to add? Write it in “reply” below, with your contact info, in case we have questions.

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