Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bike Week 2011 Is Underway

What a week for bikes!  Despite the periods of crazy storms, Bike Week 2011 activities have been going tremendously well all week thanks to the efforts of so many groups.

Bike Week began Monday with the Cross Town Ride and Bike Charlottesville News Conference.  The ride began at the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage and led a group of about 30 cyclists through The Corner and Midtown, ultimately ending outside City Hall on the Downtown Mall.

The ride attracted an array of cyclists, including City Traffic Engineer Jeanie Alexander (pictured above), U.Va GIS Planner Bill Palmer and Mayor Dave Norris.  While not only serving as a very visible start to Bike Week, the ride itself gave participants a first hand view of some of the major cycling corridors and where improvements are needed.

On Tuesday evening Community Bikes hosted an open house at their shop on Preston Avenue.  Blue Wheel Bicycles' own Scott Paisley and U.Va's own Chris Gist were on hand with other Community Bikes volunteers to provide bike maintenance self-help tips, bike commuting route advice, and general bike tune-ups.  Visit Community Bikes online to learn more about their services:

The weather held out Wednesday evening for the annual Ride of Silence.  The 7-mile long, police-escorted procession through Charlottesville raised awareness of cyclists and honored those who have been injured or killed while cycling.  Ian Ayers created a great video of the ride (above).

On Thursday we hosted a free "Bike Commuting 101" workshop at Carruthers Hall for anyone interested in knowing the basics of bike commuting.  Led by volunteers Mary and Rob Cook, the course gave participants an introduction to the rules of road, safety tips, having the right gear and attire, and the various types of bikes that can be used for recreation and commuting.  Participants were also treated to lunch, delivered by U.Va Catering.  On participant, Monica from the Health System, even won a free bike helmet and shoe covers courtesy of Blue Ridge Cyclery!

So, what's left?  Bike to Work Day!  On Friday commuters who live within a reasonable distance of their classroom or workspace are encouraged to try getting there by bike.  P&T, and various community organizations, will have Energizing Stations set up to provide refreshments to keep bike commuters going.  Stop by and see us Friday in the morning (7am-9am) or afternoon (4pm-6pm) near the intersection of Rugby Road and University Avenue.

Don't forget, if you have a bike at U.Va make sure you register it with U.Va Police!  If it is ever lost or stolen, you have a much greater chance of it being recovered if it's registered.  You can register quickly and painlessly on UPD's website: