Transportation Symposium Wants You

Help Asheville design its future mobility by attending this exciting event. Adults and kids are invited!

“The best way to build a mobility network that gives attention to all forms of transportation is to examine them in a holistic, interconnected way.”

ASHEVILLE – Everyone needs to get around. That’s the simple idea behind Asheville In Motion, an evolving and exciting community-based initiative designed to increase access to all forms of transportation.

On October 25, the public is encouraged to participate in a symposium on Asheville’s transportation future. The event will feature a panel discussion, community exercises and opportunities to let the community know your biggest priorities for mobility in Asheville.

Input and information will become part of the city’s AIM mobility plan, which will meet Asheville’s growth and transportation needs by changing how we think about getting around.

“In the past, we have thought of sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure and streets as being in different silos,” says Transportation Manager Mariate Echeverry. “The best way to build a mobility network that gives attention to all forms of transportation is to examine them in a holistic, interconnected way.”

Better mobility means easier access to jobs, better neighborhood connectivity, a boost to business, and a safe, healthy, sustainable transportation system. Help Asheville take AIM at the future of mobility by attending this exciting event.

The Asheville In Motion symposium will take place Saturday, October 25 in the U.S. Cellular Center Banquet Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Find more information about Asheville In Motion here.

Planning for a bicycle corral during the event is underway. Ride your city!

This press release can be found here.

Pumpkin Pedaller in the Citizen-Times

Great coverage in the Citizen-Times. Have you planned your costume yet? Ready to volunteer?

“Travel in style with the eighth annual Pumpkin Pedaller Nov. 1.

Organized by Asheville on Bikes, the costumed social ride gathers in front of City Hall at 2:30 p.m., and rolls forward at 3 p.m.

The nine-mile ride meanders through North Asheville, climbs Sunset Trail, and circles Montford before culminating at The Wedge Brewing Company’s post-ride celebration. The ride is free and open to the public.

A route map will be available at local bike shops so that participants can preview the ride for the first time.

“The map was inspired by the handbills we printed in the early in days of AoB,” said Asheville on Bikes’ director, Mike Sule, in a press release. “The organization is growing, as we attract new riders, we want them to feel comfortable and welcome. The map is our way of inviting more people to participate while honoring our roots.”

Each year the ride attracts hundreds of costumed cyclists of all kinds.

“The Pumpkin Pedaller is a colorful representation of our diverse cycling community,” said board member and co-creator of the event, Rachel Reeser. “Everyone is represented – commuters, roadies, mountain bikers, hipsters, families and punks. The costumes range from the last-minute to the intricate and outlandish.”

The event features a costume contest, prizes and a culminating party at the Wedge Brewery. Recent transplant, Claude Coleman, Jr. (formerly of Ween) is schedule to play the brewery from 6-8 p.m.

Asheville on Bikes cultivates the culture of commuting and urban cycling within our city through celebration and advocacy, according to the organization. For more information, visit ashevilleonbikes.com.”

Pumpkin Pedaller ’14

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October means only one thing to hundreds of Ashevillians: the return of the Pumpkin Pedaller, a much-loved, much-anticipated annual event organized by Asheville on Bikes.

High-spirited, costumed cyclists will ride this year’s 10-mile route on Saturday, November 1st, beginning at Asheville City Hall and culminating at The Wedge Brewery.

Gather at 2:30 at Asheville City Hall 
Pedal at 3pm about the City
Culminate at 5pm-ish at The Wedge Brewery

Facebook Event Page

Show our scrumptious sponsors some love!

Pumpkin Pedaller '14 Sponsors

 

Ready to serve on the Pedal Patrol? Asheville on Bikes is currently seeking volunteers for Pumpkin Pedaller. Simply fill out this form and we’ll get you scheduled. 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1683Ku5k3YWuXLdHYOVWOYrxd9yPT7NDyC3ExyduD-d0/viewform

Pumpkin Pedaller 14 route

Route info

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pedaller '14 Route

 

Watch the Wonder of On-street Bike Parking

In August, Asheville on Bikes demonstrated for Asheville the wonders of on-street bike parking, which parks 10-15 customers on bikes in the space generally provided for one car.

Big thanks to King Daddy Chicken & Waffle for providing our demo site (and enjoying the boost to business that parking a larger volume of customers provides).

Investing in Biking as Transit

Great read here!

In reference to Brian O’Neill’s Sept. 14 column on biking (“Motorists, Bicyclists Creep Toward Truce on City’s Busy Streets”), I think that the biggest factor that is never discussed in the promotion of biking is locker rooms at places of employment. It’s relatively easy for a politician to get lane closures to create bike lanes, but much, much harder to get employers to invest dollars to create locker rooms where bikers can shower and dress for the workday.

At previous jobs, I’ve seen people bike to work and then go off to the restroom to pseudo-shower with baby wipes to be reasonably nonoffensive to colleagues. That’s just not going to work (pun intended) for the vast majority of people even considering biking to their jobs.

The locker rooms would serve the double purpose of allowing people who want to run at lunchtime a way to get their exercise, so it’s not as if these would be used by only one small group of employees.

So I believe that we’re not really getting serious about biking as a daily alternative to driving until we make it possible to shower and dress afterward — unless we want to make sweaty Spandex equivalent to business casual.

More at http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/09/22/Biking-as-transit-won-t-take-off-until-employers-are-invested-too/stories/201409200136

2009 Media Coverage

A sampling of coverage in 2009 as Asheville on Bikes developed into the 501(c)3 it is today:

Urban Velo:

Aiming for an Urban Cycling Mecca in Asheville, NC
http://www.urbanvelo.org/issue19/p46-47.html

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES:

The Group ‘Asheville on Bikes’ had their annual Bright Light Biker, a family friendly winter pedal through town. This year’s event focused on safe biking after a local man, Alan Simons, was shot at while on his bike. The Simons family were the featured guests during the ride.

CLICK HERE TO SEE SLIDE SHOW ON CITIZEN TIMES WEBSITE

On the Radio -WCQS

(Click here to Listen – Listen)

An interview with Mike Sule, Executive Director of Asheville on Bikes. – 5 min

Bike Lockers

Now in Asheville! Click on the link to read more: http://www.mountainx.com/outdoors/2009/the_bike_lockers_have_landed

Revving up Asheville’s urban-cycling culture

(an article from the Mountain Xpress by Jack Igelman in Vol. 15 / Iss. 47 on 06/17/2009)

 

A mere 0.4 percent of Americans get to work by bike, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate may be greater in Asheville, where there’s strong interest in sustainable urban development and a wealth of recreational-cycling opportunities. But try bicycling to the office, to school, to the movies, the grocery store or other in-town destinations, and it’s clear that cyclists here are still on the fringes of cutting-edge urban transportation. Compared with cycling-friendly towns like Boulder, Colo.; Portland, Wash.; or Davis, Calif., Asheville has few metro riding lanes or bike paths, forcing two-wheelers to compete for precious space on hectic bridges and dodgy boulevards.

Asheville on Bikes founder Mike Sule wants to change all that. And though cycling facilities and infrastructure are woefully needed, he believes the most effective way to foster Asheville’s urban two-wheel culture isn’t just adding more white paint and asphalt. Progress, Sule contends, also depends on putting more people in the saddle.

Two wheels and counting: Asheville on Bikes founder Mike Sule believes so strongly in cycling that he doesn’t own a car.

While on a bike tour in Oregon in 2006, the 34-year-old sixth-grade teacher was so impressed by what he saw in Portland that he challenged himself to try to cultivate a similar cycling culture in Asheville. His first endeavor, the following year, was gathering 25 riders for Asheville’s annual holiday parade. To his surprise, the cyclists—dressed as holiday characters that included a Thanksgiving turkey and the tooth fairy—won the “Spirit of the Parade” and “Best Overall” awards and pedaled away with $750 in cash prizes.

That booty became the seed money that launched Asheville on Bikes, a nonprofit cycling advocate.

The group’s initial venture was backing a proposal to place rental lockers downtown as part of a network of bike lanes and facilities. The city has since adopted the idea, and the first lockers are due to hit the street later this summer. A larger version of the lockers found in bus depots, they’re ideal for commuters who prefer to return to a dry—and intact—set of wheels after work, shopping or other urban journeys.

Besides organizing community rides and events such as the Bike Love Party, Bright Light Biker and Pumpkin Pedaler, Asheville on Bikes operates a free bike corral: a sort of mobile parking lot that can accommodate about 20 bikes in the space taken up by a single car. With support from such groups as the Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force and the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, the corral has been part of assorted local festivals, encouraging people to arrive by bike.

Such incentives are crucial in moving toward a long-term cycling future, says Sule, who doesn’t own a car. A seamless biking network, he maintains, provides economic, environmental and public-health benefits. “Relying on a bike focuses spending in the city. It means living locally and transforms a city into a neighborhood,” says Sule. “We want to empower cyclists to see themselves as an economic force.”

But cyclists can also be a political force, and plans are in the works for a bike forum that will encourage City Council candidates to support needed improvements. “Mike is so passionate about cycling,” says Asheville Transportation Planner Barb Mee. “When he talks about the advantages of living car-free, it’s so exciting. People then realize that it’s an opportunity to invest in the city.”

Others in the biking community say Sule’s enthusiasm complements the efforts of cycling entrepreneurs and advocates such as Claudia Nix, whom Sule names as his mentor.

Despite the city’s 2008 Comprehensive Bicycle Plan (which projects an eventual 181-mile network of bike lanes) and some success in developing the needed infrastructure, Asheville still has a long way to go, says Sule. But he’s betting that getting more people on two wheels will ultimately make this city seriously biker-friendly. “I think our urban biking culture is as passionate as Portland’s: It’s just younger. We want to develop it,” says Sule. “Once people become active and excited about the possibilities, the system has no choice but to follow our lead.”

NOTE: Contrary to a statement by Jack Ingelman in the above article, Asheville on Bikes in not yet a nonprofit. AoB is undergoing structural change and seeking 501c3 status.