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.

Training for Bike/Ped Documentation

Congratulations for powering Asheville on Bikes’ participation in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, a collaboration celebrating its fifth year in 2014. Welcome to our training page! We strongly encourage participating counters to view the full 15-minute training video for complete understanding of the count methodology. The following is a brief summary intended solely for overview/planning purposes.

What to Wear

Safety vest or bright, highly visible clothing.

What to Take

  • Count forms and instructions
  • Clipboard and 2-3 pens or pencils
  • Watch or timer to measure 15-minute increments
  • Weather-related or personal comfort items such as a folding chair, hat, sunscreen, jacket, snack

View and download count form PDF here: ScreenlineCountForm

Sneak peek at your count form

Using the Count Form

  • Note name and phone number for any follow-up questions
  • Note intersection location
  • Note date and specific 2-hour time frame
  • Note weather conditions
  • Every 15 minutes, begin a fresh tally in a new 15-minute section of the count form

Counting Methodology (begins at 3:40 in the training video)

Persons participating as counters should stand or sit in a safe, off-street location that provides a full view of the entire intersection. Persons in automobiles, motorcycles, mopeds and motorized scooters are NOT counted. Persons entering and exiting buses are counted as pedestrians or bicyclists depending on counter’s observations. Each Bicyclist, Pedestrian, or Other Person traveling through the intersection in any direction (and without the use of a motorized vehicle as described above) is to be counted individually.

  • A Bicyclist is a person traveling on a bicycle, tricycle, unicycle, tandem, or similar vehicle. (Asheville’s well-recognized PubCycle carries as many as 13 individuals, all counted individually.) Bicyclists are categorized as male or female to the best of the counter’s ability. Bicyclists are categorized as helmet-wearing or non-helmet-wearing to the best of the counter’s ability.
  • A Pedestrian is a person traveling on foot. Persons using ANY assistive device (such as a motorized or non-motorized wheelchair), or riding in strollers or child carriers are also pedestrians.
  • Other Persons are those persons traveling in a manner not described above, such as those using inline skates or a skateboard.

(Towards the end of the training, Laurie discusses how to count assistive devices and made an error.  Individuals using ANY assistive devices should be counted as pedestrians.  Users of mopeds and motorbikes should not be counted as cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are using sidewalks, bike lanes or greenways.  We apologize for any confusion.  ALL persons using assistive devices should be counted as pedestrians.)

Questions? Laurie Stradley, lstradle@unca.edu, 828-258-7711 Barb Mee, City of Asheville, bmee@ashevillenc.gov, 828-232-4540 More about the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. This training video graciously created by Laurie Stradley, UNCA. More about Asheville on Bikes. Ready to sign up to count?

Count Bikes because Bicycles Count!

Asheville on Bikes encourages businesses, nonprofits, and religious and community organizations to supply the volunteers required for successful counts. Sign your team up NOW. Counts happen next week.

There is overwhelming public support in our community to advance safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle transportation within our community. The recent results of the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Walk SurveyThe Mountain Xpress’s Best of Survey, and a variety of recent studies highlight the public’s enthusiasm for active transportation.

Asheville has made strides in expanding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, but significant deficits remain. A recent article in the Asheville Citizen Times lists Asheville as the most dangerous city for walking in the entire state.  We need to do better, we can do better, and we will do better.

This September, volunteer for the 2014 National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project  to advance pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Join Asheville on BikesThe Blue Ridge Bicycle Club,  the AVL Bicycle & Pedestrian Task ForceHealthy Buncombe,  and the NC Center for Health and Wellness in this year’s bicycle pedestrian counts. These counts are essential in advancing active transportation because they inform planning and engineering professionals on the diversity of our transportation habits. There are plenty of methods used to count  motorized vehicles, but  there is a  dangerous dearth of methods for counting  pedestrians and bicycles. This year, you can change that. When you volunteer for the  Pedestrian and Bicycle Counts, you play critical role in:

  • Building a robust and public database of pedestrian and bicycle use
  • Identifying trends in biking and walking
  • Establishing a national model for predicting pedestrian and bicycle travel.

Transforming our transportation network is no small task. It takes many people working together to advance  active transportation. This year, I encourage businesses, nonprofits, and religious and community organizations to supply the volunteers required for successful counts. In return of your volunteerism, Asheville on Bikes will feature your organization on our website and social media.

Pedestrian / Bicycle Counts will be twice a day and are scheduled for Sept. 16th – 20th. If you’re ready to count, please complete the Ped / Bike Volunteer Form. Contact me at (mike@ashevilleonbikes.com) if you have any specific questions or requests.

Respectfully,

Mike Sule

Director of Asheville on Bikes

Friday Night Bike Demo at King Daddy’s!

What’s on-street parking for bikes? What does it look like?

Our friends at King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffle & Second Gear welcome you and Asheville on Bikes to an on-street parking demonstration this Friday, Aug. 29th from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Oh, and Asheville on Bikes will be selling raffle tickets for the New Belgium Asheville bicycle. (Heart rate pick up a bit there?)

What’s on-street parking for bikes? It’s converting a motorized vehicle parking space (serving 1-2 humans) to bicycle parking (serving 8-12 humans). Think increased customers for businesses, greater business visibility, improved vehicle storage and convenience for customers arriving by bicycle, and more. What does it look like? Come and see!

The best news? We have local government and businesses interested in exploring this concept that’s growing nationally (think Boston, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and elsewhere).

Come glimpse Asheville’s future Friday! You show, we grow.

Join the Facebook event here.

New BFF: The Asheville App

She listens. She responds. She’s your BFF, and her name is the Asheville App.

Progressive bicyclists know our city needs to hear from you. Now it’s easy to report hazardous conditions for bicycling (or graffiti, roadkill, water leaks, etc.) using this cool app.

Here’s how it works. You click the Asheville App link from the AoB website or the city’s (or download the nifty mobile app), then submit a quick description of your citizen concern. Provide an address (and photo if desired). You’re done!

Extra credit?

1. Submit a photo of your found hazard.

2. Post your submission to FB so your friends log into the Asheville App and “support” your report. Your voices help the city identify and prioritize our needs.

3. Make it a habit. Regularly report hazardous conditions for bicyclists using the Asheville App.

Make Community Improvements with PublicStuff from PublicStuff on Vimeo.

Ready to test your newfound knowledge? Download the mobile app right now, and support Mike Sule’s request for an improvement to a wheel-trapping grate on Haywood Road.

Check out the Asheville App!

Two supporters? Add your voice now using the Asheville App.

Count Bikes Because Bikes Count

This year, Asheville on Bikes encourages businesses, nonprofits, and religious and community organizations to supply the volunteers required for successful counts.

There is overwhelming public support in our community to advance safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle transportation within our community. The recent results of the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Walk Survey, The Mountain Xpress’s Best of Survey, and a variety of recent studies highlight the public’s enthusiasm for active transportation.

Asheville has made strides in expanding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, but significant deficits remain. A recent article in the Asheville Citizen Times lists Asheville as the most dangerous city for walking in the entire state.  We need to do better, we can do better, and we will do better.

This September, volunteer for the 2014 National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project  to advance pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Join Asheville on Bikes, The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club,  the AVL Bicycle & Pedestrian Task Force, Healthy Buncombe,  and the NC Center for Health and Wellness in this year’s bicycle pedestrian counts. These counts are essential in advancing active transportation because they inform planning and engineering professionals on the diversity of our transportation habits. There are plenty of methods used to count  motorized vehicles, but  there is a  dangerous dearth of methods for counting  pedestrians and bicycles. This year, you can change that. When you volunteer for the  Pedestrian and Bicycle Counts, you play critical role in:

  • Building a robust and public database of pedestrian and bicycle use
  • Identifying trends in biking and walking
  • Establishing a national model for predicting pedestrian and bicycle travel.

Transforming our transportation network is no small task. It takes many people working together to advance  active transportation. This year, I encourage businesses, nonprofits, and religious and community organizations to supply the volunteers required for successful counts. In return of your volunteerism, Asheville on Bikes will feature your organization on our website and social media.

Pedestrian / Bicycle Counts will be twice a day and are scheduled for Sept. 16th – 20th. If you’re ready to count, please complete the Ped / Bike Volunteer Form. Contact me at (mike@ashevilleonbikes.com) if you have any specific questions or requests.

Respectfully,

Mike Sule

Director of Asheville on Bikes