Be One of the Faith-ful

The night of awesomeness formerly known as Clips of Faith is back! Now called Clips Beer and Film Tour, this is one of AoB’s biggest events, raising funds, creating bike-friendly entertainment, and, most importantly, encouraging more people to ride their city. We can’t make it happen without you. Here’s a word from Volunteer Coordinator (and Queen of Awesome), Rachel:

Are you interested in helping make Clips Film and Beer Tour run smoothly in 2013? I am writing to ask you if you would like to be a volunteer manager or a regular volunteer. Read below and let me know if you are interested!

  • The basics: Asheville on Bikes and New Belgium Brewery are hosting Clips Film and Beer tour on Friday September 6th. Volunteer shift is long– 6:00pm-11:00pm–and it includes training, setup, actual event, and break down. You will get fed during this time.
  • Perks: T-shirt and beers after shift, as well as food before event begins. There is also a NBB meeting for volunteer mangers the night before that will have food/beer.
  • Info: Check out this PDF for volunteer descriptions and history of New Belgium (it is a fun, quick read). Also check out New Belgium’s site.
  • TIPS alcohol serving training: 18 volunteers will need to be TIPS trained. TIPS is good for 3 years.

We’re also looking for a few folks to be volunteer managers. You’ll oversee others doing the same work as you, and will need to attend a brief meeting the night before (Thursday, Sept 5).

We need volunteer managers and volunteers for the following areas:

  • Set up (earlier hours 10-4)
  • Break down (later hours 9:30-12) we need non drinkers for this job please
  • Beer serving, AoB promoting, Beer Gypsies, Tokens/wristbands, Beer School, Lips Of Faith Taste Test Competition, Fun and Games ( event hours 6-11)

I look forward to hearing from you all either way! Other interested parties? Send em my way!

To learn more, or to sign up for a volunteer shift, please contact Rachel (rachel@ashevilleonbikes.com). Please be sure to include your top two choices for volunteer duties and shift times. Thank you for your continued support–when you show, we grow!

Tell NCDOT that bikes matter!

The North Carolina Department of Transportation held a public comment session in April regarding proposed changes to the I-26 / 191 (Brevard Road) interchange. Major concerns remain after that meeting. NCDOT will accept comments via email until this Wednesday, May 8. NCDOT’s plan is in clear violation of its own policies and ignores both the Buncombe County Greenways Master Plan and the City of Asheville Bike Plan. Asheville on Bikes urgently invites you to tell NCDOT that these guidelines matter and that all people deserve safe transportation options.

Show your support for cyclists and pedestrians in Buncombe County! Cut and paste the following and send it to Anthony Tata, Secretary of Transportation (ajtata@ncdot.gov), Michael Wray, NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis Unit (mgwray@ncdot.gov), and AoB (ashevilleonbikes@gmail.com) before this Wednesday, May 8.

If you’d like to step away from the computer screen for a moment, you can also have your say by calling Michael Wray at (919) 707-6050.

Dear Mr. Tata and Mr. Wray:

NCDOT’s proposed changes to the I-26 / Brevard Road (191) interchange in Buncombe County stand in clear violation of NCDOT’s own Complete Streets Guidelines and Healthy Transportation Policy, and disregard both the NCDOT/MPO-funded Buncombe County Greenways and Trails Master Plan and the NCDOT-funded City of Asheville Bicycle Plan. I urge you to bring this project into compliance with these guidelines, for the benefit of all road users.

This project currently does not accommodate people of all ages and abilities, including people too young to drive, people who cannot drive, and people who choose not to drive–all groups expressly mentioned in NCDOT’s Complete Streets Guidelines. The pedestrian and bicycle facilities included on this project are minimal or inconsistent in how they were presented at the recent public comment session, and NCDOT’s handouts failed to mention any mode of transportation beyond the vehicular. In failing to accommodate access for all users, the design elements shown at the workshop do not comply with the “Purpose of the Project” statement, which acknowledges that “NC 191 (Brevard Road) connects residential, workplace, shopping, recreational, and visitor destinations in South Asheville.” With Asheville’s designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community, the enormous economic benefit of bicycle infrastructure, and multimodal transportation on the rise nationwide, surely NCDOT doesn’t believe that these connections occur only by car and truck?

When our own citizens are left out of project considerations, and when state and local guidelines are cast aside, we all lose. I ask you to ensure that this major project complies with the NCDOT Complete Streets Guidelines, the NCDOT Healthy Transportation Policy, Buncombe County’s Greenways Master Plan, and the City of Asheville’s Bicycle Plan. The changes you make will have a lasting impact on the people who live, work, and travel through Buncombe County, and I urge you to remember travelers in all modes of transportation as you complete this project.

Thank you,
Concerned Citizen and Cyclist

For more detailed information, including links to all policies and plans mentioned, read on:

Beef Up Your Traffic Skills

Or tempeh-up, for you bikin’ vegetarians out there.  From the French Broad River MPO‘s website:

Have you ever considered taking a class to improve your confidence and safety in riding a bicycle on the road?  HealthyBuncombe, in partnership with Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, Blue Ridge Bicycle Club and Asheville on Bikes will be holding a variety of classes to help beginner and more experienced cyclists learn new valuable skills:

 2013 Class Dates

  • March 9th Traffic Skills 101 (10 AM-4 PM). This traffic skills course gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling. Traffic Skills 101 is a six-hour course and is a prerequisite to becoming an LCI Instructor.
  • April 13th Confident Commuter Class (10 AM-1 PM)
  • May 11th Traffic Skills 101 (10 AM-4 PM)
  • June 8th Confident Commuter Class (10 AM-1 PM)
  • July 13 Traffic Skills 101 (10 AM-4 PM)
  • August 10 Confident Commuter Class (10 AM-1 PM)

Registration
Contact BuncombeBikeEd@gmail.com to register. Classes will be held if at least 3 people register by Thursday prior to the class.

Fees:

  • $20 for Traffic Skills 101
  • $10 for Confident Commuter Class
  • Youth 12-16 pay half-price
  • Scholarships available upon request

You can prepay by sending a payment via Paypal to BuncombeBikeEd@gmail.com or bring payment (cash or check) to class.

Location

The classes will be held at the YWCA, Downtown Asheville, 185 S French Broad Ave– Multi-purpose room.

Bring your bicycle in working order, helmet, water bottle and snacks.  Bike lock might be helpful to lock up your bicycle during the classroom session.

Our instructors are certified to teach by the League of American Bicyclists, and volunteer their time.

Other learnin’ opportunities:

Interested in a Lunch-and-Learn at Your Workplace?

If you have several coworkers who might be interested in a brief overview of bicycle commuting, we might be available for a one-hour lunch and learn.  Contact us at buncombebikeed@gmail.com to schedule.

NC Bicycle Commuter Guide

Provided courtesy of Asheville Bike Ped Task Force, see the document here.

 

 

Local Cyclist Rides for Affordable Housing

AoB congratulates Hannah Siler on reaching her fundraising goal!

In Hannah’s own words:

First off, I want to thank everyone for taking a little time to read this message. My name is Hannah Siler and I’m a freshman at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I’m originally from Asheville, North Carolina, where I was introduced to road biking and mountain biking. My dad, Marshall Siler, who is an avid biker who just completed a 2,000 mile bike ride following the Lewis and Clark trail out west, introduced me to cycling and really inspired me to take on the challenge I have committed to for this coming summer. I will embark on a bike ride across the country, beginning in Providence, RI, and ending in Half Moon Bay, CA. The purpose of this ride, besides providing a great way of traveling around the country, is to raise money and awareness for affordable housing projects across the country. Throughout the ride, I will be stopping in cities and towns throughout the country to lend a personal hand in building houses on build days and educating town members on the importance and necessity of affordable housing for the community. In order to be able to participate in the ride however, I will need to have raised $4,500 by April, and I am reaching out to anyone and everyone who would be willing to help!

I will be doing this ride through an organization called Bike & Build. Bike and Build is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2002. Since their start, they have raised and granted over $3.38 million dollars to various affordable housing organizations. The case study that was done in 2011 showed that 335 affordable housing organizations in 48 states received Bike & Build grants, totaling $608,023. The riders pedaled 1.05 million miles and volunteered nearly 20,000 hours in 103 build sites.

You may be wondering why affordable housing is such a pressing issue in the US, especially compared to the many environmental problems and other societal issues that receive broader attention. I certainly asked this question before I researched the topic more in depth. The need for affordable housing comes from an increase in homelessness, poor living conditions, overcrowding in homes, and high prices that cause families to spend more than 30% of their gross income on housing. These conditions negatively impact individual families as well as the community as a whole, as they discourage local economic investment, undermine health, and widen the gap between the upper and lower class. However, the transformational ability of sufficient affordable housing is great. According to the Habitat for Humanity website, clean, decent, and stable housing provides stability for families and children, a sense of dignity and pride, health security and physical safety, and an increase of educational and job prospects. Affordable housing also allows for greater means of wealth creation, which could lead to more community investment, involvement and development. From what I can tell, affordable housing can cause positive, healthy effects to infiltrate many aspects of society.

My reasons for partaking in this journey across the country and the fundraising before I leave is mostly that I want to continue using my time not spent in school, like summer and other breaks, for amazing and unique experiences, but up the ante a bit and use these experiences to make an impact on other people and communities. Bike and Build includes some of my passions of traveling and biking, but also has components that are completely new to me, like intense manual labor and fundraising (on a larger scale than for middle school band). I want to make my experiences have more of a statement of purpose, so then I can build on them and continue to help people and places in new and exciting ways.

As I participant, I will be asked to raise $4,500 dollars by the end of the semester, hopefully by the end of April. $500 of this will go to the affordable housing charity of my choice. The rest will be given to Bike & Build to be made in to grants to give to affordable housing organizations around the country. A portion of the money will be used to cover travel expenses along the ride such as camp sites, travel gear, and fuel for the support trailers, but all of the money will be used for either our bike trip of granted to charities. In order to do this, I’m reaching out to anybody who would be willing to donate any amount of money to support my ride and spreading awareness on the need of affordable housing. Any amount would be amazing. I’ll be sure to send a shout out to any donators on my Facebook page for my ride. Additionally, please share this email to anyone who would be interested! I’m trying to expand my network as much as possible. Thanks for your time and support!

Sincerely,
Hannah Siler
hlsiler@live.unc.edu

Find Hannah on facebook or at Bike and Build’s website.

 

Congratulations Lauren Tamayo!

Those of you tuned into this summer’s Olympics may have noticed some exciting bike related aspects of the games. If you caught any of the crew events you might have noticed a large contingency of cyclists pedaling along with the rowers. London also boasts quite the bike share program, which was certainly helpful in alleviating some of the motor traffic congestion.

The biggest bit of cycling excitement though, has to be Asheville’s Lauren Tamayo. Lauren will be recognized at the Asheville City Council meeting tomorrow at 5 pm in City Hall. A welcome home reception will follow at Pack’s Tavern. Lauren won her medal in track cycling’s women’s team pursuit. Please consider being at the council meeting on Tuesday, or at the other events to show support for her achievement, and to help highlight the diversity of cycling pursuits in Asheville. Bring your friends, too!

Congratulations Lauren, from Asheville on Bikes!