Asheville on Bikes shows some Bike Love, pushes advocacy, education

Teaching advocacy- Kristine Oblock of Asheville on Bikes explained how proper education, including how to navigate traffic, is key to bike safety.

Asheville on Bikes wants more people to ride their bike to work, and they have a plan to achieve it.

“We need to fulfill the mission of changing commuters from ‘interested but concerned,’ to ‘enthused and confident,'” said Mike Sule, director of Asheville on Bikes.

Sule presented information at the group’s annual Bike Love fundraiser Feb. 21 culled from Roger Geller, bicycle coordinator for the city of Portland. Geller says there are four types of transportation cyclists — strong and fearless, enthused and confident, interested but concerned, and not able or interested.

How to increase cycling: Mike Sule said his group has been working with NCDOT and the city to achieve on street bike parking.
How to increase cycling: Mike Sule said his group has been working with NCDOT and the city to achieve on street bike parking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sule said his group has a four part plan for 2015 in order to grow the bicycling community in Asheville. He wrapped up the educational part of the evening at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall.

Teaching urban riding skills through the Cycle Smart Program has already been implemented and is a tool for making people more confident on their bikes on Asheville’s streets. Working with the chamber of commerce and the business community is also key, Sule said, to getting the type of infrastructure that’s beneficial to bikes in Asheville.

“We’re working on building more partnerships in 2015, as well as working with NCDOT and the city to get on street bike parking. You can fit 15 bikes in one car parking space,” he said.

The third initiative is getting a protected bike lane in Asheville.

“We need to have bike safety and bicycling woven into the fabric of everyday life here,” said Sule.

No. 4 is data collection. Solid numbers for bicycling aren’t available, since the NCDOT only counts vehicle traffic. Bike counts and pedestrian counts need to be presented to affect change.

“It’s up to us to supply the data that will lead to more bike friendly policies,” said Sule.

Bike love: the event raises money for bike friendly policy changes in Asheville.
Bike love: the event raises money for bike friendly policy changes in Asheville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

isis 5
Tunes for bike lovers: the Free Flow Band opened for DJ Marley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike dating: Kristy Jackson of Oaks and Spokes talked about dating on bikes. She said it's a great way to combine a passion with a date.
Bike dating: Kristy Jackson of Oaks and Spokes talked about dating on bikes. She said it’s a great way to combine a passion with a date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintenance is key: Kristine Oblock said every cyclist should perform a basic safety check before riding. Check the ABC- the air in the tires, the brakes, and the chain.
Maintenance is key: Kristine Oblock said every cyclist should perform a basic safety check before riding. Check the ABC- the air in the tires, the brakes, and the chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the beer flow: Half of all New Belgium beer sales at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall went toward Asheville on Bikes.
Let the beer flow: Half of all New Belgium beer sales at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall went toward Asheville on Bikes.

 

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About Pat Barcas
Pat is a photojournalist and writer who moved to Asheville in 2014. He previously worked for a labor and social rights advocacy newspaper in Chicago. Email him at pbarcas@gmail.com. Follow me @pbarcas

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5 thoughts on “Asheville on Bikes shows some Bike Love, pushes advocacy, education

  1. Jack Lamb

    I live in an area where cyclists are on the road all the time.
    My problem is WHY do they have such a belligerent attitude to the driving public?
    I can’t tell you the times they will NOT move to the side of the road to let drivers pass. I cannot tell you the number of times they do NOT adhere to the rules of the road as far as stop signs and stop lights. They seem to believe the signs and lights are for automobiles and NOT for them. No turn signals and not stopping for traffic signals must be a “right of passage” for cyclists.
    The roads are to be shared. I understand that fact. But the driving public is paying for the roads they ride on. The cyclists need to understand that. And riding on roads that are not safe for cars (or cyclists or pedestrians) makes absolutely no sense. Maybe when you do understand there might be a better relationship between you and me!
    FACT: When autos and bicycles have an altercation, the autos ALWAYS WIN!!!
    Maybe when you do there might be a better relationship between you and me!

    • Bob Sharpe

      Thanks for your comment Jack. As a BIke League Certified Instructor (LCI #4661), I teach cyclists to follow the law all the time. Some do. Some don’t. The same is true of drivers of motor vehicles. As a cyclist, I also see things you probably don’t. I see a small percentage of drivers who mess with my life every time I ride. They get too close. They cut me off. They put me in harm’s way. I am also a licensed driver, Jack, so I pay for the roads. In fact, virtually all of us who cycle pay. In fact, you might be surprised that it was cyclists who initially pushed to build roads in the US, well before Henry Ford’s Model Ts started rolling off of the assembly line. Jack, if you see me on the road, I hope you’ll extend me the same courtesy that you expect me to extend you. I’ll do my best to do so. Thank you again, and be well.

    • Mike

      Mr. Lamb- First, as Mr. Sharpe stated, I pay the same taxes for the roads you do, including the personal property tax on my late model vehicle. I choose to ride my bike for fitness and sanity reasons.
      Secondly, as another writer posted, you’re absolutely right about everything except the move over for traffic to pass. I ride as far to the right as I reasonably can in any given condition, which includes not riding to the right in blind curves or the crest of an uphill. That’s part of my defensive riding- trying to prevent a car from passing me when its not safe to do so. I also obey all stop signs, stop lights, etc. , wear bright clothes, have…7 ….lights on my bike for my commute home, etc…I know, most riders don’t ride like this, but, for me., what else can I possibly do to both enjoy my commute and be safe?

      Proper sharing means not expecting anything back for the safety and respect we give each other as users of the road.

  2. Esther L

    I agree with Jack that bicycle riders should stop at stop signs and red lights. A person on a bike is safest when they behave as, and are treated as a vehicle. This means the person on a bike has the same rights and responsibilities. That means that, when a lane is too narrow to share safely (generally a lane that is 15-16 ft wide is safe to share side by side), the bicyclist can “take the lane” to make it clear that a faster vehicle must change lanes to safely pass. If you have the sight line on our typical roads with 9ft lanes and have a gap large enough to make a safe pass, go ahead. When I am biking on 2-lane roads, I don’t move to the right of the center of the lane unless I can see that it’s safe for a car or SUV to pass me. I have no wish to witness a head-on crash.

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