Announcement: Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Clinic

On Saturday, 21 September 2019, the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association will host a maintenance and repair clinic led by our bike repair specialist, Griffin Park. The event will be held from 11:00 to 12:00 at the Civic Center Park (east of the splash pad). Come learn about how to keep your bike clean, lubed, and ready to ride as we head into the Fall season!

Maintain your bike

Bicycle-Friendly Communities and plans for our September Meeting

At our August meeting we listened to a presentation by Aaron Skabelund, one of the pioneers of bicycle advocacy in Provo, who talked about Bicycle-Friendly Communities. This is a designation awarded by the League of American Bicyclists, the country’s oldest and best-known bicycle advocacy organization, to communities who are making concerted efforts to improve cycling. The award has several levels, from honorable mention to platinum, and a few cities in our county have recently been recognized. Provo earned Silver status on their second application after four years at the Bronze level, Orem is now at the Bronze level, and Vineyard received an honorable mention. You can learn more about this award at their website.

We decided at the August meeting to complete the application for Springville, working toward a deadline of February 5, 2020. There are five parts to the application and we have divided the different sections up among those who were in attendance at the meeting to perform an initial assessment and see what types of data we will need to gather from the city and what we can do as an association between now and February to improve our chances of receiving Bronze status (which is probably the highest level we can hope for at this point). Our next meeting to talk about this will be SEPTEMBER 12 at 7:00 at the Snelson PhotoColor Lab. We will also at that meeting be talking about plans to expand the activities of the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association. We hope to see many of you there!

July Meeting and Other Thoughts

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and finding time to ride. The weather has been beautiful and I’ve noticed lots of people in Springville and Mapleton riding around town on a wide assortment of bikes–e-bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, bikes with trailers, etc. The more of us there are, the safer we will all be, so keep riding!

This month’s meeting is going to be held on July 30 at 6:30pm. We will meet as a group at the Hobble Creek Trail trailhead park at the intersection of 1700E and Canyon Road. This is a small green space with parking for both cars and bikes, picnic tables, and a bicycle maintenance station. We will then be taken on a guided tour by one of our members, Kurtt Boucher, who a few days ago gave the Springville city council a presentation of his plan to connect the eastside Hobble Creek Trail (which ends at the trailhead where we are meeting) to the westside Hobble Creek Trail. We’ll have a chance to ride his proposed route and provide feedback on how it might be improved. Don’t miss this chance to meet new people and ride through the city as a group!

Next, I’d like to give a big shout out to Springville resident and hopefully soon-to-be member of the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association, Griffin Park. Griffin is the owner/operator of Jolly Circle, a mobile bicycle-repair company. He is an expert bike mechanic who can fix your bikes at his place or yours, and he charges very reasonable rates. Yesterday and today he fixed up two of my bikes–a cruiser and a mountain bike–and I’m very satisfied with the whole experience.

Griffin Park at work on my 1996 Schwinn MTB

Last thought of the day: I just read a nice summary of arguments made by people who oppose bicycle infrastructure and rebuttals to those arguments. The immediate context for the article is the UK, but I think the principles are universal. Check it out and see what you think!

Bike Parking!

The past week or so (minus a few days floating down the Green River) I’ve been working on a bike map for Springville, which you can now find on this website. It’s still preliminary because I know there are a number of bike racks that I have missed, but I wanted to share a few initial impressions from riding around town.

Continue reading “Bike Parking!”

Bike with the Mayor 2019

Thanks to all who participated in the annual Bike with the Mayor event on May 18! This is always a great community-building event built around cycling. Community members of all ages showed up. It is great to live in a city that is so supportive of cycling and quality of life.

A few more observations from London

Last week I went to the Museum of Science in London and found a couple of old bicycles on display. The first ones here are from 1867 (the larger one in the back–called the “boneshaker” or “pennyfarthing”) and 1871 (the smaller one in front). Note that both of them have the pedals attached directly to the front hub and imagine what that must have been like.

Now check out this next one, built in 1885 and called the “safety bicycle.” It was lower to the ground and used a chain to drive the rear wheel, which turned out to be a much safer combination. You’ll see that the basic geometry of the standard bicycle hasn’t really changed in 135 years. Now that’s what I call some solid engineering!

You can read more about the history of the bicycle in this article.

There sure are lots of cyclists here in London! Traffic is often congested, and so those on 2 wheels often go much faster than those on 4. There are several bike share programs in town and lots of bike-and-pedestrian infrastructure to help protect those who don’t enjoy thousands of pounds of steel around them. But most of all what I’ve noticed is a culture of driving with respect for bicyclists and pedestrians. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I think because there are so many more cyclists here people have gotten used to them and have learned to live with them on the roads. (And of course many motorists are themselves cyclists.) In Springville and throughout Utah we will benefit as cyclists when there are more bikes on the road. So let’s choose the bike rather than the car and encourage others to do likewise. Here’s a parting shot–look at all the bikes being stored in covered parking in the Marylebone train station!

A Few Pictures from London

I got to London a few days ago and imagine my surprise when I greeted by this advertisement on my first transfer on the London underground (this station was above ground).

Pretty cool message and it’s something that I definitely feel when I’m riding in a group or just passing another cyclist on the road. We share for that moment a commitment to healthy bodies, cleaner air, less traffic, and a more enjoyable way of life. Even if there are few of us on the roads, you have to remember that “you are not an island. You’re a push for change.” Well done, British Cycling and HSBC.

Although London is certainly not as bike-crazy as some other European cities that I’ve been to, there are a lot of cyclists around. Young people, old people, commuters, and recreational riders. They’re riding on the road, in bicycle lines, and on off-road trails. Here is a great example of how biking infrastructure should work:

Bikes are kept separate from pedestrians and both are protected from cars by a nice garden strip. These are the types of improvements that make streets safe and enjoyable for all users. Where in Springville could we build something like this?

April Meeting Recap

This past Thursday we had a productive meeting at Mike Snelson’s photography business. The big news that he shared was that the city council approved our proposal for connecting bike lanes in a few spots and allocated funding for them in the 2019-20 budget. Nice to see our time and effort is paying off! Much of the rest of the meeting was spent discussing future plans, especially the Bike with the Mayor ride on May 18. Carrie Bennett successfully lobbied the city for approval to set up a booth and so we talked about how to get people interested in biking more often and in joinging our association. One thing that came up as we thought about this was our lack of a logo, and fortunately Mike volunteered to design one. A few days later it was ready to go. Pretty cool, right?

With a logo like this we are surely destined for great things! After Bike with the Mayor we will be looking to organize a few rides and service projects and also intend to apply for Bicycle-friendly Community status with the League of American Bicyclists, hopefully for both Springville and Mapleton. This distinction will recognize work being done to promote cycling in our communities and help city administrators see what else can be done. So it should be a busy summer.

As for me personally, I am going to be in Europe for the next eight weeks and in addition to my research on historical prison systems will be looking for interesting ways of integrating bicycle infrastructure into the urban/suburban environment. So check back here over the coming months for a few posts from across the pond! Happy cycling!

Monthly Meeting Tonight!

Just a quick reminder that our monthly meeting will be tonight, April 11, at 5:30 at the Snelson PhotoColor Lab (80 W Center St. in Springville). I hope to see you there!

Presenting to the Springville City Council

On March 12 Carrie Bennett and I made a presentation to the Springville City Council work session about the benefits of cycling and a few improvements we’d like to see over the next couple of years in terms of bike lines. Carrie went first and did a great job explaining why the city should promote cycling in our community–it provides exercise that leads to various health benefits, it promotes increased interaction with other people, it leads to better air quality and reduced vehicle congestion, and it is a fun family activty. In a nutshell, cycling improves the quality of life not just for those who do it, but for everyone in the community.

I then talked about the 1,000-miles campaign and various bike-related projects happening in neighboring cities, before moving to our specific proposals. Right now there are only 4.0 miles of bike lanes (not including off-street trails) in Springville, and UDOT will be constructing 1.4 new miles this year on the northern section of Main Street. 5.4 miles is not very much, but we consciously kept our proposals modest to avoid coming across as zealots unaware of the realities of small-city budgeting. Our strategy is to start small and hopefully build up a relationship of trust with the mayor, city council, and city staff. With that in mind, we proposed three segments totalling an additional 2.5 miles of bike lanes over the next two years, all of which are already identified in the Springville City Plan as needing bike lanes.

Presenting to the Mayor and City Council. Photograph courtesy of Carrie Bennett

The first segment we proposed is the 0.5 miles of 1700 East between Canyon Road and the Mapleton City border. This road is heavily used by school kids and recreational riders and would connect the Canyon Road trail, the River Bottom Road bike lanes, and the Main Street bike lanes in Mapleton.

1700 East looking from Mapleton into Springville

The next segment was just a short 1-block (0.1 miles) section of Center Street, between the library and the post office. Completing this and updating the bike route signs will connect the Center Street bike lane with the Main Street bike lane.

Center Street and the inexplicable end of the bike lane 1 block before Main Street

The final segment we proposed was the 1.9 miles of 400 East/Millpond Road/1400 North between 400 South and Main Street. This is a wide street and popular cycling route that will help connect the east side of Springville and provide an alternate route to the northern section of Main Street (which, even with bike lanes, will still be intimidating for some with its 40- and 50-MPH speed limits).

400 East looking northward to where it becomes Millpond Road

At the conclusion of the presentation we also suggested that early planning efforts be directed to the west side of Center Street and to 400 North, both of which would serve as east-west connectors between various bike lanes, trails, schools, and the downtown area. We then fielded a few questions from interested councilmembers and left feeling optimistic about our chances to get these projects funded. Hopefully we will get good news on this front soon!