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YB! leads professional development ride with ODOT safety team

ODOT ride
ODOT’s safety team on a professional development ride led by Yay Bikes! Photo credit: Steve Puhl Jr

On July 21, 2015, Yay Bikes! ride leaders Catherine Girves and Meredith Joy, along with trusty sweeps Steve Puhl Jr and Julie Walcoff, led a group of 8 Ohio Department of Transportation professionals on a tour of bicycle facilities on Columbus’ South and East sides. This group represented the Safety Team, aka the folks determining which safety projects — including bicycle infrastructure projects — throughout the state will receive funding. Most of them had ridden trails but not roads, and a couple hadn’t ridden a bike since childhood, so this ride proved the first urban riding experience for our group.

An uncomfortably pregnant Meredith Joy preps the group for departure at Grange Audubon Center. Photo credit: Julie Walcoff

Split into 2 groups of 4, the cyclists rode a challenging 10-mile (or 12-mile, if they were in the accidental wrong-way group!) route beginning at the Grange Audubon Center and hitting the following streets: Front, Main, Grant, Town, Parsons, Livingston, Ohio and Champion, Oak, Washington, Gay, Broad, 3rd, Fulton, High and Whittier. Along the way, they got to experience sharrows, bike lanes to nowhere, bike lanes in door zones, unmarked narrow lanes, freeway on- and off-ramps, multi-lane one-ways and more. As well as the overwhelming heat of the day and, of course, the typical sights, smells & sounds that make bicycling so damn lovely. Everyone was heroic! Everyone was also very very hungry when we sat down to share our delicious post-ride meal at El Arepazo.

Here’s some of our early feedback from the ride:

Continue reading YB! leads professional development ride with ODOT safety team

Year of Yay! July 2015 recap: We kept it cool!

[Ed note: Special thanks to July’s ride leader and special guest blog contributor Kathleen O’Dowd!]

It can be”hot in the city”, but we knew how to keep our cool and find ways to stay cool! With around 70 cyclists in tow, we headed out from Whole Foods with confidence that relief from the heat was in sight.

The group heads out onto peaceful Upper Arlington streets. Photo credit: Darrell McGrath

Our first stop was the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, where we learned that Ohio State is a major player in this field of research. Thanks to Geoff Dipre, PhD student at the center, who helped coordinate our tour. We learned about the ecological stories that ice cores tell, and were very tempted to sneak into the room-sized freezers to cool off! Many of us plan to make a return visit for a more extended tour of the facility, and to see the ice cores first hand. After sharing their research efforts, Geoff and a fellow climate researcher joined in the rest of the Year of Yay ride!

Continue reading Year of Yay! July 2015 recap: We kept it cool!

Out & About with Yay Bikes! — July 2015

ODOT ride
Yay Bikes! leads ODOT’s safety team on a professional development ride

Welcome to the monthly feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, program delivery, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Representation and outreach like this is what you fund with your membership dollars and major gifts, folks! Behold, July:

July 1

How We Roll Pelotonia ride with reporter Steve Wartenberg

Pedal Instead redesign planning meeting

July 2

Regular meeting of Mayor Coleman’s Green Team, on which Catherine serves

Meeting re: National Night Out with 5th x Northwest Commission Chair Becky Obester

July 4

Doo Dah Parade with “Mellow Max” theme

July 8

Presentation on bicycle commuting for the Rotary Club of Dublin Worthington

Guest at Transit Columbus’ Board Meeting

Regular board meeting of the Downtown Residents Association of Columbus, on which Catherine serves

Continue reading Out & About with Yay Bikes! — July 2015

Connect Columbus workshops July 13–17 are your chance to influence the next 30 years of transportation


A full week of studio sessions at the Franklin County Board of Elections building at 1700 Morse Road present another round of opportunities for you to share transportation ideas for your neighborhood and the City of Columbus! Stop in for 20 minutes or as long as you like to share your thoughts with the planning experts. Workshops include:

  • Open Work Session: Monday, July 13, 1–6p
  • Opening Presentation: Monday, July 13, 6p
  • Open Work Session: Tuesday, July 14, 11a–6p
  • Open Work Session: Wednesday, July 15, 2–8p
  • Open Work Session: Thursday, July 16, 9a–2p
  • Closing Presentation: Thursday, July 16, 6p
  • Yay Bikes! Bike Ride**: Friday, July  17, 9:30–11:30a

**Yay Bikes! has been hired to lead a guided tour of Northeast Columbus that introduces cyclists to several types of roadways and bicycle infrastructure, and prepares them to safely and confidently navigate traffic. This ride is open to the general public! It will cover:

  • How the roadways and their infrastructure supports and/or complicates bicycling
  • Bicycle traffic law
  • Proper lane positioning
  • Avoiding common crashes
  • Interacting peacefully with motor vehicle traffic
  • Q&A on any additional bicycle-related topic of interest

Can’t attend a work session, presentation or the ride? Share your input on the Connect Columbus website!

Announcing the official 2015 Bike the Cbus tee

Award-winning Columbus artist Thom Glick designed this year’s tees.
In addition to being a bicycle enthusiast, Thom Glick is an award-winning illustrator. For over a decade he has worked with clients from all over the world, producing illustrations for magazines and newspapers, galleries, greeting cards and apparel. In 2015, Thom completed an MFA at Columbus College of Art & Design, with a focus on visual narrative and animation. Currently, Thom lives with his partner, Zuzana, and their dog, Pilot, in the German Village area. You can follow Thom’s work online at www.thomglick.comwww.thomglick.tumblr.comand

This “Glick original” tee is included in every pre-August 11 Bike the Cbus registration!

Catherine Girves appointed to the new Central Ohio Greenways board

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.14.11 AM

As of June 11, 2015, Catherine Girves has officially been appointed as a member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)’s Central Ohio Greenways (COG) Board. Her term will run through December 2016.

The COG Board will be a standing board on the Sustainability Advisory Committee that guides the economic and environmental sustainability activities of MORPC and its working groups. The board will provide input and direction on matters of regional importance as they pertain to trails in Central Ohio, addressing such topics as trail development, marketing, funding, education and programming. Its vision is to increase trails and trail usage for recreation and transportation.

Yay Catherine!

Out & About with Yay Bikes! — June 2015

The Yay Bikes! board plots world domination.

Welcome to the monthly feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, program delivery, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Representation and outreach like this is what you fund with your membership dollars and major gifts, folks! Behold, June:

June 1

Urban Cincy article: “Ohio Maintains Position as Nation’s 16th Best State for Bicyclists” 

Leading 3 How We Roll educational rides with OSU First Year Peer Leaders

Information session @ MORPC

Regular meeting of MORPC’s Community Advisory Council, on which Catherine serves

June 2

Ride Buddy a.m. commute with an Ohio Consumer Council employee

Ride Buddy p.m. commute with a MORPC employee

June 3

Ride Buddy a.m. commute with a Nationwide Children’s Hospital employee

Ride Buddy p.m. commute with an NBBJ employee

June 4

Ride Buddy lunchtime ride with 3 Grange Insurance employees

Meeting with MORPC’s Ride Solutions team

June 5

Leading 3 How We Roll educational rides with OSU First Year Peer Leaders

Yay Bikes! employee Steve Puhl Jr and super volunteer Shyra Allen earned League Cycling Instructor certification

June 6

Ride Buddy practice commute with a Nationwide Insurance employee

Ride Buddy practice commute with 2 Grange Insurance employees

Continue reading Out & About with Yay Bikes! — June 2015

Pedal Instead receives Ohio EPA grant to upgrade corral

Watch for the transformation of this uninspired space into a vibrant educational wonderland, just in time for OSU Football season!

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) awards grants targeting environmental issues in Ohio around which there is a significant need for more education and awareness. In 2015, the Ohio EPA determined, due to significant environmental impacts in our state, an immediate need for education to reduce air emissions. And so, OEEF sought to fund innovative projects that would provide citizens with the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions in this area, foremost by promoting alternative modes of transportation.

Enter our bicycle corrals, aka “Pedal Instead”. As you likely know, Pedal Instead provides free, secure bicycle parking for cyclists at festivals and other events. And while the program serves obviously serves cyclists, it is unique within the bicycle community in that it interfaces with thousands of diverse non- bicycling members of the general public, who might not enter a bike shop or go on a ride but will request information from volunteers as they pass a corral. Yay Bikes! therefore requested that OEEF help us maximize Pedal Instead’s educational potential by making our corrals more visible, attractive and engaging to cyclists, “bike curious” members of the general public and others attending community events and festivals in Central Ohio. We are thrilled to announce that Yay Bikes! has received an OEEF grant to accomplish the following:

  1. Expand awareness of the Pedal Instead service, encouraging more people to ride to events
  2. Increase the extent to which Pedal Instead provides actionable information to event attendees regarding transportation bicycling
  3. Link event attendees to the on-road educational experiences available through Yay Bikes!, to increase their cycling knowledge and confidence

With OEEF’s support, we now have the ability to expand the purview of our bicycle corrals such that they become mobile community education spaces actively helping people integrate transportation bicycling into their everyday lives. WOW. What an incredible opportunity!

If you have thoughts about how to make this happen and wish to participate in our corral redesign process (during July 2015), please contact Meredith.

Out & About with Yay Bikes! — May 2015

bexley ride
“Selfies with Catherine”, Bexley edition: Public Service Director Bill Dorman, Mayor Ben Kessler, Chief of Police Larry Rinehart & Councilwoman Deneese Owen

Welcome to the feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, program delivery, meetings and speaking engagements from the previous month. Behold, May:

May 1 — Leading a How We Roll educational ride with Bexley’s Mayor Kessler, Councilwoman Owen, Chief Rinehart & Service Director Dorman

May 2 — Presenting @ Bexley’s Safety Education & Expo

May 2 — Pinchflat Bike Poster Show

May 4 — Fundraiser @ Lineage Brewing

May 6 — Delivering the safety speech @ North of Broad & Near East Side Neighborhood Pride community bike ride

May 6 — Meeting with Greg Lestini @ Bricker & Eckler LLP

May 7 — Regular meeting of Mayor Coleman’s Green Team, Transportation Committee, on which Catherine serves

May 7 — Planning meeting for Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence 

May 9 — Year of Yay! ride

May 12 — Columbus Dispatch article: “Annual Ride of Silence”

Continue reading Out & About with Yay Bikes! — May 2015

Yay Bikes! announces new downtown-area Ride Buddy program

bike buddiesRide Buddies Cassie & Catherine arrive to their final destination — OSU’s Center for Folklore Studies!

Make this the year your commute becomes active! Now through June 30, all downtown-area workers and residents have a FREE opportunity to practice riding to and from work by bicycle, with extensive support from the certified cycling experts at Yay Bikes!.

Last week, MORPC selected Yay Bikes! as the contractor for their Downtown Modal Shift Pilot Program, decisively investing in our work to encourage more trips by bicycle. And the mode shift program we’ve developed is—go figure—the perfect expression of our theory of change! We’re excited for the opportunity to offer extremely targeted programming that engenders meaningful change in the lives of downtown-area workers and residents.

For the entire month of June 2015, Yay Bikes! will offer ANYONE living or working in Downtown Columbus a personal Ride Buddy that escorts them and/or a small group of colleagues by bicycle on work-related trips, whether that be to/from work, to/from lunch or to/from other frequent destinations. Fully customized rides might be:

Work commutes: Over custom rides before or after work, we will ride with employees of downtown area businesses on their first bicycle commutes, whether directly from/to their homes or from/to a designated Park & Pedal location.

CoGo rides: Over lunch hour rides, we will familiarize employees with the CoGo Bike Share system and escort them to destinations downtown, e.g. their favorite lunch spots or frequent meeting sites.

Professional development rides: Over workday rides, we will showcase sites specific to employees’ profession (e.g., bicycle infrastructure for public service employees or neighborhood rides for charitable foundation staff) that engage them in a deeper understanding of their work.

Social / team-building rides: Over rides following work, we will offer unique educational experiences to groups of employees who want to explore downtown destinations and/or a particular theme by bike (e.g., touring the facilities offered by several bike friendly businesses).

Additionally, the program is open to downtown-area employers who want a more robust experience extended to all their employees—with information sessions, corporate communications and ride experiences intentionally designed as an expression of their mission and culture. Organizations that have already signed on are: Ulmer & Berne, Bricker & Eckler, Grange Insurance, Capital Crossroads SID, City of Columbus Department of Public Service, City of Bexley, Nationwide Insurance, State Auto, Huntington, MORPC and COTA. Space is available for 3 additional organizations of any size ready to roll with a fast-paced onslaught of rides, communications and data collection during the month of June.

Contact us to schedule a ride that works for you, or to become a participating organization! It is really, truly, for seriously just that simple.