Our public input methodology & how to get involved

photoYay Bikes! members on a ride to evaluate proposed changes to 3rd and 4th Streets in downtown Columbus.

With our inaugural infrastructure input project about to be wrapped, we’re confident that this formula fits well with our culture and, more importantly, that it works.  Here’s the breakdown of how we’re going to handle each request we receive for cyclist feedback, and how you can get involved. Of course anyone may feel free to provide their own feedback directly to the city, whether in writing or at their public input meetings, but this is how Yay Bikes! will generate our official feedback on proposed infrastructure projects. Although our leadership is comprised of some damn impressive bicycle experts (ahem… if we do say so…!), we refuse to decide our advocacy positions from within a board room. We believe the process described below is a more robust and participatory process than you will find anywhere in the country, and we hope you will become a member so you can have your voice heard.

Notification of Opportunities

Yay Bikes! will announce opportunities to provide input on proposed plans on this blog, on our Facebook page and in our newsletter. Be sure you are linked to us in several ways to ensure you get the message!

Review of Proposed Plan

Yay Bikes! staff and volunteer leadership will review and discuss project design maps, drafting notes for and planning a group ride of the corridor(s).

Group Ride for Yay Bikes! Members

All Yay Bikes! members are invited to a group ride on which we evaluate the proposed bicycle accommodations. Staff will review maps with the group one hour before we ride, then catalog input from participants during the ride.

Follow-up Research

Yay Bikes! staff and volunteer leadership will conduct follow-up research based on input from the larger group, from which a written draft of feedback and recommendations for city staff will be prepared. This report will include:

  • What works well in the proposed design
  • Specific areas of concern with the proposed design
  • Potential solutions or mitigations
Engineers/City Staff Ride

Yay Bikes! staff will present the report in a short presentation to engineers and city prior to a group ride of the corridors’ proposed changes.

Final Revision & Submission

Yay Bikes! staff and volunteer leadership again revise their report based on  information from project staff and additional research, then formally submit it for consideration.

Publishing & Promoting Feedback

Yay Bikes! publishes its feedback to this blog and promotes both the process and its outcomes to various media outlets.

Participation in Public Discourse

Yay Bikes! staff and volunteer leadership participate, and organize others to participate, in the public discourse about the corridor being touched. This might include: providing testimony at public hearings, speaking to the press, writing letters to the editor, writing blog posts on the Yay Bikes! web site, posting items on Yay Bikes! social media outlets, encouraging communication from other bike friendly groups to their constituencies, attending public meetings, etc.

Rinse + Repeat

October 2014 Year of Yay! Spooooookay!

Could we have asked for finer weather?  No!  The spirits were with us the entire day, they escorted us, and we YOY Whole Foodsappreciated them guiding us through what might have been a truly frightening experience.  Cherie Antonia, our ride leader, took us out of YOY2the Whole Foods parking lot a little after 10 am on this spirited, beautiful, fall morning.  With a mild nip in the air,   we meandered through Upper Arlington, Grandview and Marble Cliff.  We picked up the lower Scioto Greenway adjacent to Riverside Dr and crossed the bridge over the River into the community of Valley View. We headed southeast towards our first possessed destination, Camp Chase Cemetery.  Camp Chase was a military staging and training camp established in Columbus, Ohio in May 1861 after the start of the American Civil War. It also included a section for use as a prison camp for confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. The camp was closed and dismantled after the war, and the siteYOY Chase 1 has been redeveloped for residential and commercial use, except for the Confederate States Army cemetery containing 2,260 graves.  Tales are toldYOY camp chase of a lady in Grey weeping quietly over the grave of one Benjamin F. Allen,  a private in the 50th Tennessee regiment company. While leaving several riders claimed to have witnessed an ethereal,  melancholy presence.  Some said they could hear a very low and soft moaning as we quietly exited grave side.

Undaunted we cautiously proceeded to our next ghostly destination.  Cherie expertly navigated us through the West Side of Columbus toward the Green Lawn Abbey.  This allowed us to approach the Green Lawn Cemetery from its southern end and gave us an uncommon glimpse at what birders around the country know to be premier and sacred land.  Along with a vast number of dead people are some ancient and notable trees residing in this cemetery.  It is those trees that host those many birds and make Green Lawn the National Geographic and Audubon acclaimed treasure that it is. Arriving at Green Lawn Abbey exposed us to yet another strange and exciting experience. YOY3We were greeted by a volunteer docent who shared the remarkable tale of this crypt (Listen Here).    Built in 1927 by the Columbus Mausoleum Company, It was the finest and largest in the area with room for 600 interments (aka dead people). The Columbus Mausoleum Company built numerous other mausoleums in the surrounding area but this was was their showpiece.  Built to last forever and to inspire awe, it had 1½“ thick granite walls, marble interior and an imported tile roof.  Everyone enjoyed occasionally recognizing some of the names of those persons who left their marks on Columbus and its neighborhoods.YOY HIlls

As everyone knows, it takes a lot of energy to journey into the world of spirits and ghosts. Although the spirits mentored us throughout  as we journeyed, they did not feed our bodies, so we made our way to the Hills Market downtown for physical nourishment.   On a ride we did not too long ago, Yay Bikes! member John Bannon shared that the part of long rides he loves the most are the stops.  No truer point could be made on this day.  We shared camaraderie, and fueled our bellies  to take the last of our spirit-world journeys for the day.  Pictured above is our executive director, Catherine Girves and her partner in marriage, Jeff Gove.  Although you can’t tell from the photo, they were both very scared  during the ride and it was only after this refueling and much support from other riders that they could once again smile.

It was time for us to move on and Cherie was once again up the task. Not too far from the Market, but deeper into our netherworld travels, our final stop awaited us at James Thurber’s House.  YOY thurber From 1913-1917, Thurber attended the Ohio State University. It was at this time that his family rented the house we visited. It was dedicated as the Thurber House in 1984. After some of us finished touring the home we were entertained by an enthusiast who began sharing a number of witty Thurber quotes and factoids about the author.  We all gained a sense of the celebrity who once lived in this modest home.  

Inundated with the spirit, we headed back, sailing off on two wheels to return to the start.  A number of us celebrated the culmination of our ghostly meandering with some spirits (the kind that come in a Pilsner glass or snifter) at Whole Foods.  We made merry and talked about another delightful Year of Yay! It was an experience that allowed us to celebrate not only joy of cycling, but of just being alive.   

, but she’s better known as the Lady in Grey. She weeps quietly over the grave of one Benjamin F. Allen, a private in  Tennessee Regiment, Company D. Allen’s grave is number 233 out of 2,260 Confederate soldiers laid to rest in this two-acre plot in the capital city of a very Northern state. 

Register for 2014 BikePed Summit

bikepedsummitforsliderThere is still time to register for the FREE Ohio Department of Transportation 2014 BikePed Summit on November 4, 2014. Keynote speaker, Jessica Roberts with Alta Planning+Design will be joined by professionals from all over the state (including Yay Bikes! Executive Director, Catherine Girves), to discuss programs that help people walk and bike safely and more often. Session topics include: education, policy, health, engineering, advocacy, economics, and planning. This is a great opportunity to spend the day with others interested in working together to make Ohio a world class bicycle friendly community.

Become a GOOBI on the inaugural infrastructure commentary ride with Yay Bikes!

GOOBI: one who likes to Geek Out On Bicycle Infrastructure
Yay Bikes! has been asked by the City of Columbus, Department of Public Service to provide feedback regarding bicycle infrastructure proposed for 3rd and 4th Streets in downtown Columbus. To provide Public Service Director Davies and Deputy Director Gallagher with productive input on the designs, we are launching a new infrastructure ride crit series for our fellow GOOBIes,  through which we will ride the streets, imagine how the proposed changes will affect us as cyclists and deliver our commentary on a future ride with project staff. Here’s how it will work this time around:


October 15, 6–7:30pm – Interested Yay Bikes! members* are welcome ride with us to evaluate the proposed design and offer their thoughts about it. Registration is limited to 20 people, so let us know by Oct 14 that you’ll be joining us!

Later in October – Yay Bikes! leadership will again ride the route, this time with project staff, including engineers, and communicate the larger groups’ feedback.

Sometime thereafter — Yay Bikes! will publish a blog post about the experience and any outcomes from it.

Your patience is appreciated as we flesh out our infrastructure advocacy methodology. We hope to have fun with it, of course, and also to involve as many people in on-bike design commentary as possible. Our board and staff aren’t the only bike experts in town, and we aren’t going to act like we are. Our job is to coordinate the community’s response to proposed infrastructure, not dictate it. Please join us!

*This opportunity is a benefit of Yay Bikes! membership, and is open exclusively to our members. Please join today to ride with us on the 15th!

Year of Yay! call for 2015 button artist and ride leaders

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Call for 2015 button artist 
It’s button designin’ time again! We are seeking an artist to design a series of 12 buttons depicting next year’s ride themes. To apply, submit one 1.25″ button design with the theme “Underground Railroad” to Meredith by Nov 15. Buttons should reflect both the theme + the bicycling, and they should include our url. The board will vote on submitted designs Nov 17, and the art must be complete by Jan 2. This is a paid gig, yep yep!


Call for 2015 ride leaders
Ride leaders work with staff to select a theme, coordinate 3 stops on that theme and create a route between them. If you’ve got a great ride idea, we have a few spots open for 2015! Contact Catherine with your preferred month and a proposed theme to get the ole bike rollin’.


Volunteer to help on rides
Year of Yay! rides are lead and heavily supported by our volunteers! Contact Rahel Babb to learn about available opportunities.

Bike the C-Bus Superstars 2014

In 2014, we once again leaned heavily on Bike the Cbus founder, lead organizer, and champion – Ray George. But even Ray, as incredible as he is, could not do this alone. Here is the wonderful team that made Bike the C-Bus 2014 happen:

Nik Olah, Bambo Sanusi, Mitzy Noisette, Roger Beck, Michelle Rucker, Doug Fisher, Annette McKinney, Catherine Vogel, Rahel Babb, Thomas Babb, Brian Meyers, Lawrence Leonard, Thomas Leonard, Roderick Leonard Sr., Deanne Kirillow, Tim Cristy, Brian Laliberte, Oulanje Regan, Cherie Snyder, Brian Jackson, John Bannon, Steve Puhl, Josh Gallaher, Phil Weckesser, Wiley Jackson, Cartik Saravana, Alex Smith, John Cresencia, Alex Anderson, Andrea Patton, John Wyman, Katie Parsons, Gloria Hendricks, Evy Cresencia, Talon Hendricks, Ken Cohen, Aliceane Innskeep, Becky Curran, Joe Powell, Jeff Gove, Kat O’Dowd,  Rob Hendricks, Mark Ervin, Nancy Neimuth, Trace Hendricks, Jay Cheplowitz, Mary Cheplowitz, Ben Ko, Meredith Joy, Bill Ferriot, Kai Landis, Annie Womak, and Catherine Girves

And our fabulous major sponsors:

And the fabulous bike shops who provided free repair services:

And our fabulous rest stops sponsors:

Thank you. Seriously. Thank You. This event would not be possible without the dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors who make it happen each year. We love you all!

Tour the city this fall with Columbus Art Rides


Join Columbus Public Health, Yay Bikes! and CoGo Bike Share for Columbus Art Rides — free, guided tours of public art and history in Columbus! The 2-hour tours are led by professional guides who share safe riding tips and highlight some of the best of Columbus’ art, architecture and history along the way. Learn more and register now for an upcoming ride:

Don’t own a bike? No problem! CoGo Bike Share is supplying bikes for all registered riders.

Columbus Alive finds the Joy of Yay Bikes!

“Deciding to become a bike commuter was a no-brainer for Yay Bikes! progca-u-qandaram director Meredith Joy. The decision to help others become bike commuters as well, was all heart. Joy and her cohorts at Yay Bikes! are dedicated to encouraging commuter cycling through a people-centric approach. Through hands-on riding groups like How We Roll, to large-scale inclusive bike tours, like the seventh annual Bike The C-Bus event on Aug. 30, Joy and Co. are working to make the transition from vehicle to bike a smooth ride for everybody.  Read what Meredith has to say here.

Photo by Meghan Ralston

Raffle Prizes for Bike the C-Bus


Every rider who rides Bike the CBus is automatically entered in to a raffle of cool prizes! Here is a list of 2014 donors and their prizes valuing over $2800:

  • Bontrager – 2 lights – $30 value
  • Cafe Brioso – 5 $20 gift certificates – $100 value
  • CoGo – annual membership – $75 value
  • Columbus Brew Adventures – 2 gift certificates – $110 value
  • Columbus Food Adventures – 2 gift certificates – $120 value
  • Cornerstone – growler, first fill up, and 2 glasses  – $30 value
  • COSI – 4 admission passes and 4 movie passes – $149.80 value
  • Crook Cycle Right – 4 gift certificate – $100 value
  • Fir Club – 3 four week on ramp courses – $525 value
  • Franklin Park Conservatory – 4 admission passes – $48 value
  • Hot Chicken Takeover – 4 dinners – $78 value
  • Jeni’s Ice Cream – 5 trio gift certificates,  bike jersey – $105 value
  • Knog – 2 lights, 2 sets of gloves, lock, patch kits – $150 value
  • Nutcase – helmet – $69 value
  • Paradise Garage – 5 $20 gift cards – $100 value
  • PedalDabs – 2 sets of pedals – $70 value
  • REI – rack trunk bag – $42.50 value
  • Schwalbe – 3 sets of tires – $180 value
  • Seagull Bags – bag – $125
  • Stem Captain – 8 stem tops, 2 light up stem caps, 3 pairs socks – $239.70 value
  • The Crest – growler, hot sauce, $25 gift certificate – $50 value
  • The Tavern – 5 $10 gift certificates – $50 value
  • Triformance – 4 $50 gift certificates – $200 value
  • Upper Cup Coffee – 2 pounds of coffee – $20 value
  • Yellow Brick – 3 $25 gift certificates – $75 value

Contact Ray to offer your goods or services as a prizes for 2015.