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, September:
Bread Breaking grand opening event at Whole Foods Easton, at which we were announced as the Q4 wooden nickel donation recipients
Launch event for OSU’s Bike Share program
Registration and packet pick-up Bike the Cbus and Bike the Cbus+
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, August:
Ohio State Fair helmet fit for 400 children
Wrap meeting for the 2015Ride of Silence planning committee
Leading the 5th x NW National Night Out neighborhoodride
Route vetting ride for Bike the Cbus
Participation in ‘The Courage toLead’@ Columbus Foundation, a professional development opportunityfor select local nonprofit executives
[Ed note: Special thanks to September’s ride leader and special guest blog contributor David Curran!]
First of all – a big thank to the almost 70 riders who showed up for the September Year of Yay! ride! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I thought the ride went well despite it going long and having what I was told was a record number of flat tires and maintenance issues. This was not a record that I had hoped to break.
A big thank you to Molly Patterson and Columbus Architectural Salvage for hosting the first stop on our ride. It was great seeing so many bicycles scattered all over the front lawn. Some of my favorite comments were “I had no idea Columbus had something like this” and “Discovering this place is going to cost my husband and I a lot of money”. This shop is really unique and I wish more people in Columbus were aware of it.
Maddy Davis was our guide for the tour of MAPFRE Stadium. Another big thank you to Maddy for cheerfully leading a group that was almost double the size I guessed it would be. It was an interesting experience to be in the stadium without the crowds and the noise of a game day. Getting to tour the locker rooms and stand on the pitch was a real bonus. Since the tour went long, some opted to head back after this stop.
One funny highlight of the ride for me was on our next leg through east campus. While going down 11th Ave, we passed a pre-football game college party on the front lawn of a house. They saw us coming and several came to the streetside and jokingly held out their red solo cups as an impromptu beverage station for the bike tour going by.
The ride got longer as we had more maintenance issues on the next leg of the ride and had an extended stop on Michigan Ave. Kudos to everyone who helped out with maintenance. Additional thanks to everyone for their patience as we worked to get going again. Since the ride’s progress was slow at this point, more opted to head back after this impromptu stop as well.
Once we got going, the final 12 continued to the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad Station at Broad and Starling. This is the last remaining downtown station in Columbus. Since we weren’t able to tour the inside, I would encourage everyone to visit it if they are ever downtown during the day and have a few minutes to walk in. It’s been well taken care of and the main waiting room has the original ticket windows and some railroad memorabilia and photographs.
The final 7-mile leg back to Whole Foods was without incident and was quickly followed by a well-deserved refreshment. Thanks to everyone who helped out as leads and sweeps and to Ken for planning a great route!
Bike the Cbus is our annual ride to encourage exploration of Columbus neighborhoods at the speed of bicycle. Ray George, Yay Bikes! Board Chair, discusses the growth and future of the event, now in its eighth year.
Already warm, the day started as a typical August morning. Despite the heat, about 70 cyclists were gearing up for the monthly themed ride Year of Yay! has become. Amongst us were children and some Year of Yay Bikes! first-timers.
9 miles later, we arrived at Food Fort. Several food trucks were heading out to start their day as we arrived. Jen Gable, Food Fort Administrator, opened up one of the garage doors allowing us the cool of inside and an opportunity to replenish our water bottles. Jen described how Food Fort and ECDI rent out storage and prep areas for the businesses, as well as providing business loans to get them off the ground. During the kitchen tour, Jesse and Katie of Nellie’s Natural Ice Pops were in there readying a batch of popsicles. We would be seeing them and sampling their wares at the last stop!
Onward to our next stop which took us through central city to Franklinton. In a small unassuming building next to Franklinton Gardens, some of the town’s tastiest potato chips are born. Brian Thornton, founder/creator of OH! Chips, welcomed us with his traditional pirate flag and bowls of chips for sampling. He walked us through the chip-making process – 100 pounds of potatoes comes out to a surprisingly small amount of chips after all is said and done. Also on display was his first fryer – a donut fryer he bought off Craigslist. He had started off at Food Fort with that fryer until demand outstripped his capacity there, necessitating the need for the factory.
The final stretch of the ride was almost entirely on the Scioto Greenway Trail. The shaded portions and forested quiet was a welcome change of pace from the streets. In front of The Commissary , Asian Persuasion Food Truck, one of Columbus’ newest trucks, was ready with some delicious Filipino food. Jesse and Katie were back with a cooler full of popsicles in refreshing flavors. Inside, JC’s Just Chili had dropped off a tureen of amazing gazpacho for anyone to try. It was delicious. Karen (filling in for Commissary founder Kate Djupe, who was on a much needed vacation) invited the group to explore the space and explained some of the upcoming events and cooking classes.
Finally the group returned to Whole Foods, where more eating, drinking and good camaraderie took place. It’s going to take a couple of rides to work off all that was eaten that day…yet another successful Year of Yay! Thank you John.
During the past 6 weeks we have led more than 40 transportation planning and design professionals — via the Connect Columbus project and MORPC-funded professional development rides with Columbus Public Service, MORPC and ODOT employees — on educational rides throughout the city, in groups of 1 to 5 people
You read that right. MORE THAN 40 TRANSPORTATION PROFESSIONALS.
And over and over, we’ve heard how the experience of riding with us has helped participants reconsider their approach to infrastructure design, as well as how they’ve been inspired to make these rides standard operating procedure for all transportation professionals, both locally and throughout the state. Here’s just a taste of the feedback we received:
“[My favorite part of the ride was]…being able to see the integration between the designs on paper, the cyclist themselves, and the driver interaction and how it all comes together. There are definitely eye opening things when riding out on the streets first hand and I would recommend all designers/operations people experience it to have that background knowledge.”
Wow. See THIS is how infrastructure advocacy is done, folks. One intimate ride at a time, with the teams who determine what is designed and what is funded. Getting professionals out on bikes, making connections between designs on paper and the lived experience of bicycling — well, it just makes all the difference. So this is what we do at Yay Bikes!. It’s why we’re unique.
It’s also why we ask for your support. Because teaching people well takes something more than a brochure or a video or a list of tips. It takes a thoughtful, meaningful interaction that fosters learning and growth. Which is, admittedly, quite the investment of organizational resource — but one that we can already see will prove long on returns for Ohio’s bicycling community.
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.
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.
[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.
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!