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.

“There were no flea circuses or orangutans on this trip”

With all due respect to Tom Robbins, as there were no flea circuses or orangutans on today’s trip, more than 70 riders set out to see another roadside attraction during the Yay Bikes June ride. This month’s Year of Yay ride is the 42nd since the program began. The theme of the June Year of Yay ride was Oddities and Craig Clark led the way.

The ride set out under sunny skies from Whole Foods in Upper 3Arlington. We meandered through Upper Arlington, diverting from out original planned route alongside Griggs Reservoir. The first stop was a true roadside attraction, The Bill Moose Memorial. Bill Moose was the last of the Wyandot Indians 5that lived in Ohio. His Memorial and gravesite is in a small park at the corner of Lane Road and Riverside Drive.

We left the Bill Moose memorial and headed east on Lane Road, making a right turn after a small portion of the hill that seems to never end. Riding through the old Shelbourne Height and River Lawn neighborhoods of Upper Arlington we passed by another oddity, but did not stop, a chainsaw carved Golden Bear on oxford Drive. We regrouped at the corner of Fairlington and Fishinger, where an officer from the UAPD stopped traffic for us on Fishinger. Thanks!!!

We crossed the Scioto River on Fishinger, headed up the hill to one of our greatest challenges, getting 70 people across I-270 at Fishinger and Cemetery Road. We, riding as a group took the lane and made it over the bridge with no incidents. After a quick stop at Speedway to refill with water, we rode the last two miles to second stop.

The Early Television Museum in Hilliard was the next top of the day. A special1 thanks to Steve McVoy for opening his collection to the public. There are a couple of hundred sets on display and several more that are still in storage. Some of the favorites of the Yay Bike crowd were the Kuba Komet and the news truck.

0We left the museum to make the return trip back to Whole Foods, other than a roundabout and a railroad bridge we were obstacle free on the way back. The skies finally opened up on us once we got to Cambridge Boulevard. We only had to ride the last 2 miles wet and by the time we returned the sun was shining again.

Special thanks  to all of the volunteers for the ride; Cassie, Nick, Rahel, Shyra, Brian, Steve,

Craig (3rd from left)
Craig (3rd from left)

Julie, Catherine and Bob.  Also, thanks to all who stayed and supported Whole Foods, it is very important to thank them for supporting us.

Thanks Craig for the time taken to secure our destinations and write this follow up.


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.

2015 Ride of Silence Recap

high street ride of silence
Hundreds of cyclists stretch the length of High Street through the Short North. Photo credit: Bryan Barr

We have so many people to thank for making this year’s Ride of Silence experience such a meaningful one:

Event Planning Chair—Kathleen Koechlin

Planning Team members—John Bannon, Eliza Farrel, Rob Hendricks, Pat Landusky, David Curran, Jeff Gove, Rahel Babb, Abby Rhodebeck

Sponsors—Ohio Department of Transportation, Westerville Bicycle Club,

Speakers—Mark Gibson (reading the Ride of Silence poem), Columbus Chief of Police Kim Jacobs (her comments are here), State Representative Mike Stinziano (his comments are here), Yay Bikes! Executive Director Catherine Girves (her comments are here).

Escorts—The Columbus Police Department

MediaThe Dispatch and nbc4i

Food truckTatoheads

PhotographerBryan Barr

Bagpiper—Scott Caputo

And—Leslie Strader, Office of the Mayor; Julie Walcoff and Michelle May, Ohio Department of Tranpostation

And+—All the riders who braved the chill, followed the rules and made a silent statement of solidarity with those whose lives have been impacted by unsafe driving.

Continue reading 2015 Ride of Silence Recap

Columbus Police Chief Kimberly Jacobs — 2015 Ride of Silence

chief jacobs ride of silence
Chief Jacobs addresses the crowd at Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence. Photo credit: Bryan Barr

The following is the full text from Chief Jacob’s comments at the Ride of Silence. We thank Chief Jacobs for her presence at the event and for her work to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.

My name is Kim Jacobs and I’m the Chief of Police for the City of Columbus. I’m here to speak and ride with you tonight on behalf of Mayor Coleman.

Recently many of us took to the streets to celebrate National Bike to Work Day. That was a fun and exciting day, seeing so many cyclists together making a statement. Today, the statement we make is a somber one as we remember and honor those who have tragically been killed or injured while riding a bike.

Many of you probably read about a great city employee, Bill Lewis. Bill and his intern Stephanie Fibelkorn were walking to a meeting, and had nearly made it to the bus stop just a block from where we stand now, when they were hit and killed as a result of a reckless driver. No, Bill wasn’t on his bike at the time, but he was using a public street, like we all do when we ride, with full rights to be there. Bill spent many years of his professional life advocating, planning and designing roadways to accommodate all users. We will continue this important work always in his memory. We miss him and fondly remember him and the others who have been killed while cycling.

Yay Bikes! Executive Director Catherine Girves — 2015 Ride of Silence

catherine ride of silence
Yay Bikes! Executive Director Catherine Girves addresses the crowd at Central Ohio’s 2015 Ride of Silence. Photo credit: Bryan Barr

The following is the full text from Catherine Girves’s comments at the Ride of Silence.

2/21/2014 Frederick Carey

3/18/2014 Zachary Kerns

3/22/2014 Joe Giampapa

5/8/2014 Cleo Turpin

5/30/2014 Glenn Barna

5/30/2014 Lafayette Orr

7/18/2014 Dorothy Miller

8/8/2014 Harvey Bell

Mike Schengelsberger

Steve Barbour

Brenda Hoffman

The list goes on . . . and on . . . and tragically on.

My name is Catherine Girves, and I am the Executive Director of Yay Bikes! Tonight we join thousands of others worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride to honor and remember people who have been injured or killed while riding their bikes on public roadways.

But we are not just here to remember, we are here to act so that another name is never added to the list of those we’ve already lost.

You were given a card when you arrived that will help you take action to create peaceful streets in our communities.

If you live or work here in Central Ohio, I ask you, I beg you, to participate in the planning process currently taking place to decide what our streets will look like for the next 30 years. The next set of public meetings for the Connect Columbus plan are from June 1st through the 4th. If you can’t make a meeting make comments on the web site, attend a future meeting, make sure your voice is heard. Make sure we are planning for safe streets for people who ride bikes.

At the Statewide level, I ask you to remind your legislators that roads need to be safe for those who ride bikes. Call or write your State legislator and ask them to co-sponsor HB 154 a law that would require people driving cars to give people riding bikes at least 3 feet when passing.

And at the Federal level – our wonderful Secretary of the US Department of Transportation, Secretary Foxx, has issued a challenge to every Mayor in the United States. The Mayors Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets raises the bar for creating safe conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians. Mayor Coleman has accepted this challenge and the Department of Public Service is working in every area of the challenge. If you are not from Columbus, return to your home community and ask your Mayor to follow in kind.

Further, I make a personal ask of each of you. Ride roads in ways that are visible and predictable. Take the space you need to ensure your visibility to people driving cars. Signal your intentions to change lanes. Stop at lights and stop signs. Ride no more than two abreast. And ask every other person you ride with to do the same. In your everyday behaviors create safer streets for all.

I will not have another one of us lost. Join Yay Bikes! in demanding action in good street design, legislation to protect vulnerable road users, and enforcement of laws that protect people who ride bikes. Support us in educating people how to ride roads lawfully.

In a few moments we will head out to ride, two abreast on public roads. Maintain your position once we start. Silently honor those we have lost.