Safe Routes to School: Fall Semester Wrap-up

Fall Semester Wrap-up

Safe Routes to School programming wrapped up the Fall semester last week at Johnson Elementary School! This semester, SRTS reached 2,000 students at 13 different schools in Fort Collins, and checked 1,282 bikes for any maintenance issues thanks to support from Recycled Cycles, Peloton, Trek, Brave New Wheel, VeloFix, Homeward Alliance Bike Repair Team, Joseph Moore, Stuart Culp, John Byers, and the UC Health bicycle emergency response team made up of Lizzie, Drew, Zach and Kip. 
 

After School Bike Club

Thanks to funding from the FoCo Fondo Fest, put on by Zack and Whitney Allison, and Jake Arnold, Safe Routes to School was able to resume Bike Club at Lincoln Middle School for the Fall semester. Over 15 students attended the Bike Club, who, over a four-week span, jelled into a well-lubed team of cyclists riding 15 miles on the last day! Students ranged from not knowing how to ride a bike on day one to very experienced riders. No matter their ability, students got to enjoy an after-school club that involved a healthy activity in a safe, welcoming space. We can’t wait for a Spring Club, and hopefully additional funding for more clubs in more schools.
 

Walking Club

Thanks to Rose Samaniego, SRTS Instructor and Master Naturalist, a walking club was started at Putnam Elementary. Students in this club learned about nutrition, hydration, proper foot wear and clothing. They were also taught ways to walk in any sort of weather and how to be a safe walker (how to cross a street and what to watch out for when walking). Club sessions start by walking around the school yard, and then venturing out for a mile. By the end of the sessions, students were walking 3 to 4 miles! We can’t wait to continue this program to help more students. 
 

Union Pacific Foundation Grant

We are excited to announce that we received a 20k grant from Union Pacific Foundation that will encourage safe behaviors and prevent accidents through education and awareness, particularly projects which focus on rail, driver, bike, and pedestrian safety through our SRTS program. This funding will allow for the possible expansion of SRTS programming to more high schools in Fort Collins and to schools outside the city limits. 

What’s Next?

Watch for next semesters expanded schedule on school rotation, plus information on after-school clubs, bike field trips and more. Safe Routes to School programming depends on donations and volunteers in order to operate. Consider volunteering or donating today by contacting Dot at dotdickerson@msn.com. 

Support Bike Fort Collins this Colorado Gives Day!

We have some exciting news…

For the first time in our history, Bike Fort Collins will be participating in Colorado Gives Day!

What is Colorado Gives Day? 

Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. For the ninth year, Community First Foundation and FirstBank are partnering to present Colorado Gives Day. On December 4, all around Colorado, community members and businesses will come together to support nonprofits across the state. 24 hours of supporting organizations who make great things happen in your community. 

Why support Bike Fort Collins? 

Our mission is to get more bikes on safer streets, all while advocating for equality and inclusion in cycling. From educating youth through Safe Routes to School programming; to providing access to bicycles through the Pace Bike Share; to hosting no-drop group rides; and through our grant-funded programming that allows us to go into lower-income communities to provide free helmets, lights, education and bicycle repair, Bike Fort Collins is for all cyclists, no matter their ability, income level or age. 

We can’t do what we do without support, and that is why this Colorado Gives Day, we are asking for any amount of donation so that we can continue to fulfill our mission. 

Additionally, we are also looking to expand our Safe Routes to School programming outside of the limits of Fort Collins, and need monetary support to do so.

To schedule your donation BEFORE December 4, visit our Colorado Gives Day page here

Thank you so much for your support, and ride on.   

 

2018 Election: County Commissioners and State Transportation Propositions

This Year Election Day is Tuesday November 6!

County clerk’s throughout the state have already begun mailing out ballots. While Coloradans can register and vote through Election Day, October 29 is the last day to register and receive a mail-in ballot. 

As your local bicycling nonprofit, Bike Fort Collins feels informed voters are an important mechanism to support safe enjoyable roads for ALL cyclists in our community. Each election year there are candidates for both local offices and local ballot measures that could have some impact upon our bicycling environment. With the objective of educating voters on local candidates views towards bicycling, we’ve sent a short questionnaire to this years County Commissioner candidates. The questions and responses are below.

Bike Fort Collins cannot take any official position endorsing candidates, this is information for you to potentially consider when making your own decisions.

County Commissioner Candidate Questionaries 

Candidate: John Kefalas

Where is your favorite place to ride your bicycle?

I mostly ride my bicycle for commuting purposes such as when I need to be on the CSU campus. That said, I enjoy riding and running along the Poudre Trail – starting in Martinez Park and heading mostly west and sometimes east.

Recently a Fort Collins cyclist, Gary Moody, died in a tragic accident in the Berthoud area. What could be done to make our roads safer for all modes of transportation?  

Yes, the death of cyclist Gary Moody is a tragedy, and accidents between cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles happen all too often. Generally speaking, I would work to expand commuter and recreational bicycle ridership through public awareness and safety campaigns and improvements to our transportation infrastructure. In 2010, I sponsored HB-1147, the Bike Education and Safety Act (CRS 43-1-120), which provided safety curriculum for the schools and codified CDOT’s directive regarding bicycle and pedestrian safety, and I would follow up with CDOT’s pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator to assess how we’ve implemented this law and where there are existing gaps. I would work closely with schools and safe routes to school programs, Bike FC and other stakeholders to assess specific problem areas where safety is an issue as a way to prioritize our responses. I would have the county participate in public awareness education campaign for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists – use of helmets, following the rules of the road, distracted driving, 3-foot passing law. These are some ideas.

Do you support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county, and why or why not?

Yes, I support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county and the region to achieve zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries for all road users – bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers and transit users; seems to me we should include animals.

There are many bicycling infrastructure gaps between cities and unincorporated areas of Larimer County. How would you collaborate with cities to bridge those gaps? 

There are serious problems with traffic congestion and public safety on our roadways. We need to continue improving and maintaining our local and state roads and bridges, continue the progress on I-25 lane expansion and Hwy 34 repair work through the Big Thompson Canyon so people can get to work and school on time.  Nevertheless, as we grow, we can’t just pave our way out of congestion and accidents. I would use the Larimer County Transportation Master Plan as a guiding document and work with all the public and private-sector stakeholders including NFMPO, local jurisdictions, educational systems, businesses, law enforcement and community groups to ensure that our regional efforts are aligned, complementary and comprehensive. A perfect example of such collaboration is the Long View Trail – Fort Collins, Larimer County and Loveland.  I am interested in developing multi-modal transportation systems that serve everyone, including people who can’t or don’t drive, to connect our cities, towns and counties efficiently and conveniently.  I am interested in supporting state efforts to establish a phased-in front range commuter/passenger rail system. I’m interested in revisiting the pros/cons of establishing a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) that could include a regional light-rail system and other effective mass transit options while advancing smart/sustainable growth best practices such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that includes affordable housing.  I am interested in work with local public and private-sector transportation and health care providers to consider service delivery systems that improve our para-transit, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), and Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) services for aging adults and persons with chronic medical conditions.  As mentioned, I wish to expand commuter and recreational bicycle ridership.

Bike Fort Collins supports all forms of alternative transportation. What do you feel is the importance of regional transit in Northern Colorado? 

I believe I have answered this question in #4, and I would add that we need to collaboratively develop a regional and statewide multi-modal transportation system for many reasons including: air quality and public health, public safety and traffic congestion; provision of transportation choices especially with changing demographics – aging in place, reducing energy use in the transportation sector, etc.

Candidate: Sean Dougherty

Where is your favorite place to ride your bicycle?

I really like the Long View Trail.  It allows scenery and a leisurely pace, which is good for both avid cyclists and weekenders out for a couple of miles.

Recently a Fort Collins cyclist, Gary Moody, died in a tragic accident in the Berthoud area. What could be done to make our roads safer for all modes of transportation? 

I think bicycle/vehicle safety is more than just roads. It’s also awareness.  All parties need to be aware of what’s around them, at all times.  I ride a motorcycle, and have found that I, too, need to be hyper aware, due to autos not noticing me on the roadways.  On the County side of things, I was recently involved in revising the Transportation Master Plan, and this Plan calls for widening arterial roadways throughout the County, when road projects are being completed. Please see this link for more information.

Do you support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county, and why or why not?

I think that Vision Zero is an aspirational goal, but could be considered unrealistic due to costs and physical limitations, especially in the mountainous areas of Larimer County. I would be happy to work with County Staff and residents to investigate further.

There are many bicycling infrastructure gaps between cities and unincorporated areas of Larimer County. How would you collaborate with cities to bridge those gaps? 

Larimer County needs to be the convener between all municipalities in the County, for many reasons, including infrastructure.  Some of the more noticeable gaps in bicycle infrastructure occur in the Growth Management Areas, which are unincorporated parts of the County, but are dedicated to Municipal expansion.  This leaves the question of who will take on the expense and construction of these improvements.  Sometimes it will takes development to improve the roadways, in other circumstances, the County and the Municipality will need to work together.

Bike Fort Collins supports all forms of alternative transportation. What do you feel is the importance of regional transit in Northern Colorado?

Regional Transit can mean many different things.  Inside Municipal limits, it could mean a public transportation service.  In the County, it could mean car-pooling or vehicle sharing.  It can also mean rail or air passenger service.  One option for the County to prepare for the residents needs is to work with the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) towards seeing what is feasible and wanted in the region.  This could include dedicated parking and pickup/drop-off service for Bustang, possible future rail service, or more viable arterial roadways that can accommodate different types of transportation (bicycle, auto, bus, etc.)  We have a ways to go, but the County has a seat at the table with the NFRMPO and all of the municipalities in Northern Colorado, and these conversations are occurring monthly. I encourage anyone who wants to attend these meetings to please do so, and get involved with what the future will look like in our region!

Ballot Propositions

There are two statewide ballot propositions dealing with transportation this year. Both of them deserve your scrutiny; they have very different approaches to funding.

Proposition 110 or “Let’s Go Colorado”  

Proposition 110, also known as “Let’s Go, Colorado,” focuses on raising revenue allocated for the state highway fund (45%), for statewide multimodal transportation options (15%), and for local transportation priorities decided by cities (20%) and counties (20%). Funding would come from a state sales tax increase of 0.62 percent, or about 6 cents for every 10 dollars spent in Colorado. Such a tax increase is expected to generate $767 million in the first year; with 15% specifically for multimodal transportation options such as bicycling, transit and walking, and the additional potential for funding from cities and counties based on their priorities.

Bicycle Colorado has stated they believe Proposition 110 has the potential to improve everyday life for Coloradans by creating healthier communities.

Proposition 109, or “Fix Our Damn Roads”

This Proposition proposes borrowing up to $3.5 billion from the state treasury for road and bridge expansion, construction and maintenance. Fix Our Damn Roads aims to widen roads, and specifically states that the money may not be used for transit projects. That would include no bicycling projects. Because this proposition supports motor vehicles only, it address only 1 of the 3 triple bottom line sustainability items.

Bicycle Colorado has stated they do not support Proposition 109 since it would not contribute towards providing healthier communities.

Safe Routes to School: Always (Safely) Rolling

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program isn’t just busy in the school year, the summer is also a crazy time of year as we strive to get more kids on bikes safely! Read on to learn more about all we were up to this summer.  

Summer School: Preschool Safe Routes

This summer SRTS provided safety lessons to preschoolers in the Fullana program at Bauder and Beattie elementary schools. Eight students became new riders during this three-day program.

SRTS also spent time with preschoolers and students up to 10-years-old at Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center. For the older group of students, they were taken on bike rides along the Poudre Trail, with a mandatory stop for rock skipping and toe dipping. The younger kids stayed on campus and rode balance bikes, stopped at stop signs and practiced looking both ways when crossing in the crosswalk.

Youth Creating Places

New this summer: Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment and Urban Lab implemented the first ever tactical urbanism group specifically designed for students ages 12 and older.

What is tactical urbanism? It’s a practice that simulates how most cities are built. A piece-by-piece process that is especially popular in developing nations.  

What is the Institute for the Built Environment? IBE creates meaningful projects, builds team alignment and supports future leaders.

This summer program, titled “Youth Creating Places” aimed to inspire young minds to explore the city-scape, identify locations for improvements, plan some changes, design them, and finally build their own unique neighborhood ‘pop-up.’ The group of 17 succeeded in making improvements to Soft Gold Park.

In partnership with SRTS, children learned the importance of transportation in the project. One week of the program was dedicated to bike skills, safety and learning the rules of the road on the road. Along with the learning, the riders got to stop at the Poudre River for rope swinging and swimming.

Cycle hard play hard.

Hickory Park Celebration

In June, SRTS, along with the City of Fort Collins, Kaiser Permanente, La Familia, Create Places, Bike Fort Collins, and Larimer County to host the first ever “Open Streets” along Hickory Street in north Fort Collins. This event celebrated the partnerships in this neighborhood, the opening of the first Pace Bike Share station in this neighborhood, and the Active Living Program provided by Bike Fort Collins and Kaiser Permanente. SRTS provided a rodeo for youth during this event.

FoCo Fondofest

On August 4, thanks to Zach and Whitney Allison, and Jake Arnold, over 350 cyclists rode 12 – 100 miles on scenic gravel roads around Larimer and Weld Counties to raise $1,532 for Safe Routes Afterschool Bike Clubs. Special shoutout to the Allison-Arnold team and Source Endurance for the support, and a very fun ride! To learn more about the FoCo Fondofest, visit https://www.focofondo.com/events

Photo by Dion Dolva

SRTS Instructor Gathering

Did you know that Bike Fort Collins has a talented team of 20 trained SRTS instructors? These amazing people work hard during the spring and fall semesters cramming three to four Elementary Schools and four to five Middle Schools into a few short months of decent weather.

After the semester is over, the SRTS instructors deserve a celebration at the lake… which they happily accept.

Interested in Getting Involved?

Learn more about the SRTS program by visiting http://bikefortcollins.org/programs/safe-routes-to-school-2.

Learn more about volunteering by contacting Dot at dotdickerson@msn.com.

Why volunteer? Volunteers enhance the experience for all students and improve the overall success of the program.

Not able to volunteer but want to help fund the SRTS programming and instructors? Consider donating today! Learn more at http://bikefortcollins.org/support-bfc/give.

Stacy Sebeczek: From Bike Library to Pace Bike Share

Stacy Sebeczek loves costumes. She also loves bikes.

And she really loves biking in costumes.

Stacy is one of those people who makes you want to bike. Her energy is contagious, her ideas inspiring and her passion for this community of Fort Collins infectious.

While her road to Local Market Manager at Zagster was a ride she didn’t intentionally mean to start, once she set the pedals in motion, she knew she would never stop.

“Once I married my passion of bikes with my professional work life, something shifted in me,” Stacy said.

And, accurately enough, the shifting occured while working at a brewery that was founded on two-wheels: New Belgium Brewing.

After being tasked with the promotion of a scavenger hunt on bikes, Stacy fell into the bike community, and with it crashed into the next opportunity that set her path of working with bikes in real motion.

In 2012 the Bike Library, which started in 2008 thanks to collaboration from Bike Fort Collins, City of Fort Collins, Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, Colorado State University, Fort Collins Bike Co-op and New Belgium Brewing, found itself needing new leadership. It was a no brainer to offer that torch to Stacy.

“My purpose was, and is, to get people riding bikes,” she said. “It’s hard to say no to that job.”

Especially when you love what you are doing. Since the beginning of her career, and now with her role with Zagster, Stacy works with community members to get people on bikes.

“Everyday my work is compelling because of the great people I get to talk to who are excited about bikes,” Stacy said.

Even though her days revolve around bikes, she does get the occasional flat tire, both literally and figuratively.

“Some days test you mentally and physically,” she said. “But even then, you make it across the finish line and you find yourself becoming super stoked and proud.”

Super proud, like the time she was racing the Downieville Classic and suffered a mild concussion with 17 miles left in the race. The concussion, mixed with excruciating heat and an empty water bottle created a huge recipe for disaster.

“I just kept thinking: I’m never going to make it out of this,” she said.

Yet she did, the recipe of disaster baking into a complete success.

Luckily, not all rides have finished with that level of uncertainty. Like the time she did a 90 mile loop of Pennock Pass for her bachelorette party.

In costume, of course.

“It was just a bunch of ladies pedaling in costume,” she said. “We partied hard and then cruised down after sleeping at the top of the pass. We made those 90 miles feel like 20.”

Making 90 miles, or tasks, feel like 20 is a regular occurrence for Stacy.

The first day I met her, she had cruised all over town, checking out the Pace bikes, and yet she sat down with me for hours, talking about bikes, learning about me and being completely focused on the task at hand… even if there were a million other things she needed to tune-up.

In her new role at Zagster, she’ll have lots of wheels to spin and gears to shift. But, just like everything else she’s faced when she jumped on this bike of her career, she’s ready for the task.

“I’m so excited to work with local partners who are proud of the cycling culture here in Fort Collins,” she said. “They are supportive of the bike culture and that helps make my job so enjoyable. This new program (Pace) has a lot of potential for the community; it’s not just a novelty but a true transportation solution. And I can’t wait to show people that.”

Can’t wait being a 100 percent true statement.

“The biggest challenge for me is patience,” Stacy said. “There is only one of me and so many people I want to connect with. I want to do it all right now, but I need to be mindful and realize I can’t do everything today. “

A slow climb, with extraordinary views at the top.

“Fort Collins is such a diverse community, with so many great organizations,” she said. “I just want every organization talking to each other in order to create impactful collaboration with reduced duplication.”

If anyone can complete that task, it’s Stacy.

“During my time working with bikes, I’ve got to meet so many people (from such organizations like Bike Fort Collins, FC Bikes, CSU and New Belgium) who are so committed to making the Bike Share work, and that makes things easy for me to love what I do,” she said.

Interested in partnering with the Pace Bike Share? Contact Stacy at ssebeczek@zagster.com.

And don’t forget to ride up with a bottle of Juicy Haze from New Belgium with you, it’s her favorite.

more bikes • safe streets • one voice

BFC-Vision-Mission

 

BFC  had an eventful night at RioSwap last night. By appearance, it was the best attended RioSwap by a solid margin.

In addition to the usual margs and bike parts, this year added trainer races (Courtesy of Gold Bike Friendly Business Source Endurance Center of the Rockies) and a live broadcast of The Bikes and Beer Radio Show.

IT was also BFC’s opportunity to talk about our new look and new vision publicly for the first time. I’ve been using the language for a while, because I think its an easy way to explain Bike fort Collins. Its an elevator pitch if you will.

 

The gist is this:

  • While infrastructure is critical, its wasted if it goes unused, and also probably counter productive.

 

  • Reciprocally, encouraging “interested but concerned” cyclists to take the leap is much harder without safe streets and progressive community attitudes about sustainable transportation to support them.

 

  • While a thriving, possibly even sprawling, bike community is an enviable situation for most communities, with scale comes the challenge of uniting and engaging and educating ALL cyclists about our shared challenges.   and presenting a unified voice to governments and businesses who influence the way our community grows.

 

So I’ve come to think of advocacy and community development as something of a feedback loop.    If we work to get more people on bikes, we have a bigger community to engage and activate to do the work, and together we can effect change to the way we think about and plan our shared public roads and spaces.   And this, in turn, helps us get more people on bikes.

 

Neat, huh?

 

The best part is, it distills to 6 simple words

 

More Bikes, Safe Streets, One Voice.

 

And thats our vision.

 

Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a number of announcement about programs and events.  Some new, some expanded, some old favorites we’re bringing back.

The first major news is that starting today, bikefortcollins.org will host an ambitious new blog dedicated to sharing news about everything that’s going on in NoCo cycling, with the goal of creating a more engaged, informed bike community. Topics will range from infrastructure to events to advocacy to project updates and closures and more. And we’ll be updating it twice a week. I am tremendously proud of the lineup, which includes contributions from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the FC Bike Co-op, Overland Mountain Bike Club, FC Bikes/City of Fort Collins, Your Group Ride, Pedal Fort Collins, FC Bike Share and more.   We have a stable of regular contributors and plans for special guests from time to time a well.  This blog will covering everything from racing to advocacy to city policy to trail conditions to current events affecting NoCo Cyclists.     The blog will be updated twice a week.

 


 

 

So here’s where you come in.   BFC has committees and programs that are doing great work, and the programs we’re announcing over the coming weeks that will balance our advocacy and shape our city.   We need everyone who rides a bike, or even cares about someone who rides a bike, or even just cares about sustainable transportation and a healthy future for Fort Collins to join us.

 

Theres a tab up top that says “Support”,  There’s so many ways to support us.

  • Become a member
  • Become a volunteer
  • Become a donor
  • Join our Bike Friendly Business network
  • Join a committee
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Follow us on social media.

Being recognized as a Platinum Bike Friendly Community is an acknowledgement that Fort Collins takes cycling seriously.

Now, our responsibility, as a bike community and as a city, is to make sure that as we continue to grow and change, everyone in Northern Colorado has access and resources to choose bikes and other sustainable transportation, can make  informed transportation decisions, and enjoy safe streets.   We must use our platform to develop new programs, that lead lead the way for other cities  to make the shift to putting people first in their communities.

Join us today.

We Bike Fort Collins

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