Posted by Virginia Brisley on March 27, 2017 in Events
Team champions/captains motivate co-workers to ride more!
The Bike Easy Challenge is a fun and free competition to encourage you, your friends and colleagues to experience the joys and benefits of riding a bike. The Challenge is not just about who can ride the most miles, but who can encourage the most people to give bicycling a try.
To register your workplace team, simply register at https://www.lovetoride.net/bikeeasy and indicate that you are affiliated with an organization in the registration steps. If your workplace is already registered, the organization name will be shown on the drop down menu. If you are the first to register at your workplace, then you are automatically assigned the Workplace Champion role. If you’d like another co-worker to take that assignment just let Bike Easy know.
As Champion, your goal is to get as many workmates as possible to register, ride, and record their rides. Your main focus will be to encourage your colleagues to join your team and help engage other riders. You can send them inspirational messages, reminding them to record their rides and motivate them to keep riding! Your role is to work with other Champions and regular riders in your workplace to spread the word about the Bike Easy Challenge.
Remember the more folks you encourage to ride bikes with you the more points your team earns. Bike Easy will lead a lunch time conference call to share more information about the Bike Easy Challenge and being a Workplace Team Champion. Please RSVP to Virginia if you will participate!
Posted by Robert Henig Bell on March 23, 2017 in Advocacy
Say hello to the newest advocates for safe, accessible biking and walking in New Orleans!
This past weekend, Bike Easy hosted a training for our new Complete Streets Ambassadors! These folks have taken on a leadership role over the next three months to promote walking, biking, public transit, and to bring streets built to share to every neighborhood in New Orleans. They’ll be working, both together and individually, to educate and to demonstrate how increased access to biking and walking will lead to healthier, more equitable outcomes for the entire community.
This Ambassador’s training included a focus on the power of sharing our stories, an introduction to ‘Complete Streets’ policy, the current state of play for biking infrastructure here in New Orleans, and guest lectures from Matt Hendrickson from Ride New Orleans on organizing community meetings, as well as Lynne Sherpe showcasing the art of petitioning. Onika Jervis from Girl Trek lead a walking audit of the local neighborhood. Together, the Ambassadors planned and executed a small-scale demonstration project showing how a local intersection could be made safer (and better looking) when made accessible to disabled residents, easier for people crossing the street, slower for cars making a turn, and of course safer for all passing bike riders.
Over the next three months, Angela Chalk, Kir Selert, Alex Souvignier, Domonique Raines, Dylan Blaskey, Guenevere Hoy, Derek Wilson, Andrea Portales, Ryan Hooks, and Jack Greenwood will be speaking out on the need to make streets built to share accessible to every resident in every neighborhood of New Orleans. They’ll speak to neighborhood associations, faith organizations, and to youth programs. They’ll work together on a large project showcasing the practical benefits gained if complete streets were to be fully realized here in New Orleans. They’ll get creative about building support for better, safer biking in their own and each other’s respective communities.
We’re thrilled to have such a great team of advocates working to push us all forward!
The City of New Orleans and Social Bicycles are holding a series of six community meetings to gather input on the coming New Orleans bike share system! The full list of meetings is below and available here.
Bike Easy has long been a proponent of bike share as a powerful addition to public transportation, and now it’s time to get the details right. To make sure New Orleans bike share puts residents first and is accessible to all people for our city, we’re encouraging everyone to come out and give your feedback on where bike share stations should be located in your neighborhood.
Bike share works best when stations are densely located within 3-4 blocks of one another. They should be located where they are easy to see, clearly link to buses and streetcars, take advantage of existing and planned bikeways, and fit on already existing sidewalk or street space.
Then, of course, there are only the things that you’d know about your neighborhood – the way water pools up on that one corner whenever it rains, the intersection that never seems to have car traffic, or the corner where people are often waiting for late buses and could use a bike to get to work.
There will be small group facilitated discussions to give specific feedback on proposed bike share station locations. Come share your unique and valuable knowledge to help create a sustainable and equitable New Orleans bike share system.
All of the following meetings start at 6:30pm:
Monday, March 27 – Marigny/Bywater/St. Roch – Stalling St Claude Rec Center, 4300 St. Claude Ave
Wednesday, March 29 – Treme / 7th Ward – Corpus Christi-Epiphany Community Resource Center Cafeteria, 2022 St. Bernard Avenue
Monday, April 3 – Mid-City / Bayou St. John – First Grace United Methodist Church, 3401 Canal St
Wednesday, April 5 – Central City / LGD – New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 OC Haley Blvd.
Tuesday, April 11 – French Quarter. Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Library Auditorium, 410 Chartres St.
In late April, there will also be the opportunity to vote online. You can keep an eye on any updates at the the City’s website for bike share, http://www.nola.gov/bikeshare, and we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.
The famed New Belgium Brewing celebration of bikes and beer will benefit Bike Easy
New Belgium Brewing’s classic beer-fueled bike benefit & circus party, “Fat Tire presents Tour de Fat”, is coming to New Orleans for the first time ever!
New Belgium is bringing the party with Corey Harper and the Tour de Fat ensemble cast of performers. Ready your eyes and ears for a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs. Costumes are highly encouraged (and a mindset to party is mandatory). Proceeds from the New Orleans Tour de Fat benefit Bike Easy, so be sure to get your tickets today.
Fat Tire presents Tour de Fat in New Orleans Music by Corey Harper Proceeds benefit Bike Easy Sunday, June 11th from 7pm to 11pm The Joy Theater, 1200 Canal Street
Launched in 2000, Tour de Fat is New Belgium’s philanthropic festival of bikes, beer and fun. Proceeds from the Tour benefit cycling and environmental non-profits across the country. In 2017 Tour de Fat is expanding to 33 cities across the U.S. Shows will run from May 20 in Asheville, NC thru October 7 in Tempe AZ. Tour de Fat is expected to generate more than $600,000 for NPO partners in 2017 and will eclipse the $5 million mark for funds raised since its beginning.
Bike Easy is looking to fill 2 exciting positions to help make bicycling easy, safe, and fun!
Bike Easy is currently looking to fill 2 positions!
Campaign Organizer – Jefferson Parish
Bike Easy is dedicated to making bicycling in the Greater New Orleans area easy, safe, and fun for everyone. Better bicycling can improve our community through positive impacts on economic development, public health, environmental health, and social equity. Bike Easy is especially interested in creating more opportunities for physical activity as a way to improve health outcomes for children, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color that have long experienced health disparities.
Complete Streets is a policy approach that ensures streets are designed and operated to accommodate all people, no matter who they are, where they live, or how they travel. We’re looking for a full-time, dedicated, enthusiastic leader rooted in Jefferson Parish to help build the base of public support in Jefferson Parish for streets that are safe and built to share for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, biking, driving, or taking transit! More information and application instructions here.
Bike Parking Coordinator
One important way to help encourage more people to ride bikes is to make sure they’ve got a good, secure place to park and lock their bike upon reaching their destination. This part-time, hourly position will focus on various aspects of bike parking, especially our popular Bicycle Valet Program.
Bicycle Valet by Bike Easy provides a free VIP experience to all guests arriving by bicycle to a festival or event. It encourages more people to enjoy the benefits of riding bikes to the incredible local festivals, fairs, and events that occur so often in the Greater New Orleans region. For event organizers, it’s a great way to support the New Orleans bicycle culture while creating a better event experience for all attendees. See current list of events below.
Through our participation in the Dero Advocacy Dealer Program, Bike Easy works with businesses, developers, and others to implement bike parking solutions. We help people navigate New Orleans’ bike parking standards and permits, conduct free site visits, recommend quality Dero bike racks, and support clients’ through the purchasing process. All bike parking sales benefit Bike Easy’s bike advocacy efforts. More information and application instructions here.
Traffic Skills 101 at Bike Easy teaches riders to bike confidently in traffic
When I first started at Bike Easy in 2015, I was able to take Traffic Skills 101 for professional development. I must admit, coming into that training as a daily commuter and multi-decade rider, I thought there wasn’t really anything new that I could be taught about riding my bike. Oh, was I wrong!
Happily surprised with the additional skills that I gained, such as correctly lubing my chain, easy brake adjustments on the go, taking the lane, staying visible, and being predictable, I was most impressed with the long term effect it had on my confidence. Riding in traffic can be stressful and I didn’t realize how many of my choices were actually contributing to my stress levels on the road. Simple adjustments in lane positioning, daily tire checks for air pressure, and more communication on the road all have made a drastic difference for me!
Some of the training is in class where certified instructors lead group discussions about how to navigate riding comfort issues, commuting woes, and best route choices. The other part of the training is on bike, where the group practices parking lot drills of rock dodges, quick stops, signaling as well as group rides through the city in real traffic conditions. The training concludes with written and writing evaluations to understand what skills were gained by each participant.
Join us at the UNO Transportation Institute on Saturday March 11 & Sunday March 12 for the driver’s ed class for people on bikes! Registration is required and space is limited so please don’t hesitate! Please contact Virginia for any questions or for more information.
The process for establishing a bike share system in New Orleans has begun
Last year, Bike Easy celebrated a long-awaited victory for mobility when the City of New Orleans signed a contract to establish a bike share system. Over Martin Luther King, Jr Day weekend, Bike Easy hosted the first two opportunities for people to get involved in the details of setting up a sustainable, equitable system for New Orleans! Bike Easy Advocacy Intern, Jack Greenwood, participated in Saturday’s event and provides the following dispatch:
One weekend ago, I joined 16 other people from the Greater New Orleans biking community. It was at this event that we learned about the upcoming bike share program, discussed its details, and went out and surveyed neighborhoods all over the city to find out where to best place bicycle stations. It was at this event that the people of New Orleans took an exciting step toward promoting greater mobility options.
After Bike Easy’s Dan Favre kicked off the event, we heard a brief presentation by Dwight Norton, Urban Mobility Coordinator for the City of New Orleans, and Kris and Alan, representatives of the bike share company Social Bicycles. Their slideshow painted an exciting picture. The initial launch in the fall of this year will place 700 bikes across 70 stations that service Downtown, Central City, and Mid-City. Users can pick up and park the bikes at official stations, approved bike racks, or, for a small extra fee, anywhere in the service area. The bikes themselves are sturdy cruisers built to withstand constant outdoor exposure, and they also feature some cool technology. For example, a built-in LCD screen will display the distance and duration of your ride, while a built-in communication system can help you contact a representative if your bike breaks down.
Particularly exciting was the pricing system: $8 per hour for one-time users, $15 for a month pass with a free hour per day (you can split up that hour over many short rides throughout the day), or – for low-income individuals – $20 for a year-long pass. We’re optimistic that this sliding scale will significantly expand mobility options for low-income New Orleanians often marginalized by existing transportation systems.
After reviewing the programs details, we learned more about the day’s task of site surveying. An ideal bike share station should be accessible by transit or foot, near places of interest, visible, in a spacious location, and work with pre-existing concrete. Easier said than done. And yet, our volunteers were more than happy to step up to the plan.
Our group enjoyed lunch following the information session. Shout-out to Liberty’s Kitchen for catering! Their orzo salad and po boys were seriously delicious. (Don’t take my word for it; stop by their cafe on the ground floor of the Whole Foods off Broad and Bienville if you ever want to find out for yourself.)
During our lunch break, we also got to test out the bikes in the rooftop parking lot. Sure enough, they offered a smooth ride for people of all sizes and abilities. And what a nice day to ride! 70 degrees with minimal cloud cover. It was with this endorsement from the weather gods that our group of 17 volunteers split off into groups and tackled the streets on our own bikes.
I selected to scope out the Lafitte Greenway and Jeff Davis Parkway Trail with my partner for the day, Michael. We used our smartphones to take pictures, write up descriptions, and share our potential bike station sites with the rest of our group. The process was surprisingly energizing, as it got me visualising the system on the ground. Maybe someday soon, families, children, senior citizens, young adults, and everybody else in between interested in biking would need only to walk to the trails and punch in a code. As simple as that.
If you’re interested in that vision, be sure to look out for upcoming Social Bicycles demos around the city during the lead up to Mardi Gras!
Bike Easy led adult and youth activities in Gentilly at Arthur Ashe School’s MLK Day of Service
While volunteers beautified the school grounds and surrounding neighborhood, Bike Easy put neighbors and students in motion! In partnership with the New Orleans City Year cohort, Bike Easy Instructors brought bike activities to Gentilly at Arthur Ashe Charter School.
No stranger to biking, Arthur Ashe School was the site of one of the first Where Ya Rack bike rack installations as part of the Young Leadership Council’s Safe Routes to School funding. Also, Bike Easy led bike classes for the past two years as part of Summer CampX hosted at Ashe. So when City Year asked us to be part of their service Day on Dr Martin Luther King Day, we were excited to be back on the Ashe campus and biking in Gentilly!
David Meza, a Claiborne Corridor Ambassador and certified instructor, led a youth rodeo while Woody Joseph, certified instructor and Trafigura Work & Learn Center’s lead mechanic, led an adult workshop for folks to learn basic repair skills and safe riding tips. Youth Empowerment Project’s Work & Learn Center was able to provide repair demonstrations by a youth mechanic, Monica, who even helped a young rider put brakes on his bike!
If you’re interested in bringing safety education and bike activities to your school, neighborhood or event, please contact Virginia!