Friday, February 28, 2014

Community Bike Programs Around Iowa

Ever wonder what other groups are doing around Iowa to promote bicycling? Here are some resources for supporting cycling in other Iowa cities:

Dubuque Bike Coop
www.dubuquebikecoop.org
2206 Central Ave. in Dubuque

The Dubuque Bike Coop is a volunteer-run non-profit that checks out bikes for 3 month periods similar to the BL here in Iowa City. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to stop by on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday evening.



NewBo Bike Collective
www.newbobikes.org
1029 Third St. SE in Cedar Rapids (across from the NewBo Market)

Open Saturdays and Sundays, the all volunteer-run NewBo Bike Collective gets high quality used bikes out onto the streets of Cedar Rapids. Memberships are available, and more info can be found on their website.

Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective
www.cvbikecollective.org
219 W. Fourth St. in downtown Waterloo

The Cedar Valley Bike Collective offers repair classes, shop space, and used bikes. Open to the public on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturdays, the shop is looking for new volunteers. One exciting event that the CV Bike Collective hosts is the annual bike swap on March 8. Come buy, sell, or swap bikes!



Des Moines Bicycle Collective
www.dsmbikecollective.org
506 E. Sixth St. in Des Moines' East Village

As the only bike collective in Iowa with multiple staff, the Des Moines Bicycle Collective runs a number of different projects to encourage bicycling. These projects include Des Moines' bike share stands, selling used bikes, having open shop space, getting bikes to refugees and other populations with acute mobility needs, and publishing the Des Moines bike map. Their shop is open Tuesday-Saturday.


Changing Greater Des Moines Two Wheels at a Time from Strobie Creative Services on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cycling in the future?



Check this out for a truly cycle friendly future in the big city: http://www.architectmagazine.com/design/london-skycycle-transit-network-designed-by-norman-foster-partners-exterior-architecture_o.aspx?dfpzone=home&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ANW_020414&day=2014-02-04

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Update on Potential New Bike Facilities Coming to Iowa City



As many Bike Library folks probably already know, the city of Iowa City recently hired a firm to make a new street-scape plan for downtown. One of the major components of this plan is proposed new bike facilities for a few streets downtown. These include new bike lanes on Clinton and Gilbert Streets and a reconfiguration of Market and Jefferson Streets into two way streets with two way bike lanes on one or both of the streets. The plan also proposes building covered bike parking throughout downtown Iowa City. For more info on the project, see this article in the Press-Citizen: http://www.press-citizen.com/interactive/article/20140110/NEWS01/301100034/Downtown-streetscape-planning-turns-bikes

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Johnnyrandom and bicycle music

Many of you may know of this guy and what he's done, but it was new to me so I thought I'd share it with you.  Check out Johnnyrandom at:http://vimeo.com/83958475

Del

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Commute Safely By Bike Year Round with the Bike Library!

 
 
Fair weather commuter looking to save bus fare or gas money during the winter? Already bike most of the winter but not sure how to tackle the snow and ice? Wish you could bike to school and work more but afraid of the rain?
Come to the bike library's presentation on Safe and Comfortable Bicycle Commuting Year Round at the Iowa City Public Library on Saturday Feb. 8! We'll be talking about how to bike safely and comfortably in all types of weather with an emphasis on how to tackle cold, snow, and ice on your bike. There will be info on how to stay warm and dry in inclement weather, how to keep your bike from rusting due to the snow, ice and rain, and how to keep from slipping on the ice during the winter. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Safe Bicycle Commuting Year-Round
Sat., Feb 8, 3pm
Iowa City Public Library- Meeting Room A

For more info, email us at iowacitybikelibrary [at] gmail.com 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polar Vortex or Not, We're Still Getting Iowa City Onto Bikes



While Iowa has been covered by cold temperatures and ice for much of January, we're still open at the Iowa City Bike Library. In fact, since re-opening for our 10th year on College Street on January 17, we've already checked out five bikes!

The Bike Library serves the general public on Fridays for Rent-a-Bench from 4-6:30pm and Saturdays from 10-3pm for checkouts and Rent-a-Bench. Our checkout bikes are loaned for periods of up to six months in exchange for a refundable deposit of $50-200 (depending on the bike) and all have been refurbished by skilled mechanics. We currently have over 15 bikes of different styles, sizes and shapes available for checkout. If you're looking for a new bike this year, now is the time to stop by and beat the spring rush!

In addition to our regular open hours, we also offer Ladies Bike Night, a Women-Run Bike Night every 1st and 3rd Monday from 7-9pm.  Everyone who's interested in a safe, no-pressure space to learn more about bikes and riding is welcome to stop by. We usually start with a presentation followed by time where participants can ask questions about riding or problems they're having with their current bike.

The Bike Library is all volunteer run, and we're always looking for new volunteers to help us continue and expand our programming. Interested in helping? Stop by the shop Friday or Saturday and pick up an application!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bike Library Repair Class

Have you ever wished you knew a little more about bicycle repair and adjustment? Well, so have we!

The Iowa City Bike Library is once again offering a course in basic bicycle repair. This course will provide you with an overview of all of the major systems on your bicycle, as well as familiarize you with the tools and procedures used to adjust those systems. Braking, shifting, bearing overhauls and adjustments, wheel truing, tire and tube installation, lubrication, inspection: we'll cover all of these in some depth. Ideally, you will learn enough to think your way through a mishap or repair, and not be intimidated by it.

Our next course will run on consecutive Saturdays from September 7 through October 5, inclusive. Five class sessions total, each running from 4:00-6:30 pm (please be on time). Please plan to attend ALL of the classes in the session, as there is some building upon previous content, and there will be no make-up sessions.

Cost is $100 per person (current Bike Library volunteers may be eligible for a discount), payable in advance, in person, at the Bike Library. This is the only way we are currently able to accept payments. You may register and pay any time there are volunteers at the Bike Library: see the website for the hours when people are there (M-Th evenings between 6 and 8 pm are generally pretty safe, as well as much of the day Saturday; Tuesday and Thursday 6-8 pm, I am almost always there). Preregistration and prepayment are REQUIRED for this class. Enrollment is limited to six, so hurry and claim a spot (don't worry if you can't make this one: more classes are planned).

If you have any questions about the class, please send them to iowacitybikelibrary@gmail.com.

Hope to see you soon.

- James

Tuesday, November 27, 2012









In May 2012 local cycling advocacy group Think Bicycles of Johnson Co. devised the Light the Night partnership to encourage all cyclists to start using lights on their bicycles at night. Think Bicycles recruited University of Iowa Public Safety and the Iowa City Police Department as partners in their effort.
Under program, cyclists who receive a citation for failing to equip their bike with a front white light and/or rear red reflector/light, now have the choice to participate in Light the Night. When a police offer tickets a cyclist for riding at night without lights they are given a choice. The cyclist can pay the 93.75-dollar fine, or they may elect to buy and install bike lights.
Results of a 2012 Iowa City Bike Master Plan online survey reveal that cyclists’ main concern is law enforcement. Of the 306 people who took the survey, 112 of them said that enforcing headlight/reflector laws during non-daylight hours was most the important.
“I’m a cyclist and driver,” comments Martha Norbeck, local bike advocate and Think Bicycles member. “It’s simple, lights allow you to see and be seen by motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists. We want to foster a positive bike culture where people can ride, walk and drive with safety and confidence.” In addition to being highly visible, lights are required by law.
To date the Iowa City Police have written 31 citations, while the University of Iowa Public Safety has not written a single ticket. Twenty-eight bicyclists cited by ICPD elected to participate in the Light the Night Program, thus having their $93.75 fine waived.
“It’s unsafe for cyclist not to have lights. We don’t allow cars to not have lights. It’s not like you have to pay the ticket anyway. It’s a safe win-win situation.” Said Mark Pooley, President of the University of Iowa Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Regular cyclist: “LCI? What’s that?”

LCI: “It stand for League Cycling Instructor.”

Regular cyclists: “Uhh, what? If you think you’re going to teach me bicycle safety, forget it lady! I already know how to ride a bike.”

Lots of people ride bicycle to get around this very bikeable city. But do they know how to drive a bike? How many times have you seen these folks who already know how to ride a bike put themselves in some pretty dodgy situations. Not to mention the hazardous situations they put others in- bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Maybe no one ever explained to them the right and responsibilities as a bicyclists. It’s pretty simple: bicyclists should act and be treated as drivers of vehicles. 

The League of American Bicyclists is recognized across the U.S., and is best known for their Bicycle Friendly America Program, providing assistance, incentives, and recognition for communities, universities, and businesses that actively support bicycling. Iowa City currently holds strong at Bronze, while the University applied this year for the first time and recently was awarded honorable mention.
The League of American Bicyclists has created a curriculum to teach knowledgeable and experienced cyclists how to teach safe cycling to others- so that more people can learn to drive their bikes and enjoy bicycling to the max! Sound nerdy? Well, yes- it is! And that’s coming from someone who took the seminar this past weekend, but no more than any of the subjects or hobbies we obsess over. One day I’m going to come up with the million dollar idea of how to make bicycle education for adults cool. 
The Iowa City Bike Library hosted the LCI Training Seminar this past weekend where nine people, most from the Iowa City community, became certified bicycle educators. 

Being the experience bicyclists I am, or think of myself as, I was a bit reluctant to go through the 35+ hour training. However, once I became little less obstinate, I became aware of what could be accomplished in extending ourselves a safe cycling resource to one’s community. Many people who want to ride don’t because they’re concerned for their safety or they’re concerned for their kids safety. LCIs can help fix that by teaching safe cycling skills. That means more people on bikes!

Why is safe cycling important? So more motorists stop hatin’ on bikers! And furthermore, to prevent accidents. Basically, the more confident one is riding on the road, the safer and more predictable they are in traffic, keeping motorists happy, and maybe even obliged to share the less congested road.

So perhaps you follow the rules and are confident riding in traffic. Good for you! You’re part of the one percent of the population that is strong and fearless on the bike. Maybe a bicycle safety class isn’t your thing, and that’s fine. Unless of course you’re interested in teaching others- kids, older folks who haven’t been on a bike in years, maybe even your compadres!

If you’re like most people though, you might be interested in biking around town in traffic, but concerned. These classes offered by LCIs aim to give you skills need to build confidence, and then once comfortable in your abilities, go out and conquer the world on a bike! Or maybe just the town. Either way it’s joyous.

You or someone you know interested in taking a Smart Cycling class? Email: thinkbicycles@gmail.com

Monday, October 15, 2012


Feature Bike Friendly IC Topic:
Burlington St. Bridge Median Project


Just  imagine—a convenient and safe route for cyclists crossing the Iowa River, whether heading Downtown from the University Hospital or commuting from the Eastside to University Heights. Imagine bicycle commuters on their way to work and parents hauling kids and groceries. Imagine youngsters riding comfortably after school amongst college students on their way from class to dorm. Currently, there is a glaring gap in our transportation infrastructure to make that vision a reality. Burlington Bridge is the one best and most direct route that connects east and west, City and University, Iowa City and University Heights and Coralville.

Burlington St. Bridge would benefit from the use of separated bicycle facilities and with plans for construction of the bridge in the near future, this is the perfect opportunity to implement bike-friendly facilities such as bike lanesbike boxesgreen lanes, or cycle tracks. The two blocks of Burlington Street from Riverside to Madison are arguably the most important blocks for bicyclists. 

Think Bicycles is committed to seeing through a plan that makes that vision of a safe and easy bicycle and pedestrian trip across the bridge a reality.Assuming the trends of health- and environmental-consciousness grow, there will be more cyclists in need of traversing this roadway. Think Bicycles is currently in conversation with a bicycle planning consultant and the Engineering Division from Iowa City about making appropriate adjustments to the plans.