Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Break

The Bike Library will be closed for Winter Break from December 20 until January 23, 2010

If you are a patron who needs to return a bike during that time, please email us at iowacitybikelibrary at gmail dot com to make arrangements.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bike Library Garage Sale

Saturday, September 26 10:00-1:00
Frames, project bikes, parts...
Come check it out.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rv for bicyclists

Just because you don't own a gasoline powered vehicle does not mean you can't have and RV. Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sharrows & Bike Lanes in IC

Johnson County residents and bicycling enthusiasts are invited to join Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey on Thursday, July 2nd at 5:15 p.m. in College Green Park to see the most recent improvements to the local bicycle network – shared lane arrows, or “sharrows.

In an effort to become more bicycle-friendly, some Johnson County communities are installing new sharrow pavement markings and bike lanes on streets this summer. The sharrows, which are an alternative to bike lanes, can be found on 5th Street in Coralville, and on Market, Jefferson, and College Streets in Iowa City, beginning this week. Bike lanes will be painted on segments of Market and Jefferson Streets.

A sharrow does not demarcate a separate bicycle lane, but it does direct the bicyclist to travel in the proper lane position to avoid being hit by opening doors of parked cars. The sharrow markings also remind roadway users where the travel lane is too narrow to be safely shared side-by-side by cyclists and passing motorists.

Many cyclists know that when there is no bike lane present, cyclists are expected to ride on the right. Some sharrows and bike lanes, however, are located in the left lane. Why? In a word, safety:

  1. Bicycle lanes and sharrows on the left side of some one-way streets are gaining popularity to help reduce the number of bicyclists being struck by opening car doors;
  2. This location removes bicyclists from the path of buses pulling into bus stops;
  3. The left curb lane is most clear of snow on streets where vehicles park along the right curb; and
  4. The design helps increase visibility, as the rear-right blind spot is eliminated and drivers can more easily see a bicyclist in the driver’s side mirror.

For more information on sharrows and bike lanes or other improvements to the local bicycling network, contact Kristopher Ackerson, JCCOG Assistant Transportation Planner, at 319.356.5247.

*All content above reposted from JCCOG press release vis Kris Ackerson

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bike Library Volunteers in the News

The Press-Citizen is featuring some great writing from Bike Library volunteers this week! Check out Brian's fact-filled editorial On the Advantages of Biking here and Erin's essay about being a bike commuter here.

The latest issue of The Iowan Magazine features an article about the Bike Library. You can read it online here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Bike Way: May 10th

The purpose of the College Street Bike Way event is two-fold: 1) to provide a direct route to downtown along a common bike route with reduced traffic; and 2) to provide an introduction to on-street riding for people interested in participating in Bike to Work Week.

Event organizers will install "Local Access Only" signs at College St. intersections with Gilbert, Dodge, Governor, and Muscatine to reduce motor-vehicle traffic and make College St. more bike-friendly. Access to College St. will remain at all other streets.

Bike Parade from City High to College Green Park departs at 12:30 p.m.

College Green Park will serve as the hub of The Bike Way event, providing the following services:

* A Bike Prep Station: People can get their bikes ready for B2WW. Volunteers will be on-hand to check tire pressure and pump tires, adjust seat/handlebar height, attach racks/baskets, or install lights or other needs for commuting

* A Mapping Station: People can ask advice about the most bike-friendly route to to get from their house to their workplace. Volunteers familiar with biking in Iowa City will help people plan a route to work, taking into account the availability of city biking facilities and the level of skill/comfort of the rider. Maps will be provided.

* Practice Rides: Volunteers will lead small groups on practice commuter rides to help people get familiar and comfortable with the idea of commuting to work on bike.

* Commuting 101 Clinic: From 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. the Iowa City Bike Library will host a beginning bicycle commuter class. This class will focus on the very basics of bike commuting: riding with traffic, safety issues, signaling, gear, etc. The goal of this class is to make commuting more accessible to more people more of the time. Everyone is welcome; women and GLBTQ folks are encouraged to attend. This class will be taught by Erin Fleck, a long time Bike Library volunteer who commutes year round.

* A Bike Contest: Prizes will be awarded for the most unique bikes. Be creative!

* Bike and Gear Swap Meet: Clean out your shops, garages, basements and give your unused bikes and bike-related gear a new home. Buy, sell, trade. Bring your own tables. No registration required.For more info, go to

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

We Need a Bridge Like This!

Omaha to Council Bluffs-9/28/08
See more:

Bike Library on Twitter

The bike library is now on Twitter:

Monday, March 02, 2009

Rental Bench is back

Rental Bench is back. The first bench of 2009 will be this Saturday, March 7th from 1 pm to 3 pm.

For $5 an hour you can use the bike library's tools, books, and equipment to tune up or repair your bike. Rental bench is free for Environmental Advocates, Bicyclists of Iowa City, or Bike Library volunteers.

One caveat: volunteers on hand may or may not help you with your wrenching, so the risk is yours!

Rental Bench will be held from 1pm to 3pm on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Iowa Senate Passes Bike Safety Bill

This afternoon, the Iowa Senate passed the bike safety bill (formerly known as the "Bicycle Bill of Rights"). The best quorte of the debate came from, I think, Senator Quirmbach from Story County. He actually borrowed the quote from the character Sancho Panza in the musical Man of La Mancha, "Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone it's going to be bad for the pitcher." Special thanks to local Senators Joe Bolkcom and Bob Dvorsky for their support. The bill will face some challenges in the Iowa House, so let your representative know you support the safety of cyclists and they should too!

A portion of the debate focused on bicyclist fatalities. It made me think of my old friend and cycling companion, Kevin Joyce. Kevin was killed by a motorist in June of 1995 while riding to West Branch. RIP Kevin.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Senate File 34 Introduced

From the IBC:

Iowa Senators Joe Bolkcom, William Dotzler, and Matt McCoy introduced the Iowa
Bike Safety Bill. Senate File 34 is a bill for an act relating to the operation of bicycles on a street or highway, providing requirements for motor vehicle operators encountering other vehicles or bicycles, and providing penalties.

The legislation changes the Code of Iowa to reflect basic changes in bicycle operation, like using your right arm pointing right for a right turn signal and stopping the requirement to honk at pedestrians. The bill also clarifies bicycle access by prohibiting locals laws that dangerously force cyclists onto the sidewalks and if a cyclists uses a crosswalk motorists are required to yield. The bill amends Iowa Code to require a five foot passing distance, safe following distance for bicycles. Additional laws require drivers to check for conflicts before opening a door in a traffic lane and drivers cannot interfere with bikes taking the lane if the lane is too narrow for safe passing.

Senate File 34 was assigned to the Transportation Committee. Within the Senate Transportation Committee, the bill was assigned to the subcommittee:

Senator Matt McCoy
Senate District 31
Des Moines

Senator Kim Reynolds
Senate District 48

Senator Daryl Beall
Senate District 25
Fort Dodge

Find your legislator and contact them.

Personal letters are always appreciated. Remember to stick to only one or two issues at a time, provide real-life personal examples, and be polite. Also, don't forget to carefully proofread your letter. Send your letter, addressed simply to: "Dear Rep." (fill in the name) or "Dear Sen." (fill in the name), Iowa Senate or Iowa House of Representatives, State Capitol Building, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Every lawmaker now has an e-mail address and many even prefer this method of communication. Keep in mind, however, that most legislators prefer to use e-mail for quick and simple messages. If you have a detailed message, it's probably best to send it via regular mail.

When speed is of the essence, you can always phone a quick message in to your legislator by calling 515-281-3371 (Senate) or 515-281-3221 (House).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back At It!!! BL Resumes Retail Hours

We will be open again for retail this Saturday, January 24th - 10am - 1pm. If you're looking for a bicycle, now is the time to get one. There are quite a few to choose from and no long lines!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Bike to Work Day

Bike for Patriotism with Chicago's Winter Bike to Work Day

Heather Sperling, Chicago, IL

Mon Jan 19 10:00:00 EST 2009

Do you love America? Then you’ll bike to work on January 20th. And if you’re in Chicago, you won’t be alone. On Tuesday the 20th—Election Day, mind you—Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance is sponsoring its annual celebration of trading four wheels for two, and cutting out CO2 emissions in the process. A car with a solo driver releases over a pound of CO2 per mile. An SUV releases over 1.6 pounds. A bike releases zero—and with the recent increase in carbon emissions, that’s what our country needs right now. Ft. Collins, Colorado hosts a winter bike day of their own. Last year participants rode 1,654 miles—that’s nearly two tons of CO2 that didn’t get shot into the air that day.

Most major cities across the country host a bike to work day in May, National Bike Month (google “your city + bike to work day” for more information). San Francisco is gearing up, if you will, for a May 14th ride, and Washington DC’s should be around the same time. But Chicago, Ft. Collins and Boulder up the ante with their winter date. And since Chicago’s been loaded with snow, it may call for some snow tires.

The Active Trans Alliance will be thanking participants with coffee and hot cocoa from 6:30-9am at Chicago’s Daley Plaza on Dearborn and Washington. And while you’re there, give them some thanks as well—their mission is right-on: “…to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel.”

To quote a green-savvy high schooler, “…green is so simple; it’s not a radical concept. It’s just a simple switch to make a huge difference.” Braving the cold for the greater good of your country? It’s a simple sacrifice that makes a difference. And that is patriotic.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Notice of Agenda: JCCOG Regional Trails and Bicycling Committee

The Regional Bike/Trails committee will be reviewing the metro bike plan this Tuesday. I have to say that this plan, if implemented, would be a significant step forward for cyclists. Link to meeting agenda and draft plan details is listed below. (Check out the recommendation for Washington St. through downtown IC!)

The next meeting of the Johnson County Council of Governments (JCCOG) Regional Trails and Bicycling Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.

The agenda is available at

Friday, January 09, 2009

Momentum Magazine at the BL

Copies of Momentum Magazine are now available for sale at the Bike Library.  Momentum magazine is dedicated to providing urban cyclists with a practical and fun resource to read about cycling life and culture. Some of the articles in the most recent issue (#37) include "Boston's Bikes Not Bombs," "How to Tame Motorists and Restrict Car Use," and "A Match Made in Bike Heaven: Bike Wedding Stories." The magazine is a great mix of advocacy, information, and entertainment.

Copies cost $1 each.

For more information about Momentum, check out their website.