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Volunteers help spread rock and gravel on new single-track mountain bike trails off the Sitka Cross Trail earlier this summer.
PHOTO BY LIONE CLARE

The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at noon on Friday, June 17, at the Mean Queen (upstairs). This meeting is open to the general public, and it’s the first in-person meeting in two years. Don’t forget the Mean Queen is one of our Bicycle Benefits partners, so bring your bike helmets and ride your bikes for a discount.

Agenda topics include a review of the 2022 Sitka Cycling Club goals and how we are meeting them; a status report on membership, finances, etc.; a discussion about our single-track bike trail construction and Monday trail-building work parties; an update on our new pump track project; a discussion on the Walk, Bike, Win! downtown commuter challenge; discussion about monthly club bike rides; and a discussion and decision on upcoming bike parking efforts in the downtown area.

On Saturday, June 18, the club will host its monthly open ride starting at 1 p.m.  Cyclists will meet at the Salty Spoke bike co-op (1 Lincoln Street) and decide then on the route.

For more details, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org.

131 YEARS OF SITKA CYCLING – Bill Foster wears a mirrored helmet as he leads a group of cyclists down Lincoln Street on Saturday, May 28, 2022. About two dozen cyclists rode from one end of downtown to the other in honor of the first bike to come to Sitka in May of 1891. The annual Sitka Community Bike Ride, hosted by the Sitka Cycling Club, included door prizes, some free helmets and a tour of the new Salty Spoke Bike Co-op space at #1 Lincoln Street. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

The Sitka Community Bike Ride is the perfect way to celebrate the spring and National Bike Month in May. It also is a chance to celebrate the 131st anniversary of the first bike seen in Sitka, which arrived in May 28, 1891, on the cruiser Mexico.

Join the Sitka Cycling Club on Saturday, May 28, at the Salty Spoke bicycle cooperative, 1 Lincoln Street (the little building next to the historic Cable House). From there, we’ll take our bikes to Totem Square (near the Petro Marine dock, where the Mexico likely docked) as we host a short kid-friendly bike parade through downtown starting at 11 a.m. (get there early for quick bike tune-up and door prize drawing). Riders are encouraged to bring classic and unusual bikes, if you have them.

We hope to have a bike stand and mechanic on hand to assist cyclists from 10:30 a.m. at the Salty Spoke. People will be able to check chains, brakes, tire pressure and other minor maintenance needs, but won’t be able to do major repairs. We also hope someone will be available to help check bike helmet fits.

Since we will be on busy city streets for this event, we encourage everybody to wear helmets and bright clothing for safety reasons. All cyclists should ride on the right side of the road (with traffic) and ride in a predictable manner. We ask drivers to be aware there will be a lot of cyclists out on May 28 and to please slow down and give them a safe space to ride. Thanks.

We held a community bike ride a few years ago that had about 300-350 cyclists, so let’s see if we can top that crowd. We had a smaller crew at our community bike rides the last couple of years, but it’s still lots of fun.

For more information, contact the Doug Osborne at douglaso@searhc.org.

The expected record year of tourists is making Sitka look for ways to reduce traffic downtown by encouraging more people to commute by biking or walking.

But when you bicycle to work, you need a good, safe place to park your bike. You want a good, secure place to lock the bike; you want a covered shelter to protect against rain; and you want the bike parking to be close to your destination.

As part of the Walk, Bike, Win! downtown commuter challenge this summer, we are installing new bike racks to help you get physically active in Sitka. Click this link to help us decide where Sitkans most need bike racks in the downtown area.

Not sure where Sitka already has bike parking, check out this online map compiled by Joshua Houston. Note, some places on this map may have older, fender-bender style bike racks that need to be upgraded to newer racks that meet industry standards.

Are you interested in helping build more single-track mountain bike trails this summer?

There will be regular work parties from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Mondays at the entrance to the 907 trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail. These include building new trails and maintaining the existing trail loops we built over the past two years. Participants will meet at the gravel pile, which is at the end of the 907 trail exit that connects with the Sitka Cross Trail.

The Sitka Cycling Club plans to host regular work parties on Monday afternoons with a variety of group leaders. Most of our single-track mountain bike loops are located off the Sitka Cross Trail, near the Sitka High School trail entrance (turn right once you get on the trail from the parking lot). The Sitka Cycling Club has some tools available, but volunteers should bring gloves, sturdy boots and masks.

For more information, contact Doug Osborne at douglaso@searhc.org or K.K. Prussian at kkprussian@yahoo.com.

National Bike To Work Week is May 16-20, and Sitka residents are encouraged to get on their bikes and ride this week. Also, Friday, May 20, is National Bike To Work Day.

Forty percent of people have commutes of less than two miles, which makes cycling to work about as time-consuming as driving. Not only is biking to work healthy, but it reduces pollution in the environment. Commuting by bike also is a great way to jump-start your day with a short workout.

This year, those cyclists who ride their bike to work, school or on errands during National Bike To Work Week can fill out tickets at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop for a chance to win prizes, including a $100 gift certificate from Yellow Jersey and other prizes possible. The prize drawing will be at the Julie Hughes Triathlon on Saturday, May 21. You fill in one ticket for each trip to work or home by bike.

Don’t forget to log your biking and walking commutes downtown in the Walk, Bike, Win! downtown commuter challenge, where you also can win prizes..

This year, we’ll hold our annual Worldwide Ride of Silence bike ride and blessing of the bikes event. Meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, at the Salty Spoke bicycle cooperative’s new location (1 Lincoln Street, the small building next to the historic Cable House) for a blessing of the bikes with local clergy. We’ll have a short ride of silence at 7 p.m.

On National Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 20, and the Sitka Cycling Club invites bike riders to join us for our monthly Sitka Cycling Club meeting from noon to 1 p.m. over Zoom. For details an to get a meeting link, contact Doug Osborne at douglaso@searhc.org or 907-738-8734.

In 2016, Sitka found out it had been upgraded to a Silver level designation in the Bicycle Friendly Community program, and we renewed that designation in 2020. We were Alaska’s first Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008, and the first to renew in 2012, earning a Bronze award both times. In 2016, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Sitka Campus earned a renewal of its Bronze award in the Bicycle Friendly Business program (it originally won the designation in 2011).

For more information, contact Doug Osborne at 907-738-8734 or Charles Bingham at 907-623-7660.

The 38th running, biking and swimming of the Julie Hughes Triathlon starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Blatchley Middle School. This is the first full triathlon after two years of people completing the course on their own because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The event is a fundraiser for the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society and honors the memory of a young Sitka woman who passed away from leukemia at the age of 15. (Click here for an April 2013 Capital City Weekly article about Julie Hughes.) Day-of-race registration ends at 8 a.m., followed by a pre-race briefing, and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. The bike staging area opens at 7:15 a.m.

JulieHughesTriathlon

For the 10th straight year, the Baranof Barracudas Swim Club is organizing the race, having taken over event hosting duties from the Hughes family. Registration takes place online at http://juliehughestri.com/. The entry fee is $40 per person ($20 per child age 17 or younger), and people can enter as individuals or teams. Day-of-race registrations are $50 for adults and $20 for children. Participants are encouraged to have bike safety checks done at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop before the race.

The course is a five-mile run from Blatchley Middle School to the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka gate and back, a 14-mile bike ride from Blatchley to the Starrigavan Recreation Area at the end of Halibut Point Road and back, and a 1,000-yard swim at the Blatchley Middle School swimming pool. There is a shorter course available for participants who are age 12 or younger (1.5-mile run, six-mile bike, 500-yard swim).

For more information, contact Kevin Knox at 907-738-4664, or send an e-mail to bbsc.sitka@gmail.com.

Are you interested in helping build more single-track mountain bike trails this summer?

There will be a work party from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, at the entrance to the 907 trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail led by K.K. Prussian. Wednesday’s work party will be working on a new extension of the Machete Loop.

After that, we will host regular work parties on Monday afternoons with a variety of group leaders. Most of our single-track mountain bike loops are located off the Sitka Cross Trail, near the Sitka High School trail entrance (turn right once you get on the trail).

For more information, contact Doug Osborne at douglaso@searhc.org or K.K. Prussian at kkprussian@yahoo.com.

Help shape the future of Sitka’s trails!

Stop by Harrigan Centennial Hall anytime between 4 p.m . and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, to share your ideas about how we should prioritize investments in our shared outdoors.

You’ll have the chance to add your votes on maintenance and development ideas, and pore over maps for future routes. Members of the Sitka Trail Works board and our citizen advisory Sitka Trail Plan Committee will be on hand to chat and answer questions.

Snacks provided and masks encouraged. For more details, call Sitka Trail Works at 747-7244, or visit http://sitkatrailworks.org.

To celebrate National Bike MonthSitka Trail Works and the Sitka Cycling Club invite the public to a free bike tour, guided by Doug Osborne, on the Sitka Cross Trail.

The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7,  and will meet at the new location of the Salty Spoke Bicycle Cooperative (1 Lincoln Street, the small building next to the historic Cable House).

The ride will go from Salty Spoke to the Sitka Cross Trail for a short ride, possibly including a tour of the new single-track bicycle trail loops built the past two summers. It will return to the Salty Spoke about noon.

For more information, call Sitka Trail Works at 907-747-7244 or visit http://www.sitkatrailworks.org.