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2015NationalBikeMonthFlier

May is National Bike Month, and Sitka cyclists will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate for 2015.

Not only is May National Bike Month, but May 6 is National Bike to School Day, May 11-15 is National Bike to Work Week and May 15 is National Bike to Work Day. These are great times to leave the car at home and take the bike to work.

LAB_NBC_offsite-smallheader280x270Sitka cyclists are encouraged to take part in the second annual National Bike Challenge, which runs from May 1 to Sept. 30. This is the fourth year of the free national event, and the goal this year is having 75,000 people riding 35 million miles during the five months from May through September. Riders can win prizes for participating as individuals and/or teams. Individuals also earn points for their communities and states. This year there are some Sitka organizations forming teams, and feel free to join the Sitka Cyclists team if you live in Sitka. There also are several different smartphone apps that can track your distance and record it.

One of the highlights of National Bike Month in Sitka is the Sitka Bike Rodeo, which this year takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka hangar. This free event teaches young riders age 12-younger bike safety, provides the kids with bike safety checks, skills drills and more. It is hosted by the Sitka Rotary ClubU.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka, Sitka Community Hospital, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), and the Sitka Police Department.

BTSD_2inch_ColorThis also is the third year of National Bike to School Day, on Wednesday, May 6, which is a chance to encourage students to develop healthy lifestyle habits such as riding a bike or walking. School districts have the opportunity to schedule special events for National Bike to School Day, and they can list them on the national site to earn pioneer status. Parents should feel free to join their children to ride to school that day.

On May 6-7, members of the Sitka Community Hospital Injury Prevention Program and Sitka School District‘s Live-Well Program will host presentations at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School and Blatchley Middle School to teach the students about bike safety.

Paul Wistrand of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will lead two safety assessment tours, one walking and one biking, to assess the safety of roads/pathways on Thursday, May 7, in Sitka. The walking safety assessment meets at Sitka National Historical Park at 9 a.m., and after some introductory comments will include a hike along the Sitka Sea Walk to Harrigan Centennial Hall. Participants then will mount bicycles for a bike tour along Halibut Point Road to Sea Mart and back. After each tour segment, participants will complete a short evaluation form.

NBM2014_Web_250x250_ANational Bike to Work Week kicks off on Monday, May 11, which is when the League of American Bicyclists will announce its next group of Bicycle Friendly Communities. Sitka received its renewal of bronze-level status in May 2012, becoming the first Alaska community to earn a repeat designation. Sitka became Alaska’s first Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008.

Each year, Sitka hosts a National Bike to Work Week contest where people who ride their bikes to work or school on May 11-15 can stop by Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop to enter a contest to win a gift certificate from the shop and possibly other prizes donated by local merchants and organizations. The more times you ride, the greater your chances to win.

Friday, May 15, is National Bike To Work Day and the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus will host its annual free pancake breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. Ride your bike to the university and get free pancakes, eggs and sausage fresh off the griddle. Don’t forget to enter your name for the door prize drawing.

JulieHughesTriathlonThe 31st annual Julie Hughes Triathlon takes place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, at Blatchley Middle School. This event is hosted by the Baranof Barracudas Swim Club. The triathlon features a five-mile run from Blatchley to the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka entrance gate and back, a 14-mile bike ride from Blatchley to 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. A shorter course is available for children age 12 or younger. There is a $25 per participant entry fee for individuals and teams ($15 for ages 12 and younger), and proceeds from the triathlon benefit the Sitka Cancer Survivors Society. Event registration is online this year at http://www.juliehughestri.com/. Day-of-race registration closes at 8 a.m., and the race starts at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Kevin Knox at 738-4664 or by email at bbsc.sitka@gmail.com. To learn more about Julie Hughes, who died from leukemia in 1985 when she was 15, and the triathlon’s history, read this April 2013 article from Capital City Weekly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANew this year is the Sitka Community Bike Ride and Cookout on Saturday, May 23. This event will feature a short kid-friendly bike parade through downtown starting at 3 p.m. at Crescent Harbor Shelter (or in front of Harrigan Centennial Hall, depending on the construction project). After our loop through downtown, at 3:45 p.m. we’ll start a longer ride to Halibut Point Recreation Area, where we’ll meet for our cookout at 4:30 p.m. We hope to have bike mechanics set up before the downtown parade and at Halibut Point Rec to oil chains and tweak gears. There will be contests for bike decorations, most visible bike, and more. For details, contact Sophie Nethercut or Sarah Komisar at 747-7509.

Finally, the Sitka office of the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) program will host an ORCA program bike day on Tuesday, May 26, with a ride from 3-4:30 p.m. leaving from the SAIL office at 514 Lake Street. For details, contact Bridget Kratz at 747-6859.

For more information about these events, contact Charles Bingham at 738-8875 or Doug Osborne at 747-0373, or watch this site for updates.

• 2015 National Bike Month list of Sitka events (PDF flier to print and post)

Pedestrian Bicycle Assessment Invitation for State and Local Partners

Paul Wistrand of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will lead two tours, one walking and one biking, to assess the safety of roads/pathways on Thursday, May 7, in Sitka.

“I’m looking forward to the bike/pedestrian safety assessment,” Wistrand wrote in an email. “It would be great to get a couple of bicyclists and/or walkers to join us in the assessment, and get their feedback and input into what bicycle and pedestrian features have had the greatest impact in the community.”

Walkers check out the Sitka Sea Walk during its October 2013 grand opening

Walkers check out the Sitka Sea Walk during its October 2013 grand opening

The walking safety assessment meets at Sitka National Historical Park at 9 a.m., and after some introductory comments will include a hike along the Sitka Sea Walk to Harrigan Centennial Hall. Participants then will mount bicycles for a bike tour along Halibut Point Road to Sea Mart and back. After each tour segment, participants will complete a short evaluation form. Maps are part of the first attachment linked below.

“The assessment will be a great way to get end users and officials from local, state and federal levels who are involved with bicycle and pedestrian facilities together,” Wistrand wrote. “It’s also a chance to highlight the many improvements to these facilities in Sitka that have contributed to Sitka’s twice being recognized as a bronze-level bike/walk friendly community.”

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announces the Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative during the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place convention in September 2014.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announces the Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative during the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place convention in September 2014.

These safety assessments are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Safer People, Safer Streets” initiative, where Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx mandated USDOT field offices to partner with state and local communities to do corridor-level safety assessments. One of the reasons for these tours is to help transportation planners, state and local officials, and others learn more about some of the challenges faced by non-motorized transportation users. The safety assessment tours are free and open to the public.

For more information and to RSVP for the free tours, contact Paul Wistrand at 1-907-586-7148 or paul.wistrand@dot.gov.

• Sitka Bike and Pedestrian Assessment Invitation

• Safer People, Safer Streets Iniatiative

Bill the Giant, left, Michael Bricker, center, and Tess Olympia Ramsey with their Sitka Pedicabs, a new business launching this week in Sitka.

Bill the Giant, left, Michael Bricker, center, and Tess Olympia Ramsey with their Sitka Pedicabs, a new business launching this week in Sitka.

Have you ever wanted to work outside, get lots of fresh air and exercise, and show off Sitka to local visitors? Sitka Pedicabs, LLC, is for sale after owners Michael and Crystal Bricker moved south last fall.

The pedicabs were put up for sale when the Brickers moved, but were placed in storage here in Sitka when nobody bought them. Michael Bricker said he will sell the three Broadway Mainstreet Pedicabs with canopies for $12,000 (each pedicab cost $5,600 new, plus $2,000 shipping). He also is willing to lease the pedicabs for the summer if he can’t find a buyer. When the business was placed on the market last year, the Brickers said they hoped to find a Sitka buyer.

Sitka Pedicabs, LLC, a totally green, fun and tourism-driven business, is now for sale due to our upcoming move to be closer to family,” Crystal Bricker wrote last fall. “This is a great side business to make some extra income sharing Sitka — the place we love — with visitors. It’s also a great way to work in the outdoors and get plenty of exercise. Do your part to support Sitka’s tourism industry and great reputation while owning and operating this small business!”

In addition to pedaling tourists and locals around town, the Sitka Pedicabs have been featured in local weddings and other events.

For more information, send an email to Michael at bricker.md@gmail.com.

TheLEAGUE-BikeMonth

We are in the process of gathering information to put together a National Bike Month calendar of events in Sitka for May.

If you are hosting a bike-related event in Sitka — such as the Sitka Bike Rodeo, an informational lunch-and-learn, a community ride, a bike race or triathlon, a National Bike to Work Day breakfast for bike commuters, a bike/outdoors gear swap, a bike shelter dedication, business cycling challenges, etc. — please send the details to Charles Bingham atcharleswbingham3@gmail.com. Please make sure you include the who, what, when, where, and your contact info.

A couple of dates of note for National Bike Month in May include National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 6; National Bike to Work Week on May 11-15; and National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15. We will be setting up a team or two of Sitka Cyclists for the free National Bike Challenge that runs from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Please email Charles with the details and any fliers you may have for your events as JPG or PDF documents (no Publisher files), and we can post them to the Sitka Cycling website. Here is a link to what we posted last year.

bikegiven315

BIKE GIVEN – Mt. Verstovia Masonic Lodge members, Tom Brown, left, and Ken Creamer, right present third-grader Zack Blankenship, 9, pictured with his parents Eric and Jenny, with a new bicycle recently at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. The Masons are giving a bicycle to one student in each third grade class at the school. Third-grade teachers are selecting the recipients based on students’ behavior in class and display of good citizenship. Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop donates a lock and helmet to the winner. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

HighVisibilityPosse

(Editor’s note: The following is a thank you note from Sitka Community Hospital for those who participated in its recent Be Safe, Be Seen promotion.)

Dear Editor,

Walking and bicycling are economical and environmentally responsible ways to simultaneously meet needs for transportation, physical activity, and fun — all in one. Sitka has been nationally recognized as both a walk and bike friendly town and our rates for both activities are higher than the national average.

Living in a rain forest in Alaska means we often have low visibility. It’s important for pedestrians and cyclist to be visible as a courtesy to drivers and more importantly as a way to prevent collisions and injuries.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is by wearing a high-visibility jacket that provides total upper body coverage so you can be seen from both a long distance and from all sides. As part of the State of Alaska’s Injury Prevention program, 25 high-visibility GAGE jackets were purchased and distributed through Sitka Community Hospital’s Health Promotion Department. Thank you to the State of Alaska for the funding and to Murray Pacific, who sold the stylish raincoats at a generous discount. Also, thanks to the library staff who supported and hosted our “be safe be seen” educational event and jacket give away on Feb. 25.

High-visibility clothing is one item on the safe habits list including: biking on the right side of the road, wearing a helmet, looking left, right and then left again before crossing a street. The goal of this pilot project is to work together to start a trend of wearing bright clothing when biking or walking. Please encourage your family and friends to dress according to the conditions.

If you are walking or biking near cars, in low light, please don’t do it in dark clothes. Please consider joining the “High Vis. Evolution” and help our town shine bright!

Sincerely,

Doug Osborne, Bill Giant, Patrick Williams

edgecumbe-drive-rendering

10-24-13-Edgecumbe-Drive-sign-e1382728578427The City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department and its design-build partners on the Edgecumbe Drive Reconstruction Project have updated the construction drawings and are ready to begin work in the coming days. The project includes a new 10-foot-wide multi-use path on one side of the street for cyclists and pedestrians.

The path is intended to provide a safe route for slow-moving bikes and pedestrians to travel. Edgecumbe Drive’s proximity to Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School was a major driver in the decision to provide this pedestrian amenity.

Construction is slated to begin in March with the demolition of curb, gutter and sidewalks in “Phase I” of the project, defined as the stretch of Edgecumbe starting at Cascade Creek Road and ending just beyond Charteris. Phase II of construction extends from Charteris to Peterson, and will begin later in the summer so that it doesn’t interfere with school traffic. The road will be paved and ready for travel prior to school startup in the fall, and the entire project will be substantially complete by the end of September 2015.

S&S General Contractors will host meetings at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School (307 Kashevaroff Street) on or about the second Thursday of every month through the completion of the project to discuss the project schedule. The first such meeting is scheduled for at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 12.

Click the link below to review construction drawings showing the multi-use path, school zone bulb-outs, the four-way intersection at Kimsham, location of parking lanes and the approximate location of driveways.

Project contacts are Dave Longtin (747-1883, davidl@cityofsitka.com) for CBS and Camy Hyde (738-0618) for S&S.

• Updated drawings for Edgecumbe Drive Reconstruction Project

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