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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at noon on Friday, July 22, grabbing lunch at Beak Restaurant and eating it under the covered patio at the Salty Spoke Bicycle Co-op next door. This meeting is open to the general public. Don’t forget Beak 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.

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

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The Sitka Cycling Club reminds cyclists that even though many people call the paved pathways next to our roads “bike paths” they really are multi-use paths, which means they are to be shared by various groups of users.

One of the most popular multi-use paths in Sitka is along the ocean side of Sawmill Creek Road from Jeff Davis Street to Silver Bay (Gary Paxton Industrial Park). This multi-use path is designed for walkers, joggers, inline skaters, wheelchair users, parents with strollers, and cyclists, who may be traveling in either direction. These paths are designed for speeds of less than 10 miles per hour, and cyclists are asked to be courteous and yield to walkers and other users of the path.

Bicyclists riding more than 10 miles per hour who are unwilling to slow down should give a verbal cue (such as “passing on your left”), and leave plenty of distance when slowly maneuvering around a walker. If bicyclists feel the need to travel at faster than 10 miles per hour, they should go into bike commuter mode and ride in the street on the right side of traffic.

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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.

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With a record number of cruise ship visitors expected in Sitka this summer, the new Walk, Bike, Win! downtown commuter challenge will help reduce car traffic while also offering Sitka residents a fitness challenge.

Walk, Bike, Win! starts on Saturday, May 7, which is the first day when downtown streets are closed to cars because more than 3,000 cruise ship passengers are expected in Sitka that day. The contest runs through Thursday, Sept. 29, which is when the last large cruise ship of the season is scheduled.

This free challenge is co-sponsored by Visit Sitka, the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce, the City and Borough of Sitka, Sitka Conservation Society, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), Sitka Trail Works, and the Sitka Cycling Club.

So how does the challenge work?

Sitka residents first need to register by going to the online registration link and submitting name and email, etc. Next, any time you walk or bike to a destination in the blue zone of this downtown map, record the trip and earn points. You earn points for any human-powered trip downtown, the time of the trip, and if it’s on a Lincoln Street closure day, plus there are bonus points for people who are new to active transportation.

There are a variety of prizes available from local merchants, including many that participate in the Bicycle Benefits program. The first 150 people to hit three points win gift cards from the Backdoor Cafe, Highliner Coffee, Wild Flower Cafe, Sitka Flowers and Chocolate Moose, and Fisheye Coffee. If you earn 25 points you get a gift card to the Sitka Local Foods Network farm stand at the Sitka Farmers Market or Old Harbor Books. If you earn 75 points you win a gift card from BEAK Restaurant or Mean Queen. For 150 points you win a gift card to Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, Russell’s, or Work and Rugged Gear/Mountain Miss.

Those who earn 200 points will be entered into a grand prize drawing for $100 cash plus your choice of a three-month membership at the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center, two tickets on a 2022-23 Sitka Trail Works boat trip hike, or a one-year membership at the Salty Spoke Bicycle Cooperative.

People can pick up their prizes at the front desk of the Planning Department at City Hall. Every Friday, Sitka Trail Works will send out an email that announces that week’s prize winners. If you need a paper copy to log your trips, click this link and download it.

For more information, Doug Osborne at 966-8674 or douglaso@searhc.org.

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All are invited to a free workshop on commuting by bicycle to work, school, or other everyday destinations.  The class is from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the Salty Spoke Bicycle Cooperative, located at 1 Lincoln Street, in the small building next to the Cable House (Beak Restaurant and KCAW-Raven Radio building).  Sitka Cycling Club president Doug Osborne will teach the class.

The hands-on workshop will have a riding portion, so all participants will need a bike and helmet. Workshop topics may include rules of the road, how to deal with inclement weather, basic bike maintenance, and more.

For more information, contact Doug Osborne at 907-738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org. To sign up for the free Sitka Cycling Club monthly newsletter, go to https://sitkacycling.wordpress.com/ and click the logo in the top of the right column.

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The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 22, using Zoom. This meeting is open to the general public.

With the new tourism plan, the club has $10,000 for downtown bike parking and $12,000 for an incentive program to get people commuting by bike or on foot. Meeting topics includes planning local events for National Bike Month in May, a new summer commuter challenge (Walk, Bike, Win!) that starts in May, trail updates, the status on a new pump track to be built this summer, scheduling community bike rides, and more. We also will set the date for our next meeting for May.

For those wanting to participate in the meeting, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org for the meeting log-in info.

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The Salty Spoke Bicycle Cooperative will be able to spread out in its new space, which is larger, more accessible, and heated.

After spending much of the weekend moving, the Salty Spoke will host an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 17, at its new location of 1 Lincoln Street, the small building that used to house Devil Fish Gallery next to the historic Cable House with KCAW-Raven Radio and Beak Restaurant.

In addition to the open house, Charlie Lowell of the Susitna Bicycle Institute in Anchorage will teach a basic bicycle mechanics workshop from 12:30-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The workshop is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $25 for Salty Spoke members and $40 for non-members.

The new space is partially funded by a grant from the Outride Fund, for mentoring rural Alaska youth bike mechanics. The Salty Spoke’s old space was in the back of the Hames Athletic and Wellness Center, but the co-op had outgrown that space and needed more room.

From left, Joel Hanson and Alyssa Russell of the Salty Spoke Bicycle Cooperative and Charlie Lowell of the Susitna Bicycle Institute pose after completing the Salty Spoke’s move to its new location. There will be an open house and Charlie will teach a basic bike mechanics workshop on Sunday, April 17.

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A new Sitka Trail Plan is under development, built by and for Sitkans

Access to the amazing natural beauty that surrounds our community is a cornerstone of quality of life in Sitka. Being active outdoors keeps Sitkans healthy and happy, which is why it’s vital to maintain and improve public trails.

For the last 20 years, Sitka Trail Works has invested in the maintenance and expansion of our local trail network. The success of partnerships with public land managers including the City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska State Parks, the US Forest Service, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and the National Park Service, is due in large part to 2003 Sitka Trail Plan. The original Trail Plan guided the construction of the Herring Cove Trail, the Thimbleberry to Heart Lake Trail, and the entire Cross Trail network. Many of the outdoor destinations that Sitkans cherish today exist thanks to that first Trail Plan.

It’s time for a new vision. Having accomplished many of the original objectives, Sitka Trail Works is excited to launch the 2022 Sitka Trail Planning process. Collectively agreeing on our next priorities and advancing projects to shovel ready status will help Sitka compete for state and federal infrastructure funding. With this new plan guiding the way, we envision an even more robust trail system that supports the physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural vibrancy for future generations.

All Sitkans are invited to be a part of shaping the future of our trails. To start, Sitka Trail Works is widely distributing a public survey to gather information about current uses, challenges, and opportunities for our trail system. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 cash prize.

TAKE THE SURVEY AT

SitkaTrailWorks.org/survey

Print copies are available at the library and an open house will be held at Harrigan Centennial Hall at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11. In addition to circulating the survey, we will be connecting directly with various community groups for more in-depth discussions. After an initial round of extensive public engagement, Sitka Trail Works and partners will assess trail concept feasibility, identify shared priorities, and assemble an initial list of new trail project ideas. This draft list will be distributed to the public for another round of review and feedback. Only after a thorough vetting and approval by all public land managers will the new plan be formalized.  

The goals of this planning process are to:

  • Make it easier and more inviting to be active and healthy outside;
  • Be good stewards of our spectacular cultural and natural landscape;
  • Help build a stronger, more durable local economy;
  • Provide diverse, equitable access to the outdoors;
  • Work within our means and by working together, increase our means!

The success of our community’s trail system depends on the collaboration of a wide range of organizations and individuals. Here’s what our partners have to say about Sitka’s Trails:

  • “Alaska’s outdoor opportunities, particularly our trail systems, are second to none. I’ve been proud to partner with groups like Sitka Trail Works to help expand, maintain, and keep our state’s trails safe for all who wish to enjoy them, and look forward to that continuing under our bipartisan infrastructure law,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said. “The funding I secured through this historic legislation will help Alaska communities like Sitka restore and develop essential infrastructure that supports healthy and strong economies and improves the quality of life through recreational opportunities.
  • “Tlingit people have walked in these forests and paddled these waters since time immemorial, and we know that a connection to nature is vital to physical, mental, and spiritual health. We look forward to working with Sitka Trail Works and our public land management partners to craft a vision for how trails can help people hunt, gather, and bring their families outdoors on our traditional territory for generations to come.” – Woody Widmark, Tribal Chairman, Sitka Tribe of Alaska.
  • “The National Park Service was an integral partner during the development of the ambitious 2003 Sitka Trail Plan.  Now we are excited that Sitka Trail Works and the many Sitka trail partners will be engaging in a next era of community based trail planning.  Sitka National Historical Park’s trails are one of our most loved and well used features so we are eager to explore ways we can support this community initiative, better connect, and improve access to the recreation experience and solace trails provide.” – Mary Miller, Superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park
  • “Playing in the woods was a huge part of my childhood in Sitka. Thanks to the dogged efforts of Sitka Trail Works over the years, many families can get outdoors with a trail in their neighborhood. This planning process will help more young and old Sitkans reap the tremendous benefits of time spent in Sitka’s wet and wonderful shared backyard.” – Alaska Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, Sitka
  • “Sitka Trail Works, through its work with a diverse group of partners and agencies, built a model for the creation of an incredible public trail resource other Southeast communities can emulate.  The Tongass National Forest is a proud partner in these efforts and hopes to share the insights and successes of our collaboration with other communities in Alaska. Through this type of work, we can bolster and demonstrate the social, economic and ecological benefits of accessible public lands.” – Jason Anderson, Staff Officer for Recreation, Minerals, Lands & Heritage, Tongass National Forest, US Forest Service
  • “Trails are critical infrastructure, used by Sitkans every day of the year to walk, bike, sightsee, and enjoy the outdoors greatly improving our standard of living. As I have in the past, I will continue to support projects, like the Sawmill Creek Road Separated Pathway and the Sea Walk, and in our State Parks, like Mosquito Cove and Halibut Point Rec, that support community health and the visitor economy. I appreciate Sitka Trail Works’ efforts to compile Sitkans’ shared priorities for future infrastructure needs.” – Alaska Sen. Bert Stedman, Sitka
  • “Sitka’s trails are one of the shining jewels of our town and I’m very excited that Sitka Trail Works is stepping up to prepare a trail plan for the next generation. I’m anxious to see what this new era brings.” – Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz
  • “At Waypoint for Veterans, we know that time in nature provides relaxation and personal growth for people who serve our country. Sitka Trail Works’ mission provides us a variety of well-maintained trails that allows Waypoint to customize trips for small and large groups of different physical abilities. We are grateful to be partnering with Sitka Trail Works’ as a way to reinforce our mission of offering healing through nature.” – Lucas Goddard, Executive Director, Waypoint for Veterans
  • “We partner with organizations like Sitka Trail Works to promote active lifestyles and a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit,” said SEARHC President and CEO Charles Clement. “Sitka’s growing trail system provides access to the bounty and beauty of Alaska throughout the community.”

For more information, please contact:

Ben Hughey

Executive Director

Sitka Trail Works, Inc

907-747-7244

ben@sitkatrailworks.org

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The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at noon on Friday, March 25, using Zoom. This meeting is open to the general public.

With the new tourism plan, the club has $10,000 for downtown bike parking and $12,000 for an incentive program to get people commuting by bike or on foot. Meeting topics include an update on a recent grant application to the Crossett Fund for the pump track project and Salty Spoke Bicycle Co-op, our first monthly group bike ride of the season on Saturday, a new fitness challenge for April, planning for National Bike Month in May, and more. We also will set the date for our next meeting for April.

For those wanting to participate in the meeting, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org for the meeting log-in info.

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The now-defunct Sitka Mountain Bike Association lines up for the Fourth of July parade in 2007.

The Sitka Cycling Club will host a monthly steering committee at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, using Zoom. This meeting is open to the general public.

With the new tourism plan, the club has $10,000 for downtown bike parking and $12,000 for an incentive program to get people commuting by bike or on foot. Meeting topics include introductions, bike successes, context, goals for 2022, club rides for 2022, save a space program, pump track and trails, next steps, and close. We also will set the date for our next meeting for March.

For those wanting to participate in the meeting, contact Doug Osborne at 738-8734 or douglaso@searhc.org for the meeting log-in info.

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