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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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Photo by K.K. Prussian
Photo by Lione Clare

The Sitka Cycling Club worked with the City of Sitka to develop an MOU and has contracted Del Co. to build a bike pump track near the skate park. “The project is well underway but awaiting surface material so we kindly ask that riders stay off the track until it is completed.”

The contract with Del Co. includes shaping the design of the pump track using mixed gravel and then covering it with recycled asphalt. Please stay off the track until the asphalt has been placed.

We have had people ask about volunteer opportunities, but the shaping part of the project requires heavy equipment and isn’t suited for volunteers. The asphalt work will be open for volunteers, who can rake, spray with water, and compact it onto the course. The timing of the asphalt depends on its availability from the Sawmill Creek Road construction project. We will put out a call for volunteers when they are needed.  

If people still want to volunteer, the Sitka Cycling Club continues to have its Monday afternoon single-track mountain bike trail-building work parties from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at our trail location off the Sitka Cross Trail, near the Sitka High School entrance (turn right at the trail junction).

Funding for the pump track project has come from CHARR Sitka, Marble Construction, Sitka Rotary, Juneau Community Foundation (Douglas Dornan Grant), and the Crossett Fund, as well as small donations from Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop and a donation table at Sea Mart.

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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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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Can you walk, bike or swim 100 miles in a month? The 100 Miles In May Challenge will help you get there.

The 100 Miles in May Challenge is a fundraiser for the Healthy Futures program, which works to empower Alaska’s youth to build the habit of daily physical activity. It’s an excellent opportunity to encourage physical activity among employees, family, or friends, and role model healthy behavior for youth. As participants enter their exercise into a mileage converter, they can track their status on group, category, and statewide leaderboards

Your Easy Steps:

1.    Register100miles.healthyfuturesak.org
2.    Create a Team and enter a pledge that fits your budget. Or just go solo.
3.    Invite Team Members: Invite co-workers, friends, or family.
4.   Challenge other teams to a friendly competition.

Join the MOVE-Ment. Get in shape for summer, promote a healthy lifestyle, and support Healthy Futures. ALL activities convert to miles.

Thank you for supporting Healthy Futures and our work in building a healthy, active youth population. This statewide event is a fundraiser, so individuals and teams are asked to make a donation pledge. There are prizes for those who make the 100-mile goal.

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