Feb 28

To all Anchorage bicyclists. All of our groundwork has succeeded. We’re hearing the Bicycle Plan has 100% assembly and mayoral support, and is expected to pass on Tuesday night. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that those of us showing up at the Tuesday assembly meeting respectfully keep quiet and just let the assembly vote. The sooner they can vote on it, w/o any interruptions from enthusiastic cyclists, the sooner we will have our Bicycle Plan.

Since we have certainty in the Bicycle Plan passing on Tuesday, it’s essential that we respect the decorum and simply let the vote take place. Please, refrain the urge to speak at the meeting. The work has already been done.

This Saturday, March 6, re-channel that energy and blow off all your excitement at the BCA Winter Bike Fest fundraiser. 6:30-8:30 pm at BP Energy Bldg. Let’s all bask in the glory.

Feb 27

Roger and 6 wheeled bike, Somewhere on the Iditarod Trail

Roger has loaned me his collection of newspaper articles and photos from his 1989 and 1990 cycling trips on the Iditarod Trail. It’s been a fascinating read. In 1989, the racers had exceptionally good weather.  In 1990, it was an entirely different story.  The racers battled volcanic ash from Mt. Redoubt, record snow falls that completely obscured the trail, and a 40 degree thaw that obliterated the trail, turning it into a swampy mush.
During both the 1989 and 1990 journeys, they also encountered strangers along the way who helped them…Iditarod mushers with words of encouragement, trappers who shared shelter and provisions, and villagers who opened their houses to the exhausted cyclists. It was truly an Alaskan adventure. Roger will be sharing stories and pictures from those pioneering years of extreme winter biking on March 6 at the BP Energy Center, from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, as part of the BCA Winter Bike Festival. Come join us and hear about those early Alaska extreme winter cyclists!

Feb 24

Feb 23

Wednesday, Feb. 24th, from 2:00-3:00pm on Hometown, Alaska, guests Lori Schanche and Brian Litmans will join host Kathleen McCoy to explain the plan, how it would unfold over time, and how it stacks up to evolving bicycle use in other cities, including other snowy ones.

The Bike Plan is a critical planning element to make Anchorage more bicycle-friendly and livable.   Please call in and let us know why the Anchorage Bicycle Plan and bicycle transportation, in general,  is important to you.

• Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
• Send e-mail to hometownalaska@kska.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)

Hometown rebroadcasts at 10 pm and you can get a podcast of the show.

Feb 22

In Sunday’s Anchorage Daily News, Lanie Fleischer speaks out in support of the Anchorage Bike Plan. Thanks Lanie!

It’s time to adopt new, 20-year Bicycle Plan

COMPASS: Other points of view


By LANIE FLEISCHER

(02/21/10 18:11:43)

Of all the things we have come together to accomplish in this town, our greenbelts and trail systems truly define Anchorage. Now it’s time for the next phase.

The new Anchorage Bicycle Plan is a 20- year transportation plan which confirms that bikes are a legitimate mode of transportation in our community. The plan identifies routes for bike commuters and makes some of the connections we have longed for within the existing greenbelt trail system.

The plan, before the Anchorage Assembly for a public hearing on March 2, strives to make it safer to truly commute to work and to take care of business by bicycle, as more and more people are doing. Continue reading »

Feb 20

This could be yours!

The BCA has been gathering donations from local bike shops for our upcoming Winter Bike Festival. We’ll be using these donations for door prizes and prizes in our Most Visible Rider contest. We’ve not only received a collection of cool bike lights for prizes and giveaways, including two of these Bike Glow lights.

(I really want one of these, but unfortunately I’m not eligible to win),  but also a gift certificate for $100 courtesy of the Bicycle Shop on Northern Lights! That gift certificate could be yours! We’ve also collected a bright women’s riding jacket (in my size too…did I mention I’m not eligable for any of this cool stuff? Oh well). We also have two bright men’s riding vests and a bike rack, all courtesy of Chain Reaction! The first five contestants to enter the Most Visible Rider contest will get prizes from REI just for entering. Join us March 6 at the BP Energy Center from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM and maybe you’ll go home with some of this great stuff!

Feb 18

by Mr. Thomas Pease, February 17th, 2010  The Anchorage Press.

The Anchorage Police Department has proposed new language in the Municipal Traffic Department’s Title 9 traffic rewrite that would negatively impact bicyclists throughout Anchorage. Current code (sect. 9.38.020(c)) requires motorists to yield to bikers and other non-motorized users at all intersections. Recently, municipal traffic planners inserted language into the draft Title 9 rewrite that would reverse this arrangement and would require all human-powered vehicles to yield to vehicles at all intersections (See the Press’s “Don’t get your chain in a knot just yet,” December 17, by Scott Christiansen). This new language will not reduce collisions between vehicles and bicycles, but it will unduly burden non-motorized users and could encourage bicyclists to ride on the roads.

Dawn Groth RN, BCA board member, and Walk to School volunteer coordinator responds to Mr. Pease’s article and the new law. She feels the potential law poses the most risk for children riding their bicycles on sidewalks. “When bicyclists follow the rules of the road, roads are the safest place for bicyclists to ride, but parents are not comfortable with their children riding on the road with traffic.  They want a separation between fast moving, heavy vehicles, and their kids.”   The new language in Title 9 removes motorists obligation to look for a child in their path. It places the burden of safety on children, who are just learning bicycle safety skills.

You can read the entire article here Continue reading »

Feb 12

In 1989, four men wondered if it would be possible to ride the Iditarod Trail by bicycle, in the middle of the Alaskan winter. They decided the only way to find out, would be to try. Now fast forward to 2010, where we can purchase snow specific bikes at any one of a number of local bike shops. But twenty years ago, if you wanted a snow bike, you had to build your own. And that’s just what Roger Cowles did. A four wheeled snow bike. The quadracycle performed so well, he built a six wheeled bike the next year, and raced skiers in the 1990 Nome Odyssey.

The Six Wheeled Bike leads racers in the 1990 Nome Odyssey

It was the precursor to the worlds longest winter ultra race, which became an annual event starting in 2000. Since then, only thirty racers have made it all the way to Nome.

On March 6 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the BP Energy Center, the BCA will host a Winter Bike Festival, featuring a presentation by winter extreme cyclist pioneer Roger Cowles about his trips to Nome on the Iditarod Trail. It’s a fascinating story of innovation, adventure, and determination. It’s also a story about the impact of the incredible powers of Mother Nature during our intense Alaskan winters.

Feb 11

A new report by the Alliance for Biking & Walking shows that lack of investment in biking and walking could be contributing to higher traffic fatalities and chronic disease rates in the U.S.  Bicycling and Walking in the United States: The 2010 Benchmarking Report reveals that in almost every state and major U.S. city, bicyclists and pedestrians are at a disproportionate risk of being killed, and receive less than their fair share of transportation dollars.

Jeff Miller, President of the Alliance noted that “creating safe streets for everyone will save lives and improve health and quality of life in communities…. Our data show that increasing investment in biking and walking could lead to more people biking and walking. The more people bike and walk, the safer it is and the healthier the community. It’s a virtuous cycle.

The report also highlights the fact that states with the lowest levels of biking and walking have, on average, the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In contrast states with the highest levels of biking and walking have, on average, the lowest rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In addition, where rates of biking and walking are greater, more of the adult population is likely to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity aerobic activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Feb 11

This week, Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move! The campaign has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.

Childhood obesity or excess weight threatens the healthy future of one third of American children. We spend $150 billion every year to treat obesity-related conditions, and that number is growing. Obesity rates tripled in the past 30 years, a trend that means, for the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents. In Anchorage, 37% of K-12th graders are overweight or obese.

Children need 60 minutes of active and vigorous play every day to grow up to a healthy weight.  If this sounds like a lot, consider that 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 ½ hours to using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies  in a typical day, and only a third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.   To increase physical activity, today’s children need safe routes to walk and ride to school, parks, playgrounds and community centers where they can play and be active after school, and sports, dance or fitness programs that are exciting and challenging to keep them engaged.

Let’s Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country.  BCA embraces this campaign by continuing to advocate for safe routes to schools, educating children about how to bicycle safely and in general encourage bicycling for young and old. You too can support this movement by encouraging children to walk or bike to school and to get  outside and play. If you would like more information about getting a safe routes to schools program at your school please contact us at info@bicycleanchorage.org. You can also learn more about safe routes to schools on our safe routes to schools page.

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