Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Next NJ BPAC Meeting on Thursday, June 9th

The next meeting of the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council will be held next week and hosted by the Voorhees Transportation Center at the Bloustein School of Rutgers University.

When:    Thursday, June 9th at 10:00 am
Where:   Edward J. Bloustein School
               33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, 08901
               Room 261

This is a public meeting and all interested parties are welcome to attend.

Select parts of the tentative draft meeting agenda are as follows:
I. New Jersey’s #5 ranking from the League of American Bicyclists
Debbie Kingsland/Bill Feldman

II. Subcommittee Discussion – Charles Brown
i. Legislative subcommittee
ii. Safety & Education subcommittee
iii. Design subcommittee

III. 5 to Ride Campaign – Stuart C. Gruskin Foundation
Presentation by Nancy Gruskin of the Stuart C. Gruskin Foundation

IV. Briefing: VTC New Website Overview - Jim Van Schoick

V. Briefing: Safe Routes to School
Leigh Ann Von Hagen

VI. Briefing: “For the Good of New Jersey”
Charles Brown/Jim Van Schoick

VII. Open floor / discussion period / 2 Minute Updates

VIII. Final remarks

Friday, May 27, 2011

2011 Biergarten Bike Ride SERIES starts next Friday, June 3


We will be meeting at Newark City Hall and will be promptly leaving by 7:00pm.  

Please try to arrive early so we can leave on time as the 15 mile ride will take at least an hour and a half baring any major mechanical problems. 

Yes you heard right!  WalkBikeJersey and the Brick City Bike Collective are proud to announce the Summer 2011, Biergarten Bike Ride SERIES!

The sign of a truly civilized society. An actual bicycle way-finding sign
in Bamberg, Germany showing bicyclists the best way to the biergarten.

Back by popular demand, the first edition of the Biergarten Bike Series will repeat the route (see below) taken during last Septembers very popular and well received first Biergarten Bike Ride.  The Biergarten is at the Deutsche Club of Clark, where I'm a member. On the evening of Friday, June 3rd, the plan is to meet in Newark, at a location and time yet to be determined by the folks at the Brick City Bike Collective. Like last year, the ride is 15 or so miles and will be run at a fun, casual, 3-speed and family friendly pace using mostly quite residential streets.  I would also like to use a portion of the East Coast Greenway as it runs south out of Newark and into Union County.

A scene from one of last summer's biergarten nights at the Deutscher Club of Clark

View Larger Map
Approximate route from Newark to the Deutsche Club of Clark.

Besides having the greatest bier culture in the world, Germany is also host to one of the world's finest bicycle cultures. When I visit Germany I will often go for a ride with with friends and/or family on the country's spectacular bicycle infrastructure. On some evenings our final destination would be the biergarten. As such, this is something fun of German culture that I would love to share.

As for the biergarten itself, German biergartens are fun and family friendly environment so children are welcomed. There will be live music at the event along with German foods and plenty of bier (note - vegetarians will have some but limited options). Last call is at 10pm but festivities typically go longer. At the end of the evening people I will escort people the 3.3 miles to the Rahway Train Station so they can take the train back to Newark (and I back to New Brunswick). People also have the option of taking the train from Westfield on the Raritan Valley Line which is slightly closer at 2.7 miles. Either way you will be going home at night so a proper assortment of front and rear lights are a must if you wish to participate.

Don't miss out on this opportunity for a fun filled ride with New Jersey's largest and most authentic German Biergarten as your final destination. 

And while bikes and bier are some of the greatest things that make life worth living, it should go without saying, but drunk bicycle riding IS DWI and will not be tolerated on the ride back to the train station. There will be police on site to enforce this!

The Summer 2011 Biergartern Bike Ride Series is as follows:
  • Friday, June 3rd
  • Friday, July 22nd
  • Friday, August 26th
  • Friday, September 30th

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New "Road ID" commercial tells it like it is; Supports LAB

So the Giro d'Italia is entering its final week and I've been hooked to watching every broadcast of every stage (sometimes more than once) since the Giro began two weeks ago.  The commercials I've seen during the Giro coverage left me somewhat disappointed until only a couple minutes ago this morning.

There were plenty of commercials for USA Cycling, which is good for bike racing but I said to myself, "Why couldn't the League of American Bicyclists or at least one of the big names in the industry use this event to promote bicyclists rights as USA Cycling was promoting its mission?"  Well it looks like the folks at Road ID were reading my thoughts and put out this perfectly fantastic, 1 minute commercial below!  Good going Road ID!   Maybe I'll be able to put away Bob Rolls Bazooka while out riding, if enough people get the message.

So if you agree with this message, join the League of American Bicyclists AND the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition. And if your lucky to have one your towns local advocacy group.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Very Last Call for The Big Walk!

The following comes to us from the fine folks at Freewalkers and the East Coast Greenway Alliance. Sorry but I just couldn't get the formatting just right on the text box to the left:

The Big Walk Logo
50 miles - May 21, 2011

Great Canal Walk Logo
38 miles - April 9, 2011

Tween Walk Logo
12 miles - April 16, 2011

Dear Walkers,

It's just a few days before - The Big Walk - coming up on Saturday May 21st. Now, I hear it might be Judgment Day too! What better way to go out than with an attempt at walking 50 miles! I guarantee that even your sub-50 mile efforts will not go unnoticed!

We got a big Union County welcoming ceremony in store for us in Cranford at the train station along with guests, press, and plenty of breakfast food to get you going and keep you going throughout the day provided by the ECGA, Union County Parks Dept. and a new sponsor! - Koenig Russo and Associates, LLc,  Certified Public Accountants of Roselle Park.

If you have not walked with us yet in a FreeWalkers event, you'll find that the people, the pace, the trail and the spirit of the group will provide the necessary mix for you to achieve your own personal best. You can set your own pace, come into and drop off the walk at various spots and bring your friends along too. The only thing you need to do is show up and try your best.

What's it Like to Walk that Long?

Here's the official event video and photos from last year:

We're posting photos, feedback and some preliminary stats on our recent walks - Great Canal Walk (April 9, 2011 - 40 miles) and the Tween Walk (April 16, 2011 - 12 miles). If you walked either event please complete the survey so that we can finish the final list of participants by next week.

Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge Too

Cross-jersey Walk ad
The Big Walk is a great way to add the miles walked to your total for the 100-mile Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge! It's our 100-mile crossing of the entire state. You can do this too. If you walk any of our previous walks this year the mileage counts toward the 100. All you have to do to qualify is register and log your mileage. And, you have until the end of the year to finish the 100 miles. Prizes await for this hearty bunch.

With Medals for All

Dog Tags for WalkersA free personalized dog tag will given to anyone who signs up online and walks the "The Big Walk" on May 21, 2011. - regardless of how long they walk. The free dog tag souvenir personally embossed with your name and accomplishment, has become a FreeWalkers tradition.The East Coast Greenway Alliance helps us provide this nice award to everyone. Please generously support their efforts in maintaining this unique trail by giving to their cause.

Paul Kiczek
Program Leader

Donate or Join East Coast Greenway
ECG LogoPlease Give. I'm reaching out to everyone to consider a small donation to the East Coast Greenway. You may have noticed that we added a "Giving" menu selection and we are now posting a notice on the home page asking that you consider joining as a member or donating to this remarkable 3,000 mile trail non-profit project. $40 will get you an adult membership, with even more favorable rates for students, families, and seniors. Consider asking friends and family to donate to your walking effort at $1 a mile as a way to have others help you and the Greenway. Here's a link to the donation page. Please consider a donation.

Thanks for your interest in the Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge. Feel free to contact us at info@crossjerseywalk.org if you have any questions or suggestions.
Learn More >>
Next Challenge Event Website: NJ2NY50.org
FreeWalkers Website: FreeWalkers.org
East Coast Greenway Website: greenway.org

Related Knol: The 50-Mile Hike Phenomenon
Facebook Page : Cross-Jersey Walking Chalenge - Fan Page
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CROSSJERSEYWALK

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bike news (good and bad) to start Bike to Work Week

Sorry the blog has been quite for a while.  There is always so much to do in May for me personally since I'm as much an avid gardener as I am a cyclist and there are so many plants to get into the ground in these weeks.  I'm also working two jobs, with one being with a well respected bike/ped advocacy group that keeps me going to bike events just about every weekend day during this Bike Month (rough job but someones got to do it).

Anyway, there are two interesting bike/ped related stories floating around the internet today; one good and one bad ... very bad.

First the "Good" - The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition used Bike Month and Bike to Work Week as an opportune time to introduce itself to greater New Jersey with this Op-Ed piece in The Times of Trenton.  It got good placement in the paper today and will hopefully get some more press in a few of the other New Jersey papers this week.

The "Bad" is REALLY bad - The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition is also reporting that the NJDOT is requesting to drop funding from a project that would have provided sidewalks and bike lanes on a section of Rt 7 in Kearny.  This project would be the start of providing a critical bicycle and pedestrian link between Newark and Jersey City.  These facilities would also be a part of the East Coast Greenway.  Currently there are no practical or safe options for pedestrians or bicyclists wishing to travel between New Jersey's two largest cities. 

If this is all true, such an action by NJDOT again calls into question if NJDOT is truly committed to the spirit of its nation leading Complete Streets policy.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Take the National Walking Survey

This comes to WalkBikeJersey from the folks at America Walks.  Please take the time to take their survey.
America Walks
Please take the National Walking Survey today!

Help America Walks learn more about who walks, and why we walk.  

This survey will take only 5 minutes to complete and results are anonymous.

The National Walking Survey results will help walking advocates understand what motivates avid walkers, and what keeps others from walking more. Once the data is analyzed, America Walks will tell you what we've learned to help promote walking in America. 

America Walks encourages the broadest possible participation in the  
National Walking Survey.  Please feel free to post, tweet, and forward this message. 

For more information, contact us at info@americawalks.org.

Thank you, in advance, for your participation.

Carter Headrick
America Walks Board President
 Green walking button

Seats still available! Traffic Skills 101 Bicycling Course to be offered in North Brunswick, NJ

Has the high cost of gas got you down?  Looking to lower your carbon footprint?  Do you want to get a little exercise on the weekends or possibly on your way to work, school or the grocery store?   Or do you just want to experience the freedom of the road powered by nothing but the strength of your muscles and the sweat on your brow (and your mom's irresistible chocolate chip cookies you devoured last night)?  Maybe your looking to do all these things but are apprehensive about traffic while riding your bike or just don't know where to start?  Well then I've got the answer for you!

The North Brunswick Township Parks and Recreation Department is proud to partner with the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition Bicycle Education Program to offer Traffic Skills 101 for bicyclists.
Following a well-established curriculum from the League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) and taught only by certified League Cycling Instructors, Traffic Skills 101 gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling.
The class will be limited to 15 students and will only be held if more than 5 students are registered.  This class is ideal for new cyclists who want to learn the basics, those returning to cycling from a long hiatus, people who want to be more independent on their bike, and those who feel a little nervous while cycling in traffic.  If you do not know how to ride a bike (that is, start, stop, balance and steer without falling down), this is not the right class for you. Participants must know how to balance and control a bicycle.

Date:  Saturday, May 7, 2011, 9 AM until 5 PM
Place:  North Brunswick Township Municipal Building
Cost:  $50 per student, checks made payable to "NJBC" and mailed to NJBC, P.O. Box 843, Mahwah, NJ  07430
Requirements:  You will need a bicycle in good working order, a helmet (no one will be allowed to participate in the on-bike portion of the class without a helmet), and a full water bottle.  This class will be held, rain or shine.
Lead Instructor:  Andrew J. Besold (ajbesold@yahoo.com)
Assistant Instructor:  Jim Nicholson (jimnichlci@optonline.net)