Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lights in the Parkway Tix

The Sunday Lights in the Parkway ride is soon upon us and it just might get above freezing by then! Advance tickets are available which drops the admission price from $9.00 to $5.00. I am going to drop some at the Bike Line in Allentown and will have some at the 5pm meeting at LITP start (main Lehigh Parkway entrance off of 15th Street - hard to miss with all of the lights) - they are also available at Wegmans and City Hall should either of those locations be more convenient. Please join us as it is sure to be a good time. Ride on!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lights in the Parkway Ride - December 19th

Greetings all. Tis the season to bundle up and go for a ride. Allentown is letting Bicycles through Lights in the Parkway (LITP) on equal terms as all other vehicles this year and Bike Allentown wants to show them we are thankful. We are planning a group ride through the display on December 19th at 5:15pm. Front and rear lights are required by law and we are going to request that everyone wear helmets for good measure. There are many options for getting to the start of LITP but I am going to keep this simple.

There are two parking lots off Fish Hatchery Road should you want to drive over there with your bike. The lot closest to 24th Street and the one I am recommending parking at is the Fly Fishing Shop - coming from 24th you will cross under 78 and you will see a small sign for that lot shortly after on the right - head down the hill and park wherever there is space. There is a bridge across the Little Lehigh right there that we can cross and head towards the 5:15pm start at the beginning of LITP. We should leave this spot no later than 4:50pm for good measure - that will leave plenty of time to get there and take pictures and things of the such and meet anyone who may have taken another path to the start. If that lot is full - there is a second lot at the Fish Hatchery which is only about a quarter mile ride from this spot. If you park there - you will come out of the lot - make a left and ride a small distance on Fish Hatchery road - you will cross a small bridge and make an immediate left onto the gravel path - that will take you to the lot at the Fly Fishing Shop. Please be there by 4:50pm so we can all head to the start as a group. Admission for LITP is $9.00 if you buy your tickets at the start - BUT - you can buy them in advance for $5.00 at either the Christmas Barn (located in the parking lot by Bogert's Bridge - this the entrance at the traffic signal at 24th Street and Fish Hatchery Road) or Allentown City Hall.

If you are going to head over by bike - the options of getting there are unlimited. The main entrance to the Lehigh Parkway and the start of LITP is off of 15th Street - you will not miss it. If you are going to meet us at the start of LITP - please try to be there no later than 5:00pm so that we can get ourselved organized, photographed, etc. We will head off as a group and proceed to ride through LITP at a very leisurely pace so that we all have time for oohs and aahs. The display concludes by the red covered bridge (Bogert's) at the traffic light on 24th at Fish Hatchery Road. There is a Christmas Barn set-up at the end with gifts, hot chocolate, et al. You can choose to hang out there for a bit, head back to your car or head back from any other direction from which you came. The lots that I recommended for parking are just a very short bike ride back from this point on a gravel path.

Please come join us and bring your family and/or friends - it is sure to be a good time and we would like a decent sized group to show our appreciation to Allentown for letting bikes through this year (even though they should be allowed through anyway - but that is a different story for a different day).

Afterwards I intend to head to Ringer's Roost on Liberty Street in Allentown to enjoy some holiday cheer and warm my arse. Feel free to join in the celebration. Ride on!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great Ride

We had a decent turnout for the Emmaus Farmers Market ride last Sunday - we even had a Muhlenberg student join us and hopefully she will spread the word that she had fun and encourage more folks to come join us for future rides.  The weather was absolutely perfect, we had a great variety of riders and the pace was extremely casual. I will sadly admit that I have never visited this Farmers Market before - but I will most definitely be heading there as much as possible through their final weekend which comes at Thanksgiving.

We are going to lead another ride there on Sunday November 7th.  We will once again be leaving from in front of Seegers Union at Muhlenberg at 9:45am and from in front of Cedar Beach Pool at 10am.  Hopefully my knee will heal enough by then to hook up my trailer as I ran out of room in my backpack - endless amounts of yummy foods to carry back. Come join us - you will not regret it.

Ride on

Monday, October 4, 2010

Emmaus Farmers Market Ride

Greetings all.  Saturday was a great time at West End Oktoberfest.  Great food, music and art - thank you for all who stopped out to say hello.

Next up is our first group ride of the fall.  We are proposing a ride to the Emmaus Farmers Market on Sunday October 10th.  We are going to meet in front of the Cedar Beach Pool (Ott and Linden Streets) and will aim to leave 10am-ish.  We are going to head right up Ott Street and make our way towards the Lehigh Parkway - will pretty much figure out the ride as we go.  It is going to be a very casual pace and no one will be left behind.  I recommend bringing a backpack and/or hooking up your bike trailer as there are alot of delicious treats to be had there.  I will be speaking to the folks at South Mountain Cycles to arrange bike parking for us.  It should be a nice time and the weather forecast is promising at this point.  Bring your friends and family - hope to see you there.

Ride on.

Friday, September 24, 2010

October Happenings

Greetings - it has been way too long and I am not sure where the time has gone.  I will say enjoy your rides as you do not know what you have until it is gone.  I was a 5 to 7 day a week rider until I underwent knee surgery at the end of August - found more damage then anticipated when they went in to scope - ended up doing a few procedures while they were there with micro-fracture surgery being the worst and I have now been off the bike for four weeks (other than a few easy pedals in proximity to my dwelling) and am missing it terribly.  Next follow-up in a week and hopefully good news will result.  But I digress.

Two big events coming up in Allentown and we are hoping for some participation.  First on the agenda is the West End Oktoberfest on 19th Street in Allentown.  It promises to be bigger and better in its third year.  BikeAllentown is not only volunteering to help out where needed for this event - but we will have a tent set up and will be borrowing two bike racks from the city to park your faithful steeds.  Stop by - say hello - have a beverage and hang for awhile.  More info here - http://www.westendoktoberfest.com/6.html

The following week we are proposing our first Fall ride of the year on Sunday October 10th at 10am.  Aiming to do something a little different and will be meeting at Cedar Beach Pool in Allentown for a ride to the Emmaus Farmer's Market.  There are some rolling hills but we will ride at a very casual Sunday drive kinda pace - so bring a a backpack or hook-up your trailer and come join us.  I estimate this one to be about ten miles total.  You can find more info on the market here - http://www.emmausmarket.com/

Here's to hoping I get clearance for such a ride from the doctor next week.  If you need any additional info on either of these events feel free to drop me a line at saulgood@ptd.net

Ride on my friends

Monday, May 17, 2010

Volunteers Needed

There is a program run by the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center and they need your help.  The program is called "Lose the Training Wheels" and is a bike camp that teaches children and adults with disabilities how to ride a conventional two wheeled bike.  The camp runs June 21-25 and has five 90-minute sessions per day.  If you have some extra time - please volunteer - you will be hard pressed to find a more rewarding experience - for both the new cyclists and yourself.  Get additional info here - http://epdsc.net/LOOSETHETRAININGWHEELSPROGRAM.aspx

Ride on!

Bike to Work

It is Bike to Work Week - with Friday being the official Ride to Work Day.  Mother Nature is not completely cooperating but the temps are nice enough to pack some rain gear and suck it up for the ride home.  I hooked up the trailer and gave myself a little resistance training on my 12 mile ride in today.  Definitely got alot of second looks from motorists.  Sad to report that I only saw one other cyclist this morning - but I am hoping folks were just going in a direction oppostie mine.

I saw alot of cyclists breaking laws this weekend.  Saw two folks blow through a red light out towards the Velodrome - same rules apply to cyclists - please ride respectfully - follow the rules of the road and don't give us a bad name.  Saw two more folks further up Rte 100 that were riding against traffic - again same rules apply - you should be riding with traffic not against.  It is actually less safe to ride against traffic - especially for the person that was riding towards them on the proper side - someone is going to be forced out into traffic in that situation.

Summary:  Ride to work - following the proper rules of the road - be safe.  Ride on!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2nd PA Bike Summit

Greetings folks.  It has been way too long since something has been posted here.  Have spent much time on bikes with all this lovely weather - has made for some great commutes as well as many laughs screaming through the woods on my mountain bike.  Sprinkle in some preparation for and subsequent running of both a half marathon and the best event ever in the Tough Mudder and it becomes clear - to me at least why I have been away for so long.  No excuse for not updating this blog and will try and do better moving forward.

I spent the day in Harrisburg yesterday with Fritz Walker attending the 2nd Annual PA Walks and Bikes Summit.  Kudos to the organizers for putting on a great event - more organized than last year and leaves me excited to help in the planning of next year's event.  We met some great folks from organizations accross Pennsylvania and walked away with alot of great contacts.

Fritz and I chose to ride in with a nice sized group that had gathered at th PA Farm Show Complex - was a very leisurely paced ride led by a gal from the Harrisburg Cycling Club on a tricycle.  Other folks chose to walk in - that group included Tina Amato who had also attended a Safe Routes to Schools get together the previous evening.  Cyclist and walkers came together on the Capital steps for a rally and listened to some positive words by some cycling friendly politicos as well as folks from PA Walks and Bikes, League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails, Safe Routes to School and many more I am sure I am forgetting as my notes are at home.  After the rally we headed inside for some networking and lunch before heading off to speak to folks from the House and Senate to which we were assigned randomly.  Fritz and I spoke to folks in 13 offices - hopefully that will be our lucky number to garner additional support for walking and cycling.

As mentioned above - we had the chance to walk away with some great contacts.  We were also able to put BikeAllentown contact information in the hands of many and walked away with some positive input from groups such as BikePittsburgh, Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition and League of American Bicyclists to name a few.  It was a great day - we were blessed with great weather and I walk away with some great new friends.  Look up positive experience in the dictionary and I am pretty sure you will see a picture of yesterday.  Another beautiful day get out there and enjoy it - whether by bike or by foot you cannot go wrong.  Ride on!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Adoption of Greenways Plan

It looks like the vote to adopt the Greenways Plan will finally go before City Council tomorrow evening.  This shows up on the agenda about two thirds of the way down - so it could potentially be a long evening.  There is a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting scheduled prior to the Council Meeting - 7pm - if you can make it I encourage you to do so.

The Council Meeting starts at 7:30pm at City Hall - 1st Flr - Council Chambers.  The dislikers are all riled up so if you can be there - please come on down - drag some friends along as well - it is better than sitting home and watching American Idol.

Ride on!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's On

Put April 23rd on your calendar folks.  BikeAllentown's first Friday night ride of the year will be the day after Earth Day.  We are going to leave from in front of Hava Java on 19th Street and will take a novice level ride throughout Allentown.  We will start with with a small loop of the West End area and head Downtown and then loop back around to The Ritz where you can feel free to grab some ice cream - or whatever your hunger desires - or head on home to start enjoying the weekend.  We are actually going to follow roads that are part of the proposed Greenways Plan - with the entire loop being relatively flat.  We will be demonstrating the proper way to ride in traffic and following proper group riding etiquette.  Copies of the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual will be available as our special bonus gift to you - that's right folks free!  Earth Day ride and free literature - where else are you going to get that kinda action on a Friday night.  We will post a map of the proposed route on http://www.bikeallentown.com/ soon.  We hope to see you there.

On a separate but related note - the Allentown City Council on adopting (hopefully) the proposed Greenways Plan has been scheduled for their April 7th meeting.  The meeting will be held in Council Chambers and starts at 7:30pm.  Come out and show your support.

Ride on! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Delay on Greenways Vote

Just found out the Greenways vote will not show up on the City Council's agenda until their April 7th gathering.  Not sure why - but it was confirmed.

That being said - it is time to start thinking about restarting the monthly Friday night rides for 2010.  This past weekend brought us the blessing of more daylight and we should take full advantage of it.  It looks like the 2nd or 3rd Fridayin April will work out well.  Our monthly BikeAllentown meeting is March 23rd at 7pm - feel free to come join us -  we should have an April ride date figured out that night.  I will post it as soon as I know it.

All I wanna know is - who'll stop the rain?  Ride on.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Greenways Vote Rescheduled

Due to unforseen circumstances - namingly Greg Weitzel undergoing surgery - the Greenways vote had to be scratched from the agenda last evening.  They have pushed the vote back to the March 17th meeting - same time - 7:30pm - at City Hall.  Feel free to contact the Council members to share your thoughts on the plan.

On a separate note - Council did vote in favor of a cell phone ban last evening.  Using a cell phone while driving is now prohibited unless you are using a hands free device - this applies not only to motorists but also to cyclists, skateboarders and rollerbladers.  While I agree with this - I feel that using a cell phone is really just a microcosm of distracted driving in general.  It unfortunately does not address applying makeup, shaving, reaching for cigarettes or spilled coffee, turning around to yell at the kids, reading a book or newspaper, putting in contacts or driving with a dog on one's lap.  It might sound absurd - but I unfortunately see these things all too often in my travels.  The ordinance will actually read that even if using a hands free device - one cannot dial a phone while driving - which means one must pull over to the side of the raod - dial the phone - then pull back into traffic and proceed on your merry way.  Hazardous unto itself.  Again - I do not have a problem with this law - I just do not know how they are going to enforce it when there are so many other more egregious infractions going unpunished throughout the City.  I also have an issue with the fact that there will be no warning issued - it will be punishible by a fine on the first offense.  No offense to the Council - but not everyone will see news about this - some cannot afford or choose not to read the local paper - the same goes for television.  Unless there are going to be signs posted throughout the City - which I do not know who will pay for them as the City has no money - I do not know how they feel they can enforce this law.  Guess we shall see.

That's all for now.  Ride on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

City Council Tonight

It has been a hectic few weeks for me since the last Greenways meeting and fortunately there has not been much to muse about in the bike world due to the continuing wrath of Mother Nature. Adopting the Greenways plan is is on this evening's City Council agenda.  There are rumblings that Fox News will be wandering about to try and paint the Greenways Plan as a waste of Stimulus Funding.  Not sure how that can be as this is only being adopted as a plan and not yet funded.  Online social networking and blog sites are buzzing with input from both those who support and those who are against the plan.  Maybe I am biased - but I think of this as a great way to link Allentown's existing beautiful parks.  I can only see benefit to making the streets that link our parks safer so that people do not feel as if they have to use an automobile to get to the parks as walking or riding a bike is just unsafe.  I think getting more people into our parks would justify designating additional funds for the maintenance issues that currently exist.  No one is saying this is going to be a miracle cure for Allentown - but it surely cannot hurt to adopt the plan so that we have the opportunity to apply for funds that other cities that have a Master Plan are already receiving.  I will try and provide an update of this evening's meeting tomorrow.  Ride on.     

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Greenways Update

The Greenways Plan is moving towards adoption by City Council slowly but surely - at least I hope surely.  There was not nearly the crowd that I anticipated seeing last evening and most in attendance were in favor of the plan.  The Council voted to move this plan forward so that it can be voted upon - passing with a 5-2 vote (Councilpersons Donovan and Eichenwald were the no votes).  It seems the Council will vote on adopting this plan at their March 3rd meeting.

Most of the negative comments against adopting this plan had to do with poor economy and existing problems in our parks that are not being addressed.  Strangely - this plan proposes not only to fix many of those problems that exist but to make it safer to get to the parks via walking or biking.  I think one of the hidden benefits of the plan would be that if more people start using the park system - it will justify appropriating additional funds for maintenance and repair of the parks.  Not to be cliche but - if you build it they will come.

The bottom line is there are significant funds being awarded specifically for the purposes outlined in the Greenways Plan.  Philadelphia was just awarded 23 million dollars for such projects.  Allentown applied for a 5 million dollar grant but did not receive it - a large reason being they do not currently have a Master Plan in place for such projects.

Allentown has a fantastic opportunity to start making itself a more pedestrian and cyclist friendly destination.  All signs seem to point towards the Greenways Plan being adopted - but nothing in life is guaranteed.  If this is something you care about - I encourage to reach out to the City Council and let them know how you feel.  Most importantly - come out to the City Council meeting on March 3rd and show your support.  I will post additional details in the near future.

Ride on!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Think Warm Thoughts

Blustery again - is there no end to this madness?  On yet another 37 layer day - my thoughts drift to warmer weather and single layer rides - where my sweat does not freeze.  We are in the process of planning our 2010 BikeAllentown ride schedule.  As last year was our first year of existence - things did not always go smoothly - the weather was often not cooperative - and our route was often the same.

In 2010 we are looking for more participation and some more interesting dates - heck we are even going to consider rain dates to spite Mother Nature and her apparent lack of compassion for our love of riding.  Have any ideas?  Anywhere you have wanted to ride - but have not had enough confidence to set off on your own - or possibly just felt it would be better sharing that ride with others?  Let us know.  We have a few ideas on the table but we would love some suggestions/input.  Heck - we would love some more participants to boot.

Feel free to share your thoughts here or send an e-mail to info@bikeallentown.com - we hope to see you on the ride.  In the interim - think warm thoughts.  Ride on!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Molovinsky Loves Us

We must have arrived as BikeAllentown has received a shout out on Molovinsky's blog - http://molovinskyonallentown.blogspot.com/2010/01/spread-word.html - and apparently we are being referred to as clowns.  I am hurt - not really - as there is no better example of the pot calling the kettle black.  I have tried to address the embellishments and half-truths that appear on his blog to no avail.  His minions have drank the koolaid and any attempt to reply to his accusations is met with vitriol and name calling.  Moving forward I shall make all replies here.  I invite the comments of Mr. Molovinsky, his followers and any of you anonymous folks - I will not even filter them first.  Let it rip.  That being said -

-That is apparently not THIS bunch of clowns in Molovinsky's post as we do not have any bike lanes in Allentown and although my clown wig is yellow - I have NEVER had it in ponytails
-BikeAllentown did not co-sponsor the meeting nor did the City come to us for support.  We became involved in the plan simply because we were looking for bike racks so that we could safely lock our bikes when using them to travel throughout the City.  We offered our support to the City as we feel this plan makes sense - for runners, walkers, hikers, - I know it makes me a bad person - but yes cyclists, and anyone else who cares not to jump behind the wheel of a car to travel a mile - or ten
-The planning committee consisted of folks from the Wildlands Conservancy, School Board, AEDC, PENDOT, Trexler Trust, Allentown Health Bureau, Allentown Hiking Club, CAT, West End Alliance/Road Runners (one person who wears many more hats than those two but gave balanced input throughout), I am sure I am missing some - for which I apologize - but that is off the top of my head from Wednesday's meeting, AND yes you got us - the cat is out of the bag - members from BikeAllentown.  Seems like a fairly diverse group to me
-If someone receives a notice for this plan and throws it away (that is the first mistake - as it was paper it should have been recycled - shame on them) because they are too lazy to read it - they have no one to blame but themselves.  Laziness a conspiracy does not make
-Many folks on Molovinsky's site need a hug
-If you take the time to make such angry and misguided statements which make it apparent you know nothing about the actual plan - you should give the public the chance to share your wisdom or lack thereof - if it really does make you "throw up" - we will understand - at least we will know it is real passion and not just the long awaited window for you to use "throw up" in a sentence (ironpigpen - I said it before - that is just silly)
-While there has been much smack talk and thumping of the chest on Molovinsky's site - I really did not hear much opposition at the meeting last evening.  I understand there was not unlimited time for public comment - but that effects those in favor as much as those opposed. I feel that once seeing that the proposed improvements focus more on improving the existing infrasturcture via shared lane markings for dreaded cyclists and pedestrian improvements in the form of higher visibility crosswalks and curb cuts that do not drop you out into oncoming traffic - the fear of this embellished "paving all the parks" hysteria suddenly lost much of its credibility
-Part of this plan is to establish a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission - Molovinsky - you have my nomination for that committee - hopefully you can get it pointed in the right direction

My last note of this post:
-Molovinsky sure is passionate about the WPA Fountain Steps - apparent as there is a mention in his every post about this plan - and many other plans for that matter. I propose he start a group of volunteers specific to preserving and highlighting these gifts that the City is blessed to have.  He could set up periodic excursions for those that are not familiar with them and while there the group can not only learn about the history of that specific site but spend some time clearing and beautifying those areas.  I know that my BikeAllentown friends would be on board to help - I would even volunteer to haul tools out there on my bike trailer

Ride on!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shout It Out Loud

As some of you may know there is an important presentation occurring on Wednesday
January 13th at the Allentown Library. Greenways Inc. will be holding a public meeting
to unveil their draft for connecting Allentown's parks and trails to promote a “green”
infrastructure for our community. We at BikeAllentown are very excited about this plan
and what it can mean to our community.
This is a wonderful opportunity for all of our organization's and our community, and we
would like to see everyone involved. Please inform your organization's members and
see how many would be interested in attending. All BikeAllentown members will be in
attendance that evening as well as providing refreshments for the event.
Your presence and support is also needed as we expect representation from factions who
are opposed to this plan. Please come out and show your support for this great
opportunity to make Allentown greener and healthier!