Heights Bicycle Coalition Annual Meeting is Sunday, April 26

By popular demand, the Heights Bicycle Coalition Annual Meeting will be held at the Superior Schoolhouse again this year.  Come from 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, to hear about what lies ahead for bicycling in the Heights, this year and beyond.  The meeting sets the stage for May Bike Month activities and summer group bicycle rides, and you’ll learn about a way-finding initiatives and the Heights Safe Routes to School program.  You’ll also gain expert advice from Brandon Hirokawa, founder of Hirobel LLC, on “Best Practices for Maintaining Your Bicycle.”  Join in for convivial conversation and discussion, as well as refreshments.

The Superior Schoolhouse is at 14391 Superior Road (at Euclid Heights Boulevard).  Bicycle parking will be available.

 

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May Brings Bike Events to the Heights

Bike Month activities this year in the Heights:

May 4, 7:30 p.m., Cleveland Heights City Council will declare May Bike month for the fifth time since 2011.  Come and cheer!  (You can slip away after the resolution is voted on.)

May 6, Walk or Bike to School Day for Cleveland Heights-University Heights District Schools and Ruffing Montessori

May 11-15, Bike to Work Week

May 15,  7-9 a.m., Bike to Work Day.  We’ll celebrate with free coffee and pastries for all bicyclists under a tent at the intersection of Edgehill and Overlook Roads in Cleveland Heights.  Supported by Phoenix Coffee, Zagara’s Market, Future Heights, the City of Cleveland Heights, and Heights Bicycle Coalition.

May 16, All Geared Up, Canterbury School and the CH-UH School District will host this family friendly cycling event on Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. – noon at Canterbury Elementary School, 2530 Canterbury Road. The event will include a one-mile and two-mile ride, a bike rodeo, safety clinics, a bike swap and more.All Heights area families are invited. More info here. Supported by the Canterbury principal and PTA, Cleveland Heights Police Bike Unit, cities of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, and more.

May 20, 6 p.m., Ride of Silence.  This annual group ride highlights the importance of safety. The ride starts in the parking lot on the southwest side of John Carroll University (JCU) and proceeds slowly and silently west on Fairmount Boulevard to University Hospitals in University Circle. Riders from the JCU will join groups starting from other locations for a brief program shortly before 7 p.m. to honor bicyclists killed or injured while riding their bicyclists.

May 23, 9:30 a.m. – noon, Bike Tour of Four Historic Districts, starting from Ensemble Theater, in the Coventry School Building, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 44118.  You’ll learn about architectural styles, the people who lived here back in the day, and Landmark buildings. To register for the ride, call 216-291-4878. Rain date of June 6.

May 30, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Bike Tune-up Day at Coventry Courtyard, northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.  Bring your bike for minor repairs or an assessment.

 

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Transportation Advisory Committee Recommends Complete Streets Policy

The city of Cleveland Heights created a Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) that launched in January 2014 to improve transportation access for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users of all ages and abilities. The TAC includes citizens and city officials and will make recommendations on transportation issues and programs to City Council.

After meeting monthly since the group formed, the members recommended that the city adopt a Complete Streets Policy, which will incorporate the best elements from the more than 700 states, counties and municipalities that have already adopted these policies.

A Complete Streets Policy would require street construction to consider including infrastructure that would make transportation safe and convenient for all users – not just for drivers of motorized vehicles.

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Webinar on Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Bicycling

The Federal Highway Administration just released “A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Bicycling,” a free guide offering step-by-step instructions for residents and community groups looking to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, access, and comfort. The guide is available for download at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_cmnity/.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) is offering a webinar that provides an overview of the guide and will review how two communities used the principles outlined within it to make their communities more walkable and bikeable.  Presenters include:

  • Tamara Redmon, FHWA
  • Laura Sandt, PBIC
  • Eva Garcia, City of Brownsville, Texas
  • Ramiro Gonzalez, City of Brownsville, Texas
  • John Paul Shaffer, Livable Memphis

The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  To register:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/824575809760209409

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Public Meetings Seek Input on Eastside Greenway

A regional consortium will host a second round of public meetings to solicit feedback about the proposed Eastside Greenway. The proposed trail will connect current bicycle and pedestrian trails in 19 communities. Meetings dates are:

January 28, 7-9 p.m.: Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern, 11625 Euclid Ave, Cleveland

January 29, 7-9 p.m.: Beachwood Public Library, 25501 Shaker Blvd, Beachwood

February 2, 7-9 p.m.: Waterloo Brew, 15335 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland

February 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: University Heights Public Library, 13866 Cedar Rd, University Heights

The meetings will include:

  • Overview of the project with proposed routes
  • Results of the trail inventory and analysis
  • Alternative routes for the greenway network
  • Asking the public for feedback on routes

More information on the Eastside Greenway can be found on the project’s website.

Read Sreven Litt’s article Regionalism: Opinions Sought on Eastside Greenway in the January 25 Plain Dealer.

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Experience Winter on a Bike

Winter cycling is cool. Sometimes it is actually cold. But, with the proper clothes and equipment, it is a great way to be outside and experience the awe and beauty of winter in both the city and on the trail.

The hearty winter cyclists that keep the pedals turning all year long are brethren to skiers, ice skaters and ice fisherman and use some of the same equipment. Warm mittens, snow boots and pants, parkas and goggles are all non-cycling specific clothing that are perfect for winter riding.

AliceStrattonWinterCyclingAnd then there is the bike. Skinny tires are out. Knobby or other specialty tires will provide traction in snow and ice, disc brakes are good for more consistent stopping power and it is good to ride a hearty frame that will be subjected to lots of salt.

While winter cyclists are still a minority, more people are seeking fitness and transportation on two wheels in the winter.

One of the area’s winter bike commuters is Cleveland Heights resident Alice Stratton. She rides one mile to her job as physical education teacher at Fairfax School.

 

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Tips on Bicycling in the Rain

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition developed these tips for making a wet commute a little more enjoyable and comfortable – and they work here in the Cleveland area, too!

 What to Wear:

  • Layer up – As a base layer, it’s great to wear something to keep you warm that can also breathe. A synthetic fabric, wool, or fleece are great options.
  • Stay dry – On top of your base layer, throw on a waterproof jacket or poncho, rain pants, and waterproof boots or shoes. Your hands will also get cold, so a nice pair of water-resistant gloves are great.
  • Be visible – People driving and walking in wet weather often have a harder time seeing things in the road. Bright colors and reflective materials are an awesome way to increase your visibility.
  • Protect your cargo – If you are biking with some of your belongings on you, use a waterproof bag, pannier/saddle bag, or backpack to keep your stuff dry. A cheap solution is to wrap your things in a plastic bag to keep water out.
  • Put a cap on it – To keep your head dry, you probably want to put a rain cover over your helmet. A shower cap is an inexpensive and “stylish” solution.

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Holiday Brew for Bicyclists

beer-and-wineFor a jolly holiday celebration of another year of bicycling bliss, join Heights bicyclists from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in the meeting room at The Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights.

Bring something edible to share – and bring your best 2014 bicycling experiences to share with the group too – rides or trips that you went on, races you entered (wear any medals!), new gear you’re glad you acquired, whatever you loved doing on a bicycle in 2014.

We’ll have a limited offering of beer and wine for you to sample; when/if that runs out, you can buy your own glassful from The Wine Spot.

This celebration is sponsored by Heights Bicycle Coalition for members and friends. The Wine Spot would like to know how many to expect, so please send an e-mail to info@bikesintheheights.org if you’re definitely coming. We hope to see you there!

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Heights Bicycle Coalition Board Meetings

HBC members and interested people are welcome to attend the Heights Bicycle Coalition monthly board meetings. The full board meets every other month, and the Executive Committee meets in between. When finalized, the date, time and location are listed on the HBC calendar, which can be viewed in the right-hand sidebar of the HBC website.

For December, the Executive Committee will be meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in meeting room #2 in the Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC) at the Heights Main Library (2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights).

We will post all minutes of meetings on the website in the near future – it’s a work in progress, so check back often!

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Donate Now to Help Make Our Community More Bicycle Friendly

You can help make our community more bicycle friendly by clicking the “donate now” button on the right sidebar!  All proceeds go toward paying for events and campaigns that help strengthen our cycling community. Your donation helps us continue to:

  • Be the unified voice in our community that communicates to policy makers how to make streets safer for bicycles
  • Engage Cleveland Heights elementary school students in joining and riding in after school “bike clubs”
  • Offer bicycle safety classes and bike rodeos
  • Organize social rides throughout the summer and fall, bringing cyclists together to ride and explore our community
  • Communicate with you, our members and supporters bike happenings in our community
  • And much more!

A donation of $5, $20, $100 or more will help to make our community a better place for all cyclists. Donate now by clicking the orange icon on the right sidebar, and encourage friends and family to do the same!

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