5/27/09 – Fountain St Church Tour

PedalGR, meeting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, 5/27/2009 at Founder’s Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Ave SW.

It’s hard to believe that June is almost here! Festival of the Arts and the 100 Grand Bicycle Tour are fast approaching. Also, I’m really excited for the Midwest Mtn Bike Summit on May 29-31, held right in our own backyard at the Cannonsburg Ski Area.

The week’s PedalGR ride will include a trip to Gaslight Village to observe the puppy-filled madness that is the Bissell Blocktail Party, a ride past the reconstruction of Houseman Field, and a tour of the beautiful Fountain Street Church!

Here is the route:

View PedalGR route 5/27/09 in a larger map

Need to Know:

  • This is a no-drop ride. Nobody in the group will be left behind.
  • Ride is about 12.5 miles and will take about 2 hours (PedalGR is not a race).
  • Water is highly recommended.
  • HELMETS ARE REQUIRED on Rapid Wheelmen Club rides. (The insurance company’s lawyers insist)

A few highlights include:

  • Historic Central High School
  • Fulton St. Cemetery, oldest cemetery in the City of GR
  • Houseman Field Reconstruction
  • Bissell Blocktail Party
  • Reed’s Lake in East Grand Rapids
  • Hillcrest Community Garden, the largest community garden in West Michigan
  • Fountain Street Church Tour
  • The Fish Ladder @ 4th St Dam
  • Riveredges Trail

Other upcoming rides and events:

5/29-5/31Midwest Mtn Bike Advocacy Summit at the Cannonsburg Ski Area – Put together by the Western Chapter of the Michigan Mtn Biking Association, this weekend promises to be a blast for all those who attend. $35 gets you a pig roast dinner with Founder’s Beer on Thursday night, advocacy seminars all day Friday, Hands on instruction, bike demos, and a festival atmosphere with live music on Saturday, and an Epic Ride of up to 40 miles on Sunday! There will be plenty of great beer and great fun!

6/6 – 36th Annual 100 Grand Bicycle Tour – Starting at the West Side Christian School, 955 Westend Avenue, this great ride features four different routes from 17 to 105 miles. Come join in on a cycling tradition in Grand Rapids. Hosted by the Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club, this ride serves as their main fundraiser for the year.

6/12-6/14 – League Cycling Instructor Certification Seminar – Experienced cyclists can become certified to teach the League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling bicycle education curriculum.

Remember, having fun and riding safely are the two most important goals! Hope to see you there!

5/13/09 PedalGR is CANCELLED

I’m canceling tomorrow’s PedalGR ride.

Notwithstanding the likelihood that canceling the ride will bring back the sunshine and warm temps I see out my window currently, tomorrow’s weather looks terrible.

Photo by flickr.com user: shivayanamahohm

Every weather website I check (and there are SOOO many to choose from) is predicting a very high chance of thunderstorms for the afternoon and scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Even if it’s not raining, there is a high likelihood of overcast skies, temperatures in the low sixties, and sustained winds of 15-25mph.

PedalGR=fun.  Cold, windy, and possibly rainy=NOT fun.

I hope that calling off the ride now, I can get the word out more effectively and prevent people from showing up to the canceled ride.

I would encourage you to attend the final Green Grand Rapids: Actions meeting tomorrow night at 6:30pm at Harrison Park Elementary School. This is the final meeting for determining public input on the next update of Grand Rapids’ master plan. It will focus primarily on how to implement and make a reality many of the ideas raised in the Green Grand Rapids planning process. It is not required that you live in the city to give your input, as the policies that Grand Rapids enacts for non-motorized transportation, and the other topics covered, can serve as an example for the entire region.

Unless it is pouring rain, I will still plan to be at Founder’s until just before 6:30pm to inform anyone does not get this message, then I’ll be rushing over to Harrison Park Elementary school.

The next PedalGR ride is May 27th and I hope to see you there. We’ll be touring the beautiful Fountain Street Church.

Also, on Wednesday, May 20th, don’t miss the Ride of Silence, a 12 mile ride to honor those injured or killed while riding their bicycle.  We’ll be joined by cyclists in nearly 300 cities around the world.  It begins at the Island (middle) entrance to Riverside Park.  Ride will leave at 7pm after a short address by Mayor George Heartwell, so show up a bit early.  Free “Share the Road” t-shirts will be available while they last.

Keeping Up With the Joneses (AA and TC)

IMG_0395 edit

Last Monday, April 27th, Bill Nesper (pictured at right at the GR Bike Summit) and the League of American Bicyclists announced the addition of 13 new Bicycle Friendly Communities (pdf) and three renewals.  They are:

  • Columbia, MO – Silver
  • Alexandria, VA – Bronze
  • Cedar Falls, IA – Bronze
  • Columbus, OH – Bronze
  • Irvine, CA – Bronze
  • Lakewood, CO – Bronze
  • Long Beach, CA – Bronze
  • Naperville, IL – Bronze
  • Philadelphia, PA – Bronze
  • Santa Monica, CA – Bronze
  • Traverse City, MI – Bronze
  • Tulsa, OK – Bronze
  • Vail, CO – Bronze


  • Ann Arbor, MI – ’05 Bronze, ’09 Silver
  • Bend, OR – ‘05 Bronze, ’09 Silver
  • Milwaukee, WI – ’06 Bronze, ’09 Bronze

Congratulations to Traverse City for receiving the Bronze designation!  And even more impressive, to Ann Arbor for upgrading their designation from Bronze to Silver!  Nothing like a little friendly intra-state competition to spur improvements in bicycling in the Greater Grand Rapids area.  This September, Grand Rapids will apply for designation with the hope of achieving at least a Bronze status.  In my mind, it should be our goal to become Michigan’s most bicycle friendly community!