Last Wednesday, the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition was officially created. The seeds that were planted by the first ever Grand Rapids Bicycle Summit on 4/24/09 sprouted into this new organization in the backroom of The Mustache Gallery on South Division Avenue. I have the honor of being a founding board member and official representative of the Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club.
The first executive board for the new coalition will be:
- Chair: J. Kevin McCurren
- Vice Chair/Chair-elect: Nate Phelps
- Secretary/Treasurer: Michael Tuffelmire
Many other board members have stepped forward to serve, and huge thanks is owed to everyone who has contributed their time and effort. Much work needs to be done, but a gathering is in the works to kick-off the group’s advocacy efforts following the return of our Bicycle Friendly Community application submitted to the League of American Bicyclists in August.
The GGRBC will serve as a single voice representing the interests of all bicyclists in the Grand Rapids metro area. The group is still working out where they will focus their attention for 2010. Their plan is to work on projects that will make a visible difference in improving and promoting bicycling in this great city! A simple look outside will tell you that more people are choosing to ride and the GGRBC wants that trend to continue.
The GGRBC will be represented at the Park(ing) Day festivities downtown this Friday, 9/18, on Ionia Ave at Monroe Center. Twenty four groups and businesses will be transforming parking spaces all over downtown from automobile storage into spaces for people to gather, learn, and have fun!
Feel free to come and visit and sign up to get more information on the GGRBC, get your bicycle registered, and get your tires inflated. We’ll have a DJ station playing music and may have another couple of surprises in the works.
Grand Rapids Bike Park Launches new website
Other big things are starting with a bang. The Grand Rapids Bike Park launched their new website and established a presence on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday night, 9/12/09. In less than 3 days they have already garnered 272 friends and that number keeps increasing.
The park will be located near the GR BMX track in a section of Plaster Creek Park near Burton and US-131.
The Western Chapter of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association has been working on this park for quite awhile, and it’s great to see those efforts pay off. They have demonstrated success at building sustainable trails all over the West Michigan area. They have improved recreational opportunities region-wide and helped introduce many people to the sport of mountain biking.
Building from the success of this park, I would love to see more opportunities for house-to-trail-to-house mountain biking for all the citizens of Grand Rapids. Remove the car from the equation and get more people out for some fun, addictive exercise on some singletrack. It’s a win-win.