December Blue Moonlight Ride

The 4th PedalGR Moonlight Ride will leave Founder’s Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Ave SW, on Thursday, December 31st at 6pm.

The ride should last 1 to 1 1/2 hours, so dress warmly.

Here’s a short list of what I usually wear:

  • long underwear
  • jeans
  • heavy wool socks
  • mid-weight wool socks
  • hiking boots or sometimes my insulated work boots (Note: Some people with better circulation in their feet can get away with a base layer sock, mid to heavy wool socks, cycling shoes and booties. If you don’t have winter cycling shoes, it’s important to have the booties or something else to block the wind. Most regular cycling shoes have decent ventilation which will not keep your feet warm.)
  • merino wool or polyester base layer
  • light to mid weight wool or cotton shirt
  • light weight fleece or windbreaker jacket
  • For my hands, I have a regular glove inside a fleece thinsulate glove, inside a larger windproof waterproof mitten. That works pretty well for me, although my hands have poor circulation and can still get cold after awhile.
  • for my face, I use a Psolar (google it) mask with a little heat exchanger cartridge.
Photo by Flickr user: rosefirerising; used under CC license

We’ll hopefully get back to Founders for a beer before the NYE crowd arrives en masse.  Afterwards, Amy and I will be wandering down to Rosa Parks Circle to take in the festivities there, including live music, DJs, and the ball drop at midnight.

The route hasn’t been set, as I still need to scout the condition of the Millennium Park roads and trails.  If it’s closed, we may head upstream to Riverside Park and back, or we may head elsewhere.

LIGHTS ARE REQUIRED! Extra lights may be available if you need them. Send me an email at joshuajduggan (@at@) gmail.com if you need to borrow a set.

New Year’s Day Ride at Founders

I was informed today that some members of the Founders Racing Team are organizing a New Year’s Day ride at 1pm, starting at Founders.  They are a racing team, but I was assured this ride will be at a casual pace, open to riders of all skill levels.  They are trying to get a big group together for the ride, so feel free to tell your friends or bring them with you.  The route will head to Reed’s Lake and back.

If your #1 Resolution is to “Ride My Bike More” (and everyone’s should be), then this is a great way to start the year.   There will be plenty of football games to watch later.

Moonlight bi(ke)athlons (no rifles!)

That’s right, January and February’s PedalGR Moonlight rides will debut the PedalGR bi(ke)athlons.  Bring your cross country skis and your bicycle.  We’ll put the skis in my Xtracycle or my trailer and I’ll haul them while we ride to Millennium Park.   We will ski around on some of the paved or gravel trails, depending on the conditions and with snow on the ground, seeing by the moonlight is not an issue at all.

The biathlons are dependent upon having snow.  If there’s isn’t any, or the conditions are not good enough for skiing, we’ll figure out an alternate plan.  Don’t have skis?  Email me at joshuajduggan @AT@ gmail.com and let me know you’re interested.  If there’s enough interest, I’ll look into the possibility of getting rentals from somewhere.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a fantastic 2010!!!

PedalGR Lights and Beer 2009

Lighted reptile sighting not likely. Image by Flickr user: WallyG

The 1st PedalGR Lights and Beer ride will leave Founder’s Brewing Company on Wednesday, December 23rd at 7pm.

We’ll ride around to the GRAM/Rosa Parks Circle tree, the Van Andel tree, and some random neighborhoods to see the holiday lights until people get too cold (dress warm), then we’ll ride back to Founders and share a beer. I won’t guarantee a good light show, but I will guarantee good beer. 🙂 Founders just released Sappy Slappy Bastard on Saturday. It’s a maple barrel-aged Dirty Bastard that sounds fantastic.

LIGHTS ARE REQUIRED! Extra lights may be available if you need them. Send me an email at joshuajduggan (@at@) gmail.com if you need to borrow a set.

Ride Safe! See you there.

Filling the Bike Shop Desert in GR

I am absolutely elated that Ada Bike Shop has purchased Fulton Heights Mower and Bike Repair and will be opening a satellite shop in the coming months at 1311 E Fulton near the Family Fare!  A grand opening is tentatively planned for sometime in the spring.

When I moved to Heritage Hill in 2006, one of the things that made bicycling and commuting more difficult was the lack of full service bicycle shops within easy riding distance. The two closest were Freewheeler on the NW side and Alger Cyclery near 28th and Buchanan. Both were about a 15-25 minute ride, depending on conditions.  Similar to the food desert many city residents live in, without access to a full service grocery store, Grand Rapids had a bike desert in much of the city.  Many of the other shops in Grand Rapids are between 5 and 7 miles away, and often located on busy 4-5 lane roads that aren’t very bicycle friendly.

lbs vs median income - before 2009
Local Bike Shops - Before 2009 vs Median Income
lbs vs median income - after 2009
Local Bike Shops - After 2009 vs Median Income
Local Bike Shops vs Population Density
Local Bike Shops vs Population Density

Why? Follow the money.

I created three maps.  The first shows full service bike shops prior to 2009, with a 2 mile radius surrounding each one. (I didn’t include The Motion Initiative on Godfrey because of their limited hours.)

The base map was created with the fantastic MAPAS application of GVSU’s Community Research Institute. The shading is for median income and darker is better, although the data from the 2000 census is getting old.

You’ll note a pretty big hole on the east side of Grand Rapids between Freewheeler, Alger Cyclery, Kentwood Cycling & Fitness, and Grand Rapids Bicycle Company.

The 2nd map, shows what it now looks like, with the addition of Commute Bicycle Shop on S. Division and the new Ada Bike Shop in Fulton Heights.

Dan Koert at Commute GR started with a bang and low overhead, selling a lot of used bicycles, some new, and a lot of parts, accessories, and repairs.  He was recently rewarded with the People’s Choice for Best New Business at the 2009 Neighborhood Business Awards.

The new Ada Bike Shop should do well serving the neighborhoods full of bicyclists that surround it and the affluent in EGR who were also in the bike desert.   Based on my talks with owner Jim Ippel last Tuesday, they are planning to do their best to continue to fix up some of the cheaper bikes that come in for repairs as well.

The third graphic shows population density.  The new shops added this year are within easy biking distance of some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the metro area (>5,922 people per square mile.)

Finally, I wanted to share a few photos of the new space on Fulton St.  These photos are from 12/2/09 (when it was 50F outside!!!)  and when I was back on Tuesday, there was a nice window display with some youth bicycles and the entire peg board had come down.  They were planning to paint the walls this week.  The snowblower repair side of the business was also in full swing, with about 15 of them lined up in the main shop area, and more in the garage.