(A) Understaffed and overworked Whole Life Expo underperforms for NBG
(B) Treasure Island to Oakland City Hall ride May 25!
(C) Help Kelly Macy ride Tom Ayres in from Winters to our May 27 Festival
(D) 50 year anniversary of first bike lane
(E) Davis Bike to Work block party
(F) Mayors’ Ride Cyclist(s) Needed
Folsom to South Lake Tahoe Rider
South Lake Tahoe to Carson City
Carson City to Reno
(G) A coast to coast protected bike lane?
(A) The UC Davis Whole Earth Festival last weekend seemed to be booming bigger than I remembered it from last year. As a result, our National Bicycle Greenway effort got lost in the shuffle. This was so, because the volunteers needed to make this colossal event happen were well below historical levels. It was so bad in fact, that the directors from the last two years,Larissa, Yousef and Chris, pictured here, were pressed into service.
Nor was the helping hand they lent a few extra hours of their time. They were all in sleep deprivation mode when I took this picture at Grocery Outletwhere they had come to stock up on after event party food. Yousef told me he got two hours of sleep and when I asked Chris how much sleep he got the night before, he looked at me with his eyes half open and muttered “what last night?”
I only hope Larissa is able to remember that I asked her if she would help Yousef and Chris with our Davis NBG Fest because she said YES!
I had a funny feeling that such difficulties were present when the application for our booth did not seem to get accepted. I wasn’t too worried about this because I knew they knew I was speaking and that our booth would be connected to my performance. I also knew they wanted us there with such a presence and if all else were to fail that I still had an inside track to the people at the top.
And yet none of that mattered when it became game time. By the time 3 PM rolled around on Friday and it was time for me to speak, there was no audience for a number of reasons. I feel bad for Sierra Lewandowski who kept apologizing to me when no one showed up. And yet there again how was it supposed to be possible for people to know what was taking place on the dome stage that had been constructed for her in the middle of a little used part of the quad when our voices could not be heard by the crowds 30 yards away? Nor for that matter did a printed program of events seem to exist.
A first time event for Sierra, loaded down with the overbearing demands of university school work, she had been too busy getting acts together for her stage that there were little details that couldn’t help but be overlooked. Nor did she have a committee helping her. All of which added up to the fact she could not get the projector to play a video that she had found about me to work, there was no sound equipment to amplify our voices and no way for people to know that there wassomething more taking place than a few people talking to each other inside of our off the beaten track stage.
I did however speak for what amounted to the between five and 10 people who all sat within ear shot. Because my performance was not being tracked for posterity, my mind wandered to how this disappointment could be salvaged. After my unexciting show was complete the NBG light hit a false summit.
Sierra said that I could have a have a booth after all. She had finally made contact with the festival organizer who had told her where we needed to be located. She pointed to an area where a couple of tables had been set up not far away from where her isolated stage was located. My heart sunk even lower.
There was no foot traffic. It was on the lawn where I knew we would be overlooked and there would be no dignity for our mission. I made the decision to wait until next year when we have staff that can work more closely with the Whole Earth people to make sure we are not overlooked
(D) 50-year celebration of the first bike lane in America at the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame expertly presided over by Davis Public Relations manager, Bob Bowen. First, bike centric Mayor Robb Davis told us about how bike lanes convinced him and his wife, Nancy, that they had to switch to a Car-Free lifestyle in the late 90’s when they first moved here. Then, we listened to speaker after speaker talk about how the steady drumbeat of the value of bike lanes finally started to make an impression on elected officials. All this as the Centennial Lager (brewed for the Davis 100th birthday which is also happening this year) from Sudwerk Brewing Co. which flowed freely, had already loosened up the spirit of the room.
A genuinely historic event, Bob remarked to me afterwards that “getting such a group together will likely never happen again”. In fact the bike lane pioneers he was able to bring out, since a fair number had already passed away, all moved a lot slower than the days when they were out beating the bushes for bike lane support. For example, one had just had heart bypass surgery, one was in a wheelchair and several walked with the aid of a cane. True warriors, to them all the world can be thankful for they set the standard that the all the road builders of this Nation’s future would be required to follow!!
WoW – what an honor to have been a part of this ceremony as our National Bicycle Greenway works to replicate the honor Davis has established for its population of cyclists on our route from San Francisco to Washington DC!!
btw: Talk about history, the HiWheel bikes that you see in the background are on loan from Greg Barron and Rideable Bicycle Replicas located in Alameda next to Oakland where on Thursday, May 25, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf will be sending Tom Ayres to our Second Davis NBG Fest
(E) The who’s who of Davis bicycling were all at the Bike to Work Day Block Party! With kudos to Davis Bike Coordiator Jennifer Donofrio who produced a well run, fabulous event in which we were even entertained by the UC Davis marching band!!
(F) Because of the uncertainty caused by last winter’s storms, we were forced to move our annual American River ride to the Fall. Toward that end, as our Mayors’ Ride continues to Reno, we need a rider(s) who can move from Folsom to Reno.
And if such a rider can’t be found, we at least need a rider who can move from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe, an 85 mile distance to arrive by June 7
At which point we need a rider who can move over Spooner Pass from South Lake Tahoe to Carson City, a distance of 28 miles for a June 8 arrival
From there we need a rider who can move to Reno and distance of 30 miles for a June 9 arrival and our 2017 NBG Day proclamation.
If interested: NBG@bikeroute.com
(G) In my book How America Can Bike and Grow Rich, I devote one of the beginning chapters to a description of our route. In that publication, I explain how, after years of research, we have settled upon Interstate-80 is the best way to get across Nevada as well as part of Utah. With the protected bike lane phenomena that seems to be sweeping many cities in America, the use of such infrastructure can turn many motor vehicle speedways into worthy bicycle real estate.
Since cyclists can’t go as far as their motorized counterparts, they will need services such as food and lodging in 50-60 mile increments out there in the desert. Shaded rest areas can also be constructed with water fountains. It will make the fun of Reno attractive to westward bound cyclists in the same way it will do so for Salt Lake City for those headed east
While this is one, 100 mile section, it could easily change the landscape of all those lands that surround it with the simple addition of a jersey wall to separate cars from bicycles. And yet, this is just one example. US 50 above Placerville and into Tahoe could benefit from such a jersey wall now as well.
The jersey walls themselves could be painted to look like the nature surrounding them. Some could even be painted in the NBG green and black to denote that they are part of the National Bicycle Greenway system
Taking that idea a little further why can we not run a protected bike lane from San Francisco to Washington DC? More as this idea develops……..