Bike to Work Day 2016

bike to work day, May 20 2016 6:30-8:30am

bike to work dayBreakfast is on us!

Bike to work on May 20th between 6:30 and 8:30am and grab a free donut and coffee, care of CoffeeHound and Cravin’ Donuts (first come, first serve). We’ll have two locations along the Constitution Trail:

 

helmetEnter to win!

  • You’ll also get a chance to enter a drawing for bike gear below.
  • Bontrager bike helmet (adult large)
  • Bontrager fingerless bike gloves
  • Cable lock (2)
  • Women’s kit (bottom and top, women’s large)

Questions?

If you don’t commute to work very often (or ever) it can be a little intimidating. Don’t worry! We’ve got your basic questions covered.

Bike Commuting TipsSuggested Routes

Doubting whether biking to work is right for you? Have some questions before you head out for your first bike-to-work ride?

Do it! Seriously, just give it a try.

Check out these simple tips on clothing, planning, and other FAQ pointers from one of our own bike commuting pros and Bike BloNo board members, Kelly Rumley!

Clothing Tips

  1. Don’t buy anything new! That’s ridiculous. Bikers come in all sorts of clothing packages, and when getting started as a bike commuter you can just aim to wear something comfortable and biking-friendly. The cycling gear will come later once you get hooked, become a regular bike commuter, and save up all that money you were spending on gas. Or not. Some of us never spend a dime on bike-specific clothing.
  2. Consider how hard your ride will be. For a short commute, you might just wear your work clothes. For a longer commute, you might need to pack your work clothes or bring them to work the day before.
  3. Care about visibility. Lighter, brighter colors are best, especially if you’re riding before sunrise or as the sun is going down. If you plan to ride when it’s dark, you should definitely purchase (or borrow) a rear tail light and front headlight and think about wearing reflective clothing.

Clothing Checklist (Keep it Simple)

  1. Helmet: A must-have for safety.
    • Worried about your hair? In our experience, the whole helmet-hair thing is overblown. If you wear your hair long, you can loosely pull it back with an elastic band or secure your bangs with a headband. Your helmet really won’t matte down your hair much unless you’re riding for hours. Sweat will dry; your hair will recover. Plus, you just biked to work. How much cooler is that than having the best work hair?
  2. Weather-appropriate shirt and pants/shorts: Think about the length of your ride and how fast you plan to pedal. If you expect to get sweaty, keep the clothing to a mimimum and then do a quick change when you get to work. Pro tip: roll up your right pant leg (or run a piece of masking tape or a Velcro strap around it to keep it tight to your leg); this will keep your pants from getting greased up by your gears. If your pants are baggy, consider rolling/taping both sides.
  3. Biking-friendly shoes: Tennis shoes or cycling shoes are the best, but you could also get by with sandals that have a heel strap (no flip-flops!). You can even wear your work shoes if you’re not worried about them getting dirty or flying off your feet. Harder soles make pedaling more efficient and are kinder to your feet.

Other Useful Commuting Tips

  • Do a pre-ride bike maintenance check:
    • Fill the tires and make sure they stay full.
    • Grease your chain (remember, a little goes a long way).
    • Hold the bike firmly while you check if the handlebars or pedals/crank are loose.
    • Look the whole thing over for hints about potential problems (in particular heavy rust or cracks).
    • Take it for a test ride. Listen for anything that seems loose or rattling. Shift through all the gears.
    • Test your brakes at different speeds.
    • If you have any concerns or need expert advice and repairs, take your bike to one of your local bike shops for a maintenance appointment.
  • Find your best route. Map your ride online and/or ride to your workplace the weekend before your first commute. Bring a friend or family member for double the fun! Check out our Suggested Routes tab for more information.

 

There’s much more bike infrastructure beyond the trail (which is still awesome). Here are some of the streets that offer a more comfortable mix of bikes and cars.

bike to work map

bike to work day posterTell your office!

The best way to bike commute to work is with your colleagues! Hang up this rad poster and encourage your office, department, or company to join you. Workers who commute by bike are commonly more alert and productive. Skip rush hour and parking madness and hop on the bike!

gtg-logoAlready a commuter?

If you’re already biking to work, great! Consider registering for the Good To Go Commuter Challenge and log your commutes to compete for bragging rights 😉

Partners

We couldn’t have done without our friends below. They rock.

coffee hound   cravin donuts   friends of the constitution trail  mclean county regional planning commission

Walk-In/Bike-Out Sees Strong Community Support

Bike BloNo is joining with the Friends of the Constitution Trail to make a financial contribution to Walk-In/Bike Out. This will be the third straight year of multiple annual donations to WIBO from Bike BloNo.  At a regular Bike BloNo meeting on Wednesday, March 16 at 7 PM the Friends of the Trail and Bike BloNo will each present checks for $500. Mayor Tari Renner, Aldermen Amelia Buragas and Karen Schmidt, and Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Director Tina Salamone will also attend.

The check presentation will take place at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts’ Creativity Center. The BCPA is providing bike repair and distribution space after other city-donated space was needed for other purposes.

The $1,000 donation will be used to purchase consumable materials such as brake pads, chains, tires, and other common bike parts. Walk-In/Bike-Out is an annual free bike giveaway event organized by Rick Heiser, and is one of the many community involvements efforts of the West Bloomington Revitalization Project. From February to April, volunteers repair abandoned or confiscated bikes to get them in good working order. The free bikes are then given away on the third Saturday of April to anyone who needs one.

The effort is an attempt to connect people who may not own a vehicle to affordable transportation. A bicycle can get people to and from work and/or school, connect to bus stops, or any door-to-door trip.

Bike BloNo is also partnering with an anonymous donor to purchase bike lights, ensuring every adult bike will have a front and rear bike light. The cost of the lights will amount to an additional $1,200 donation to WIBO.

Recipient numbers have grown year after year, along with the need for more volunteers, space, and parts. Over 800 bikes have been given away in WIBO’s five-year run. The group is now preparing for the 2016 giveaway on Saturday, April 23. Volunteers with or without basic bike maintenance experience are needed for this effort.

The March 16th Bike BloNo Meeting will also feature Jim Freeman, a partner in Freeman Kevenides Law Firm of Chicago. He’ll talk about legal matters related to being a cyclist in a world of cars: policing, insurance, bike-on-bike crashes, and more.

Spread the word about this one-of-a-kind Bike BloNo meetup through the Facebook event. We hope to see you there!

Bike Movie Night 2016 at Normal Theater

Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, São Paulo, Brazil. Photographer: Flora Dias for WG Film.

Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, São Paulo, Brazil. Photographer: Flora Dias for WG Film.

When: Wednesday, February 17
Time: 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Normal Theater, 209 North St. Normal IL 61761

BIKES vs CARS depicts a global crisis that we all deep down know we need to talk about: climate, earth’s resources, cities where the entire surface is consumed by the car. An ever-growing, dirty, noisy traffic chaos. The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities, who refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.
For the fifth annual winter bike movie brought to you by the Town of Normal, the Normal Theater, Bike BloNo and the Bloomington-Normal Marriott, we’ll be showing BIKES vs CARS!

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Monthly Meetup – Sept 16, 2015

Vitesse CycleGot a good idea for a making BloNo more bike friendly? Want to help out at our next event? Just want to hang out with other bikey faces? Join us at our monthly meetup!

Each month we rotate our meetup location to each of the three bike shops in town, and this month we’ll be hosted by our good friends at Vitesse Cycle Shop. Here’s a loose agenda, more to come later:

  • Normal and Bloomington bike improvement updates.
  • Upcoming events.
  • Bike clinic from Vitesse.
  • Group ride to a bar!

Light the Night 2015

 

Need a light for your bike? Ever wonder how the bike racks in the front of the buses work? Curious if your bike is road-ready? 

Light the NightWe want you to be safe and visible on the road. On September 3, show up to the parking north of Uptown Circle between 5-8pm and receive a free headlight and taillight. All you have to do is bring your bike (without a light of course).

Connect Transit will have a bus there for you to try out the bike racks, just to remove any of those nervous jitters. You can also get a quick safety-check from our awesome bike shops, and talk your dedicated volunteers in Bike BloNo and Friends of the Constitution Trial.

RSVP on Facebook

 

Monthly Meetup – August 19, 2015

Bloomington Cycle and FitnessEver wonder how to fix a flat tire? Got a good idea for a bike lane in town? Wanna just drink some beer with other bikey faces? Join us at our monthly meetup!

Each month we rotate our meetup location to each of the three bike shops in town, and this month we’ll be hosted by our good friends at Bloomington Cycle and Fitness. For those Type A folks here’s an agenda (you know who you are, and we love you):

  • Review the Bloomington Bike Master Plan.
  • Identify fiscal year priorities for city staff.
  • Learn how to patch a flat tire in this month’s bike clinic.
  • Make new friends (mandatory).

Officially RSVP on Facebook.