Hooray! May 8 is Bike To School Day

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Wednesday, May 8 is National Bike to School Day and a great opportunity to show our kids how much fun riding to school can be.

It is also an opportunity to demonstrate safe biking practices.  Children copy adult behavior and your good habits will guide them for the rest of their lives.

In the TBL area, the Wednesday weather forecast calls for rain all day.  But that’s not a reason to drive — think of it as an opportunity to ride with your kids and teach them how to be more visible on the bike, to use a bike light during daytime hours and wear bright colors so drivers can see you.

Being aware of your visibility on the bike extends to riding at evening and night, so it is never too early or too late to instill good visibility habits before they ride in darkness.

Most of all, make riding fun and not a chore.  Riding a bike to school is a sign of independence that will boost your kids’ self-esteem.

Have fun, stay safe, be visible and enjoy Bike to School Day.  Make it a habit!

To learn more about about biking to school in Fairfax County check out FABB’s website (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling).

Trek Retailer Advocacy Spotlight

Check it out! Our very own Anne Mader made the Trek Retailer Advocacy spotlight this week

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05/01/2013

Trek Retailer advocacy spotlight

Anne Mader, owner of the Bike Lane (locations in Reston and Springfield, VA), recently met with newly-appointed department of Interior secretary, Sally Jewell, to discuss the future of America’s great outdoors. She convened with other stakeholders to explore public-private partnerships to better connect youth and families to the great outdoors.

Below is an interview with Trek’s Advocacy Manager, Brandon Buth:

Q: You just participated in a high-profile meeting with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. What was the premise of the meeting?

A: The premise of the meeting was to celebrate national park week, discuss ways how we can get more kids and families outdoors, and help them create a long lasting connection with nature.

Q: Who all was in attendance?

A: The majority of attendees were from non-profits organizations. Tom Boyle from Gore-Tex and I were the only ones there from the bike industry.

Q: What were your main takeaways from the meeting with Secretary Jewell?

A: Creating meaningful partnerships between the parks, public, and private groups is of the utmost importance. If we want our beautiful parks to be around for our grandchildren, we all need to start working together to preserve and sustain them.

This point especially resonated with Sally Jewell, being the former CEO of REI who has always put a premium on stewardship. She really understands the business part of it as well which is refreshing.

Q: From your experience, what can other bike retailers do to get involved with these types of events, or advocacy in general?

A: The businesses who are interested in getting involved will benefit. Advocacy takes time, money, and the results don’t happen overnight which can be frustrating for some.

Find a way to say yes to your local groups, they really are the ones getting more people out riding in your community.

If you look at advocacy in the big picture as opposed to ‘what’s this going to get me today?’, great things will happen.

The Bike Lane meets new U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

     

Prince William Forrest Park- A great setting to discuss getting more youth and family outdoors.

Prince William Forrest Park- A great setting to discuss getting more youth and family outdoors.

Anne Mader, co-owner of The Bike Lane Bike shops in Springfield and Reston, Va. , was among a group of  outdoors stakeholders and local students that met with  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis at a National Park Week event April 25 at Prince William Forest Park, the largest green space in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

 Jewell and Jarvis met with students from Stonewall Middle School in Prince William County, Va. who were participating in a NatureBridge residential field science program in which students live and learn in the park, extending classroom learning with hands-on water-testing experiments of their own design and learning about the Great Depression-era history of their close-to-home national park.
Mader and other representatives of outdoors stakeholder groups were invited to meet with the nation’s top outdoors administrator.  Jewell is the former CEO of REI, Inc., a national chain of retail outdoors and recreation equipment stores that has a strong history of supporting environmental and outdoors causes.

Jewell said she could not “think of a higher calling” than the stewardship of America’s outdoors.”

One of her priorities is the redesign of America’s national parks to “attract all Americans, not just a subset. We need to bring nature into people’s lives.”
Mader said she was “very impressed” by Secretary Jewell.

“Her background working fAnne w:US Interior Secretary Jewell2or a company that values the environment and outdoor recreation, such as REI, will give her a unique perspective and an understanding of the importance of public and private partnerships.
“I was impressed by her eagerness to kick off her appointment by listening to stakeholder groups before creating her strategic plan/vision and goals.  She came across as very ‘un- politician’ and that was pretty refreshing. I hope her ideas will create more opportunities in outdoor recreation, especially for our youth. Outdoor recreation not only creates an appreciation for the environment and physical activity, which our youth desperately need, it also creates many jobs.

“I believe her plan to bring together the private and public sectors will be key in doing this. I just hope it doesn’t get lost in the politics of Washington.”

The Bike Lane stores have long been active in the creation of public-private initiatives to get more kids outside, including support of their local mountain biking club MORE, Trails for Youth, TBL’s own Junior Mountain Bike Development Program and national organizations such as IMBA and Bikes Belong, who is an associate member of the Outdoor Industry Associate.  The Bike Lane also helps in writing grants to get funding for trails, as well as supporting community mountain bike and running races that use local parks.

Bikes for the World: Why Wait For Christmas…

Bikes for the World is proud to be part of Kristi’s Christmas, a local organization dedicated to providing items to selected Fairfax county kids in need. Kristi Brown was a young woman who died in a tragic beltway accident in 1987. Her parents established this fund in her name and memory to honor her giving spirit. Kristi was also a heart, kidney, and cornea donor.Courtesy West Springfield Rotary & Irving Middle School On April 13, 2013 the West Springfield Rotary, whose motto is “Service Above Self”, along with Irving Middle School and West Springfield High School hosted their second annual bike collection with Bikes for the World. The group netted 94 bikes topping last year’s collection of 61 bikes also an impressive turnout.Philip Dondes, a West Springfield Rotarian and new BfW collection manager, approached BfW about donating some bikes locally. Although most of our bikes are donated overseas where mechanics are readily available to recondition our donated bikes, Dondes pulled together a one time partnership between the Rotary, to collect bikes, Bikes for the World, to donate the bikes, The Bike Lane, who agreed to do free safety checks on the bikes, and Kristi’s Christmas, who would help identify possible recipients. The latter two are very important criteria for BfW to consider a local donation.

Bikes for the World helped identify a select number of kids bikes for this program. Dondes then had these bikes transported to The Bike Lane, a local bike shop, who did the safety checks and in some cases swapped parts around to make 13 usable safe bikes to donate to Kristi’s Christmas.Irving Middle SchoolThe Middle School students inspired Dondes who found it rewarding to be surrounded by their young, giving spirit.”I never got the feeling the students wanted to be elsewhere,” said Dondes.Kristi’s Christmas has special ties to the Springfield school district where Kristi was a West Springfield High School graduate. The organization partners with students at the high school to serve as a ‘buddy’ during their huge Christmas event.All Fairfax county school administrators and counselors identify the neediest children in their districts for this program. At Christmastime, Kristi’s Christmas partners each child up with a high school student who accompanies them for breakfast, a shopping spree at Target, and finishes with a visit from Santa.

But the donations and support come in year round. Other donated items distributed throughout the year include books, sleeping bags, food, backpacks, clothing, and real soon BIKES! All thanks to the hard work of Irving Middle School who helped advertise, collect, and process all these bikes for Bikes for the World. And let’s not forget the West Springfield Rotary for organizing the whole thing, bringing it to our attention, and seeing it through. We hope to bring you an update on the distribution of those bikes when it happens in the next few weeks.Kristi’s Christmas has ABSOLUTELY NO OVERHEAD. All donations go to the kids of Fairfax county. If you’d like to learn more or help this program please visit http://www.kristischristmas.org To learn more about the West Springfield Rotary you can contact Philip Dondes atphilip.dondes@nm.com

via Bikes for the World: Why Wait For Christmas….

Bikeyface- Middle of the Road

We just found the Bikeyface blog and we are so glad we did!  There are a ton of great educational posts like this one!  Thanks Bikeyface for reminding us that while commuting by bike can be frustrating at times; it’s the smile on our face that we get when we ride our bikes that counts.

Whenever a person first discovers I bike, they reply with a story. And it’s always the same story.

“I was driving down [insert any road name] when all of the sudden I saw a cyclist in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!” Inevitably it always ends with them saying they “just tapped on their horn” or “squeezed by” or “yelled out to the cyclist.”

And many many times I’ve been the cyclist in one of these stories- the one sharing the road with a driver that isn’t aware of the basic road rules regarding bikes.

What’s worse is that sometimes reasonable people panic at the sight of a bicycle in the lane… and then all that reason flies out the window.

So I wanted to explain it to those who have never biked in the city:

And there’s more. Bikes are small, but they still need space. Cars should give cyclists the same amount of space when passing as another vehicle, at least 3 ft. However, not all roads allow for that, particularly in Boston:

So don’t panic when you see a bike in your lane. Just treat it like another vehicle. If you can pass safely, that’s fine. If not, most likely you won’t be slowed down much if at all. In the city, I find that car traffic slows me down much more than the other way around.

via Bikeyface » Middle of the Road.

You Are Invited- The Fairfax Bike Summit

Fairfax Bike Summit: Pedaling our way to a healthier and happier community

All are invited to join Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), George Mason University (GMU) and Fairfax County for the inaugural Fairfax Bike Summit on Saturday, October 27 at GMU from 9AM – 2PM. Register here for FREE (ffxbikesummit.eventbrite.com) – Attendance is limited to 200 people – so act fast!

About the Fairfax Bike Summit: This summit will bring together bicyclists, bicycle  organizations, bike shops, and transportation professionals to discuss:
Turning Fairfax into an even better place to live by making bicycling a major part of the transportation system
Details about the recently-completed bicycle master plan draft that serves as our roadmap for making our streets safer for bicyclists (adding bike lanes, cycle tracks, signed bicycle routes, and connecting trails and streets that lead to major destinations)
How other communities are being transformed from auto-centric places to more people-oriented places
Bicycling as an alternative transportation option that provides opportunities to grow Fairfax County into a more competitive, liveable, connected, and vibrant community

You’ll also get to hear from nationally-known speakers including Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, Chris Eatough of BikeArlington, and Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. See the latest in transportation bikes and gear on display from local bike shops. Join GMU staff for a bike tour of campus bike facilities after the summit. A limited number of bicycles will be provided by The Bike Lane.

The summit will be held at The HUB at GMU in the Front-Middle Ballroom, 10423 Rivanna River Way, Fairfax, VA 22030. Display space is available for bicycle businesses and organizations. For further information, please visit fabb-bikes.org or contact us at bikesummit@fabb-bikes.org.

Sponsored by Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, George Mason University, and Fairfax County