City of Decatur is a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community

BFC_seal_templateThe City of Decatur has been renewed by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Decatur joins a cutting-edge group of over 400 communities across the United States that are transforming the American landscape.

“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists. “We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.”

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program at bikeleague.org/community. Learn more about biking in Decatur at decaturga.com/biking. 

Third Friday Bike Ride is This Friday!

BFC sign.jpgJoin Decatur Active Living for the Third Friday FUN Bike Ride this Friday, September 16 at 6:30 p.m. We explore the city at a slow pace suitable for most riders and ride approximately 6 miles. This is a  no-drop ride: no one will be left behind. After the ride we will visit a local watering hole for refreshments.

Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore Street, and  be ready to ride at 6:30 p.m. If you need air in your tires, come early and use our Bike Repair Station located in front of the building.

Helmets and lights are required- we want to be safe and seen!

For more information on biking in Decatur, visit www.decaturga.com/biking.

Decatur Third Friday Fun Bike Ride This Friday!

Join Decatur Active Living for our Third Friday Fun Bike Ride this Friday, October 17th at 6:30 pm. We will meet at the Church Street MARTA Station and are ready to ride at 6:30 pm. All levels of riders are welcome on this no-drop conversational pace ride. No one will be left behind!! This is a great ride for those who are tentative about riding in groups and/or on the street.

After the ride we will visit a local watering hole for refreshments and a chance to make some new friends.

Helmets are required. Consider lighting up your bike with lots of lights for the ride. The days are getting shorter. I have a battery operated string of lights I am looking forward to wrapping around my bike!

Check out the Meet-up page, courtesy of the Southern Bicycle League. Walt and Joanne are going to join us this week!

Photo courtesy of midlifeblogspot.com.

Photo courtesy of midlifeblogspot.com.

SLOW DOWN: Wednesday is International Walk & Roll to School Day!

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SLOW DOWN and watch for even more children than usual walking and biking to school on Wednesday!

Children in the City of Decatur will join millions of children worldwide by participating in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Our schools will join other Georgia schools across the state that are participating in the event.  International Walk to School Day is held each fall to remind students, parents, and communities about the many benefits of walking and biking to school.  “No matter the reason: to improve students’ physical health, to teach pedestrian safety skills, to impact air quality, to build a stronger community, or to simply have fun, any school in Georgia can find a way to participate in this event ,” said Patti Sistrunk, Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center Manager.  “It’s a great way to get the new school year started on the right ‘foot’!”

The City of Decatur has had an active, award winning SRTS program since 2005. The program won the 2008 Golden Shoe Award from PEDS for Pedestrian Friendly School System and the 2011 GRPA Publication Award. The Decatur SRTS program is managed by the Active Living Division with the help of the FABULOUS Parent Champions at each school. For more information on the City of Decatur program, visit decaturga.com/srts.

Participate in the Bike Challenge and Win Prizes!

LTR-Facebook-Memes_7The City of Decatur has formed a team for the Atlanta Bike Challenge which runs from September 28 to October 19 and we invite citizens and employees alike to join our team. So far the Decatur team is Tracie, Cheryl, Jeff, and Trish. Recruit your Decatur friends and neighbors, everybody bike!

The 3rd-annual Atlanta Bike Challenge will be going strong ALL OVER the metro area including Decatur. You just have to ride your bike 10 minutes a day, or 10 minutes ever to participate! Log when you bike to yoga, bike to work, bike around the park, bike to the pool…you get the idea, just bike!

Log your rides (a few or all of them) at ATLBikeChallenge.com or through the Love to Ride mobile app to qualify for great prizes.Be sure to sign up for the City of Decatur team its not just employees, its meant to be citizens too!

What’s the goal? It’s all about participation – which workplaces (or in our case communities) can get the most people to ride a bike? Metro Atlanta business will compete against each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike during the challenge. It’s not about who can cycle the most miles, but who can encourage the most people to give bicycling a try.

Throughout the Atlanta Bike Challenge, participants will qualify for awesome prizes. However, to be eligible for the grand prize, you must log cycling trips to and from work. And by participating, you’ll get bragging rights when you reach goals and recruit coworkers to join in on the fun. Logging is easy, click # of miles, click date, done!

To find out more and to register, visit ATLBikeChallenge.com. And connect through the Facebook event.

Healthy Decatur: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

Holistic

I recently re read the case study that drives our quest to be and remain an active living community. I wondered what else i might add to continue the progress and success for the community. Take a look at it here if you’ve never read it. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it shows you what the city was thinking in heading to where we are now.

Namely I heard last week at a seminar hosted by the ARC on Living Beyond Expectations, that active adults over 65+ were the fastest growing segment of new cyclists or returning cyclists, more like it, in the nation. So I figured i better get some bicycling programming going for adults and make sure it aligned with this mission. And it does!

Active

Today I took a regular groups of active adults on a weekly walk, met a group of kids cycling from camp, and strolled through our community garden. We are definitely still at it Decatur, from 8 to 80, as they say and looking to constantly improve.

So if you have ideas of what activity you’d like to do, as an active adult, with daytime hours free, Tracie is the girl for you. She leads the adults programming efforts and is happy to create an activity for you and find the best instructor for it. So holla! You can reach her at tracie.sanchez@decaturga.com.

Improving

And here we are, keeping at it y’all!

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Give Your Bicycle an ABC Quick Check

An easy way to make sure your bike is in good working order is to do an ABC Quick Check.

Air: Be sure you have enough air in your tires

Brakes: Look to see that your brake pads are not worn

Chain and Cranks: Pull on your cranks to see that they are not loose and look to see that the chain is not rusted and it is free of gunk

Quick Release: Make sure all quick releases are closed

Check: Take a slow brief ride to check that your bike is working properly

 

For more tips on riding safely visit League of American Bicyclists.

 

Active Living Includes Teens Too!

October Bike to Work/School Challenge, and Momentum Magazine Calls for Stories from High School Cyclists

high school cyclists - bike to grad

BTW

In a bicycle friendly city like Decatur we love to see students biking all the time and this Fall there are two opportunities for TEENS to have a voice. 1) Share your story as Momentum Magazine offers and 2) be sure to enter the October Bike Challenge open to teens aged 13-18.  Just click School Challenge athttp://www.atlbiketowork.org/  and while you are at it, invite mom & dad to bike to work and participate in the challenge too championed by the Clean Air Campaign.

Bike to Prom (pictured). If you’re a teenager who regularly bikes to school, it’s time to tell your story. There are lots of planners and engineers working to get more cyclists on our streets, but we really need to hear from some teenagers! What’s your story? Momentum Magazine has four categories that they’re curious about, pick one and share your story:  http://www.urbanthinkers.ca/high-school-cyclists/

  1. Do you love biking to high school? What’s your story?

  2. Are you pretty much the only student who bikes to your high school? What’s your story?

  3. Are there lots of students who bike to your high school? What’s your story?

  4. Were there some real barriers you had to deal with before regularly biking to high school? What’s your story?

Decatur is Officially a Bicycle Friendly Community!

Across the U.S. bicycling is on the rise, thanks in part to cities like Decatur taking steps to make riding safer and more comfortable for all residents. Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and Decatur has been named a Bronze Level BFC!

“We are excited that the City of Decatur recognizes that simple steps to make biking safe and comfortable pay huge dividends in civic, community and economic development'” said League President Andy Clarke. “Bicycling is more than a practical, cost effective solution to many municipal challenges – it’s a way to make Decatur a place where people don’t just live and work, but thrive.”

To learn more about the BFC program, click here.

Over the past several years, the City of Decatur has added bicycle lanes, bicycle racks, and sharrows. Two new bike stores have opened. and there are group bike rides that occur on a regular basis in Decatur.  Bike Valet parking was added to the two major festivals, the Decatur Arts Festival and the Decatur Book Festival. Walking and riding bikes around the city has become more commonplace as people feel safer and  more comfortable on their bikes.

“A year ago, I would have never thought that I would have the  courage to ride down Ponce de Leon during rush hour. With the addition of the sharrow road markings and the steadily increasing number of bicyclists, I now feel very comfortable riding my bike around the city. ”  A Local Bicyclist