MSU Bike Month 2015 Event Calendar

Sparty on bike - Beaumont Tower

Join Sparty and take on the National Bike Challenge!

Calling all MSU bicyclists! It’s time to join the Challenge that’s started today! If you’ve never participated in the past, it’s very easy to join the fun.  You’ll be eligible for great prizes and get to see how your miles compare to others at MSU and around the country!  Be sure you’re registered under MSU as your school and then our miles will all be counted together! (We don’t have a Team MSU per se as there are limits on how big a team can be and other logistical headaches). Here’s the MSU profile page to see who else is riding (scroll down the page); we currently have 46 riders (many who joined last year but haven’t logged any miles this year yet). We’re currently ranked #27th Nationally (among all colleges/universities). Full details: https://nationalbikechallenge.org


Lansing Bike Party

Lansing Bike Party enjoying a ride on the MSU Campus, summer 2013. Click for more info about the LBP on Facebook.

Join your fellow MSU bicyclists on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015, for a fun, slow, social ride around campus to see all the newer bike-friendly facilities that have been installed in the past year or two that everyone might not know about. We’ll start at the Spartan Statue (Kalamazoo and Chestnut) at noon and stop occasionally to look and talk about different features.  This will be a good opportunity to discuss challenging aspects and features we ride past that remain for MSU to progress towards a gold and someday a platinum Bike Friendly University No RSVP or registration required; just show up and ride! Click here for the event poster/ flyer (PDF) for posting in your work place, cafe’s etc.


Mid-MEAC's Valet Bike Parking crew

Mid-MEAC’s Valet Bike Parking crew (Brandon and Julie Powers in purple shirts) w/ Tim and Lauren Olson of MSU Sustainability.

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 15, 8 am – 9:30 am, National Bicycle to Work Day, for our 3rd Annual Bike to Work – Campus Breakfast to honor and recognize those who bicycle to work/ campus and celebrate bicycling as an important part of MSU’s Bike Month activities.   Join us for a free breakfast in the large private dining room of the Brody Square Cafeteria.  Just give your name and the event name at the register. Enjoy free bicycle valet parking provided by Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council just outside the main entrance to Brody Hall.


Ride of Silence logo

Ride of Silence logo

The 2015 Greater Lansing  Ride of Silence, a global event that happens in over 300 locations annually on the same day (3rd Wed. in May) to remember and honor bicyclists who’ve been hit and killed or seriously injured, will take place Wednesday, May 20, at 6:30 pm (NOTE: that’s when we LEAVE!) on the Michigan State University campus. Sign-in will take place from 5:15 to 6:05 pm and important announcements follow that. HELMETS ARE REQUIRED! More details: http://advocacy.biketcba.org/activities/ride-of-silence/ Learn more about the global event here: http://rideofsilence.org/main.php


Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival promo poster

Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival promo poster (Note: the date on this poster is for Kalamazoo; Lansing’s event is May 29th).

MSU Bikes is excited to be teaming up with the Tri-County Bike Association and other supporters to have our first ever bike movie night on May 29th, 2015, the last Friday of National Bike Month. The movies will be showed twice with the start of the first showing at 6 pm and the 2nd at 8 pm at the Midtown Brewing Company, one of Lansing’s finest brew pubs.  The movies will be provided by the good folks of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival, an annual event that has been showing great bike movies since 2010.  It will be a show of 22 short movies spanning the entire spectrum of bicycling that you won’t want to miss!

Greater Lansing’s 1st Ever Bike Movie Night!

Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival promo poster

Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival promo poster (note:  the date on this poster is for the Kalamazoo event)

MSU Bikes is excited to be teaming up with the Tri-County Bike Association and other supporters to have our first ever bike movie night on May 29th, 2015, the last Friday of National Bike Month.  The movies will be showed twice with the start of the first showing at 6 pm and the 2nd at 8 pm at the Midtown Brewing Company, one of Lansing’s finest brew pubs.  The movies will run twice so that if you’re late or helping out with the valet bike parking you won’t miss any of them!  No food or drink will be provided by the sponsors but MBC’s full menu will be available to order from.

The movies will be provided by the good folks of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival, an annual event that has been showing great bike movies since 2010.  It will be a show of 22 short movies spanning the entire spectrum of bicycling that you won’t want to miss!  The line-up of movies is listed on their website if you’re curious.


Check out our Facebook event for the show here.


Donations will be requested in lieu of an admission fee.  Donations will be shared between some of our local community bike programs to be announced at the event. Supporters providing some assistance to make the event possible so far include:  TCBA, Go Green Trikes, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council & the Curmudgeonly Cyclist.  Mid-MEAC will be providing their Valet Bike Parking equipment for the event and volunteers from our community bike programs will be helping run the VBP service. Our own PR poster is coming together; we’ll post it here as soon as it’s available.  If you’re an artist or know of an artist interested in showing off their fun bike-related artwork to the community, please contact me ASAP!

Tour de MSU Campus 2015 – Inaugural fun, slow, social ride

Lansing Bike Party

Lansing Bike Party members riding on one of the new bike lanes on campus on W. Circle Dr. by IM Circle/ Music Bldg., summer 2013.

Join your fellow MSU bicyclists on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015, for a fun, slow, social ride around campus to see all the newer bike-friendly facilities that have been installed in the past year or two that everyone might not know about. We’ll start at the Spartan Statue (Kalamazoo and Chestnut) at noon and stop occasionally to look and talk about different features.  This will be a good opportunity to discuss challenging aspects and features we ride past that remain for MSU to progress towards a gold and someday a platinum Bike Friendly University award. No RSVP or registration required; just show up and ride!

Click here for the event poster/ flyer (PDF) for posting in your work place, cafe’s etc.

Poster for MSU Bike Week events

Poster for MSU Bike Week events

Click here to learn about the 3rd Annual MSU Bike to Work/ Campus Breakfast on May 15th, 2015, which is also National Bike to Work Day.


May is Natl. Bike Month!
May is National Bike Month!

It’s the official kickoff to the bicycling season.  If you’re looking for materials to help promote bicycling in your work place the League of American Bicyclists have got a bunch of stuff here.


Sparty on bike - Beaumont Tower

National Bike Challenge Starts May 1!

Calling all MSU bicyclists! It’s time to start warming up for the National Bike Challenge again. If you’ve never participated in the past, it’s very easy to join the fun.  You’ll be eligible for great prizes and get to see how your miles compare to others at MSU and around the country!  Be sure you’re registered under MSU as your school and then our miles will all be counted together! (We don’t have a Team MSU per se as there are limits on how big a team can be and other logistical headaches) Here’s MSU’s summary/ profile: https://nationalbikechallenge.org/school/6394

3rd Annual MSU Bike to Work & Campus Breakfast

Poster for MSU Bike Week events

Poster for MSU Bike Week 2015 events

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 15, 8 am – 9:30 am, National Bicycle to Work Day, for our 3rd Annual Bike to Work – Campus Breakfast to honor and recognize those who bicycle to work/ campus and celebrate bicycling as an important part of MSU’s Bike Month activities.   Join us for a free breakfast in the large private dining room of the Brody Square Cafeteria.  Just give your name and the event name at the register.

Enjoy free bicycle valet parking provided by Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council just outside the main entrance to Brody Hall.

Free food!

Free food! Yummm!

There is a limit of 56 people for the room so please RSVP using this form. There is a short survey on the RSVP form which we hope will allow us to have some interesting data to share during the breakfast regarding our attendees and their bike commuting.

We’re lining up speakers now and looking for volunteers to sit on a panel discussion.  There will again be raffle prizes.

News:  We’ve confirmed one of our speakers, Dr. Greg Holzman, who’s heading up the Healthy Campus Initiative, which is a program of the Provost.  HCI is assisting with pulling together all stakeholders on campus to develop some effective ways to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians on the MSU Campus.  We’ll get an update on that initiative.

Download the PDF version of the poster for printing and hanging in your work place to help promote the events.

Click here to go to MSU’s inaugural Tour de MSU Campus information.

Mid-MEAC's Valet Bike Parking crew

MSU Bike to Work/ Campus Day 2013 – Mid-MEAC’s Valet Bike Parking crew (Brandon and Julie Powers in purple shirts) w/ Tim and Lauren Olson of MSU Sustainability.


May is Natl. Bike Month!May is National Bike Month!

It’s the official kickoff to the bicycling season.  If you’re looking for materials to help promote bicycling in your work place the League of American Bicyclists have got a bunch of stuff here.


Sparty on bike - Beaumont Tower

National Bike Challenge Starts May 1!

Calling all MSU bicyclists! It’s time to start warming up for the National Bike Challenge again. If you’ve never participated in the past, it’s very easy to join the fun.  You’ll be eligible for great prizes and get to see how your miles compare to others at MSU and around the country!  Be sure you’re registered under MSU as your school and then our miles will all be counted together! (We don’t have a Team MSU per se as there are limits on how big a team can be and other logistical headaches) Here’s MSU’s summary/ profile: https://nationalbikechallenge.org/school/6394

We’re Hiring a Head Mechanic

We’re hiring a head mechanic! Here’s your chance to work for one of the premier university bike programs that started in 2006.  We’re one of only a handful of bike shops owned and operated by a university.  We’re located in the center of campus with a bike population in excess of 20,000.

See details here: http://bikes.msu.edu/?page_id=859

Some pics of our Center below in case you’ve never visited:

DIY Bike Repair Stations and Resources at MSU

Needing to put a little air in your bike tires, fix a flat tire or do a minor adjustment?  Well, if you’re on campus you’re in luck!

2015 MSU Bike map showing DIY stations

2015 MSU Bike map showing DIY stations along with other bike related facilities

This map shows you where you can soon find eight do-it-yourself bike repair stations on campus and further below are some photos showing you what they look like so you can recognize them.  (Two stations [Brody complex and Akers/ Hubbard area – exact locations TBD] are due to be installed in April)

The five newest stations (made by Bike Fixtation) being installed in the five residential neighborhoods were purchased and installed thanks to donors, Rick Brown and Kathy Donahue-Brown through the Brown-Hoover Charitable Trust (established by Rick’s mother and stepfather, Carroll Brown Hoover and James Hoover).  This State News article gives more information about the newest stations.

You can also view a video showing how these stations can be used here.

There have been three Dero-brand stations on campus for a while and have proven very popular.  There is one outside the MSU Bikes Service (installed 2008) and one inside each MSU Bike Garage (secure bike parking facilities –  details here).

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Is there a special bike in your life needing TLC?

So, is there a special bike in your life that’s been languishing in your garage or basement waiting for that day to get back on the road? Perhaps it was involved in a crash and you bent the frame or forks and figure it’s a goner? Well, we’ve got good news for you! Our mechanics would love to bring your pride and joy back to life in time for Valentine’s Day or other special occasion for you or your loved one.

Bring your bike in now for a free estimate; you’ll beat the spring rush and
your bike will be in tip-top shape when the warmer weather arrives!

Over the years we’ve done some very nice renovations.  For example, here are some before-and-after photos of a 70’s vintage Schwinn 3-speed – from garage-hanger to beautiful city bike!


… and a couple videos of our mechanics straightening a “goner” frame giving it new life.

Bike frame-repair part 1

Bike frame-repair video, part 1

Bike frame-repair video, part 2

Bike frame-repair video, part 2

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Thoughts on Bike Lights

Momentum article "Bike Lights"

Momentum article “Bike Lights” Sept/Oct. 2010 issue; click to view online.

After reading the excellent “Bike Lights” article in Momentum’s Sept/Oct 2010 issue by Jonathon Reynolds which shares some research on when/where most bike accidents occur, I’d like to comment on the topic.

There’s a common misconception that you only need lights when it’s dark or getting dark.  Due to almost getting hit in the middle of the day by a driver, whom I believe simply didn’t see me in the dark shadows of a tree (some people’s eyes don’t adjust very quickly to extreme lighting changes), I have since strongly encouraged people to use flashing lights, front and rear, whenever they ride and not just when it’s getting dark. There’s a good reason why many newer motor vehicles have lights that come on automatically whenever the engine is running; they’re called “Daytime Running Lights”.  While US car manufacturers have effectively lobbied against requiring them many European countries have enacted legislation requiring them on motor vehicles while at least one, Germany, requires front and rear lights be working at all times on bicycles.

Don't be a Ninja on a bike!

Don’t be a Ninja cyclist! Be SEEN and LIVE! Click image to learn more from the Tempe AZ Bicycle Action Group.

Additionally, people should definitely stick with lights that have easily rechargeable batteries or USB rechargeable so that they’re more likely to use the lights all the time rather than trying to conserve batteries.  We stock many affordable lights at MSU Bikes and can special order just about any other light on the market.

Finally, I see way too many cyclists riding around with lights that are hardly visible, or hanging off a backpack often pointing to the ground, apparently thinking “I’ve got a light, I’m safe”, but apparently have no idea how invisible they are.  I’m not sure if it’s the nature of rechargeable batteries or the modern LED lights, but it’s also best to have backup lights on the rear and front as I’ve had them look bright at the start of my commute home only to discover they died sometime during my ride.

So, be sure to check your lights often and recharge or replace those batteries to stay alive!  And make sure they’re aimed properly down the road so they’re actually visible to motorists.

almost-all-lights

Selection of strong widely available tail lights. click for excellent review of tail lights. We stock many affordable lights at MSU Bikes.

Our 2014-2015 Holiday Schedule

Santas on bikesOur shop will be closed from December 20th through January 4th , 2015 for the university holidays.

We’ll be open again on Monday, January 5th.


Until then our mechanics are caught up and turning around repair work rapidly.  Consider bringing in your bikes now rather than waiting til spring like everyone else!  Avoid the long lines in the spring!

Click here to read more about the magic our mechanics can work on older bikes in bringing them back to life.

Lovely 70's Schwinn 3-speed brought back to life

Lovely 70’s Schwinn 3-speed brought back to life

Sidewalk Bicycling vs. Bike lanes – the debate rages on

Joy ride on the newly updated MSU S. River path

Joy ride on the newly updated MSU S. River path. Click pic for video.

There’s been considerable press in the State News and discussion this fall (2014) about bike safety and rules after some pretty serious accidents earlier in the semester and the subsequent launch of the MSU Police bike/ pedestrian safety campaign.  Was even included in an Impact 89FM radio show with a MSU Police officer (Randy Holton) who coordinated the aforementioned campaign earlier this week (our part of the show starts at 18:45 (have to download the show and open w/ Windows Media Player or other player to see the time).

All of this has caused me to reflect on where we’re at as a university in terms of improving bike and pedestrian safety; are we becoming a more ‘Bike Friendly University‘? MSU received a bronze BFU award in 2011, but what has changed over the past 4 years?

 

S. River Path near Erickson Kiva, summer 2012

Photo of the chaos during class change on S. River Path near Erickson Kiva, summer 2012.  Click pic to watch a video of bike/ped chaos from 2012 at Shaw and Farm Ln.

Well, on the visibly obvious front, we’re up from approx. 50% of our campus roads having bike lanes in 2010 to over 70% today which is phenomenal progress considering we had NO on-road bike lanes in the year 2000 when the university made the decision to adopt what has become known as a “Complete Streets” policy for campus roads (CS is now fully incorporated into our current Campus Master Plan).  MSU opened its first “complete street” at the end of the summer: W. Circle Dr.  After a massive construction project over last summer it’s now completely safe and designed for ALL legal road users!

Casual observations along the corridors where the bike lane network is almost complete (Wilson Rd. for example) and wherever bike lanes exist, make it clear that if we build them bicyclists will start to use them.  We’ve also started adding “Sharrow” markings (aka ‘shared lane bicycle marking’) on roads where there’s not currently enough width for bike lanes (see this video that was produced fall of 2013 to inform the community of these new markings).

The most recent example of physical progress: there was a hugely successful safety improvement to our campus transportation system benefiting both pedestrians and bicyclists completed in late summer 2014.   A video I created, MSU Bicycling on Unmarked Sidewalk vs Newly Redesigned River Path” shows off the benefits and real life on the newly updated S. River path; you’ll quickly see the difference between riding on a crowded sidewalk vs. the new path.  With this segment of the S. river pathway completed only one more large segment is left needing the updating to this new, safer design; the path between Farm Ln. and Bogue St.  (More photos, including before and after construction, can be viewed here)

Bicycling in the road vs. sidewalk

Like riding slow and stopping all the time?  Sidewalks are for YOU!  Want to get somewhere faster than walking?  Ride in the road!  Click pic for video.

A companion video features the readily and quickly obvious benefits to riding in a bike lane on the road vs. riding on crowded, disorganized and chaotic sidewalks: Riding in a Bike Lane vs. Sidewalk Bicycling at MSU”.

Bear in mind that the benefits & advantages of riding in the road continue even on roads without bike lane markings.  Bicyclists also have a legal right to ride in the road and a legal responsibility to ride in the road (WITH the direction of traffic, AND obeying the same traffic rules as other legal road users) NOT on the sidewalks on campus.

Yes, we’ve still got plenty of work to do on campus (as this video of pedestrians and bikes mixing it up at Farm Ln. and S. Shaw Ln. shows).  There are some critical roads on campus without bike lanes remaining which abruptly start and stop; they’ll be getting bike lanes, or in some cases, closed to motor vehicle traffic altogether assuming the university’s 20/20 Vision continues to be the guiding document for the coming years.

Read our “Bike Safety Tips” post for a lot more information about this important topic to help greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a crash.

Stay tuned for more progress reports on our ‘Bike Friendliness’.

Join Team MSU for Natl Bike Challenge

Team MSU - Natl Bike Challenge

MSU is ranked 3rd in Michigan among universities and 36th nationally!  Help us get to the head of the peloton!

 

It’s not too late to join Team MSU for the National Bike Challenge. You can add your miles ridden staring in May 1st retroactively very easily.  Join and help MSU get in the lead of the pack of other universities competing! https://nationalbikechallenge.org/school/6394

As of June 12, 2014 we’re #3 in Michigan, #36 among universities and #76 nationally.

Click here to join Team MSU or click on the red Join button on the team page as seen in the graphic below.  You have to first create a profile to be a part of the Challenge.  To join the MSU team make sure you put Michigan State University in the School field when creating your profile.

Team MSU - join button

Team MSU – join button

New CATA Rep for MSU Campus

Bikes and Buses safety video

Bikes and Buses safety video

As of April 30, 2014 there is a new CATA MSU campus representative, Deb Kirby.

She’s your go-to person for any CATA related issues you observe or experience on campus.  Her email:  dkirby@cata.org  and campus office phone #: (517) 432-0888

FYI: Here’s a link to a very well-done video created by the Chicago ATA that CATA has been using for their driver training.  http://vimeo.com/7949969
It’s also got very helpful advice for bicyclists to safely interact with buses, so take the time and watch it to learn more about staying out of trouble on our roads.

Note:  The painted-on bus #, location and time of day of an incident is critical as the digital bus route numbers change throughout the day.
Nervous about putting your bike on a CATA bus rack?

Using the CATA bus bike racks

Using the CATA bus bike racks

CATA has a great web page describing their bike-related services including using the bike racks on all of their buses.  Watch this (non-CATA) video to see how easy it is!  The racks in the video may be slightly different than CATA’s but it’ll give you a real good idea of how easy it is.

Bike lockers are also available for rent at the CATA Transportation Center (CTC), downtown Lansing, 420 South Grand Ave.  The units are located on the northeast side of the building.

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