MSU Bikes 10th Anniversary & Renovations Open House

newly expanded and updated porch of the MSU Bikes Service Center

The newly expanded and updated porch of the MSU Bikes Service Center as of this spring (2016). You can see the new glass doors with electric-assist opener, new wider porch area for displaying bikes out of the way of visitors, safety railings and the newly rebuilt Red Cedar Yacht Club deck in the background.


Come celebrate our 10th year of operations with the crew of MSU Bikes and a bunch of new safety/ access improvements to the entry to our Center!

Light refreshments will be served on the newly rebuilt deck outside the Center, another reason to celebrate!

Plenty of bike parking is available outside our Center! Sorry we have no visitor car parking available.

If we have rain we’ll have our reception inside the Center.

Please RSVP via our Facebook event page here.

For more information about all the renovations done to the Center this past year check this blog post and photo gallery.

MSU’s Bike Friendly America Conference

Final conference flyer graphic

Click here to visit the conference website and register.


Early-bird Registration Deadline Extended to April 15!

Last November, Michigan State University was recognized as a Silver level Bicycle Friendly University. MSU joins an elite group of 28 other Silver level and 126 other BFUs who have received recognition from the League of American Bicyclists ranging from Bronze to Platinum.

The League's Silver level award seal.

The League’s Silver level award seal.

Who Should Attend?

  • Working for a business that is interested in becoming more Bike Friendly?  A spokesman for Steelcase will be sharing their rationale for pursuing the BFB award.

  • Inside city government and wondering how to move towards becoming more bike friendly?  Learn how Lansing, MI, a typical Midwest city is able to install a surprising amount of bike-friendly facilities every year.  A representative from Grand Rapids will also be presenting their story of how improving their city for bicycling has helped spur regional development.

  • Come learn more about the secrets of reaching Platinum Bike Friendly Univ. status from U-Minnesota-Minneapolis’ bike coordinator.

  • Want to know how being bike friendly means potentially hundreds millions of $$ for your state at many levels?  Listen to Michigan’s Bike Coordinator present the findings of a state-wide report showing how bicycling brings well over $600 mil. annually to the state.

In order to assist other universities, their surrounding communities and businesses to be recognized as bicycle friendly or to achieve the next step in the Bicycle Friendly Program, Michigan State University will host a “Bicycle Friendly America” conference on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at the Kellogg Center on our beautiful campus. The conference will include general sessions as well as break-out sessions to present information specific to Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly University, as well as Bicycle Friendly Business.

We will have presenters from the League of American Bicyclists, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the State of Michigan, other universities (including a Platinum level one), as well as Michigan State University, local communities and businesses.

Join us for a day of interaction to help make our campuses, communities, and businesses more bicycle friendly thus safer for all of us alike!

Registration is Open!  Click here to register.

Early bird registration is $100 and has been extended thru April 15; after midnight April 15 the fee will be $120. Registration will close on May 12. No on-site registration

**Sponsors & Vendors click here for our sponsorship opportunities

 



Brought to you by:  

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities: http://ipf.msu.edu/
MSU Bike Advisory Committee – https://msubikes.wordpress.com/msu-bac/
MSU Bikes Service Center – www.bikes.msu.edu

With technical & logistical support from the League of Michigan Bicyclists.

Questions?  Gggossel@ipf.msu.edu or 517-432-0501

CATA Emergency Ride Home Extended to Bicyclists

This new bike-commuter benefit just in from Joe Fedewa, CATA’s Clean Commute manager:

If you have a long-distance bicycle commute at least 3 days a week, you may be eligible! The CATA Clean Commute Options’ Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program now gives you the confidence to commute by bike and still get home in an emergency.
CATA-Clean-Commute-graphic

It’s FREE and EASY to get started. Click here to apply for ERH service now! If qualified for the ERH program, you will receive a pair of vouchers every 6 months. If your bicycle breaks down, you get caught in a storm, or any other unplanned circumstance in which you cannot commute home by bike, simply redeem a voucher for a rental car pickup at your workplace or at the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car location and get home safely. (The step-by-step directions for use are written on the vouchers themselves)

To participate in the Emergency Ride Home program, you must be actively commuting via bicycle at least 3 days a week. Vouchers may only be redeemed on these days. The program is intended for commuters traveling into the region from an area well beyond any CATA fixed-route bus service. ERH applications will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.

MSU Moves up to Silver Bike Friendly University Award Status!

The League's Silver level award seal.

The League’s Silver level award seal. Click to view the MSU press release.

It’s an exciting time for 49 universities and colleges around the country who are new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities including MSU which moved up to a silver level award!  We’re now one of 28 silver-level BFUs!

This new list of BFUs represents a tremendous amount of work by hundreds if not thousands of people in these universities not to mention the monetary investments too in the effort to make campuses more bike friendly and educate the next generation on safe bicycling habits.

IMG_5717

The finished new porch staircase (as of 8/24/15)

Read MSU’s press release from Nov. 6, 2015 here.

Read the League’s full press release here which links to award information on all of the awardees.

Interested in helping MSU go for Platinum? Get involved with the MSU Bike Advisory Committee.

Lunchtime Rides Around Campus

Riding along Farm Ln., spring 2015 during Tour de MSU

Riding along Farm Ln., spring 2015 during Tour de MSU

Looking for something fun and a little different to do over one lunch hour a month?  Join some of your fellow campus bicyclists and take a slow, leisurely ride around MSU for fresh air, discover new things about campus, enjoy some conversation, etc.

We’ll meet up outside the MSU Bikes Service Center at noon on the last Wednesday of the month and ride for about an hour finishing up back at MSU Bikes.  Rides will feature several stops/ breaks, have a leader and sweeper (someone riding at the rear to help w/ anyone who might need assistance) and will cover anywhere from 3-10 miles at the most depending on the leader and route selected for the month.  Any bike type should be fine and air and mechanical assistance will be available at the start at MSU Bikes.

Brighter clothing, helmets, lights encouraged.  We’ll be following all rules of the road and the campus ordinances, so we won’t be riding on sidewalks, but will use the paths marked for bicycling.

Tim chatting about the Tour de MSU ride

Tim chatting about the Tour de MSU ride at the Sparty statue. The lunch time rides concept was birthed by this first successful organized ride around campus the spring of 2015.

If it’s pouring we’ll cancel the ride. If it’s light drizzle we’ll ride, Seattle/ Portland style!

We’ll continue riding throughout the year, so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about cold weather riding too by actually doing it!

Looking forward to riding with you!

The MSU Bikes Service Center's new exterior

The MSU Bikes Service Center’s new exterior – meet-up here.

Bike Friendly Improvements to Campus this Summer (2015)

Those of you just returning to campus will be pleasantly surprised to find some significant improvements to our campus making it more bike friendly.

There are several areas that have had new bike parking facilities added including some new and much improved bike parking racks as you’ll see in the slideshow below.  These racks, called Varsity Docks by Park a Bike, help keep bikes upright (by preventing the wheel from rolling), feature a more intuitive design for proper locking of bikes and has padding where the rack contacts a bike to prevent damage to bikes.  They are more expensive and don’t easily allow for locking up more bikes than they’re designed for (like the common U-loop style rack we’ve got all over campus) but it’s hoped fewer bikes will fall to the ground (which leads to abandonment oftentimes) and reduces theft due to improper locking.

Additional improvements to the bike parking situation on campus:  83 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall to replace old-school style racks, 23 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall, 48 new U-loop style racks to the West side of the front of W. Akers Hall, 16 new U-loop style racks in front of W. Akers Hall, an expanded cement pad on the East side of Holden Hall for more moped parking to reduce conflict at the bike racks and to allow for more bike parking loops in the future.

Other bike-friendly improvements:

  • Chestnut Rd. is now another “Complete Street” on campus from North to South (from Trowbridge near the IPF Hqrs. to Kalamazoo St.) with safe accommodations for all road users including bike lanes.
  • Resurfaced and redone bike lanes on Farm Ln. north of the bridge to the Auditorium Rd. intersection.
  • Reinstalled many bike lane symbols around campus that had become worn-off from snow plows, etc.

Our New Improved Entryway and Extended Patio – Now Open!

The finished new porch (as of 8/24/15)

The new porch (as of 8/24/15) ready for arrival of students, awaiting railings.

The finished porch of the Center

The finished porch of the Center with the new hand-rails, stairway and doors. In the background you can also see the newly renovated deck overlooking the river and Erickson Kiva across the river. (as of April 13, 2016)

Below is more information and a photo gallery of pics of the improvements made to the entryway and porch of the Center which started in August and wrapped up late in 2015.

Construction began Monday (Aug. 10) on our new entryway!  Sorry for not forewarning everyone.  The entrance will be safer to access for our customers, particularly those with mobility challenges.  There’ll be new railings and a completely new staircase off to the west side of the entrance rather than off the front as it has been.  This will allow us to display bikes outside without them obstructing access to the shop and the ramp leading up to the entrance.  We’re also getting a new electric-assist door unit to make it easier for our customers to get inside when their hands are full, etc.

Here is a slideshow of the construction, installation and finished new porch and entry way with electric assist door opener including the renovation of the deck:

Road riding survival tips, no. 2: The Door Prize You DON’T Want!

Toronto - Door prize campaign

Poster from Toronto’s 2005 Campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of dooring.  Click graphic for more info. on the campaign.

When riding in the road you’ll sometimes find yourself riding past parked cars (thankfully most of the on-street car parking on campus is now gone, but now and then you’ll pass a delivery vehicle or someone dropping off a friend, etc), and sometimes you’ll feel you need to ride close to them to avoid getting in the way of or slowing down motor vehicle traffic.  Well, there’s a very dangerous area near parked cars called the “Door zone” which is where many bicyclists have been seriously hurt or killed, either by the door itself or by getting knocked off their bikes and sent flying out into the travel lane.

Watch this new video that captures such a moment by a taxi’s dash-cam; fortunately for this bicyclist the taxi was able to stop before causing the bicyclist serious injury:

London taxi driver captures the moment he almost ran over a cyclist

London taxi driver captures the moment he almost ran over a cyclist who was trying to avoid a car door (click to view on Facebook; courtesy The Telegraph)

The door zone extends out a lot further than you might think and, unfortunately, a lot further than most road agencies even realize, so sometimes bike lanes will even be marked way too close to parked cars encouraging riding in the “door zone”.

Avoidance instructional video

Parking lot demonstration of why we avoid the door zone on a bicycle

This short video (courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists) is an excellent instructional which clearly shows where you should ride.

So, next time you’re going to pass a parked vehicle be sure you get over far enough in advance (after shoulder-checking for a gap in traffic) to avoid the “Door prize you don’t want”.

CANCELLED – Ride your bike to MSU Football games this fall!

Valet Bike Parking service

Example of the service operating during the 2013 Great Lakes Folks Festival.

Unfortunately, the Valet Bike Parking service for the fall 2015 season has been cancelled due to logistical issues with the service location.

We are already starting to work on planning for the 2016 season, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Thank you.

Tim
Sept. 10, 2015


 

Why fight traffic 2x each game and spend so much for parking and still have to walk so far!?  You can get the best parking on campus and park your bike right next to the stadium! MSU Athletics, MSU Healthy Campus Initiative, ASMSU, MSU Bikes, MSU Surplus/ MSU Recycling and several MSU student groups (Club Football, Underwater Hockey, Gospel Choir) are happy to announce that a valet bike parking service will be offered this fall during 5 of MSU’s daytime home football games (Airforce 9/19/15, CMU 9/26/15, Purdue-Homecoming 10/3/15, IU 10/24/15, Maryland 11/14/15; [NOT the 11/28 PSU game]).

Valet bike parking services have been successfully encouraging biking to large events in the Greater Lansing area since the National Folk Festival in the year 2000.  It helps encourage more people to ride their bikes instead of driving their cars and that helps make for happier event participants, fewer car parking headaches, and finally helps make events more “green”/ environmentally friendly.

Panoramic of the bikes ridden to the event parked outside the Midtown Brewing Co.

Panoramic of the bikes ridden to the Greater Lansing Bike Movie Festival 2015 parked outside the Midtown Brewing Co.

The service, much like a coat check service for bikes, will be very conveniently located in the turf arena of the IM West facility which sits right next to Spartan Stadium on the NW corner.  Parked bikes will be dry and warm after the game no matter what Mother Nature throws at us!  The service will be open and ready to park bikes for fans 2 hours prior to game times and 1 hour after games.  They’ll be watched by at least two staff at all times. Proceeds collected for the service will be used by the student clubs staffing it for their club expenses.

Thanks to the support and financial assistance of ASMSU MSU students showing their IDs will be able to park their bikes for free.  There will be a $5 fee to park bikes for non-students. Any questions about the service can be directed to the service coordinator, Tim Potter, at MSU Bikes, by calling 517-432-3414 or email:  pottert@msu.edu

Road riding survival tips, no. 1 – Mind the Gap!

So, perhaps you’re new to riding in the road and are now trying to stay off the sidewalks as much as possible like our campus ordinance and bike safety advocates want you to.  Great!  Well, there are a number of things to keep in mind, beware of, and not just cars, trucks and buses.

CAUTION! Pavement edge drop zone

CAUTION! Pavement edge drop zone

Here’s one of them to the right.  This is a pretty common road-side hazard that takes many forms.  It’s basically the edge of the road and that difference in height between the edge and the curb gutter pan cement (or dirt if you’re out in the country) can cause you to lose control and crash you as you try to regain control should your front wheel drop off that edge.  The same condition occurs at the edge of a off-road path or sidewalk and is often covered by grass making the hazard hard to notice until it’s too late.  This is one of the most common crash scenarios that we hear about in our shop. I hope this will serve as a visual reminder why you shouldn’t ride up close to the curb when riding in the roads.  And when riding on pathways or sidewalks (if you must) keep that nasty edge in mind when/ if you have to go off the edge to get around something/ someone. Survival Hint:  Pop a little wheelie when getting back on the road/ path/ sidewalk to avoid crashing. Not far from the above photo is this pothole in the bike lane (2nd photo to the right); could also be a dead animal or spare tire, or whatever.

Beware the bike lane pothole

Mind the Gap!  And beware bike lane potholes!

You need to be able to miss stuff like this without swerving into traffic, so it’s best to ride far enough out into the travel lane (particularly when using these very narrow bike lanes or paved shoulders) so that you have options to get around such things without swerving at the last second into traffic & risk getting hit. See this web page courtesy of the League of Michigan Bicyclists that lists all of the Michigan Laws Pertaining to Bicyclists including the right to ride in other areas of the road way to stay safe and get to where you need to go like any other legal road user.

Greater Lansing’s 1st Ever Bike Movie Night! – CONCLUDED (archived article)

Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night poster

Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night poster

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.


A $5 donation is suggested 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.

Thanks to Allison McKenna of allielune designs (online portfolio: allielune.carbonmade.com) for doing the artwork for our event poster (& for the original Kalamazoo Bike Film Fest poster)!!

Tour de MSU Campus 2015 – Inaugural fun, slow, social ride – (archived article)

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! Here’s a map showing where we’ll be going around campus in case you want to jump in at some point along the route (sorry, just don’t have a good way to know WHEN we’re going to be at different points along the route).

Our updated MSU Bike Facilities map (JPEG version) is here (updated May 2015) which shows you all of the bike-friendly features of our campus.  (PDF version of the MSU Bike map)

Highlights of our Tour de MSU:
– Ride down recently updated/ improved S. MSU River Trail
– Brief stop by MSU Bikes Service Center
– (quick peek @ outdoor air station/ DIY repair station)
– Stop at corner of N. MSU River Trail @ Bogue St. to talk about the upcoming resurfacing project
– Cruise down the 1st marked separated bike/ped pathway behind Owen Hall (which served as a model for renovating other paths on campus)
– Brief stop @ new DIY bike repair station outside NW Akers Hall entance

Poster for MSU Bike Week events

Poster for MSU Bike Week events.  Click image for PDF version of the poster/ flyer for your workplace/ cafes, etc.

– Pass thru redesigned Shaw Ln./Bogue St.intersection
– Stop by new DIY bike repair station outside NW entrance to Snyders- Phillips Hall
– Visit the MSU Bike (Parking) Garage inside the Grand River Parking Ramp #6
– Brief discussion of W. Circle Dr. being the 1st “Complete Street” on campus
– Stop by new DIY bike repair station outside E. entrance to Yakeley Hall
– Pedal over to the Brody Complex via the MSU River Trail w/ brief stop by end of MSU River Tr. behind Jenison to talk about the status of completing the connection to the East end of the Lansing River Trail at Harrison Rd.
– Visit the new DIY bike repair station outside Emmons Hall in the Brody Complex
– Stop by upcoming new residential/ retail building project at corner of Kalamazoo and Harrison to talk about planned bike facilities
– Cruise down Harrison Rd. to the new under construction Multi-Modal Transportation Center near Trowbridge/ Harrison Rd. and discuss new bike facilities going in there.
– Back to campus, brief visit to new DIY bike repair station outside loading dock on north side of Holden Hall
– Stop by the MSU Bike Garage in the Trowbridge Parking Ramp #5 – Pedal back to the Spartan Statue via Red Cedar Rd.

Mid-MEAC's Valet Bike Parking crew

Friendly volunteers will watch your bike while you enjoy breakfast! (Mid-MEAC’s Valet Bike Parking crew [Brandon and Julie Powers in purple shirts] w/ Tim and Lauren Olson, formerly of MSU Sustainability)


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 – CONCLUDED (archived article)

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

New 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 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.  (Brody Complex station is on the east side of Emmons Hall; E. Neighborhood station is outside W. Akers entrance near bike parking area)

The five newest stations (made by Bike Fixtation) 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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