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Let CU Cycle !

Your monthly newsletter for 

Cycling in the Champaign County Area.

From Champaign County Bikes

It Has Been A While Since
this Newsletter Has Gone Out...

actually, just about one year.  A lot of things have changed... the way we live and the way we have ridden through the pandemic.  While we see the glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel we still have some distance to go.  During this journey, a renewed sense in the value of cycling, has taken over.  Not only in our community, but in  the nation and the world.  What had been years of struggle for bike shops to make ends meet took a sudden turn, as individuals as well as families took to the reliable bicycle to avoid crowded public transportation or car pooling.   Bike shops were challenged by the demand, many stripped of their new bike inventory by shoppers looking for active transportation alternatives.  In CU, local shops, at times, were reporting over a month wait in the queue for repairs. The sight of families with all ages of children learning the benefits of the bicycle was a definite heartening development.  Let's hope this will have a positive effect on local cycling infrastructure programs and overall community health.

As disappointing as it was that just about every organized ride and cycling event in the country was cancelled out of caution of spreading the COVID19 virus, our community also suffered significant tragedy as 3 local cyclists were lost to encounters with motor vehicles. Additional cyclists were injured in these same incidents.  The loss for these cyclists families are unimaginable.   It goes without saying that this last year has been as season of loss in a profound ways. Way too much loss in the wider context of the pandemic.

Spring is a time for new growth, longer days and warmer weather. As we emerge from the darkness that has enveloped us for so long, it is our hope that this new season will bring a new appreciation for what that light and hope at the end of the tunnel represents.
Advocacy... is working for us.

The coronavirus pandemic brought a massive surge in cycling across the world as socially distanced residents looked for ways to exercise and get around, especially with transit service cut back in many cases to the bare minimum. And it helped make an impact as cities saw reduced emissions as many people stopped commuting or getting around by car....

READ MORE AT SMARTCITIES DIVE

Well, 2020 is in the books. Good riddance! Sayonara! Arrivederci! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! A new year brings hope…so there’s a lot of pressure on 2021 to make up for the dumpster fire that was 2020. We believe in you 2021. Don’t let us down!

Silver Linings

Despite all of the negative headlines you were inundated with in 2020, there were a few silver linings too. As an optimistic, glass half-full, forward-thinking, nonprofit bike advocacy organization, Ride Illinois is choosing to focus on the positive. Here are a few observations from 2020:

  • There were a lot of people riding bikes!
  • Many bike shops had banner years despite a shortage of bikes.
  • More communities are investing in bike/ped infrastructure so their residents have options. Sorry cars, your glory days have passed!

As advocates and cyclists, our collective challenge for 2021 is to harness the momentum that the “bike boom” of 2020 provided. Don’t lose steam and don’t lose hope! You deserve better than a return to “normal” once COVID-19 is nothing but a bad memory. Make sure that your “new normal” includes active transportation, like biking and walking, especially for short trips. If your community leaders don’t prioritize biking and walking, a simple phone call or email can be the spark to enact positive change. If you need advice on how to get the ball rolling, Ride Illinois is here to help. We want to make Illinois better through biking!

READ MORE @ RIDE ILLINOIS
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg
Addresses the National Bike Summit
On Wednesday of the National Bike Summit in March, we heard from three critical leaders in Washington. We started with a 'bike-side chat' with US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, then we heard from one of our newest champions in Congress, Rep. Adriano Espaillat. He is an original sponsor on both our House bills this year, championing Transportation Alternatives and safety. Then we were joined by Senator Tom Carper. While in the minority in 2019, Senator Tom Carper was part of a bipartisan team to write the first ever climate title in national transportation policy. Now he's Chairman of the EPW Committee, and has said he is starting from scratch to write a climate friendly transportation bill. Speakers: - Secretary Pete Buttigieg, US Department of Transportation - Senator Tom Carper, Chairman, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee - Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, House of Representatives This session was part of the 2021 National Bike Summit hosted by the League of American Bicyclists. The League is on a mission to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.
FOR CYCLING FAMILIES
C-U Safe Routes to School
Cycling Safety Videos...
You can watch all the videos HERE!
BikeSafetyQuiz.com - Child Bicyclist
Welcome to the bike safety quiz from Ride Illinois! Let's get started.

There are three quiz levels - Bronze (12 questions), Silver (7 questions), and Gold (6 questions). For each question, click the best choice and then click Next. When you get a question wrong, we'll tell you why. You will have three chances to get the right answer.

If you finish at least one level, you can create and email a Certificate of Completion.

Good luck!
Take the Quiz Here.
Things to Check Before Your Children Start Out on Their Bikes....
Events....
Beginning Bicycling Webinar  -  March 31

Champaign County Bikes has developed an outline for several bike related programs for the general community that might be new to bicycling or returning to bicycling after many years for online presentation this spring.  The first program is scheduled for 7pm Wednesday March 31 via Zoom in conjunction with Ride Illinois (providing the Zoom webinar platform) and co-sponsored by several local groups including PCC, KMBC, SafeRoutesToSchool and the MTD.

The targets of our programs are those either having bought a pandemic bicycle or have gotten out their old bicycles to get out and about. There are a lot of resources to point people to and our first program will be modeled after the Rick Steves Monday Night Travel webinars though we'll have some slides interspersed.

Registration is required, limited to 100, 

SIGN UP HERE FOR THE BEGINNING BICYCLE WEBINAR
This is a course for adult cyclists who know how to bicycle but want to learn basic safety skills. The class will include learning proper riding techniques for riding safely in and out of traffic as well as Illinois Rules of the Road for bicyclists.

Students will need to register and provide their own bicycle and helmet (helmets are required). Students are also asked to complete the online bicycle safety quiz prior to attending the class.
 http://www.bikesafetyquiz.com/
BICYCLE 123 FOR ADULTS SIGN-UP HERE
Join The Vermillion County Conservation District on April 3 and the Champaign County Forest Preserve District April 24th for Kickapoo Rail Trail Clean-up Days. Click the links below for more details and sign-up information.
April 3rd Vermilion Co KRT Clean Up Details Here!
April 24th Champaign Co KRT Clean Up Details Here!
Articles....
SYSTEMIC RACISM CAN’T BE FIXED WITHOUT TACKLING IT WITHIN CYCLING.   Tamika Butler

In the winter of 2014, I was just leaving a job at a nonprofit I had thought was my dream job. As a gender nonconforming, queer, Black woman, I was working on LGBTQ issues and leading a Boys and Men of Color program at an organization on the frontlines with community organizers. Unfortunately, as is all too common for women of color—and particularly Black women—in the workplace, I experienced racism and anti-Blackness. I was reeling. How could I ever find a job that would feed my soul in the same way?

That’s when I learned about the Executive Director position at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). At first, I wasn’t sure about working at a bicycle organization. Sure, riding my bike made me feel free. I was still riding the high of pedaling 545 miles in the AIDS/LifeCycle fundraiser. I wanted to ride my bike everywhere in my daily life. And after the stress of being a civil rights lawyer and social justice nonprofit leader, the idea of a job where I got to be on my bike all day seemed absolutely blissful. I knew some of my friends would question how I could work at a bike coalition. After all, many see bike lanes as one of the first signs of gentrification.

READ THE REST OF TAMIKA'S ESSAY IN "BICYCLING"
Online and in-store, everything from hardtails to e-bikes are out of stock. Where have all the bikes gone?

Out of stock.

Three little words that have come to haunt retailers these past three months, as websites and shops run out of bikes. From big brands like Leisure Lake Bikes and Chain Reaction Cycles, to small independent shops like Ace Bicycles in Guildford, decent bikes have been getting harder and harder to find. Hardtails and entry-level bikes are about as scarce as bog roll was a month before, while some brands have reportedly completely run dry of e-bikes and high-end trail bikes too.

READ MORE ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN DRIVING DEMAND FOR BIKES

Cyclists Don’t Cause Congestion: ‘Must Get In Front’ Maneuvers By Motorists Pointless, Finds Study

Some motorists object to the presence of cyclists on roads, claiming a reduction in speed causes traffic snarl-ups. However, a study said to be the first to use on-road speed measurement data, has found that the loss of time to be “negligible.”

“Bicycles are not likely to lead to reduced passenger car travel speed, despite their differences in performance capabilities,” says the study, conducted in Portland, Oregon, on roads without bicycle lanes.

“Bicycles do not reduce passenger car speeds by more than 1 mph,” add the study authors concluding that cyclists are not guilty of “negatively affecting travel speed or creating congestion.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN FORBES
RIDES IN THE AREA
Back for 2021 the Grand Illinois Bike Tour!

Join us June 13, 2021 through June 18, 2021 for our 18th annual Grand Illinois Bike Tour! Our 2021 loop will tour the Trails of Madison County, on the Illinois side of the St. Louis area. We will start and stop in Litchfield, with overnights in Lebanon (one night), Edwardsville and Godfrey/Alton (two nights each). Join us and invite your friends (non-riding volunteers needed too).

Register now in confidence – 100% refund available for COVID-19 concerns or any other reason, through May 12.

GIBT 2021 Info HERE!
Video Inspiration... 

60° North - A British Adventure on a Brompton.

One Last Thing... 
Nothing like a bike ride to get your head straight....
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jeff@champaigncountybikes.org

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Campaign County Bikes · 501 Mouton Ct · Savoy, Illinois 61874 · USA

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