Editor’s note: we’ve received several great reports on Bike Month activities around the state! Follow along as we share them here! – JH
Bike Month is always a busy time in Anderson/Madison County, and 2015 was no different! The White River Bicycle Coalition held nine events this year in partnership with the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG), Buckskin Bikes, Spoke & Wheel Club, Rangeline Nature Preserve Mountain Biking Club, and the City of Anderson.
This was the second year for most of the events, so there was a big push to increase participation. The Mayor’s Ride started the month off strong with a total of 80 riders joining the Mayor and his wife on their tandem; an increase of 20 riders for this 4-mile bike month kick-off ride. Although there weren’t as many riders for the Spoke & Wheel Club’s 19.4-mile Moonlighter ride for ice cream, several new faces joined the ride for the first time. The Rangeline Nature Preserve Mountain Biking Club led 35 inexperienced riders and riders looking to try more advanced courses through the Rangeline Nature Preserve mountain biking trails to test their mettle. Residents were also encouraged to bike to the bike-in movie hosted in downtown Anderson and 14 light sets were given to those that did. We’ll get the other 11 that didn’t bike-in to join it next year though.
Bike to Work Day (BTWD) was the largest success story of the year. BTWD has been hosted by a partnership of organizations since 2008 with a consistent 50 registrants. Last year it increased to 76 and this year continued that success with 110 riders. One of the interesting stories this year came from a local company, Connecticut Electric. To boost their participation, the Anderson based company challenged their Mexico-based manufacturing facility. The contest was the idea of Bruce Jones, the only consistent participant from Connecticut Electric. It was a close contest, but the Mexico facility ended up winning by one rider. The contest helped encourage an additional 11 riders in Anderson besides Bruce, who also led a lunchtime ride for his co-workers. Connecticut Electric’s increased participation was a major factor in the overall BTWD registration increase and the Anderson facility is looking forward to challenging the Mexico facility again next year.
The Anderson Community School Corporation (ACSC) hosted two bicycle rodeos and Bike to School Day (BTSD) at Anderson and Erskine Elementary Schools as part of a new wellness initiative building from a non-infrastructure Safe Routes to School grant. The bicycle rodeos were open to kids in elementary and middle school and included a bicycle inspection, safety presentation and “quiz,” helmet fitting, and a safety obstacle course. A total of 56 helmets were given out for the day. The first annual BTSD was a success with 20 students between two schools joining three bike train routes. As part of BTSD, Anderson and Erskine Elementary Schools also held a bicycle convocation with Wonder Wheels BMX. Kids were enthusiastic about the incredible shows Wonder Wheels put on and ready to get out on their bikes this summer!