The annual Saris National 5th Grade Poster Contest is back!


We’re pleased to share that after a few-year hiatus, Indiana is again participating in the Saris National 5th Grade Poster Contest!

Saris says:
This year’s theme: #longfortheride

There’s something contagious about riding a bike that has us reaching for our handlebars time and time again. We believe that by creating safe places for people to ride we can also create a better quality of life. Ask each student to create a poster that shows what they love about the bicycle (it is fun, healthy and green).

Entries must be submitted to the state coordinator (that’s me – Jess at Bicycle Indiana) by October 21. Don’t forget to include the permission slip! Full contest rules can be found here.

This is a fun contest with great prizes! Let’s show off that 5th grade talent, Indiana!

–Jessica Hall, program director, Bicycle Indiana

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To share the road or not – that is the question

For many years, a cycling friend has told me that the Share the Road signage, whether it be stickers Bicycle Indiana distributed, messaging, or even the road signage used in Indiana and many other states, sends the wrong message. It seems a recent study may finally validate his opinion.

If in fact, according to Indiana Code 9-21-11-2, a person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all the rights and duties under this article that are applicable to a person who drives a vehicle, why is the messaging, including Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) approved signage, “Share The Road”? To whom is that message directed?

Both, yes? But if so, do motorists even notice it; do cyclists obey it?

A study by North Carolina State University has just been released that raises concern for Share The Road vernacular.  “No statistically significant difference in responses between those who saw ‘Share the Road’ signage and those who saw no signage” whatsoever in terms of their comprehension that cyclists are permitted in the center of the travel lane; that cyclists do not have to move right to allow motorists to pass within the same lane; or that motorists should wait for a break in traffic before passing in the adjacent lane.
In 2013 the US state of Delaware discontinued use of the Share the Road plaque.

Sentiment is that the road sign “Bicycle May Use Full Lane” better serves all and provide better comprehension of expectations and behavior.

What do you think?

–Nancy Tibbett, executive director, Bicycle Indiana

For more information:

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Meet our people! Board member Darlene Wefel

Darlene Wefel

Darlene Wefel

I’m a 1990 graduate of University of Southern Indiana, with a B.S. Accounting

In 1995 I was hired by Winkler, Inc. and worked as the Office Manager for the retail division, and in 2000 became Controller and Credit Manager. My previous work experience includes the following: Accountant for
James Roach, CPA, Accountant for Edmund Hafer Architect, and Associates, Accountant and Office Manager for Pro-Tex-All.

In 1994 I joined the Evansville Bicycle Club. Elected and served as Vice President in 1996, elected and served as President 1997 – 2000, re-elected as President 2007 – 2010, and currently serving as Treasurer. I’ve worked as the coordinator of our annual ride, The Great Pumpkin Metric, for the past 15 years. Since joining the club, I’ve been very active promoting bicycle safety and working with local organizations promoting safety, doing bicycle rodeos, speaking to groups about bicycle safety. In 2006 and 2007, I worked as an advisory committee on the Evansville Urban Planning Commission. In 2009, I was elected to the Executive Board of Bicycle Indiana serving as Treasurer and in 2011; I have been serving on the Board as Vice-Chairperson. My goals are to help make Indiana a bicycle friendly community, to work at keeping Bicycle Indiana a sustainable organization that helps promote cycling in Indiana. Upon retirement I plan on riding across the United States, and to continue riding until I am too old to pedal.

I’m married to Robert Wefel, I have two children, and two grandchildren. Other hobbies are amateur photographer, knitter, and gourmet cook.

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Be a ROLL model: The more, the merrier. And remember to be courteous.

Fall is fast-approaching, and with it comes an abundance of bicycle rides, tours, and events in full swing. I think it’s time to think about how we conduct ourselves as cyclists, and as motorists. The Hilly Hundred draws thousands of riders each year, and The Great Pumpkin Metric has between 850 and 1,000 riders each year riding courses ranging from 25K – 100K. What does this mean to all of us?

The more, the merrier!

The first thing that comes to mind is fun! Cycling is fun for the entire family. The second thing is safety. When addressing the latter SAFETY, we need to look at the entire scope the three W’s. Who, what, and where aspects of safety. Who – everyone riding a bike. What – make sure your visible bright clothing, make sure that your children who ride are wearing bright colored clothing this will help make them more visible to drivers. Motorists are looking for other cars, not cyclist and definitely not small children on bicycles. Helmets, not just for kids. I explained to one parent years ago that kids learn by example, and it they see you not wearing a helmet they don’t understand why they have to. Eye protection, bugs, rocks, and dirt can cause you injury or an accident. Where – ride with traffic, on a dual lane road ride in the right hand lane. Allowing room on your right side for safety, and in a position that you’re visible to drivers approaching from the rear.

The second thing that comes to mind is sharing the road with automobiles is how cyclists behave while riding. Cyclists should be courteous and respectful to other cyclists and motorists. That means riding no more than two abreast, and single file in high traffic areas. Use hand signals, and obey the law. Being respectful of fellow cyclists includes calling out their passing on the left, using hand signals or calling out hazards. As motorists, we should allow at least three feet between your vehicle and cyclists when passing, don’t honk your horn, yell, or throw things at cyclists, and be watchful for cyclists. I don’t know about you, but right now and for the next couple of months the sunrise and sunsets are blinding. Be aware of this when planning your routes.

Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the ride.

–Darlene Wefel, board member, Bicycle Indiana

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Bicycle Friendly America: Zionsville – Indiana’s newest bicycle friendly community

In June, the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest bicycle friendly community rankings. Congratulations to Zionsville on achieving bronze designation and joining the ranks!zionsville

Congrats also to Muncie, with an honorable mention!

Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly America program here. The next application round closes on February 11, 2016. Bicycle Indiana is happy to review and assist your community’s application process. Just give us a shout!

–Jessica Hall, program director, Bicycle Indiana

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Around the state: Anderson safety and helmet presentations

Editor’s note: we love hearing about activities around the state! Follow along as we share them here! And tell us what’s going on in your community! – JH

Community Hospital_3Thanks to all of our partners, MCCOG, Bicycle Indiana, Community Hospital of Anderson, Anderson Community Schools, Thrivent Financial, and the South Madison Community Foundation as of August 30,2015 the Anderson Spoke and Wheel Club year to date safety and helmet presentations in Madison County will exceed 500 participants! We think this is a huge success and feel that we have a commitment from our participating groups to continue these programs on an annual basis!Community Hospital_2

We are excited, and recognize that it will take continued effort to maintain while realizing we have potential for growth in northern Madison County as well. We want to inform and energize Madison County residents in the arena of bicycling safely for pleasure, exercise, and for appropriate errands. Thanks to everyone for their help.

–Spoke and Wheel Bicycle Club, Anderson, and Allan Henderson, Bicycle Indiana board member

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Be a ROLL model: protect your melon — wear a helmet!

8_August_cropSomeone once said “There are those who have needed a helmet and there are those who have yet to need a helmet, but there are none of the third kind.” Translation: If you think you are of the “third kind” – those that will never need a helmet – you are seriously mistaken. It can, and does, happen to best of us!

There are many stories from bicyclists about how bicycle helmets have saved lives. Traditional bicycle helmets protect the brain from a linear impact and all helmets meet the same safety standards. What is new and exciting in 2015 is multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) bicycle helmets.

MIPS sets a new standard in helmet safety can provide more protection in certain impacts. MIPS has been developed by brain surgeons and scientists to reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head. MIPS is not simply a new material, MIPS represents a major turning point in helmet technology.


Graphic of brain with helmet w/o MIPS and with MIPS

One way to describe MIPS is that it adds an additional layer of protection by an internal low-friction layer that absorbs some of the forces of a rotational impact. This internal liner slides front to back and left to right slightly. Links to more information about MIPS.

Bicycle Garage Indy’s Advocacy Director, Connie Szabo Schmucker, recently discussed MIPS helmets with WTHR (Channel 13). Visit this link to see this spot.MIPS logo

Several brands of bicycle helmets are now featuring MIPS. Look for this logo that indicates MIPS helmet technology is included.

helmet_fitAll of the best technology can’t help if your helmet isn’t attached to your head properly. Your helmet should pass the following tests: 1) level on head, 2) straps make a “V” under ears, 3) Chin strap should be fairly tight, only allowing 2-3 fingers between the straps and your chin, 4) helmet stays in place when you shake your head “yes” and “no”. There are often adjustments in the back of the helmet to help the helmet be more snug around your head and different thicknesses of pads for comfort and sizing of your helmet. More details about helmet fit here.

Be a ROLL Model – wear your helmet every time you ride!
Ride safely, wear your helmet and enjoy many miles on the roads and trails!

Randy Clark, Bicycle Indiana board member

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