Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Archive for February, 2009

Snowball Bike Race: Sunday, March 1st

Posted by Henry Scott on February 23, 2009

snowballThe first-ever “Snowball Bike Race” will take place on Sunday, March 1st at Swiss Valley Ski Resort. Weather permitting, this race will be on snow and utilize a gated course. Sounds like a blast!

Please see below for additional details or follow the link above for Swiss Valley’s race-specific page.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Events, Racing | Leave a Comment »

Is Michiana Ready for B-cycle?

Posted by Chris Clark on February 22, 2009

B-cycle rackVisit http://www.bcycle.com/ to read about the B-cycle concept. You can watch a video, learn about the potential benefit in our area, and add your voice to the crowd. It’s a fascinating idea.

From their site: “B-cycle is the only “next”-generation bike-share program. Integrated data tracking will automatically capture information such as your distance traveled, equivalent calories burned and carbon offset after each ride. It will then upload this data to your personal user profile on Bcycle.com. B-cycle is the future of bike sharing, and it’s available to your city now.”

Maybe I’m a cynic, but I think at least five years will pass before B-cycle – or something like it – becomes feasible in our area. There are not enough safe paths between key spots in our region, and there are still too many anti-bike folks out there.

Posted in Facilities | 3 Comments »

‘Bike Elkhart’ Holds First Meeting

Posted by Danny Graber on February 21, 2009

This past Thurs.  (Feb. 19) Danny Graber and Frank Cassella of All About Cycling and Fitness convened the first meeting of what will become the fourth bicycling advocacy group in the Michiana region. This follows the examples set by Bike Michiana in South Bend, Goshen Bikes, and Michiana Bike Safety Awareness  in Nappanee.

If our first meeting is any indication of the level of enthusiasm displayed then we will have a vibrant and efffective group. It is amazing to see the drive people have to get bicycling into the forefront.  It is equally amazing to see all the individuals coming out of the different grains in the woodwork, metaphorically speaking.

Our name is tentatively “Bike Elkhart” but we still have more discussion and organizing to do before we settle on our “formal” existence. Our next meeting is scheduled for Mar. 5, 7:00 p.m., 1st Presbyterian Church in Elkhart on Beardsley. New members are welcome. For more information call Danny Graber at 266-4265 or Frank Cassella at 294-7243.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

SB 553 ‘Bicycles and Traffic Safety” Advances in Indiana Legislature

Posted by Paul Taylor on February 17, 2009

The bill that modernizes the Indiana cycling law has been approved by a Senate committee and sent to the Senate floor. In my opinion, this is a great day for Hoosier cyclists.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Chris Dressel Named South Bend Bicycle Coordinator

Posted by Henry Scott on February 17, 2009

South Bend mayor Steve Luecke named city planner Chris Dressel as the city’s Bicycle Coordinator during his annual State of the City Address last night at the Century Center. This is a particularly important step for South Bend to become a Bicycle Friendly Community and will facilitate easier communication between the city and community bicycle groups. Jamie Loo covered Mayor Luecke’s State of the City Address in today’s South Bend Tribune.

Posted in Advocacy, News | Leave a Comment »

New IRS Bicycle Commuter Benefit in Effect

Posted by Jeff Nixa on February 12, 2009

The new IRS bicycle commuter benefit went into effect January 1, 2009.   The Bicycle Commuter Act is a tax incentive for both employers and employee bicycle-commuters, allowing employers to offer a benefit of up to $20 a month for those who regularly commute to work by bike.

The benefit is intended to offset the costs of bike commuting.  Eligible expenses include such things as a new bike purchase, regular maintenance costs, and the purchase of such things as a bike helmet, lock, lights or other safety gear and for expenses like bike storage and parking. Employers need to establish their own system of how the program will work.

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Posted in Advocacy, News | 2 Comments »

The LaSalle Trail Project

Posted by Henry Scott on February 8, 2009

On Friday, February 6th, representatives from Bike Michiana Coalition and Michiana Watershed met with an area planner and a park representative regarding further development of the LaSalle Trail, which could eventually connect South Bend, IN with Niles, MI. See below for a list of participants.

The LaSalle Trail utilizes an abandoned rail bed and currently extends 0.6 miles from Cripe St to Cleveland Rd (see map below), but could eventually extend an additional 2.5 miles to the Michigan state line. Furthermore, one of the meeting participants, Steve Slauson, is part of a two-state effort seeking federal funds for a larger trail network that would include the LaSalle Trail and connect Mishawaka and South Bend all the way to Niles.

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Posted in Routes | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Rage Not, Fellow Bicyclists/Drivers

Posted by Phil G-E on February 8, 2009

Bike Rage

 

I just came across this well-balanced article  and thought others might benefit from it. It is not a rant and, pleasantly, has some thoughtful perspectives and suggestions. Please read the entire article.   

Montgomery, Charles, Bike Rage, Momentum issue #34.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Stimulus Amendment to Prohibit Bike Funding

Posted by Phil G-E on February 7, 2009

I just saw this from the League of American Bicyclists on another bike related group. Click here to see the Action Alert.

From the League of American Bicyclists:

Senator DeMint (R-SC) has offered an amendment to SPECIFICALLY prohibit funding for bicycles, walking and offroad vehicles. The amendment ONLY goes after bicycle, walking, and offroad vehicle funding. 

The Amendment has been offered but not introduced.  We do not have a schedule for when this will be introduced and voted on, but we need to alert all Senators to urge them to vote against such amendments and ensure that funding for bicycle infrastructure remain eligible under the transportation funds provided in the stimulus package.

Posted in Advocacy, News | Leave a Comment »

Bicycle Tax Provision FAQ

Posted by Henry Scott on February 5, 2009

tax_creditThe League of American Bicyclists has posted a FAQ about the Bicycle Tax Provision, which has been in effect since January 1, 2009.

From what I understand, this provision will allow both employees and employers to save income and payroll taxes on up to $240 per year in compensation for use towards bicycle commuting related expenses. Note: the savings are on the taxes for that compensation; the government does not provide the actual $240 per year.

Has anyone been successful in getting his employer to participate?

Posted in Advocacy | Tagged: | 2 Comments »