Bike Michiana

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

Archive for September, 2009

BMC Seeking Volunteers for New Positions

Posted by Jeff Nixa on September 29, 2009

The Bike Michiana Coalition is seeking persons to fill two new formal roles in our organization: a volunteer Membership Coordinator and a volunteer Grant-Writing Coordinator. Job descriptions of the two positions are below along with the contact persons.

A more organized membership and grant-writing capacity will help BMC take its activities to the next level in scope and effectiveness in the Michiana Community.

All of us on the BMC board, committees and in affiliate groups are volunteers. The passion of these cyclists, and their willingness to take turns leading the peloton of our Coalition have been the simple reason for our success so far. Thank you for helping us continue to grow as an unstoppable team of citizen-cylclists.

Please forward this notice to any person you think may be interested and qualified.


Jeff Nixa, President
Bike Michiana Coalition

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advocacy | Leave a Comment »

They’re known for pizzas, and they refill your water bottle for free.

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 27, 2009

Joe Dits, the popular South Bend Tribune columnist, has unearthed another cyclist’s and walker’s gem: the Nickle Plate Trail. This 13-mile rail-trail extends from Peru (about 65 miles south of South Bend, Ind. and 68 miles north of Indianapolis) to Cassville, a dot on the map just north of Kokomo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Facilities, Routes | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Ghost bikes in the news

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 22, 2009

I first saw ghost bikes in Seattle, WA some five years ago. I didn’t know they had a name, but I did know they made a statement. Then a couple of them sprung up here in Michiana. Today, they made news in the South Bend Tribune. Read the Tribune article here.

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Utility bikes now at Walmart: $110+tax

Posted by Adam Bee on September 20, 2009

Have you ever wondered to yourself:  Why are useful bikes so expensive?  How is the human transport movement going to catch on if the only cheap bikes are crappy 60-pound dual-suspension 27-speeds?

I, for one, have had this persistent dream that Walmart would carry a cheap steel Chinese utility bike.

I’m thinking 26″ wheels, huge tires, enclosed singlespeed drive, coaster brakes, rear rack, front basket, fenders, spring saddle, kickstand.

Turns out they do now! Huffy 26″ Men’s Nel Lusso Cruiser.

Unfortunately they’re only available online, although they ship it free to stores. This one is, though, for $130 plus tax: Schwinn Men’s 26 Delmar Cruiser.

Of course the bearings will be maladjusted and the sizing sketchy, so everyone’s first shot should obviously be The Avenue Bicycle Station.  But for those Americans unlucky enough to not have a used bike specialist like The Avenue in town, it’s encouraging to see Walmart branching out to this new market.  I hope they make a ton of cash, and push prices even lower in years to come!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

URGENT: Senate Vote TODAY (9/16) Could Eliminate Biking Funds

Posted by Henry Scott on September 16, 2009

UPDATE: Amendment 2370 was withdrawn, and Amendment 2371 was defeated (see comments)!!!

Your voice is urgently needed. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on eliminating walking and biking funds TODAY, September 16.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy learned yesterday that Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) have issued amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Their changes specifically attack funding for rail-trails, bicycling and walking.

Please take a minute right now to call your senator and ask him or her to vote against Amendments 2370 and 2371 to H.R. 3288.

Amendment 2370 would prohibit the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, or other specified Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations.

Amendment 2371 would allow states to eliminate spending on TE, the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling. Congress currently sets aside a portion of federal funds for TE to support these projects in all states.

This is truly an all-hands-on-deck moment. Please act now—call your senator and ask him or her to vote against the proposed amendments. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Announcement has instructions for how to contact your Senator.

Posted in Advocacy | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

South Bend Bike Theft

Posted by Henry Scott on September 11, 2009

The South Bend Tribune had an article back in June about rising bike theft in South Bend, which we briefly discussed on Bike Michiana. I’m not aware of any subsequent statistical data, but we have clearly seen an increase in bike theft on the IU-South Bend campus this summer, and it appears to be continuing into the fall semester. Like many campuses we’re seeing record enrollment this year and, not surprisingly, the campus bike racks are in much higher demand. That’s certainly a good thing, but I’m afraid it may have made our campus more fertile ground for bike thieves.

Anyone have additional anecdotal or statistical evidence about bike theft in South Bend? What is your strategy for keeping your bike secure? As I’ve mentioned previously, I typically use just a cable lock, but I think it may be time for me to beef up my security measures.

Posted in Facilities, Gear | 2 Comments »

Inaugural Bicycle Indiana Summit News Update

Posted by Danny Graber on September 10, 2009

Krista Rettig, Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for Trek Bicycle Corp, will be the keynote speaker for the Inaugural Bicycle Indiana Summit. Jeff Peel, Program Specialist for Bicyle Frindly Communties, will be present. He will be one of the seminar presenters. See the previous post for information about the summit.

Posted in Advocacy | Leave a Comment »

First Ever Bicycle Indiana Summit, Indianapolis, Oct. 17

Posted by Danny Graber on September 8, 2009

Bicycle Indiana (formerly Indiana Bicycle Coalition) is holding its inaugural bicycle summit on Saturday, Oct. 17. The registration fee of $30 ($25 for BI members) includes a package of a forenoon bike ride, lunch, and afternoon bicycle seminars. The ride will take you to points of interest in Indianapolis. The afternoon seminars cover various bicycling topics, including advocacy, bicycle fitting, and safety.

For complete information go to and hold your cursor over “Summit” for different pages of information. If you want to register go to You can also view and print a flyer in PDF format.

If you have questions not answered on the website, contact Danny Graber at (574) 266-4265; (574) 370-6192; or e-mail at

Posted in Advocacy, Events | Leave a Comment »

Bike Michiana for Hospice organizers breath sigh of relief

Posted by Paul Taylor on September 4, 2009

Collapsed Riverside Trail Wall

Collapsed Riverside Trail Wall

Organizers had feared South Bend’s new Riverside Trail would not be completed in time for the event due to a collapsed retaining wall. However the wall is currently being rebuilt, and pavement is expected to be ready for the upcoming September 13 ride.

The wall at the intersection of Riverside and Oakwood has been jinxed since it was built. A motorist ran off the road and damaged it earlier this summer; when repairs were made, they were done incorrectly and it collapsed a second time in late July.

The trail will be the centerpiece for the ‘family ride’, and Bill Lee, who was lead planner on the Hospice family route has been concerned that children would need to be diverted onto the street due to the wall collapse. Pictured, is the wall and trail before repairs were started.

Read more details in The South Bend Tribune.

Posted in Infrastructure, News, Routes | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »