Bari Freeman, Executive Director of Bike Newport RI, presenting at the rally in support of the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond. Video courtesy of upriseri.com ___________________________ On November 6th, not only will you be able to vote for your governor, senator, and various local officials next month, Rhode Islanders will also have a chance to vote on Question 3. There is a $47.3 million bond on November’s ballot that, if approved by voters, would support a state-wide investment in clean water, land cleanup, farmland, recreational facilities, BIKE TRAILS and BIKEWAYS, open spaces and public safety. This would include $5 million for bikeways to expand and improve the state’s bikeway network that runs through many communities. ‘Another $5 million would go toward building and maintaining our state’s parks and recreation facilities, while $5 million would expand and improve Rhode Island’s heavily used bicycle network. These are worthy causes, helping Rhode Islanders stay healthy and enjoy life.’ – The Providence Journal How can you help? Bike Newport supports the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond and encourages you to join us. Here are some actions you can take to help ensure this bond is passed: Do your research. Find out which candidates in your area support having a clean ocean, open green spaces, equity in recreational and transportation opportunities, and who wants a resilient community in the face of climate change. Spread the word to you friends and family and a wider audience via social media. Like our Facebook page and share our posts and blogs with your friends. VOTE YES ON 3 on November 6th. Add your name to our advocacy list. We’ll contact you when we need your support and voice. This might be writing letters, attending council meetings etc. Fill in this form and click the ‘advocacy’ box. The post On November 6th 2018, vote ‘Yes On 3’. Here’s why you should…. appeared first on Bike Newport.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Original source: Annual Tour de Fright 2018
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Original article – In need of some good bike karma? Take a quick survey for us.
Yup – that’s bikes as far as the eye can see… It’s a thing of beauty. HUGE shoutout and thanks to the diehard Bike Newport volunteers who are signing roads, and meeting, greeting, and parking 1800 people on bikes every day here at Fort Adams. Neither sun nor heat nor sweat nor grease stops these great folks from getting it done – with a smile! It’s a sight to see. And it’s shattering records. 50% more than our Friday record of 1200 and 20% more than our Saturday record of 1500. HERE’s how we roll – for more Folkfest snaps and videos visit @bikenewportri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information on how you can bike to Fort Adams for summer events, click here. Another big shoutout to the Newport Police Department who are getting lots of kudos for their good cheer managing all these bikes amidst the traditionalists – aka motorists 🙂 Thanks to Sgt Cortes and the NPD! Ride safe. Ride happy. Always ride to the Folk and Jazz Festivals! The post Hey Hey From Newport Folk Festival appeared first on Bike Newport.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Originally posted here: Jamestown North Main Road: For Safety Sake
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Excerpt from: Join us for the launch of ELLIOT’S RIDE FOR EVERYONE 2018
The Big Blue Bike Barn is Coming! Modeled on the successes of the Red Shed in Olneyville, our new Bike Barn will dramatically increase the size of Bike Newport’s current North Side Bike Library – from one 20’ container to two 40’ containers – quadrupling the size. The program will relocate out of the Florence Gray Center parking lot and onto a lot on Sunset Blvd, immediately adjacent to Miantonomi Park. This past October, 23 city leaders and stakeholders boarded a bus bound for the Red Shed in Riverside Park where we toured and chatted with the staff of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council about their site and programs. Jai Communications Group captured the day in the accompanying video. In February, North Side residents gathered at the Health Equity Zone’s Vision Lab to plan what the Newport version will look like. Place Studio Landscape Design captured the vision in the “after” illustration above. Thanks to multiple partners, the new facility will be a beautiful hub of bicycle, garden, and park activity. Work on preparing the site has already begun; and the new containers are expected to be in place by mid-April. Newport Housing Authority made the land available to house the Bike Barn; the City of Newport is assisting with removing fences, clearing space, and cutting the path into Miantonomi to connect directly with the mountain bike trails in the park. Aquidneck Land Trust is providing access and guiding stewardship of the paths. The Newport County YMCA is actively partnering on creating summer program. Aquidneck Community Table is helping to plan gardens on the site. Solar panels will provide power and rain barrels will collect water. The community will be invited to help with many aspects of preparing the containers and the properties for activity. Rhonda Mitchell, Executive Director of Newport Housing Authority, shared, “The board and staff of the Housing Authority are excited to see this property be put to such good use. We love the Bike Newport Bike Library and we’re happy to help it to expand in an improved location. Our youth and families are going to get great enjoyment from this facility and from the programs that will take place there.” Austin Andersen is a 15-year-old bike enthusiast and one of the many excited Newport youth. He’s been coming to the Bike Library for five years. “This is going to be the coolest thing we’ve had in a while. Everyone’s been talking about it and waiting on it and now it’s coming. It’s showing a lot about people in the community reaching out to kids and helping them do what they love.” Dedicated funding to date has been generously provided by Powered by Prince at Newport Hospital, the Rhode Island Foundation, and the RITBA Foundation. The post The Big Blue Bike Barn appeared first on Bike Newport.
Check out our new HQ!
After our fine summer on Spring Street, Bike Newport operations are shifting to 62 Broadway – the site of the former Newport Medical Center. Since May, we’ve been temporarily housed in a former gas station, a space that supported the busy Community Bike Project and advocacy work under the same roof. The newly leased location at 62 Broadway will allow us to continue to conduct these programs side by side, while also giving more space for planning meetings, classes, community gatherings and more.
Butch Murray, owner of the Spring Street location as well as the Fastnet Pub, made the Spring Street site available to us for this short period. Without Butch’s support, the building transformation and our program growth over the past the seven months would not have happened. On Spring Street, we accomplished our intention – to prove the impact we can have when centrally located. Now we’ll be able to maintain this high level of activity in the heart of the city. Butch’s friendship and generosity really made it possible.
Being located in downtown Newport greatly increased the visibility of our community bicycle restoration program – attracting and engaging people of every age, every type of bike experience, and every walk of life. During the summer months alone, scores of program participants worked on their own bicycles, while more than 100 bicycles were restored and distributed into the community. The very central and accessible location at 62 Broadway will encourage more community involvement, as well as an expansion of other educational programs. In addition to administrative offices and a basement for bike storage, our new space will feature a mapping and strategy room, conference room, classroom, and other meeting space.
Steve Kirby of Kirby Commercial, has been a friend of Bike Newport since we first formed in November of 2011. He shared: “I’ve always appreciated what Bike Newport brings to the community, and I’m happy I could help them find this new longer-term site to continue to grow. The space appears to be ideal.” We also have the generous support of the property owners on Broadway – Schochet Companies – so we can develop the site to meet program needs. And once again, Northeast Collaborative Architects is donating their design services to ensure the bike culture vibe isn’t left behind on Spring Street. “It’s a different set of criteria on Broadway, but we’ll help the site say ‘bike happiness’ just as it does now on Spring Street,” said NCA partner architect Glenn Gardiner.
We will need volunteers to help with the move and the new site transformation during the first two weeks of November. Community service hours are available and refreshments will be on hand. Keep an eye on our Facebook , our Twitter, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in helping with the move.
In addition to downtown activities, the Bike Garage at Rogers HS and the Bike Library at the Florence Gray Center are in full swing. The popular Bike Library is open for youth action every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Visit www.bikenewportri.org/bike-garage/ for the full list of locations and programs.
We’re entering our fifth year improving and encouraging bicycling in collaboration with the city, police, schools, businesses, planners, and other agencies locally and statewide. Our oranization, staff, and programs have been recognized for excellence and innovation by Grow Smart RI, Women in Transportation, Clean Water Action, AARP-RI, Women’s Resource Center, Newport Life Magazine, RI Department of Health, RI Department of Transportation, the League of American Bicyclists, and People For Bikes, among others.
We’ll be fully moved in by November 15th – be sure to stop by, say hi, and help us warm our new digs with bike love!
Butch Murray is the owner of the Fastnet Pub, and the adjacent property that formerly housed Jey’s Detailing. Recently, Murray pulled a page from the Generosity Handbook when he agreed to provide the space to Bike Newport – to bring bike culture to the heart and flow of Newport for the coming season.
“I hadn’t yet decided what to do with the building, and it’s a shame to keep it empty while I consider the options. We’re coming on the best time of year to be outside and enjoy Newport, so Bike Newport’s proposition made sense. I’ve been a supporter of Bike Newport since they started getting more people on bikes – if 29 Spring Street can be part of that progress, so be it!”
Bike Newport’s proposition? To move our administrative offices side-by-side with our Bike Garage activities, and put it all in easy reach of the folks who can benefit from the repair and distribution of donated bicycles.
Our occupancy at the City’s 437 Broadway property is coming to an end, but 29 Spring Street’s offices and two garage bays could be the silver lining. Because, Butch Murray, the community-minded property owner is welcoming us for the short term.
At the Bike Barn, the people of Newport, with the help of resident mechanics, will build or fix a bike of their choosing. The bikes, collected from community donations, recycling days, and abandonment, are triaged for restoration or stripped for parts. In the process, we’re keeping usable bikes and parts out of the waste stream, and making a fleet of bikes available to new owners. To date, we have collected, restored and distributed more than 100 bikes, and there are plenty more where those came from.
Henri Venable, our new Manager of Educational Program is modeling the Bike Barn on the Community Bike Project in Bloomington, IN, where he worked prior to coming to Newport. “Ultimately, everyone who wants a bike will have one, regardless of financial constraints,” explains Henri, “That’s our goal.” In addition, residents will be able to use the Barn’s tools and used parts to fix their own bikes, and basic maintenance classes will help all cyclists to know how to change tires, replace their chains and get out of the typical pickles that need not derail a delightful Ocean Loop bike ride or an easy jaunt to the grocery store.
The Bike Barn is not is a bike repair shop. If you’re looking for a place to drop your bike, consider one of the bike retailers in town. If you’re looking to get a little greasy yourself, we’re your place. Tom Kearns, owner of Ten Speed Spokes, shares, “Our mechanics enjoy helping community members to restore bikes with Bike Newport, while we repair bikes and sell new bikes and components at the shop. The rising tide of biking is raising all boats!” Yes, indeed, the more people on bikes, the better for all of our community bike businesses.
How will we build The Bike Barn? – with a Barn Raising, of course. Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA) of Washington Square are helping us to plan and design the space – also a generous contribution of talent. From April 11th to 29th, Bike Newport staff and supportive volunteers will spend afternoons and evenings cleaning, repairing, and painting. By May 1st, Bike Newport and the Bike Barn will be open for business.
Glen Gardiner, principal at NCA, saw the promise of this location from the first suggestion, “Newport is ready for a healthy dose of bike culture. This matchup of space, generosity, and vision, the partnerships in the historic center of town honors this city’s passion and promise to improve and encourage bicycling. NCA is thrilled to help make it happen.”
For those who enjoy the bike building and repair programs at the Bike Garage at Rogers, and the Bike Library at the Florence Gray Center – those programs will continue as well. Look for notices about wheel building, internal hub construction, and more, and remind your kids that the Bike Library is open for action every Saturday from 9:30am-12:30pm, with more hours to come. Check out bikenewportri.org/ bike-garage for the full list of locations and programs, and the local retail resources for new bikes and components.
Any and all help is appreciated as Bike Newport Raises the Barn – every day from April 11th to April 29th from 3pm to 8pm with food and fun provided, and always the chance to toast Butch at the Fastnet afterwards. Community service hours are available to students and employees.
Every step of the bicycle renaissance in Newport has been thanks to generosity, partnership, collaboration, and vision among planners, advocates, preservationists, and businesses. In addition to Butch Murray and NCA, we thank the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the FH Prince Memorial Fund, RIDOT Highway Safety Program, the RI Department of Health, the 1772 Foundation, Senate President Paiva Weed, Rep Lauren Carson, the City of Newport, and the countless businesses and individuals who support the advance of bicycle friendly culture.
Photo: Thanks to the generosity of owner Butch Murray, and the help of Northeast Collaborative Architects, we’re moving to 29 Spring Street. (l-r) Henri Venable, Glenn Gardiner, Jeff Moniz, Butch Murray, Bari Freeman, and Mary Ellen Lynch.
Christmas came on wheels this year for Newporter Niko Merritt and her children, Jayden, Ian, and Gianna. When they arrived at Bike Newport HQ on Tuesday the 23rd, there were four brand new bikes waiting – and helmets and locks – thanks to the generosity of the Newport Run and Chug Club and partygoers at their annual holiday party, and with the help of Newport Bicycle.
Every year, the Run and Chug hosts a party where they celebrate the season and raise money for a special gift in the community. This year, they decided to surprise a deserving family with a set of new bikes.
Jeff Heimiller, the president of the group called Bike Newport to ask if we knew a family that would enjoy a set of bikes, and we said “Oh boy, do we.”
Niko is a dedicated and thoughtful member of the community. When she’s not busy with her kids or working at Baby Steps at the Florence Gray Center, she’s giving her time to other women and families in the community. She also serves as a resident consultant to the Education and Economic Opportunity committees of the Newport HEZ project – standing for Health Equity Zones – run by Newport’s Women’s Resource Center.
Since last year, Niko has planned to earn bikes for her family at Bike Newport’s Bike Garage, but her busy schedule made it difficult. When Jeff asked for a suggestion, it was obvious. We’re happy to see this gift go to Niko and her kids; and we’re grateful to Jeff and the Run and Chug Club for their generosity and delightful community spirit.
Huge thanks to the Run and Chug Club – who also generously contributed to Bike Newport, so we can continue to collect, restore, and distribute bikes throughout the community.
From Niko and the Bike Newport family to you and yours – wishes for bike happiness in the new year!