Only a handful of folks turned out for Lenawee County’s first annual Bicycling Advocacy Summit, some curious, others already dedicated. But it would be a grave mistake to regard that as a lack of interest, energy, or momentum. Great things are happening among members of the cycling community in our little corner of the globe, and last night’s meeting was a tasty sampler that whet many an appetite.
Lenawee County's Two-Wheeled Think Tank
Last night’s meeting was anything but a first step. Just a quick look at the original agenda (presently serving as the feature image of this post) will make clear that we’ve already got a lot going on. Last night’s meeting was about how to take the next step. And for that, we turned to the good folks of the League of Michigan Bicyclists.
John Lindenmayer and Rory Neuner of LMB. (Check out John's classic Univega lounging nonchalantly against the back wall.)
Prior to the meeting, John (Associate Director of the LMB) and Rory (Region 6 rep) joined Dave, Henry, and myself for a short jaunt about town. They had a lot of nice things to say about our fair city. Best of all, they confirmed that it’s a bikeable city and there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that may be ripe for the plucking, for example, streets that are already wide enough to accommodate painted bike lanes for virtually nothing more than the cost of paint and the time to lay the stripe.
Later, we were pleased to learn more about the wealth of resources, networking opportunities, and support available to us through the LMB, and encouraged to find out that we’re going about things in the right way (e.g., working with a wide variety of organizations in our advocacy efforts). It was also exciting to hear about the things the LMB is doing on the state level in support of Michigan cyclists.
The main focus of the LMB presentation was the Michigan Complete Streets effort.
John makes a fantastically dramatic point.
It isn't too difficult to see downtown Adrian in this picture. Just imagine...
Rather than rehearse all the details here, I’ll direct you to the Michigan Complete Streets website where you can find out everything you want to know and more. Complete Streets is something we’ll be looking into further in the months ahead. At the recommendation of John and Rory, Jim and I have already discussed getting to work on a self-study to see where we stand in relation to the League of American Bicyclists “Bicycle Friendly Community” designation.
The big news of the evening as far as the local scene is concerned was Jim’s official announcement regarding the Re-Bicycle Lenwee program and ABCo-op.
Very exciting stuff.
This is the sort of thing that can spark revitalization of an entire city block.
Look for more details on the project and pictures of the building tomorrow.
Our gathering even garnered a nod on the LMB Twitter feed:
John and Rory left us with a stack of literature — 2101 Michigan Ride Calendars, “What Every Michigan Cyclist Should Know” guides, the current issue of Michigan Bicycles Magazine, Complete Streets fact sheets highlighting reasons why we need Complete Streets (e.g., health, environment, Economy, and Safety), membership forms for joining the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, and LMB bumper stickers. All of this are available to anyone interested at Adrian Locksmith & Cyclery.
We have our work cut out, and we’re eager to move forward, but for now only one question remains: why is it so much easier to get excited and motivated about this stuff than it is about the manuscript I have due to the publisher in less than two months? Ugh.
Finally, apropos of nothing, as my wife is so fond of saying, here’s a picture of my shoes…
...because cycling shoes are funky, and my mind wanders even in the most gripping of meetings.