Articles
Ferguson Township recognized as Outstanding Bicycling Advocate PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 October 2014 23:24

Since CRBC's founding in 2000, there has been much activity and progress building cycling facilities regionwide. We took notice that much of that activity has been happening in Ferguson Township. Blue Course Drive, Science Park, Gatesburg Rd,Foxpointe/Autumnwood and now Havershire are just a few of paths that have been opened in the last few years. Preliminary results of our recent poll indicates that they are among the most used paths in the area.Elliot Killian receives Outstanding Bicycling Advocate award for Ferguson Township
Elliot Killian receives OBA award from President Jim
Serene and ex comm board member Paul Rito


Ferguson's consideration of cyclists and pedestrians when new developments or new or rehab street projects are proposed is unmatched in the area. There is one reason for that: connectivity. While there are paths here and paths there what sets Ferguson apart is the connectivity. One can ride over 15 miles almost exclusively on off-street paths just in Ferguson Twp. If you include low traffic roads and on-street paths, that mileage increases significantly. They have been extraordinarily responsive to our requests for path maintenance, and the recent improvements on Whitehall Rd both by PennDOT and Ferguson have added a level of safety that has been desperately needed in that corridor. It is well appreciated, as it adds to the safety of all road users, motorists included. Ferguson's planning and execution are a model that the other communities in the area should strive to match. The icing on the cake was the recent announcement that 4 more paths will be maintained in Winter. Without winter maintenance, the network cannot be reliably used for 1/3 or more of the year.

In recognition of outstanding dedication and commitment to making the Centre Region a better place to bicycle we award Ferguson Township our Outstanding Bicycling Advocate award.

Ferguson joins previous awardees Trish Meek of the Centre Region Council of Governments (2011), and Tom Remick of College Township (2013). 

 
Great Ride with Mayor Goreham! PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 October 2014 09:19

Summary of Oct 4th Ride with Mayor Goreham

Hi All,

Saturday morning began with a few rain sprinkles and a cool breeze, however that did not deter an enthusiastic group from enjoying a 7-mile ride through town with the State College Mayor, Elizabeth Goreham. Participants included CRBC members, school officials, a bike police officer, members of SCCC and Penn State Bicycle Club, and folks from the community.

After the ride, we enjoyed coffee & bagels in the Sidney FriedmanParklet and shared stories with the Mayor and her husband, Dr. Jack Matson. In spite of the weather, the event was a success and everyone had a good time. Mayor Goreham stated she’s looking forward to another similar ride next Fall.

So, why ride with the Mayor? In a recent edition of American Bicyclist magazine, there’s an article about Betsy Price, the Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas. Mayor Price has made it her goal to spearhead “a citywide initiative focused on promoting active lifestyles and healthy habits”. Mayor Price is a big supporter of bicycling as a form of alternative transportation, and is leading the charge to improve bicycling infrastructure, safety, and community acceptance. Under her tenure, the city has added miles of bike lanes, and dedicated $1.2 million for trails and signature events for cycling. She is convinced that improved bicycling is good for community economic development.

We are fortunate to have a Mayor who is supportive of our bicycle community. However, she will need our support when it comes to convincing other officials that improvements and events for bicyclists are worthy of government time and money. Only a strong bicycle organization like CRBC (which may soon be known as “CentreBike”), can make that happen. If you’re a current member of CRBC, thank you. If not, please consider joining today and help to support a more cycle-friendly Centre Region.

Hope to see you at our next event…

Jim Serene

President, CRBC

www.centrebike.org

https://www.facebook.com/centrebike

A voice for ALL cyclists in the Centre Region!

 
Name Change Under Consideration PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 08:09

We would appreciate your comments and suggestions regarding changing the name of the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition (CRBC). At last week’s CRBC meeting it was agreed that a shorter more contemporary name would be more appealing and help to attract new membership. Reasons discussed in considering a name change included: 

  • The local cycling community has evolved since the creation of CRBC in 2000, and CRBC is no longer an umbrella organization for various groups as it was in the beginning, although the vision of a more cycle-friendly Centre County remains unchanged.
  • There are many who are comfortable with the CRBC name and don’t have second thoughts about ‘Coalition’ being in the name, however in speaking with potential new members some are unsure they want to belong to a Coalition, finding it intimidating.
  • The name may easily be confused with the new Centre Region Bicycle Advisory Committee (CRBAC). 
  • Many cycling groups around the country who once had longer names have shortened them – BikePGH and Bike Austin are examples. Although rather than follow these examples and use Bike State College, it was felt we should incorporate the wider region in the name. 
  • The name change is only one part of a greater effort to breathe new life into this local bicycle advocacy organization. In 2001, CRBC had more than 150 members and 7 committees. Today, CRBC has only 38 members who have paid the $15 dues and there are no committees. For whatever reason, and with full appreciation for previous strong, dedicated leadership, our numbers have greatly diminished.
  • CRBC past records show that one of the benefits of membership listed in 2001 was: “Bike rides and other outings to allow members to get to know one another and to perform service to the cycling community”. An appealing name may help to foster this social emphasis again.

After much discussion around possible names, it was suggested that we simply use our website address as the new name –CentreBike.org. There has been a very positive response to this logical suggestion, however we would like to hear additional input before the name change is put to a vote at the next meeting in October.

Please be assured that changing the name will not change the mission and goals of the organization. We will continue to be the voice of slow and fast bicyclists for safe connected bike routes.

Please send your comments and suggestions to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  All comments received will be summarized and shared prior to the next meeting on October 21st.

Thank you for your consideration,

Joan Potter

Secretary

Centre Region Bicycle Coalition

 
Meeting Minutes - September 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 22:21

MINUTES of CRBC General Meeting

September 18, 2014

Meeting held at the State College Borough building.

Present:

  • Jim Serene, President
  • Lynda Crow, Treasurer
  • Joan Potter, Secretary
  • Jean Bemis
  • Meagan Tuttle
  • Cliff Kanz
  • Ronald Simpson
  • Nathan Geiger
  • Eric Durante
  • Nan Moschella
  • Darlene Wiener
  • Laura Brown
  • Anna Nelson
  • Brucie Serene
  • Paul Barsom
  • Jim Serene, President
  • Meagan Tuttle, Vice President
  • Joan Potter, Secretary
  • Paul Barsom, Treasurer
  • Brian Dempsey
  • Paul Rito
  • Jean Bemis
  • Sue Barsom
  • Alan Stoekl

The meeting was called to order by Jim Serene at 5:30 pm.  A quorum was present, and the meeting was ready to proceed with business.

Minutes of the June 16, 2014 meeting were reviewed and approved.

National Bike Challenge

The Centre Region Bicycle Coalition/State College Cycling Club team is currently 15th in the National Bike Challenge out of more than 1,000 teams. The 91 Centre Region cyclists participating on the team have recorded over 114,000 miles since May. Brian Dempsey submitted an entry to the Centre Daily Times for this team to be recognized as “Athlete of the Week”.

Shared Use Path Winter Maintenance

Jim Serene noted that Ferguson Township announced its Public Works Department will provide winter maintenance for an additional 4.8 miles of paths, including Bristol, Blue Course, Science Park and Havershire, for a total of 7 shared use paths where snow will be cleared. Jim suggested a good project would be to pursue obtaining winter maintenance for the shared use path along South Atherton Street between Hills Plaza and Boalsburg, including the Scenery Drive path from South Atherton Street to Windmere Drive. These paths are located in College and Harris Townships and are frequently used by pedestrians and cyclists. Discussion followed on approaching College and Harris Townships with this recommendation.

Cycling Events

Meagan Tuttle distributed information about the “Fall Ride with the Mayor” on Saturday, October 4th, sponsored by the Borough. This family-friendly ride will start at 9:00 from Sydney Friedman Park and follow bike paths through Orchard Park, along Blue Course Drive, through the University and returning to SF Park. Bike-mounted police officers will participate, and bike safety information will be available. Anna Nelson suggested having a short survey available at the information table asking for public suggestions for other biking events. Jim suggested that CRBC have a membership information table and offer refreshments at the Park. Jean Bemis motioned to approve a $300 budget for refreshments for this event ; Meagan Tuttle second; all in favor.

Election of Officers

A motion to approve the full slate of officer nominations was made by Lynda Crow; Jean Bemis second; motion passed unanimously.

Approve Signatories for Bank Account

Lynda Crow noted the Board must appoint new authorized signers for the bank account.  Jean Bemis made a motion to authorize Jim Serene, President, and Paul Barsom, Treasurer, as the new signatories for the financial accounts to replace current signers. Meagan Tuttle second; motion passed unanimously.

Executive Committee

A vote to elect a new 9-member Executive Committee will be held at the next regular membership meeting.  Nominations include the newly-elected officers and 5 additional members:

Name Change

Jim Serene recommended that we consider a new name to replace Centre Region Bicycle Coalition (CRBC). His reasoning is the local cycling community has changed since the creation of CRBC in 2000, and CRBC is no longer an umbrella organization for the Nittany Mountain Biking Association, Penn State Sustainability Institute, Penn State Cycling Club, and Penn State Eco Action, although the vision of a more cycle-friendly Centre County remains unchanged. Additionally, the name may easily be confused with the new Centre Region Bicycle Advisory Committee (CRBAC).  There are many who are comfortable with the CRBC name and don’t have second thoughts about the ‘coalition’ word, however in speaking with potential new members some are unsure they want to belong to a coalition, finding it intimidating.

Discussion followed and it was agreed that a shorter contemporary name would be more appealing. Many other bike groups around the country who once had longer names have updated to shorter names – BikePGH and Bike Austin are examples. But rather than use Bike State College, it was felt we should incorporate the wider region in the name.  Eric Durante suggested we simply use our website address for the name – CentreBike.org. Those present were very positive about this logical suggestion. An announcement will be shared with the listserv for comment, and the name change will be put to vote at the next meeting. It was noted that changing the name will not change the mission of the organization.

2014 Outstanding Cycling Advocate Award

A nomination for the OCA award was received from Paul Rito. He recommended the award be presented to Ferguson Township this year for their continuing commitment to an excellent cycling and shared use path network. They have done more integration of bike paths into their planning and implementations than any other governmental organization in the area.  Meagan Tuttle made a motion to give the 2014 Outstanding Cycling Advocate Award to Ferguson Township; Paul Barsom second; motion passed unanimously.

Drive Friendly slogan

Nan Moshella suggested a new slogan, “Drive Friendly”, be considered to replace or coincide with “Share the Road” signs. Meagan Tuttle said she would pass this along to CRBAC for consideration.

There being no further business to come before the meeting, it adjourned at 6:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Potter, Secretary

 
Meeting Minutes - June 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 22:16

MINUTES of CRBC General Meeting

Written by Joan Potter

June 16, 2014

Meeting held at the State College Borough building.

Present:

  • Jim Serene, President
  • Brian Dempsey, Vice President
  • Lynda Crow, Treasurer
  • Joan Potter, Secretary
  • Sue Barsom
  • Jean Bemis
  • Catherine Grigor
  • Cliff Kanz
  • Clay Chiles
  • Roy Greenfield
  • Nathan Geiger
  • Ray Najjar
  • Tinamarie Illar
  • Melissa Bopp
  • Bob Eisenbraun
  • Sue Forster
  • Tom Flynn

The meeting was called to order by Jim Serene at 5:30 pm.  A quorum was present, and the meeting was ready to proceed with business.

PSU Master Plan for Bike Routes and Facility Improvements

Tom Flynn presented an illustration of Penn State’s master plan of routes and facility improvements for bicycles.  He asked for audience input on facility improvements and agreed to take it into consideration.

Cycling Events

CVIM Cycling for Care:  Sue Forster gave a brief overview of CVIM’s mission and Bob Eisenbraun talked about the upcoming ride on June 28th. Bob asked to consider a liaison from CRBC to participate on the planning committee next year.

PASA Bike Fresh Bike Local:  Ray Najjar announced the ride is scheduled for August 3rd.

PSU Kinesiology Project

Dr. Melissa Bopp announced the student project which is offering assistance to local businesses interested in applying for “Bike Friendly Business” status with the League of American Bicyclists. She also gave an update on the smart phone app being developed to promote active travel to campus. The app is scheduled for completion August 1st and will offer route planning, bike parking locations, time management, goal setting/encouragement, etc.  CRBC members in attendance offered to be beta testers and asked Melissa to come to the September meeting to give a demonstration.

Memberships

Discussion to change the CRBC membership year from a January start to May in order to coincide with Bike Month.  Brian Dempsey moved to accept this change; Sue Barsom second; all in favor.  Further discussion followed on adding a free membership option to those who volunteer a certain number of hours for CRBC activities. Brian Dempsey moved to add the option to exchange volunteer hours for dues payment; details will be determined. Jean Bemis second; all in favor.  Brian Dempsey further moved to amend the Bylaws to be consistent with these motions; Sue Barsom second; all in favor.

National Bike Challenge

The CRBC team is currently listed 16th in the country. A suggestion was made to contact the CDT to see if they might do a community interest story.

Officers

Jim Serene noted that officers should be considered for the next year.  All current officers expressed willingness to continue in current roles. Sue Barsom stated that Lydia Vandenburg may be interested in the Treasurer position if Lynda desires to resign.  Tinamarie Illar who was attending her first meeting said she may consider a position in the future after she learns more about the organization.

There being no further business to come before the meeting, it adjourned at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Potter, Secretary

 
Living with hills Part 3 -- Keeping up with a group PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30
Subtitle 1: Why do I always get dropped on a group ride?
Subtitle 2: How not to get dropped on a group ride!
Living with hills Part 1
Living with hills Part 2

If you've ridden with groups at all, one thing you've probably noticed is that the group either stays together well -- everyone riding at the same pace -- or it "rubber bands" -- stretches out with faster riders out in front, the main “peloton”, and the slower riders bringing up the rear, contracting when (or IF) the faster riders wait for the slower. 

The faster riders don't often wait. I found that out the hard way when I first started group riding. I would show up all enthusiastic and ready to go and within the first fifteen miles of a 50 mile ride, all I was following was the line on the pavement. The group had dropped me long before. Fortunately, I knew my way home and finished the ride vowing to keep up the next week. And the next week, it happened again. And the week after that. And the week after that...

However, what I did notice was that I was going farther each week before I got dropped, and eventually I was able to hang on and keep up.

So, one way to get better? Pick a group ride you know is faster than you, and try to stick with the group as long as you can. You will improve. A note on cycling etiquette, though. If you do pick a faster-than-your-ability ride to latch on to, be sure to tell the group leader and/or other riders you don’t expect them to wait for you if you get dropped. That lets them do their ride without worrying about you and you’ll be welcome the next time, rather than have the grumbling about that rider for whom they had to wait! If you’d rather have a more controlled improvement, read on.

I noticed it wasn't the big climbs where I lost the group. Most groups, except the very hard core, will wait at the top of a big climb to regroup. I was losing the group on the little rises and gradual inclines, where the group kept up their speed and I fell further and further back, unable to close the growing gap between me and the main group.

Now, group riding is very advantageous because you save 30% or more of your effort on a long ride. That's a big benefit, and it means you can go farther in less time. That leads to the ability to take longer and more varied routes, keeps you from getting bored with the same old routes, and you really get to know the back roads of your area.

That is, of course, if you can stick with them.

So, how do you get better and keep up? I already mentioned one way and that’s to just go and keep trying. But, you can also do a lot on your own.

You’ll need to find a loop route of 2-5 miles or so with enough undulating hills that are typical of the riding in your area. If you’re in the State College area, the Linden Loop is a perfect training track (Oak Hall to Linden Hall via Linden Hall Rd, and either turn around & repeat or for a more advanced training, return to Oak Hall via Rock Rd and Upper Brush Valley Rd. More on that below.).

Linden Loop -- lower loop profile
Linden Loop -- lower section profile

 There are four short rises along the section from Oak Hall to Linden Hall that are just enough to slow you down, and notice the whole distance is gradually rising. Your goal is to ride the section from Oak Hall to Linden Hall at a constant speed. What speed is that? Well, how fast does your group go? 12mph? 14mph? 16mph? etc… Pick a speed 2 or 4 mph under your intended goal, then give it a go.

As you ride the course, anticipate the coming rise and ready yourself for it. There are at least two ways to overcome these small rises: strategy or brute force. The strategic approach is to shift to a easier gear and increase your cadence – the speed your feet are rotating – just before you get to the rise. The change in gearing gives you a little more mechanical advantage and you’re shifting before you need to, so you can focus on moving your legs faster. The brute force approach is to stand up and power over the rise. Either works, so use the one that best fits your style of riding, or try both and see which works better for you. After you get over the hill, shift back to the harder gear and coast back to your target speed, but not faster – you want to “rest” and prepare for the next rise.

How did it go? Were you able to maintain your speed? If yes, bump up a mile or two an hour and try it again. If no, then back off a mile or two. Repeat this little exercise 4-5 times, and then take a nice, easy spin home and rest. Repeat this exercise two-three times a week until you’re at your desired speed. What you should find is that the little bumps seem to get smaller and that maintaining your speed gets easier.

What you are essentially doing here is intervals; small intervals, but intervals nonetheless. Next step? Try the whole Linden Loop, adding 4 more rises to your training. Now, it’s not likely (or necessary) that you’ll be able to maintain your speed on this section. Hill 5 is quite long, Hill 6 is quite steep, and hill 7 follows right on 6’s heels. The point is to get faster overall.

Linden Loop - upper section profile
Linden Loop -- upper section profile

As you tackle the longer and steeper rises, you’ll find the smaller ones “flattening out”. You can also improve your breathing and power by doing standard intervals (lots of references on the web for those). When you do get back to the group, try hanging out towards the end of the pack, but not at the very end – having another cyclist in front of and in back of you is the most advantageous place to be aerodynamically. Most groups will forgive you not taking a turn at the lead, especially if they know you’re struggling. Keep back and in a few weeks you’ll be ready to take a turn at the front.

Now, get out and keep up with that group!

 

 
2014 Bike Month Scavenger Hunt PDF Print E-mail

The Rules:

You may compete as an individual, with a partner, or as a team of 3 or more. All riders or groups must take a photo with their bikes at the designated locations. Some locations require you to leave your bikes parked nearby, however. Pictures need to be submitted throughout the month to Clay Chiles, Environmental AmeriCorps Member at State College Borough: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If pictures match the clues provided, you will get that location checked off. These pictures will randomly be shared and celebrated through SCASD and State College Borough social media, including @BikeStCollege on twitter.

A top prize will be awarded in each category for the most locations ridden to between May 1 and May 30. Also, a raffle ticket will be given to each individual for every 5 locations. Raffle tickets will be used for various other prizes. Winners will be announced on May 31st at the Extravaganza! (see below)

Have fun exploring the SC area with your family and friends!

It's safe & easy to ride to, or safe & easy to ride at the chosen locations. It is certainly ok to drive to the far off locations when safety is a concern for younger riders. The spirit of the hunt is to encourage you to experience these places on a bike.

The Clues:

See them on a google map here!

1) Musser Gap Greenway

Did you know that the bike lanes on Whitehall Road will soon connect with Rothrock State Forest? Heard of Shingletown Gap? Musser Gap is just west towards Pine Grove Mills. The Musser Gap Greenway is under construction, but the farm lane that it will connect with comes out to Whitehall Road near Blue Course Drive. Imagine the beautiful community park going in those fields and a connection from town to one of Central Pa’s most beautiful natural gems! Take a picture on Whitehall road with the Tussey ridgeline in the background and you’ll check this one off the list.

2) Orchard Park

Ever wonder where Orchard Park got it’s name from? Take a ride on the bike path there and see if you can snap a picture of the answer. It’s ok, you don’t have to be an in’cider to know where.

3) Walnut Springs Park

It’s no wonder why this park is named the way it is. Look around, most of those trees there are Black Walnuts, with the musky smelling nuts littering the ground. The gravel path used to be the old farm lane and helped connect the farm that used to be here with the Centre Furnace. Can you find any evidence of the farm? See if you can take a picture of some history that’s foundational to the settlement of this region.

4) Lederer Park

Just up the hill from Walnut Springs Park, this is a nice place to picnic and learn about some different tree species. This land was graciously donated by a sculptor, who’s mother now looks over the park. Pose with her and say Thank You!

5) Spring Creek Park

You can ride over land but here you’ll have to walk over water. See where I mean and see some neat work that Trout Unlimited has done.

6) Circleville Park

Don’t have a backyard, but want to grow your own veggies? See if you can find a great place near this park to set up crop.

7) PSU Arboretum

You’ll have to dismount your bike while you explore these lovely gardens. You might even lose track of time. Don’t worry though, you can take a picture near something that’ll help you find it again.

8) Park Ave/McKee Street Crossing

This intersection is passed by many riding into town from Overlook Heights. And soon enough, the Park Ave crossing will be improved to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to cross. While you’re near there, see if you can find an easy place to do some bike repairs at the Stuckeman Family Building.

9) Bernel Park

Have you been to this newest of Centre Region parks? Let your imagination take flight here. Any fun photos riding around welcomed.

10) Fairbrook Park

This park is worth the drive (or ride if you want to enjoy the extra width of Whitehall Road!). If you ride to the top of the park, you might need a break. See if you can find a seat with a mountain view.

11) Military Museum

This popular place to walk and ride is at the end of the South Atherton Street bike path. Not far from here are the headwaters of Spring Creek. Find a place to cross the water; a way that you woodn’t want to ride.

12) Blue Spring Park

In the winter this park hosts an ice skating rink. Find where the water flows when its not so cold out.

13) Millbrook Marsh

Millbrook Marsh wouldn’t be such a great place to visit if not for the hardworking coordinators and volunteers there. Take a picture with one of them and thank them for their dedication.

14) State Collee Borough building

How do you get a leaf inside a lightbulb? Park your bikes and head to the third floor to see if you can find this symbol. While you’re up there, say “Hello” to our bike riding Mayor! Pictures with either work.

15) Rock Hill Schoolhouse

May 4th would be the day to take this picture! Head out to Linden Hall to see this renovated piece of history. Did you know about the Penns Valley Rails-to-Trail plan? It was looking to bring a path that could go right by here. Bonus point if the picture has when the school was built in it.

16) Blue & White bike path

Get on it from Corl Street or West Campus Drive, then head towards Blue Course. Don’t go too fast or you’ll miss what grows beside you. This ones for the patient pickers with a sweet tooth. Please don’t eat anything unless you positively know what it is!

17) Toftrees

There are a number of ways to get to Toftrees by bike, but there’s only one way that gets you under the Mt Nittany Expressway. Find the underpass and you’ll have this one checked off.

18) Haymarket Park

Ferguson Township is no stranger to bicycle infrastructure! With the Blue Course Bikeway next to this easy-to-ride-to park, its easy to forget how close you are to everything. Find the clue that gives you a sense of distance.

19) Bellefonte Central Rail Trail

This great path is the result of the hard work from several regional partners. Can you capture them all in one photo?

20) Galbraith Gap (Rothrock)

This is one of the primary “gateways” to Rothrock State Forest and gets you on miles of gravel roads and dirt trails to explore. You’ll find plenty of folks parking in the gravel parking lot beyond Tussey Mountain, heading out for hikes and mountain bike rides. Get a picture with one of them and tell them about the scavenger hunt!

 

 
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