Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bike Wisconsin!

If you haven't seen the Discover Wisconsin show on bicycling in Wisconsin, it is well worth the 19 minutes of your time.  It does a great job of showing how Wisconsin is a great place for biking, and all the industry and vibrant opportunities for cycling in the state.

Plus, it is also awesome to see all those familiar faces!  Carlos working on wheels at Hayes, Ron off the front of the WORS Sheboygan race, Derek and Adam giving Stephanie a taste of the John Muir trails....even though Waukesha didn't make an appearance in the show, plenty of folks who live here did.  Represent!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pedestrian Peeves

Recognize this?  It's an intersection that you are probably familiar with if you are a Waukesha resident.  It's the google streetview of Barstow Avenue and the downtown Riverwalk.
Whoever designed the Riverwalk in Waukesha did a lovely job. It really is a fantastic asset to the City.  But  don't try to cross any streets! It's like they just ignored the fact that people might want to get from one part of the riverwalk to another.  The crossing at Barstow, above, is a great example.  Wouldn't it have been nice if they had included a raised pedestrian crosswalk, a pedestrian island in the middle, or--could it have been possible?--if they had bothered to align the crosswalk so it went STRAIGHT across the intersection instead of at a crazy angle.

That's one example of a "pet peeve" of mine I am eager to share at the public input meeting for the City's Bike and Pedestrian Plan on Wednesday.

Here's another pet peeve: Walk buttons.

Walk buttons: they make you feel better after you push them, but that's about it.
My 2-year-old loves to push buttons, and walk buttons are no exception.  And because we do a lot of walking in downtown Waukesha, I have realized that pushing the walk buttons has absolutely no effect on the traffic signal.  Not during the day, not at night.  Never.  (Even though they don't influence the traffic signal, they still do serve a purpose for people with vision impairments who can listen for the voice that directs the button-pusher to wait until the walk sign turns on). 

Here's my thought:  during non-rush-hour periods, why not hook up the walk buttons to the traffic signal program, so that if a pedestrian is waiting, it can pre-empt the usual sequence?  This doesn't have to be done everywhere, but at some of the high-volume pedestrian crossings it would be nice.

How about you?  Do you have a "pet peeve" for walking or biking Waukesha that you would love to see fixed?  Or do you have an idea for providing some kind of bicycle or pedestrian connection?  Take a look at what the WBA has come up with so far and let us know if we're missing anything!  Or, just come to Wednesday night's public input meeting:

Wednesday May 25
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
E.B. Shurts Building
810 W College Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53186

Thursday, May 19, 2011

City of Waukesha Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Plan-- Input Requested

We are currently gathering suggestions for improvements to be submitted to
the Steering Committee at the May 25th
See WBA's web site for some examples. Come to the meeting to offer your input, or email WBA and we'll summarize them and bring them to the meeting.

The Famed Elroy-Sparta Trail

Elroy Sparta Trail

I guess I cracked the whip hard enough on my crew this week to head out to the Elroy-Sparta Trail on Thursday after work. The trail head is about a mile from my hotel in "The Bicycling Capital of America". Although I didn't have the time to go to Elroy and back, I did make it out to the second tunnel. It is a really nice trail to ride, but I would recommend wearing glasses and bug repellent. It is a crushed gravel trail that is part of the Bike 4 Trails system, which totals 101 miles. You will need a state trail pass, and an adequate bike like a cyclocross, touring or hybrid.

After you get to the Elroy-Sparta to Lacrosse River Trail connection, head up Water Street to Rudy's Drive-in it's kind of like John's Root Beer with carhops.

Next stop for me will be the HPT in LaCrosse for the Friday night MTB group ride.

Ride of Silence report

A couple hundred cyclists (in my estimation--see for yourself) came to last night's Ride of Silence in Waukesha.  Pastor Ken Rankin led off the ceremony with a thoughtful talk about our "hurry up" mentality and how that contributes to accidents like the ones that killed Jeff Littmann and Brett Netke last year.

Brett Netke's sister then talked about her brother and how he is missed.  And Jeff Littman's widow Kelly also had a couple words to remember Jeff. 

After a moment of silence, the ride took off.  It was great to see the attention we got with the high-vis t-shirts that Wheel and Sprocket donated.  Some people cheered us on (thinking we were in a race) and other drivers honked.  The Waukesha police did their best to ensure everyone's safety as the riders became strung out along the route.

Thanks to the Spring City Spinners for organizing a great event.  We have big shoes to fill next year when we take over.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ride of Silence this Wednesday

The Spring City Spinners are hosting the annual Ride of Silence this Wednesday May 18th. This is a ceremonial ride around the city to honor cyclist who have been killed in motor vehicle accidents in the past year. There will be relatives of Brett Netke and Jeff Littmann, who passed away in the last year, speaking before the ride. The event will take place at the Waukesha State Bank parking lot off of St. Paul near the riverwalk. Registration opens at 6:30pm with the ride around the city leaving around 7:00. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. The WBA will be assisting the Spinners in setting up this event.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meeting Tonight, Tattoo Tomorrow?

Yes, If you haven't checked the new site yet, our monthly meeting is tonight at Sprizzo(upstairs) at 7pm.

Also, tomorrow is Friday the 13th and Waukesha Tattoo Company is having their $13 (+$7 tip) 13's for the occasion. I bailed out on the last one. George tells me has a couple designs put together just for me so I may have to go through with it! Come in for your own or to bear witness to my first ink. I might need the moral support ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome Spring!

Went for a nice ride through the countryside with a few friends tonight. I think its the first time this year my arms and legs have seen the sun! Afterwards, took a few of the guys to D Mo's Pita & Pan for gyro's. Since sampling some of their entrees at Waukesha Tattoo last Saturday, I've been anxious to check 'em out. The gyros were amazing and the menu's so broad I'm going to have to go back to try more. Tuesdays are Bogo Gyros(two for one) and everyone from the ride was stoked! Thanks to George for turning us onto here and introducing me to Chef Tony. It's definitley worth the short trip up to Sunset so check them out!

Now this is refueling! ;)

Waukesha Bicycle Alliance website

Check out our new website at

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coming soon...

...Tuesday, May 10, to be exact: Waukesha Bicycle Alliance's new website!

Contains everything currently known about WBA, and more, in one location.

It will complement this blog and the discussion group... if you heard the WBA is up to something, check there for details.

Come back Tuesday for the URL!