Category Archives: Lifestyle

Kathryn Zeringue Talks Bike Share

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be interviewing some local leaders and transportation specialists to get their thoughts on the Raleigh Bike Share. These interviews aren’t an investigation into feasibility; we already know that Raleigh is a good fit for a bike share! Instead, these conversations give us the chance to get an in-depth look at what the bike share might mean for different parts of our community. For our first interview, Jacob Clayton, an Oaks and Spokes volunteer and lecturer in the English Department at NCSU, interviewed Kathryn Zeringue, NCSU’s Transportation Demand Manager.

INTERVIEW #1: Kathryn Zeringue

Kathryn Zeringue looks at the camera from on top of of her black road bicycle in a parking lot.
Kathryn Zeringue, Transportation Demand Manager at NCSU

Kathryn Zeringue is the Transportation Demand Manager at North Carolina State University(1). As the TDM at NCSU, Zeringue promotes carpooling, vanpooling, walking, carsharing, ridesharing, and, of course, bicycling. Having lived in Raleigh, N.C., Blacksburg, Va. and the cycling hub of Austin, Texas, she knows a bit about transportation cycling. I sat down with Zeringue to talk about what the Raleigh Bike Share might mean for our community last Wednesday morning.

Zeringue currently lives in Durham, and she commutes to Raleigh every day by bus. Her bus drops her off on Hillsborough Street, at which point she walks a little over a mile to her office on Sullivan Drive. The practicality of the bike share is obvious to Zeringue; having a bicycle available on Hillsborough street would provide a “last mile solution,” effectively shortening many university employees’ commutes every morning.

NC State students also stand to benefit from the Raleigh Bike Share program, Zeringue argues. It could “give students a lot more choices” in terms of engaging with businesses and events downtown. Many NC State students don’t bring cars to campus, and the GoRaleigh bus system can be intimidating for students who aren’t familiar with public transit. As an instructor at NC State, I know first-hand how disconnected many first-year students feel from downtown, and, with dining and recreation facilities on campus, it’s easy for students to avoid the larger city entirely. The Raleigh Bike Share could be one step in establishing a corridor between students and Raleigh’s thriving downtown. Restaurants, museums, and arts venues get student business, and students get a chance to plug into Raleigh-based companies as they consider their professional futures.

The university has a long history of cooperating with the City of Raleigh to make the city and the campus friendlier to cyclists. NC State’s transportation planners face some unusual, jurisdiction-based challenges when adding to existing infrastructure, but, according to Zeringue, “most of the success [NC State has] had getting bike lanes in has been with the city of Raleigh.” With five bike share stations planned on NC State’s campus, the potential for future collaboration between the university and the city seems high. At this point, the university, like many of our community partners, seems to be waiting for the city to put forward a plan.

Zeringue also sees opportunities for bike share use during Raleigh’s lengthy festival season. During major festivals like Hopscotch, SparkCon and the Oaks and Spokes festival, commuters might be attracted to transportation alternatives that don’t require consulting transit schedules, fighting for parking spots, or detouring around closed-off streets. Other cities have already seen the mutually beneficial relationship between festivals and bike shares. Austin B-Cycle, for example, set their single-day record with 3,032 checkouts during the 2015 SXSW festival.

I closed out our interview by asking what advice NC State’s Transportation Demand Manager has for the Raleigh’s elected officials as they consider whether or not to support the bike share program. Our leadership should “[build] spaces for people, not for vehicles” and “understand the value in prioritizing transportation projects that promote community,” she said. “A bike share could do that.”

 

Remember, this is the first of a number of O&S Bike Share Interviews. Check back regularly for more discussions with leaders from all corners of our community!

 

(1) The opinions expressed in this interview are not intended to reflect institutional policies or commitments on the part of North Carolina State University.

Taking the #Coffeeneuring Challenge

I think the #coffeeneuring challenge comes at the perfect time.  Running from October 4 – November 17, it spans through North Carolina’s fall colors and into the beginning of colder temperatures where you need a reason to get up and get out on a chilly morning.   Although there are several ways to explain what coffeeneuring is, my favorite way of putting it is this:

Getting a cup of coffee with a bunch of rules.

Curvy mountainous roads?  No problem!  I just had a zillion caffeine points!
Curvy mountainous roads? No problem! I just had a zillion caffeine points just outside of Asheville, NC.

Now who would want to do that, you might ask??  Why can’t you just go get a cup of coffee on the weekend and be done with it?  There are folks all across the country getting cups of coffee, following simple rules, and enjoying both small and large adventures in the process.  You can read all about the rules, but I’ll give you the main idea: take a casual bike ride to get 7 cups of coffee in 7 weeks, one cup per weekend day if you work a regular M-F job, at a variety of places and document your experience.  Other beverages such as tea qualify as well.  Read on to learn more about my adventure and hopefully next year you will join myself and others in the challenge!   Continue reading Taking the #Coffeeneuring Challenge

Oaks & Spokes in action!

We have some really AWESOME events happening this weekend and we want YOU to be there!

Saturday August 9th 2pm-7pm : Activate14 – Alternative Transportation Design Summit 

Saturday August 9th 6pm- 10pm : Cranks Arms One Year Anniversary Celebration

Activate 14 is an initiative by the AIANC to educate the public on the benefits of good design and sustainability through a series of summer events and design competitions. These multi-component events will activate the building and grounds of the AIANC Center for Architecture and Design (CfAD) located at 14 E Peace Street in Raleigh, North Carolina. The events will feature speakers and workshops, vendors, food trucks, a beer tent, live music, children’s activities, and exhibitions. Oaks & Spokes will have a booth set up with a living board of the City of Raleigh detailing various routes members of the community take daily. Tricks of the trade and personal testimonies are welcomed! We will also have details of our upcoming fundraising project and goals for Fall 2014! A little birdie told me it had to do with Bike Repair Stations installed downtown and on the greenway with the help of the CIty of Raleigh… 🙂

Crank Arm Brewery is a great local spot located at 319 W Davie Street! Founded with cycling pride, Crank Arm is a craft brewery with tasting room located in the warehouse district. Our mission is to provide fresh artisan beer while utilizing green transportation methods. Come celebrate with Oaks & Spokes while we support some of the raddest dudes and best craft brew in the heart of downtown. We also will have more information about this amazing (not-so) secret Bike Repair Station initiative and fundraising project!

And always remember… Ride ya bike!

Bike to the Tour de Fat with O&S!

This Saturday the Tour de Fat comes to the Triangle bringing merriment, bewilderment, amusement and also some serious refreshment.  Come on an 8 mile ride with us to the American Tobacco Campus to enjoy the festivities! Why? It’s free to attend but TdF proceeds (beer sales!) benefit local non-profit cycling groups and bicycle-afflicted charities including BikeWalk NC, Triangle Spokes Group and the Durham Bike Co-Op.  Holla!

Continue reading Bike to the Tour de Fat with O&S!

NAHBS 2014: Bikes all over Charlotte

nahbsfloor

 

This isn’t the type of event that we would normally cover, but I’m here at the North American Handmade Bike Show in Charlotte, NC this weekend with Oak City Cycling Project. In addition to drooling over custom builds and new tech, I have the opportunity to check out some of the bike infrastructure in Charlotte and do a little riding around town. I’ll have a follow up post with my thoughts on riding in Charlotte, but until then jump past the break to check out a few cool things I’ve found so far.

Continue reading NAHBS 2014: Bikes all over Charlotte