Category Archives: Uncategorized

Denver Bike Share

The following was written by our Advocacy Coordinator, Molly McKinley. We were excited to hear all about her experience with Bike Share in Denver, Colorado, and we hope you are too!

So, long story short – In August I went to Colorado for vacation and geeked out about the bike infrastructure in Denver almost as much as I did over the 14ers we went to. Below is a nerdy-in-depth-yet-lighthearted analysis of our Denver experience by bike and what we can strive for here in Raleigh.

First, you should know that my partner Ben and I both love multi-modal transit (and we wanted to save some money) so we decided to go without a rental car while we were in Denver. I knew we’d use the bus rapid transit for a day trip to Boulder and the light rail to get to and from the airport, and I figured we’d primarily use the bus system to get around town. Turns out, the local bus service never quite made sense for the trips we were making and our Airbnb was conveniently located two blocks from a Denver B-Cycle station, so we ended up taking most of our trips on two wheels.

I had only ever used a bikeshare system in Washington DC last winter when Ben and I went for a short visit. I’d say we had an overall positive experience, but we didn’t take too many rides so I can’t say I got a thorough feel for it. In Denver we used the bikeshare every day we were there and probably only took 3-4 Lyft rides (one before we started using the bikeshare and, well, Denver has good beer).

We spent three days in Denver, here’s the skinny on our biking adventures:

Saturday: We got in to town late on Friday night and our second order of business, after brunch, was to secure some eclipse glasses from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. After picking up our snazzy eyewear we found the BCycle station on site, bought our 24 hour passes, and mapped out a route to Cheesman Park and the Denver Botanical Garden. We were pretty psyched about how easy it was to get around, how much open space there was, and the mountain views.

Sunday: Since our BCycle 24 hour passes were good until 11:00am or so, we took the Cherry Creek Trail from our AirBnB to Union Station to catch the bus to Boulder. I had heard a lot about the Cherry Creek Trail, but it exceeded expectations. As it is named, the trail runs beside the Cherry Creek and is 42 miles long and starts in Downtown Denver.

Monday: After our relatively short ride on the Cherry Creek Trail on Sunday we wanted to explore more. We took the trail out to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and then rode to Washington Park. The trail was so easy to navigate and the BCycle stations were pretty easy to find on the app. Washington Park was bike/ped/duck heaven. Think big park with a lake and a loop around it with separate lanes for bikes and runners/walker.

After taking a short snooze at Washington Park, Ben and I rode to Great Divide Brewing Co. We said “woaaaahhhh” and “how cool is this?!” a lot while biking around Denver, but I think this ride had the highest count of exclamations. We started this trip right around 5:00pm from Washington Park. We took a few side streets to get to the Cherry Creek Trail. When we got on the trail, I’m not kidding, it was like a bike super highway! I’ve never seen so many people riding on a trail outside of an organized event. It was probably 80% commuters and 20% people riding for recreation. After about 10 minutes on the trail we exited downtown to take one of the main roads to the brewery. The on road infrastructure was out of this world. There were parking protected bike lanes, bike signals at intersections, and best of all, cars yielded at potential conflict points.

Anything I didn’t love
I have tried to think of something that I didn’t like or that I would improve about our experience, but I really can’t.

Why I think bikeshare in Denver worked so well for us
Convenient bikeshare stations: the Denver BCycle stations always seemed to be close to where we were going and conveniently located along our route. Denver has about 88 stations with about 700 bikes.
Wayfinding: I will say that we always looked up a route on our phones before hopping on our bikes, but the wayfinding signs around the city were tremendously helpful. We missed a few turns on our rides, but there were always signs for trail connections and points of interest – great for out of towners, like us.
Connected, protected on street infrastructure and trail systems: The connectivity of the trail system with lower traffic streets and streets with protected bike lanes brought us a lot of comfort, especially as people riding these bulky bikes with no idea where we were going. I’d love to see parking protected bike lanes in Raleigh.
Lots of other people on bikes: I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but there were several trips where we saw more people on bikes than we did cars. That obviously doesn’t hold true for the city as a whole, but still, the amount of people on bikes was so awesome. I get excited when I see one person riding a bike on my ride to work in Raleigh – I was losing my mind about how many people were riding in Denver.
24 hour BCycle membership: I don’t know how most other cities do their bikeshare passes, but I will say that the 24 hour pass was not only a great value for the amount of trips we took, but it kept us going back to the bikes! We knew we had already paid for the 24 hour period, so it would have been a waste of money to use any other form of transportation.

Other things to note
Customer service by Denver B cycle folks: Ben and I checked out our bikes with one credit card so our passes were linked. I got a text from BCycle saying that we had been charged a $30 fee for returning a bike late. We knew that most of our trips were right around 30 minutes (the free period) so we called the customer service number to see what was going on. It seems like one of the bikes didn’t get locked back in the dock completely, but since we checked out our bikes together, we were refunded the $30 fee because they could see when the other bike was returned. This was probably one of the easiest customer services experiences we’ve ever had.

We should have brought our helmets: In the frenzy of packing for the trip we didn’t think about bringing our helmets with us. Because of the amount of riding we did, in hindsight, I really wish we had brought our helmets. Next time we travel to a city with a bikeshare, I’ll definitely be bringing mine along.

What Raleigh can learn from Denver
My bicycling experience in Denver left me feeling optimistic for the future of bicycling in Raleigh. From what I can tell, Denver’s bikeshare system began operating in 2010, putting them pretty far ahead of us on that front. The city’s on and off road bike infrastructure is also more mature than what we have so far here in Raleigh, leaving us lots of room to grow, especially with the City’s new bike plan.

I’m not sure which came first in Denver – the sophisticated bike infrastructure or the significant ridership, but they both seem to be feeding off of each other now. Since moving to Raleigh in 2010, I’ve watched better bike infrastructure go in and I’ve noticed more riders on the road, and as far as I can tell, we’ll keep moving in that direction.

I hope when the City of Raleigh’s bikeshare system is implemented that it is convenient and accessible for those curious riders, that stations are thoughtfully planned on roads with already existing bike facilities, and that a more substantial wayfinding program is implemented, especially in the area around the first 30 stations. I’d also like to see more truly protected on road bike facilities throughout the city.

I plan on using bikeshare on as many of my adventures in new cities as possible – it was such a fun way to explore a new city. Have you explored a new city by bike? Tell us more in the comments below!

Last Chance to give your two cents on I-440 Widening

So there’s a $440 Million dollar road widening project that will affect drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the entire Raleigh metropolitan area (i.e. 1.2 Million people).  It’s on the books to break ground in 2018.

You already had your opportunity to go to the public hearing last week but fortunately there’s still time to comment until AUGUST 27.  We really encourage you to visit the project website to take a deeper dive but there are some pretty significant impacts to bicycling and walking that we see coming down the pipeline.  Take the interactive survey to give your input here: 

 https://ncdot.publicinput.com/1851

We don’t expect a lot of great things to happen for bicycling and walking when lanes are added to an interstate, but there are opportunities out there.  The public information given in 2014 showed that there would be an opportunity for bike/ped improvements at Western Blvd when the Diverging Diamond Interchange option was selected to move forward.  I’m not really seeing these come to life in 2017 where we see one sad, poorly articulated, sidepath along the west side of Western Blvd near the K-Mart where a poorly maintained sidepath already exists.

This DDI alternative still only gives you options for crossing Western on one side of the roadway

DDI’s are actually known for their ability to do more with less so I’m disappointed to see that with all of this planning and laneage savings, we can’t see that people can walk or bike down Western Blvd on BOTH SIDES of the road.  Basic, right?  Perhaps there could be a low stress connection to Garland Dr.  With the plan as is, if everyone is supposed to cross over at Blue Ridge Rd, what kind of improvements are being made so that people walking and biking across five lanes of traffic and then two double right turn lanes are safe?  What about adding a crosswalk on the other side of the intersection? Also, The project doesn’t extend through the Blue Ridge Rd Intersection.  That means the existing sidepath on the south (continuing to the intersection as a sidewalk) won’t be improved for people to get to the intersection to cross.  It also means the curb ramps on the south side of the intersection likely won’t get upgraded to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Hillsborough Rd intersection shows us the sidepath to nowhere, although considering what is there now, I suppose this is an improvement.  There’s not much to say about this except that if it continued to Blue Ridge Rd, we’d actually be able to get somewhere.

Hillsborough and Wade Interchanges – one of the alternatives showing the sidepath along the east side of Hillsborough St and the realigned Reedy Creek Greenway segment through Meredith

 

At Wade Ave, the Reedy Creek Greenway gets bumped deeper into Meredith Campus.  The flyovers/rams and various alternate configuration gobble up the real estate.  Since all of the alternatives in 2014 gave us this insight, there isn’t much to say about this.  We are concerned about noise and pollution, however.  The current feel of the greenway doesn’t lend itself to realizing you are paralleling this roadway.  Options to abate noise pollution should be considered.  Also with the popularity of this section to the Art Museum, it is surprising that NCDOT is going with a 10′ trail width instead of Raleigh’s new 12′ standard or even a 15′ wide trail.  With the amount of pavement going into the overall project, this isn’t a lot to ask.

Reedy Creek Greenway under the Flyover – one of the Alternatives being considered at the Wade Interchange

There’s also the question of how much pavement is too much pavement, really.  The project videos give us  good insight into what this will actually look like from the I-440 Multi-use Overpass.  We’ve taken the liberty of cutting these screenshots for your viewing showing you the proposed increase in the amount of pavement here.

View from I-440 Multi-Use Overpass
View from I-440 Multi-Use Overpass after Widening (Two Flyover Alternative)

At Ligon Rd, the tunnel is generally used as a bicycling throughway is eliminated in alternatives that add a bridge structure for motor vehicles.  This alternative does not show any bicycling facilities and grades would make this a steep climb.  It does not appear that alternatives to create a through-road in this configuration would not be an improvement to non-motorized accessibility on Ligon Rd.

One of the Ligon Rd Bridge Alternatives which eliminate the existing tunnel

The project does improve some conditions for bicycling and walking.  There are two bridge replacements that add 5′ bicycle lanes and sidewalk on one side at Athens Dr and Melbourne Rd.  This is a considerable improvement over the existing conditions which lack pedestrian and bicycling facilities at present.

Athens Dr Proposed Cross Section (Similar to Melbourne Rd)

 

We’d love to see more detailed signal plans, pedestrian phasing, crosswalk locations, refuge islands at the crossings, and get a better sense of the Reedy Creek Trail realignment and how that will feel.  We’d also like to know more about any ADA accessibility improvements.  If anyone at NCDOT wants to send additional details on what is being proposed, we’ll take them at info@oaksandspokes.com

And there’s no doubt that this is a lot for a citizen to take in, but we do encourage you to not be discouraged and to send your Comments or fill out the Survey by August 22nd.  And get ready for the ground to break in 2018, hopefully with good details in the bicycle and pedestrian design that are not shown in these public documents.

Collect Festival Trophies with Ride Report!

Oaks & Spokes has teamed up with Ride Report to create some custom trophies/badges in their app for each of the 2017 Oaks & Spokes Festival events!

Download the app (available for iPhone and Android) and get setup in less than a minute. Then simply ride your bike to or during the Festival events and get special trophies and messages in the app.

The app automatically figures out when you are biking, so no need to push start/stop on the app or open it up. Think of it like Pokemon Go, but you need to bike in order to “catch ‘em”. Plus the route and rating data will be used by Bike Raleigh to support bicycle planning.

Download today and start collecting trophies! As always, thank you for riding your bike. 🙂

 

2017 Board Candidate Statements

The following individuals are running for the 2017 Oaks and Spokes Board of Directors.  Please take some time to review the following candidate statements prior to voting at the Annual Membership Party.

Ken Bowers (Administrative Coordinator)

Ken Bowers

Tell us about yourself!

My day job is helping the City of Raleigh plan for the future. I like to ride bikes for fun, health, and transportation, which involves both short and purposeful rides like running errands and commuting, and long and sporty rides where the ride’s the thing. I believe more active transportation would make our city a better place.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

I currently serve on two non-profit boards, so I have board experience. Second, as a professional city planner, I have a deep understanding of how to move the needle on public policy. Third, I have a large number of contacts both within and outside of local government.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

The harsh reality that any bicycling advocacy organization must face is that neither cycling nor cycling infrastructure are held in high esteem by a significant share of the public. To combat this, Oaks and Spokes must grow its membership to be more inclusive and diverse, do outreach to communities not typically part of the cycling culture, and organize events that attract people who don’t normally come to cycling get-togethers. The goal should be to show cycling as a normal and healthy part of day-to-day life for people of all ages and stages of life. Kid-friendly events, events that stress the practical use of bicycles, and advocacy that emphasizes the people who ride (similar to CAFT’s “Riders of Wake” campaign) should be part of this mix. Finally, while a focus on downtown makes sense because it is far more bike-friendly than most of the City, a broader geographic focus will be needed as we seek to connect other parts of Raleigh that are evolving in a more walkable, urban, and bike-friendly direction.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I am the Planning Director for the City of Raleigh. I have been a transportation cyclist off and on for over 30 years in both the Triangle and New York City. When my knees got creaky several years ago, I began also cycling for sport, and this transformed my view of bicycles from a purely utilitarian machine to a thing of beauty, source of community, and a fountain of youth. There are few things in life that aren’t better with bikes, and I believe our cities and ourselves would be better off with more active transportation. I will bring to the Board my technical knowledge of city planning, my experience on non-profit boards, and my enthusiasm for all things cycling. My emphasis will be on promoting an inclusive vision for everyday cycling that sees the bike as a tool for living rather than an annoying habit practiced by a few oddball “others”.

 Willamina O’Keeffe  (Administrative Coordinator)

Willamina OkeefeTell us about yourself!

I initially got involved with Oaks & Spokes a few years ago because of my passion for alternative commuting.  I liked that Oaks & Spokes was taking action to build bicycle culture in Raleigh and ensure that the cycling community was heard by the city.  I am currently active on the Advocacy Committee and am excited about what we will accomplish in 2017!

Outside of bicycles I am a fanatic knitter, voracious reader, and enjoy working on my web development skills.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

I am enthusiastic about the mission of Oaks & Spokes and will turn that enthusiasm into action, collaboratively brainstorming new ideas to grow the organization and seeing those ideas through completion.

I work as a user experience (UX) project manager.  Project management skills are valuable to the success of any organization or event; and the UXer in me looks at solutions from the perspective of those affected by the outcome and not just those working to solve the problem.

I enjoy going to local government meetings and speaking publicly about the need for increased bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.  As member of the Board of Directors, I would be passionate about being a regular attendee of these meetings to represent Oaks & Spokes.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

I see Oaks & Spokes continuing to grow its role in Raleigh’s decision making around bicycle laws and infrastructure.  I also see Oaks & Spokes coordinating with other like-minded organizations to have an impact on the state level as well.  Additionally, I would like to see Oaks & Spokes expand to include junior members  (individuals in middle/high school) who are interested in promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation and learning how to work together to have an impact on their community.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I am excited to see how Oaks & Spokes has grown over the past few years and look forward to how it will develop in the years to come. It is so important and wonderful that O&S provides a place for us all to work together to create change in Raleigh.


Hannah Rainey (Membership Coordinator)

Hannah Rainey

Tell us about yourself!

I have only lived in capital cities: Boise, Boston, Austin, and Raleigh. I inherited an intrinsic love of outdoor activities through my childhood in Idaho. I have a BA in Cinema and Media Studies from Wellesley College and a MS in Information Studies from UT Austin. Currently, I am a librarian at NCSU and ride my bike to and from work every day.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

I have a Master’s Degree in Information Sciences and have built a career around finding, arranging, and communicating information to diverse audiences. If selected as a member of the Board, I would contribute these skills to assist the flow of information within the Board, and outward to members and the wider community. I am also bi-racial and will bring diverse viewpoints and experience to the Board.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

In two years, I see Oaks & Spokes increasing membership, outreach, and advocacy as a cornerstone of the bike community in Raleigh. Membership in Oaks & Spokes will provide individuals with bike-related benefits and open doors to greater involvement and inclusion in bike culture. Oaks & Spokes will also be an advocate and facilitator for other groups that tackle issues related to biking infrastructure and community.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I like to cook and bake.


Renee Foster  (At Large)  

Renee FosterTell us about yourself!

I have been more actively involved in Oaks and Spokes for the past year and a half or so. Presently, I live and work in the Raleigh downtown area and am very enthusiastic about the mission, the camaraderie and the community activism of this organization. I want to be more highly involved in bike advocacy and promote the awareness of the environmental and health benefits of bicycling for downtown Raleigh as it blossoms into a more bike-friendly city.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

I feel that my greatest contributions would come from my ability to advocate for riders who are above 30 years of age, my interest in promoting bicycling as a mode of transportation that is accessible to both experienced and novice riders and an awareness of the need to be inclusive of any rider, regardless of age or background.  I am especially interested in the decision making processes of the organization and the impact on the local biking community. I also have proficient editing and writing skills and would be interested in helping with any printed or written materials that are produced by Oaks and Spokes.  Additionally, I am a great team player and collaborate well with other members to publicize, organize and produce a variety of biking events.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

I feel that Oaks and Spokes will become a very visible and active organization that will continue to promote biking as an intrinsic part of the Raleigh community. As the organization grows and flourishes, I feel that we will become even more politically active in advocating for safe and accessible bike infrastructure throughout the state. In addition, I feel that one of the most important goals of Oaks and Spokes should be educating all riders about bike safety, bike maintenance and other crucial aspects of being a bike rider. I also feel that we will expand our charitable works to support newer causes, as well as continuing to promote our traditional charities.

Is there anything else we should know about you?         

As I stated before, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Oaks and Spokes. I feel that a hallmark of the organization is the spirit of tremendous positivity and inclusiveness in the group. This optimism has inspired me to become a more active participant in the Raleigh biking community. Another contribution that I have made to the organization is my participation and research for the history bike tour during bike week.  I would like to continue to highlight Raleigh history rides in the future.


John Kovalchik (At Large)

John KovalchikTell us about yourself!

I’m a 5 year resident of Raleigh looking to marry my loves of cruising on a bike, community building, and health research. Like many others I became interested in bikes and their power to transform individuals and communities after moving to an urban area for college and subsequently relying on the practical form of transportation.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

As a recent graduate pursuing a career in public health I believe my ties to campus and health-focused entities can provide a unique resource and perspective to O&S. While I have been able to grow my network within the Raleigh cycling community over the years, my time as general manager of WKNC 88.1 FM Raleigh at NC State allowed me to build relationships with various media organizations and local businesses that may not be as acutely aware of the O&S mission.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

Within 2 years I would like to see O&S increase outreach and involvement of younger members (high school and college) — foster partnerships with community health organizations and/or non-profits — and make steps toward establishing a brick and mortar space able to better execute the organization’s mission whether it be in the form of a bike kitchen like the Hub in MN, a cyclotourist stop like Spoke’n Hostel in OR, a multi use space like Circles in Japan or otherwise.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I don’t have any other commitments outside of work, so I am very willing to devote my time and energy! I believe knowledge and enthusiasm are more important than gear and muscle mass when it comes to reaping the benefits of cycling.

In 2015 I led an effort to organize an alleycat benefit for WKNC 88.1 FM raising approximately $2,000 of cash and in kind donations.

Yes there was a time when I was the unsafe delivery cyclist at the Jimmy John’s on Hillsborough. And then the unsafe cyclist at the Jimmy John’s downtown. And then the unsafe cyclist at Happy & Hale. Since then my perspectives on transportation safety have shifted and I hope that by serving on the board I could help communicate those beliefs to others.


Athena Athena WollinWollin (At Large)

Tell us about yourself!

I grew up in Oregon and was absolutely spoiled by the cycling culture in Portland, so I want to take that experience and continue to evolve Raleigh’s biking scene. My bike is named PeBe; a heavy lady, but she has seen many good adventures. You’ll typically find me in my natural habitat, the illustration station of my home, or running amok with the squirrels. Other things I like: My cat, gardening, and Oxford commas.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

1.) Help create and unify marketing materials to advertise events with graphic design and illustration skills.

2.) Help lead efforts to educate safe riding habits and promote cycling in the Raleigh area to get more individuals feeling confident on their bikes.

3.) Work toward increasing visibility for Oaks and Spokes’ advocacy effort and successes to amplify positive change happening in the cycling community.”

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

Personally, I want to see Oaks & Spokes working to reach out to cyclists just beyond our current scope — fundraising to gift low-income riders helmets they couldn’t previously afford, efforts toward light giveaways for cyclists who don’t have them, or perhaps work toward reaching the drivers of the downtown Raleigh area by promoting bike awareness through partnerships with businesses and schools. I want to see “Thank you for riding your bike” all over Raleigh.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

A few years ago, I was hit by a car while on my bike. It has definitely changed the way my mind functions and I’m still working on being fully confident on my own bike. This incident drives my desire to make cycling safer for all Raleigh cyclists.


Meg Bryson (At Large)

Meg BrysonTell us about yourself!

I am a Durham native and NCSU alum who used to regard cyclists with a mixture of fear, awe, and a twinge of longing. That changed earlier this year, when I got a neon green single speed–my first grown-up bike–from Oak City Cycling Project. With the encouragement of some other two-wheeled friends, I began expanding my biking radius and my confidence. I’m officially hooked, and I want everyone to have a chance to at least TRY biking–which means making biking safer and more accessible for riders of all experience levels. Knowing people who bike regularly around Raleigh was a huge help to me when I was starting out, which is why I want to join the gang at Oaks and Spokes and reach out to more “would-be” cyclists.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

Working in highway safety research and transportation planning, I bring a real-world perspective and knowledge about what projects are going on in and around Raleigh. I have transportation planners, engineers, and roadway safety professionals in NC and beyond as resources. Lastly, I have a marketing background and experience working with event promotion at both my current job, and while at NCSU where I was Music Director at WKNC for a year.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

I see Oaks and Spokes growing through nurturing community partnerships. In particular, I think building relationships with the City of Raleigh and local organizations that support active transportation (including walking and transit) will be key to getting closer to O&S’s vision of a healthier community. Expanding participation in education and outreach events/programs (like Evan’s presence at the panel discussion hosted by Greyson and Tina Currin) will also boost Oaks and Spokes reputation as knowledgeable advocates for our community.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

In the process of becoming a member.


Harry Rybacki (External Coordinator)

Harry RybackiTell us about yourself!

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Northern Minnesota, I fled the cold and hiked, biked, and worked in many places before finding myself at home in Raleigh. Throughout my travels I have always found a warm, welcoming community with the wonderful people who ride bikes. Although my day job may be as a software engineer, I choose to spend my off hours figuring out new ways to connect folks that want to foster positive bike culture in my local community.

What are three ways that you would contribute to the Board of Directors?

Having lived and interacted with many bike communities around the world I believe that I bring a unique world view to organization. Furthermore, I have many years experience facilitating and organizing groups with diverse backgrounds and objectives. Most importantly however, as a downtown resident and everyday bike/pedestrian commuter, I am personally invested in seeing as safe and comfortable a city as possible for all forms of transportation.

Where do you see Oaks & Spokes in two years?

Over the next two years I envision Oaks & Spokes continuing to mature and diversify our community impact, membership base, and educational outreach. Oaks & Spokes is in a prime position to do just this as a direct result of a larger community effort to make Raleigh an amazing, comfortable, and safe place to live as well as work.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I spent close to a year volunteering at Community Bikes in Charlottesville, VA. This was an incredibly impactful and rewarding experience. After deciding to move back, seeing an equitable and sustainable bike cooperative develop in Raleigh became a personal goal. Additionally, over the past year I have served on the Oaks & Spokes board as both the Advocacy Coordinator and as an At Large Coordinator. During this time I have had the pleasure of working with many amazing, dedicated folks both within Oaks & Spokes as well as related communities at large.


Notes on the positions being filled:

External Coordinator.  Serves as the spokesperson of Oaks and Spokes, is responsible for setting and facilitating board meetings, for raising funds, upkeep of social media accounts, and promoting the organization.  This officer may alternatively be referred to as President.

Administrative Coordinator: Responsible for keeping the records for Oaks and Spokes, taking minutes and attendance at all meetings, organizing and sending notice of Board meetings, and arranging for meeting space.  This officer may alternatively be referred to as Secretary.

Membership Coordinator: Maintains and communicates with membership; organizes general membership meetings; and assumes the President’s responsibilities for Board meetings if the President is absent.

At-large: Is actively involved in one or more of the committees; represents and promotes the organization; and commits time and resources to advancing the mission of the organization.

Protect Yourself: Tips to avoid or handle a collision

In the wake of yet another tragic  collision resulting in the death of a person on a bike, we think it’s important for our friends who ride bikes to be aware of the actions they can take to not only reduce their risk of being a victim, but to respond appropriately in the event of a collision as well. We would like to thank Deanna Power of Personal Injury Help for contributing the following article. We are dedicating it to the memory of all the cyclists killed in NC this year.

What to do After a Crash in North Carolina

If you are a bicyclist, you are a member of a growing community that enjoys using an economical, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get where you need to go. While there are things that you can do to reduce your odds of being in a crash, there is always a risk that is real. One way to lower your risk of being involved in a crash is by making sure you are being safe and that you are adhering to North Carolina’s bicycling laws.

North Carolina Bicycling Laws

In North Carolina, bicyclists are treated like drivers of vehicles. They are encouraged to act responsibly and safely, the same as drivers of cars are. There are laws that are specific to bicycles as well, and those must be adhered to:

  •         Your bicycle must be equipped with a lighted headlamp that is visible from at least 30 feet in front of the bicycle.
  •         Your bicycle should have a red reflective mirror or light on the back that is visible from at least 200 feet from the rear when used at night. You can also wear a reflective safety vest.
  •         A bicycle should be driven at a visible spot within the lane and before making a lateral move, the rider should yield.
  •         Properly position yourself for your destination at intersections.
  •         Use the proper hand signals so your movement will be predictable. Let drivers know that you are turning or stopping. Give them time to know where you are going.
  •         Bicyclists cannot overtake other traffic on the right except when they are traveling in a separately marked travel lane.
  •        As a vehicle by law, bicycles have the right to “take the lane”, especially if they feel it is necessary for their safety or in preparation to make a turn.  An example of taking the lane for safety reasons is to discourage cars from trying to pass too close to you in the same lane.

Increase Your Visibility

By making yourself more visible, you are more likely to be noticed by drivers and reduce the risk of a crash. Wear brightly colored clothing, such as a safety vest or an orange, yellow, bright green, or red jersey. Add bright colors and reflectors to your helmet (and be sure to always ride with a helmet!). You may even add reflective tape to your clothing and your bicycle if you are riding after dark. Make sure your bicycle has reflectors visible from all sides, to ensure that drivers are aware of your presence in the road. Remember, a front and back light are now both required by law in NC.

If You Have Been in a Crash

If you have been involved in a crash, here are some tips to make sure you are treated fairly throughout the insurance claims process and that your rights are protected. By making sure you have handled the situation properly, you are preparing your claim accurately and effectively.

  1.       The first thing to do is to call 911. You want the police to come complete a report. If your injuries are serious, ask for an ambulance to be dispatched as well.
  2.       Make sure the police take a statement from you and not just the motorist. Some police will only speak with motorists during an investigation.
  3.       Exchange information with the drivers. Get names, contact information, and insurance information from everyone involved.
  4.       Speak with witnesses and get their statements, names, and contact information.
  5.       Take photos of the scene. Show the street, your bicycle, damage to the vehicles involved, your damaged clothing and helmet, and any injuries that you may have.
  6.       Go to the hospital and get medical treatment no matter what. Your injuries may be worse than you initially believe, or adrenaline could be keeping you from feeling any injuries.

After the Crash

After the incident, you should maintain the recommended medical care. Any medical bills and records of lost work should be kept for your insurance claim. You need to keep in constant contact with the insurance companies to make sure that your claim is progressing. If the crash was not your fault, the insurance company should be liable for replacing any damaged goods and covering your medical bills. If the driver’s insurance company doesn’t pay for your medical bills for some reason, you can take the claim to North Carolina’s small claims court if you need less than $10,000 in compensation. With good documentation however, you won’t need to step foot in a courtroom.

After visiting a hospital and getting treated, you can focus on what’s most important: Recovering from the crash.