Athens Bicycle Club

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Category: General News

Baileys Trail Athens City Funding Update

The previously tabled city ordinance to help fund the Baileys Trail project (tabled at the last council meeting on 4 Nov) is on the agenda for the Athens City Council meeting tomorrow night, Monday Nov 18, 2019. There will be a proposal to bring the funding ordinance back for discussion and likely amendments.

The most likely scenario tomorrow is for the funding ordinance to be amended, and receive its first of 3 readings. The other 2 readings will need to occur by the last Council meeting in 2019, on December 16, which should NOT be a problem.

There still seem to be some council members that are opposed to the ordinance because of the amount of the hotel tax and/or the number of years (20) that the payments will be made.

We’d love to get people out to show support for the project tomorrow, but what will be more important is to show up for the 3rd reading, which will likely be on Monday Dec. 16. Mark your calendars.

If you haven’t yet sent an email to city council in support of the Baileys Trail Project this Fall, then please consider doing so now. You can find information on who to send the email to, and an example email template here:

Baileys Trail Project Action Alert!

Baileys Trail Project Action Alert!

The Baileys Trail System needs your help. Athens City Council members need to hear from you prior or at to the council meeting this Monday, Nov 4th. 

The Athens City Council is currently in the process of reviewing the proposal for the city to help fund the Baileys Trail Project. The ordinance is up for final reading and a vote on Monday, November 4, 2019, and is first on the agenda at 7:00 PM. If the ordinance is tabled or fails to pass on Monday, then this will delay the project, and threaten funding that is being lined up from the county, investors, and grant sources that is dependent on the city’s relatively small contribution to the project. Note that the city is proposing spending hotel taxes (transient guest tax), not property or other taxes toward the project. 

Here are 2 courses of action to voice your support for the Baileys Trail Project at this important juncture: 

1) Send an email to City Council telling them that you support the project and that the city should fund the project as proposed. Send the email to the Clerk of Council Debbie Walker (dwalker@ci.athens.oh.us) and cc Mayor Steve Patterson (spatterson@ci.athens.oh.us). In your email, ask Clerk Walker to distribute your message to all council members. Alternatively, if you prefer, you may send the message to individual council members. Here is the link to Athens City Council web page with the list of members and their email addresses. Also, see the example email template below. 

You don’t need to be a city resident to contact city council in support of the proposed funding ordinance, but be sure to tell council members where you live, and that when you visit the Baileys Trails that you will spend money in the City of Athens. It might help to mention the local businesses that you like to visit.

2) Attend the City Council meeting on Monday at 7:00 PM, and be prepared to briefly speak in support of the project. It is first on the agenda, so you can show up and leave as soon as the item is completed, no need to stay for the entire council meeting. 

Thanks. Your participation and support is very important right now in order to ensure passage of the funding ordinance. 

Here is an example email template. Copy and paste, and edit to customize the message as you see fit.

——————-email template starts here—————————-

Clerk Debbie Walker,
Please forward the following message to all Athens City Council members prior to the Monday Council Meeting on Nov 4, 2019.

Athens City Council,
I am writing to you in support of the Baileys Trail System in the Athens Unit of the Wayne National Forest. I’m hoping that you will support passage of the proposed ordinance 0-110-19, which will provide funding from the City of Athens to directly support the Baileys project.

The Baileys Trail has the potential to provide a sizeable economic boost through increased visitation and tourism to the region. The City of Athens already has the businesses and amenities to draw the Baileys visitors once they get in Athens County, and thus the city is likely to benefit the most economically from the completed Baileys Trail System.

If the City fails to provide direct financial support to the project, then that will jeopardize other funding for the project that are dependent on the city’s contribution, potentially including Athens County’s contribution, millions of dollars of investment funding, and State and Federal grants. If the city does not act, the project implementation will drag out development of the trails for at least an additional 4-8 years, delaying the much needed economic benefits for the area.

The Baileys Trail System is an opportunity that Athens cannot afford to miss out on. Coal mining and other extractive industries have provided a boom and bust economy throughout the history of the area. From an environmental and economic perspective, the Baileys Project is exactly what Athens needs and what we must invest in if we want to find sustainable economic alternatives for the city and the region.

<Your Name>
<Your Address>
<Your Email>
——————email template ends here——————————————  

For Reference: Ordinance 0-110-19 for Third Reading:
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE CITY’S TRANSIENT GUEST TAX TO THE OUTDOOR RECREATION COUNCIL OF APPALACHIA (ORCA) FOR FUNDING THE BAILEY’S TRAIL SYSTEM ALONG WITH OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. Introduced by Council Member Risner

Homecoming Bike Parade – Join Athens Bicycle Club for a fun and funky ride with Passion Works

Next Saturday, October 12 join us for a fun and funky bike ride with Passion Works as part of the OHIO University Homecoming Parade. Come on out to Passion Works (located at 20 E. State St in Athens, link to map) on Wednesday, Oct 9th, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm to decorate your bike.

Bikes, bicycles, bicycle enthusiasts, and cyclists of all kinds are asked to join in a public showing of the Athens bicycle community. Come to Passion Works on Wednesday, October 12 from 6-8pm to decorate your bike. Then bring your spiffy ride out on Saturday to accompany the Passion Works float in the Ohio University Homecoming Parade. Donations suggested for art supplies.

For more information, including Saturday line-up instructions, visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1437153886437257

Baileys, Brews, and Blues – Wednesday October 2, 2019

Baileys Trail System Update and Social

Coming soon: a world-class mountain biking and recreation experience in Athens County, Ohio! Join us at Eclipse Company Store on October 2 at 6:00PM to hear the latest news about the start of trail building and the plans for the future of the Baileys Trail System and outdoor recreation in Athens County, Ohio.

Baileys, Brews & Blues event flyer

The Baileys Trail System has been many years in the making. Initial concept and plans date to the 1990s. In the past few years, a core group of volunteers, organizations, and government entities have worked hard to realize this dream of a world-class mountain bike and recreational trail system. The first 13 miles of trail should be ready to ride next spring.

Once built to its full 88-mile planned extent, the trail system will highlight the ridges and slopes of the 9,000-acre Baileys Tract on the Wayne National Forest, and will have direct community connections to Nelsonville, Buchtel, and Chauncey, as well as bikeway connectivity to Athens and The Plains via the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. With 15 million people living within 150 miles of The Baileys Trails System has the potential to become destination for trail-based recreation enthusiasts throughout the Midwest.

Studies show that building a mountain bike trail destination boosts local economies through tourism and provides health benefits to citizens by providing safe, accessible places to walk, run, bike, and enjoy nature. With the physical connectivity of the Baileys trail system to area communities, it is intended that the trail system will provide a source of community pride, and foster an appreciation for the management and conservation of public lands.

Come on out to Eclipse Craft Beer Hall on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to get an update on the Baileys Trail Project, throw back some brews, network with others that are interested in the project, and even listen to some live blues music, as Blues Cowboys are playing on the stage outside at Eclipse till 8:00 PM.

The Baileys Trail System is poised to become the flagship of an extensive array of recreational opportunities already available in Athens County, including mountain biking, hiking, trail running, equestrian, kayaking, and canoeing, in Strouds Run State Park, the Hocking River, City of Athens parks, Ohio University, Hocking College, and Athens Conservancy preserves. 

mountain biking group ride
mountain biking group ride

Baileys, Brews & Blues is made possible by the participation of many organizations involved with the Baileys Trail System project including Athens Bicycle Club, Wayne National Forest, Rural Action, Athens County Foundation, Applied Trails Research, Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ohio University Recreation Department, Village of Chauncey, the Ohio Recreational Council of Appalachia (ORCA), among others. 

Event Schedule

  • 6:00-7:00 PM  Introductions, panel presentation and question/answer session
  • 7:00-8:00 PM  Informal social and musical performance on the outdoor stage

The event will be held in the upstairs space of the Eclipse Company Store, located at 11309 Jackson Dr, The Plains, Ohio. Food and drink will be available for purchase downstairs in the Eclipse Company Store, and may be brought upstairs for consumption throughout the event. Attendees can also enjoy a free outdoor music performance by the band Blues Cowboys until 8:00 PM.

Visit the event page on Facebook at: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/382444419089851/
For more info on the Baileys Trail project, visit this website: https://www.baileys-trail-system.com/

Google Map to Eclipse Craft Beer Hall in The Plains, Ohio.

City of Athens Named a Top 20 City for Bikes in 2019 by Places For Bikes

Athens, Ohio  PeopleForBikes has released its second annual ratings of bicycling in U.S. cities — a data-driven analysis that evaluates the safety, appeal and infrastructure of bicycling in more than 500 communities and provides nationwide rankings. Athens ranks 20th overall out of over 500 cities and is the only city in Ohio to rank in the top 100 nationally.

The PlacesForBikes City Ratings are designed to show cities where they stand — and provide insight into where infrastructure investments should be made to build complete, connected bike networks. The 2019 PlacesForBikes City Ratings score 510 U.S. cities based on five key areas: Ridership (how many people ride bikes?), Safety (how safe is it to ride bikes?), Network (how easy is it for people to get where they need to go?), Acceleration (how fast is the bike network expanding?) and Reach (how well the network serves all neighborhoods in the community). Athens performed well in the Safety, Network, and Reach categories. 

“In the City of Athens bicycles have become more than simply a piece of recreational equipment, they are increasingly viewed as a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for work and non-work trips alike, “ said Athens Mayor Steve Patterson. “With the increase of cyclists on the road here in Athens, it is obvious that bicycle mobility is having an economic impact in regards to the consumer choices and even location choices for businesses catering to the bicycling passersby or for their own bicycle commuting employees.”

People for Bikes City Rating 2019 Top 20 Cities
People for Bike City Rating 2019 – Top 20 Cities in the US

“The City Ratings highlights the hard work of The City of Athens to create places to bike that are safe and easily connect people to destinations all around the city,” said Tim Blumenthal, president of PeopleForBikes. “We hope Athens will use this data to continue expanding their bike network to provide even better bike riding experiences.”

Data for the ratings comes from existing sources (including the U.S. Census American Community Survey and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System), as well as new sources developed by the PeopleForBikes team to capture city-specific data based on mapping, city planning information, and survey responses from community members. From these sources, 184 calculations are performed per city to determine individual category scores, as well as a city or town’s overall score. Read more about the methodology here: https://cityratings.peopleforbikes.org/methodology/.

“It is exciting that PeopleForBikes has recognized Athens as one of the nation’s top twenty cities for bicycling, be it for recreation or transportation. I think that the two main factors that have established Athens as an exemplary place to ride, above so many other US cities, is the amazing resource of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, and our outstanding bicycling safety record,” said Rob Delach, Communications Officer of the Athens Bicycle Club and HockHocking Adena Bikeway Advisory Committee Secretary. “It is my hope that the city will continue to build on this achievement. The Athens City Council is currently considering passing a Complete Streets policy and ordinances that will help the city better manage a bicycle share system. It is these kinds of forward-thinking measures that will help improve our streets to encourage more people get on bikes as part of their daily activities.”

Links to articles about the 2019 People for Bikes City Ratings:

Athens News:
https://www.athensnews.com/news/local/athens-names-a-top-city-for-bikes-in-city-ratings/article_85ff2570-71b5-11e9-af40-4fa5471ca8be.html

Fast Company (leading business media and design online resource):
https://www.fastcompany.com/90344811/these-are-the-top-20-cities-for-biking-in-the-u-s

Athens Messenger:
https://www.athensmessenger.com/news/athens-recognized-as-bike-friendly-city/article_632898be-5563-575a-89ef-440a2ade5346.html

Athens County Residents Encouraged to Ride Their Bicycle to Work on National Bike to Work Day, Friday May 17, 2019

GET PUMPED! and ride your bike to work on National Bike to Work Day, Friday May 17, 2019. This FREE event to celebrate the occasion is again planned for Athens County this year, organized by Ohio University Office of Sustainability, OU Transportation and Parking Services, OU Police Department, OU WellWorks, HAPCAP, Athens Public Transit, City of Athens, Athens Bicycle Club, Black Diamond Bikes, Athens Bicycle, and Nelsonville Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, with support from various local businesses including Fluff Bakery and Catering, Ridge Runner Coffee, and Catalyst Cafe.

Bicyclists of all skill-levels are welcome to participate and give bicycling to work a try on National Bike to Work Day. We will have pit stop locations around the city of Athens and for the first time, a pitstop in the city of Nelsonville. Bike commuters are encouraged to stop by one or more pit stops on Friday morning, May 17, from 7:30-9:30 am for free coffee, snacks, and to sign up for free raffle prizes from local businesses. Representatives from local bike shops will be at several of the pit stop to answer bike-related questions.

Bike to Work Day Pit stops will be available at the following locations:

  • Hockhocking Adena Bikeway at the Mill St connector (at mile marker 1)
  • Hockhocking Adena Bikeway at the Habitat House near W. Union St
  • Uptown Athens at the Athens County Courthouse
  • Ohio University at the corner of Richland Ave and S. Green St, near Peden Stadium
  • Nelsonville pitstop at Rocky Boots parking lot, at the end of Hockhocking Adena Bikeway
Athens Bike to Work Day Map
Bike to Work Day Map showing pit stops in the City of Athens in red, and park & ride lots in blue.

Athens Bike to Work Day will be capped off with a Happy Hour celebration at Little Fish Brewery beginning at 5:00 pm.

“The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is one of my favorite things about Athens County,” said Annie Laurie Cadmus, engagement and marketing coordinator for WellWorks. Cadmus, a resident of Nelsonville, stresses that the Bikeway is a safe way to engage in active commuting. “There are plenty of Park and Pedal lots along the Bikeway to help people who live far away but still want to bike or run into work the last few miles.”

Every bit of exercise you can fit into your schedule can help improve your health and activity levels, and bike commuting is a great way to do that.

If you live too far from work to bike commute, then you should consider driving partway, parking your car at a convenient location, unloading your bike, and riding the rest of the way to work. Numerous parking lots available are along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway and around Athens County. A commuter can place a bicycle in or on their vehicle, park the vehicle in a designated lot and then bike the remainder of the commute safely and comfortably. The Bike to Work Day map includes recommended park & ride locations (https://goo.gl/qgmq5h).

Event Details

Morning Pit Stops: refreshments, support, and raffle sign-ups

When: 7:30 am – 9:30 am, Friday, May 17, 2019

Where: Four pit stop locations will be setup around the City of Athens and one pit stop in the City of Nelsonville

Cost: FREE

Bike to Work Day Celebration! Happy Hour

When: 5:00 pm-7:00 pm, Friday, May 17, 2019

Where: Little Fish Brewing, Armitage Rd, Athens

Drinks and food at the Happy Hour event will be at participants own expense

Athens Bicycle Friendly Community Survey

In February 2019, the City of Athens submitted an application to renew the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) status awarded to the City of Athens by the League of American Bicyclists in 2014. The Spring 2019 BFC review process is now officially underway. To help the League of  American Bicyclists gain a better understanding of local bicyclists’ experiences and perceptions of bicycling in Athens, the City would appreciate your help in providing feedback. Please consider submitting information using the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/adv_BFC_SP19League of American Bicyclists logo

The survey will close on Sunday, March 24.  The League of American Bicyclists plans to make an announcement about Athens updated status as a Bicycle Friendly Community in May, 2019.

Bikeway at W. Union St, Athens Bicycle Friendly Community Sign

Bikeway at W. Union St, Athens Bicycle Friendly Community Sign

Additional information on Athens rating as a bicycle friendly place can be found on the PlacesforBikes City Ratings webpage, where the rating is based on five factors: Ridership, Safety, Network, Reach and Acceleration. Each city’s score is determined using publicly available data and new research tools developed by PeopleForBikes. View Athens’ rating here: https://cityratings.peopleforbikes.org/city/athens/

PeopleforBikes Athens City Rating 2018

PeopleforBikes Athens City Rating 2018

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