By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
If you haven’t gotten your bike out of the garage since you put it away last fall, get it out soon!
Or at least get it done by the week of May 13. Because that’s the start of Bike To Work Week. Every day of that week, members of the Quad City Bike Club will operate a booth down by the Government Bridge handing out free treats donated by area businesses.
“The booth – and the week – builds camaraderie,” says Dean Mathias, a longtime member of the QCBC. “It’s also the chance to get the word out about biking in the Quad Cities. It encourages the cities to keep an active bike and pedestrian plan going.”
The bagels, the muffins and the energy bars are an attempt to encourage new commuters, Dean says. And it’s a chance to build community on the bike trails.
“It allows those who already do commute to stop, sign in and get to meet one another,” he says. “Rather than ships passing in the night, by the end of the week, they are friends.”
Hundreds of bike clubs across the country put on their own event. In the Quad Cities, Dean says the QCBC has been encouraging commuters for about 5 years.
With the stop-and-start spring we’ve had this year, it’s been hard to break the indoor exercise routine and get motivated to get the tires on the bike pumped and get out on the road.
Even for some bike enthusiasts like members of the QCBC.
But Dean says this event is something the members get excited about and point to every year.
“We like to encourage people to think about biking to work,” Dean says. “Even if it’s just one day.”
The hope is that day may lead to 2. Or more. And Dean says it’s a great week to try to be a one-car family, as he and his wife have been.
Bikers may know Dean by his saddleless bike better than by his given name. He’s commonly known as “Bareback” because to keep up with friends on faster road bikes (he was riding a mountain bike), Dean had to stand up . And he’s remained standing ever since.
Dean used to bike to work when he was an elementary school teacher in Rock Island. Now retired, Dean bikes the 9-10 miles from his home in Milan to Yoga in Davenport and back several times a week.
He looks forward to the trek. “In addition to the health benefits, you are away from your phone and you get your head cleared.”
Even though I am not commuting to work – I live a block and a half away from my office – I “commute” every day of Bike to Work Week to Dean’s station by the Davenport Arsenal down ramp.
I go for just the reasons Dean and QCBC members hope for: To meet my fellow travelers, to enjoy the treats, and to talk bikes, trails, and bike promotion.
“The club is working on a new metro (bike) map and it allows us to discuss what the plans are for each city,” Dean says. He hopes the new metro map of bike routes and trails will be printed by Bike to Work Week.
Here’s the schedule:
Monday May 13 – Friday May 17, 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Monday – Mini Muffins
Tuesday – Hy-Vee Bagels.
Wednesday – Variety of regular sized muffins
Thursday – TBD
Friday – Breakfast Burritos
Every day – Apples/bananas and bars as staples.
NOTE: The QCBC Bike Commuter Food Station location will be at either the north end of the Gov. Bridge on the trail OR the very south end of the Gov. Bridge along the trail, depending on logistics to dropping off food with the high water situation. Look for the QCBC Banner!
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|