Annual Fundraiser!...and other stuff

Hey bike folks!  We are in need of volunteers to staff our bike corrals at the downtown festivals this year.  If you've never done it, it's actually a pretty fun way to kill some time.  Plus, it allows us to reach more bike folks and allows them to be able to bike to the festivals and avoid the parking/walking headache.  Click the links below to volunteer:

Ebb & Flow, Saturday 4/7

Ebb & Flow, Sunday 4/8

Baton Rouge Blues Fest, Saturday 4/14

Baton Rouge Blues Fest, Sunday 4/15

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Also, we'll be at Radio Bar on Thursday 4/12 from 5 - 7 for our annual fundraiser!  We're raising money for our soon-to-be-unveiled Economic Benefits of Cycling Report as well as our Light the Night program, where we donate bike lights to law enforcement, youth organizations, other non-profits and any organization that shares our goal of having people be seen and ride safely at night.  Every donation of $10 or more gets you a free beer, courtesy of Tin Roof Brewery.  And the first 75 people to donate also get a sweet Bike Baton Rouge pint glass!  Come on out and have some fun with some bike folks at the best Happy Hour in town!  

Meet the board - Danielle

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Who are you and where are you from?

Hi, My name is Danielle LeBlanc. I'm from New Orleans. 

 

Why do you love bicycling?

I like being outside, and bikes give me more time to do just that. When I wake up in the morning, I'm excited to get my blood flowing and feel the wind in my hair on the way to the office or wherever I happen to be off to for the day. It's far more rewarding than commuting in a car. 

 

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?

Since starting as student at LSU back in 2011, I have been biking around Baton Rouge. This has opened my eyes to the lack of awareness there is for cyclists in the area. Whether it's triathletes along River Road or commuters through campus, every cyclist deserves the same respect as the vehicles they ride alongside. When I discovered BikeBR, I thought joining the board would be a great way to take a more proactive role in spreading bike love and awareness throughout the city. 

 

What do you see as your role within Bike Baton Rouge?

As an engineer by trade, I am always looking to innovate and develop new solutions. I hope to bring some fresh ideas to the bike community and help cultivate a cohesive cyclist culture in the city. Specifically, I hope to make moves towards establishing ubiquitous bike racks and paths, so everyone feels encouraged to ride around town.

 

What do you do and what are you good at?

I'm an environmental engineer by day and a coffee-and-beer-drinking-bicyc list by night and weekends. I consider myself pretty skillful in all of those roles. 

 

What will bicycling in Baton Rouge be like in 1 year's time?  In 5?  In 20?

1 year - Less accidents involving cars and cyclists. More bike racks at local business. At least a few new cycling faces.  

5 years -  Bike lane on River Road. Ambitious? Maybe. 

20 years - Everyone owns and/or bikes around town! Exceedingly ambitious? Absolutely. 

 

What does your "ideal" day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?

I bike to a coffee shop where I then read and sip java until my heart is content. I then bike around the LSU lakes and down the levee with my bike-mates to get some grub. In the evening, we bike to get some brews and talk about how much we biked that day. 

 

Anything else you want us to know?

That bottle basket on your bike is actually made to hold your burrito. 

Meet the Board - Emily

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Who are you and where are  you from?

My name is Emily Deshotel and I am from Lafayette, LA.

Why do you love bicycling?

I love cycling because it allows me to be active while also providing a serene outlet for meditation.

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board? 

I joined Bike Baton Rouge so I could continue my Bike Advocacy 

What do you see your role within Bike Baton Rouge?  

I hope to be an asset when it comes to sponsorships and ideas

What do you do and what are you good at?

I am currently an Assistant Store Manager at Local Charm and I am generally good at bringing people together and presenting out of the box ideas.

What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?

I think one of the greatest challenges in Baton Rouge when it comes to cycling is the lack of knowledgeable and responsible drivers.

What are you and the Bike Baton Rouge board doing to tackle that challenge?

Increase awareness about bicycle laws and general safety specifically targeted to drivers.

What does your "ideal" day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?

70 degree weather, nighttime and on backroads.

Meet the Board - Clayton

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Who are you and where are you from?

I am Clayton Weeks, born and raised in Baton Rouge. 

Why do you love bicycling?

Ever gone on a bike ride to clear your mind? I do that as well... sometimes fast, sometimes slow. 

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?

When you become a parent, you see how you want to make your surroundings better for the next generation. As the president of another board, I know how hard it is to find people that are willing to put in the effort to back up their words. 

What do you see your role within Bike Baton Rouge?  What do you do and what are you good at?

I see my self in more of a "special teams" kinda role, an "enforcer" if you will. What do I mean by this?....You say you are going to join the group and don't....I'll politely hound you for your dues. Need help building a deck, I'll be right over. As you can see, it is a role that rarely gets filled adequately. I promise to do my best to do "stuff". 

 

What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?    

The mindset that it can't be done. We change the view of the younger generation, we won the war. 

What are you and the Bike Baton Rouge board doing to tackle that challenge?

The current and previous presidents have done a phenomenal job of working to facilitate a conversation between the local politicians and their constituents.  This includes helping to collect accurate data for various traffic studies, helped with community outreach and just plain ol' bike riding. The more people that are seen riding bikes on daily basis, the more "normal" it will become. 

Personally, I've somehow found myself as the president of my neighborhood association. This has given me a good platform to organize neighborhood activities, such as walks and clean-up days. I try to encourage my neighbors to get outside and meet each other. It seems that the way our current society is structured has caused us to forget that there are other people in this world that we need to live alongside. Getting outside, be it on a bike or on a neighborhood trash walk, helps remind us that the other "inconveniences" that we encounter in traffic are actually people. As soon as everyone realizes that we are all people with lives that we should respect, our whole community will become a more pleasurable and safer place to call home. 

Also, I run a local bicycle shop where I am able to help enforce the idea that bicycles have the same right to the road as motorized vehicles. 

What will bicycling in Baton Rouge be like in 1/5/20 years time?

    1 year: Dare I mention a bridge?

    5 years: To New Orleans all on a path? (PS. Leave me some gravel!)

    20 years: One day, 8 Parishes, all on a bike path. 

    

What does your "ideal" day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?

Today?, Easy pedal with my son on the back of my bike. Hopefully, in 10 years I will be able to tell him to pedal to his grandparent's house across town alone. 

Meet the board - Kathy

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Who are you and where are you from?  

I am a registered landscape architect and I work for BREC where I am currently the trail planner.  My job is to locate and build recreational multi-use connecting trails within East Baton Rouge parish, utilizing public input to construct a network of trails for recreation and alternative transportation.  I was born in Indiana and moved to Memphis at age 9, then to Baton Rouge at 13.  I have lived and worked here the majority of my life and have been involved with cycling issues and trail projects for much of that time.

Why do you love bicycling?  

I have loved my bike and bicycling since I was a child.  My bike meant freedom to me.  I loved using my physical strength to power it, the speed with which I was able to move, and the feeling of the breeze against my body.  That feeling never left me and even a short bike ride takes me back to what it felt like to ride back then.

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board? 

I wanted to develop closer relationships with riders in the community so that I could better do my job as a trail planner in the city.  I believe that the relationships I develop will give me a better understanding of the needs and desires of my end user group and that I will be able to provide them with a bike network that fits the city and its people.

What do you see YOUR role within Bike Baton Rouge? 

What do you do and what are you good at? I think I am a link to the real world implementation of the bike network in Baton Rouge and can provide members with a link to those who implement bike facilities.

What would you consider the greatest challenge to bicycling in Baton Rouge?

I think that the biggest challenge is funding a large bicycle network and implementing a different type of transportation network in a town/parish that heavily relies on cars.

What are you and Bike Baton Rouge doing to tackle that challenge?  

This is an important time for cyclists and pedestrians in Baton Rouge.  We are entering a period where transportation networks will include complete streets that will consider accommodations for all road users.  There are currently two planning projects in progress that will focus on design and safety of the bike pedestrian network in the parish.  Bike Baton Rouge and I will be a part of the planning process and we need to identify our niche and set significant goals for the upcoming year.

 

What will bicycling in Baton Rouge look like in 1/5/20 years time?

1 year – Master Planning and Safety Master Planning complete.  I am looking forward to identifying connections between neighborhoods, parks, schools, workplaces, businesses, and other public places. 

5 years – Wards Creek Bridge installed, with connection to OLOL hospital, bridge across Wards Creek to Westminster, and Health Loop at least 50% complete

10 years - Completion of the Health Loop trail and a link between the northern (Southern University) and southern parts of the parish (Louisiana State University). 

20 years – Main connectors complete including an east west link from downtown Baton Rouge to Denham Springs/Amite River

What does your "ideal" day of bike riding look like? 

My favorite ride in Baton Rouge is a ride around the university lake because I like to ride along a waterway.  In my neck of the woods I like to ride the Tammany Trace from Mandeville Trailhead with a stop in Abita Springs at the brew pub and then to Covington and lunch at Coffee Rani.  Then a trip back to Mandeville at the end.