Board

Announcement - Bike Baton Rouge Annual General Meeting and By-Laws vote - October 5th at 7pm

At our annual general meeting on October 5th (location TBD), Bike Baton Rouge members will be voting on adopting a new set of by-laws for the organization. By-laws are the 'constitution' of any non-profit organization such as Bike Baton Rouge, and describe how that organization should be run.

All Bike Baton Rouge members will be eligible to vote on the by-laws - either at the meeting itself or online here. You can sign up for membership here any time or at the meeting itself. 

Read more about the changes to our by-laws and put your vote in here.

Why else should you be a Bike Baton Rouge Member

1) It helps us be your voice. When we talk to elected officials or employees of the city (or state) about bike issues, we use our membership statistics to help our case. If we tell those people that we represent over a hundred paid members of Bike Baton Rouge, they listen a little harder than if we were there alone. Those people make and enforce our laws and buy the infrastructure that we'll be riding on in the years to come.

2) It helps us help others. The money raised from memberships goes directly back to making bicycling in Baton Rouge safer, easier and more enjoyable. Our most notable examples from 2016 include our light donation program, which has seen four hundred sets of LED bike lights donated to people without them (mostly by the BRPD) - and the Bike Baton Rouge Map stickers which we are putting up around our city to help people get around town easier.

3) It helps you help us. We are a 100% volunteer run organization. Our members make us who we are - from our board of directors, to the people who put on our bike rides, and the people who staff our volunteer events like bike parking. 

Thank you for supporting Bike Baton Rouge!

http://bikebr.org/bylaws

Meet the Board - Part 7 - Michael Domingue

Michael Domingue is our newest addition to the Bike Baton Rouge Board. He brings with him a wealth of practical knowledge and experience as the FHWA Recreational Trails Administrator for Louisiana.

Michael Domingue is our newest addition to the Bike Baton Rouge Board. He brings with him a wealth of practical knowledge and experience as the FHWA Recreational Trails Administrator for Louisiana.

Who are you and where are you from? 

My name is Michael W. Domingue and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I have lived throughout Louisiana my entire life.

Why do you love bicycling? 

I love it because it is fun, good exercise and cheap transportation.

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?

I hope to help make the bike community more prominent and influential in public policy-making in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge? What do you do and what are you good at?

I want to help build the organization’s membership. I administer the Recreational Trails program for the State of Louisiana. I am good at fundraising and organizing.

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

Poorly designed automobile infrastructure which blocks cyclists and pedestrians from getting around is the biggest challenge in Baton Rouge.

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

We are trying to find short but impactful bike linkages (filling in the gaps) throughout Baton Rouge.

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

1 year: several more short ped-bike connections (like the Pennington Trail Segment and the Riverbend Connectivity Trail) will be completed by BREC and the FHWA Recreational Trails Program for Louisiana.

5 years: The Baton Rouge Downtown Greenway will be completed from City Park/ Brooks Park to the Louisiana State Capitol and the downtown area. The Wards/Dawson Creeks Trails will be completed from Pecue Lane to the Burden Research Center, the LSU AgCenter Botanical Gardens and the Rural Life Museum.

20 years: A ped-bike trail roughly paralleling Perkins Road/Bayou Duplantier will connect LSU to the Wards/Dawson Creeks Trails and beyond. The Wards Creek Trail will extend under the I-10/I-12 interchange into north Baton Rouge connecting to a network of ped-bike trails all the way to Southern University.
 
What does your 'ideal' day of bike riding in Baton Rouge look like?

I like to ride to work from my home in Riverbend Lakes Subdivision to the Louisiana State Capitol by way of the Riverbend Connectivity/Farr Park Trail to the Mississippi River Levee Ped-Bike Trail. On my way home, I like to shop at Matherne’s Market or stop to get a drink before getting on the levee to go home. On my days off, I like to ride my children and grandchildren to the Riverbend Park (2,000 feet from my house), to the levee, to LSU or to downtown Baton Rouge (Farmers/Artists Market especially).

Meet the Board - Part 6 - Claire Pittman

Claire Pittman is behind the  Baton Rouge Bike Routes and Rides facebook page , where Baton Rouge bicyclists share routes, rides and advice about riding in Baton Rouge (and beyond). Claire and several other parents at the Baton Rouge FLAIM school formed a Bike Club - allowing their children to ride to school together in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Claire Pittman is behind the Baton Rouge Bike Routes and Rides facebook page, where Baton Rouge bicyclists share routes, rides and advice about riding in Baton Rouge (and beyond). Claire and several other parents at the Baton Rouge FLAIM school formed a Bike Club - allowing their children to ride to school together in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Who are you and where are you from? 

Claire Pittman, born and raised in Lake Charles, LA. I studied Mass Communications at LSU and Business at University of Nottingham. I have two delightful children, Liam and Mary. I am currently on the Bike BR board, secretary of the Garden District Civic Association and president of the BR FLAIM PTO and a member of the Celtic Society of Louisiana.

My husband and I began riding bikes around three years ago. We were told by our trusty European friends to get a cheap one-speed bike from Wal-Mart and don’t over think it. Not only did we get cheap bikes, we got the cheapest bikes they had – the decrepit, slightly rusty bikes that had been left in the rain, and our biking adventure began. We started biking from the Garden District to the Farmers Market and the occasional jaunt around the LSU lakes. About two years ago, there was a turning point in my life. I started my own company and was able to work from home, and my kids started attending a neighborhood school, Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet (BR FLAIM). When my husband and I made the decision to live, work and play in Mid-City Baton Rouge, it allowed me to be able to pick up both my kids from school, attend meetings downtown and shop for groceries via bicycle!

Why do you love bicycling? 

I love the freedom, surrounded by air, sunshine and nature, being with my family, connection with the community, wind in my hair.

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board? 

The past few years I have found myself becoming an impromptu bike supporter. Two years ago, I formed the Baton Rouge Bike Routes and Rides Facebook page to expose beginners and casual bikers, especially parents, that biking is very much obtainable in Baton Rouge. This year, with the help of fellow FLAIM bike-riding parents, we formed the BR FLAIM Bike Club to give FLAIM students and their families the opportunity to learn safe urban cycling skills through safety programs, obstacle courses, group ride events and an adult-lead bike train to school.

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge? What do you do and what are you good at?

My role is encouraging and educating schools and families that bicycling is possible in Baton Rouge. I want to get people comfortable on the streets, and I want to create advocacy and publicity for family biking!

I have over 10 years experience in communications, public policy and disaster recovery. I’m a practical ideas person who works tirelessly to make those ideas happen. 

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

BR’s biggest challenge is Safety. Pedestrians cannot walk, bike or jog safely in this city, and the needed public support and encouragement is not where it needs to be.

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

My goal is to encourage more casual bikers and parents to get on the streets as much as they can. The more visible we are the more the movement will grow. Bike BR hosts safety events at neighborhood schools, which educates kids and parents on safety gear and hand signals. We also host group bike rides. 

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

I believe we will have more dedicated bike lanes – hopefully on Government Street, S. Eugene St and in North BR.

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

Clear, cool day, biking my kids to school, heading off to a work meeting, and spending the rest of the day completing normal, daily tasks.

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore (Photograph by Irene Kato)

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore
(Photograph by Irene Kato)

Meet the Board - Part 5 - Samantha Morgan

Samantha is the brains behind our recent bike light donations to the Baton Rouge Police Department, and she's always enthusiastic about making sure that those who are new to bike rides have a good time. Her journalism experience has been invaluable in making sure Bike Baton Rouge gets its message out to the right people in the right way.

Samantha is the brains behind our recent bike light donations to the Baton Rouge Police Department, and she's always enthusiastic about making sure that those who are new to bike rides have a good time. Her journalism experience has been invaluable in making sure Bike Baton Rouge gets its message out to the right people in the right way.

Who are you and where are you from?

I seem to be a bit of a rarity among the bicycling community - I am a Baton Rouge native. My name is Samantha Morgan and I love this city. Sometimes I feel as though the city and I have grown up together. As a child the city seemed to be small and every year I have watched it grow. It's exciting to watch this place change and grow. 

Why do you love bicycling? 

About 2 years ago I went on a trip to Austin to visit my brother and friends. I stayed for a week with a friend who is an avid bicyclist and former Baton Rouge resident. One night we decided to go to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner. Seeing as how he had a stash of bikes, enough to outfit a small group, we decided to get there by bike. I was a bit anxious about it; I hadn't ridden in years, but the old saying is certainly true. There was a moment on that ride when things just seemed to click. When I got back, it took a couple weeks, but I ended up buying my first bike since college. I started riding around the neighborhood, then decided to try riding to work, which is only about 2.5 miles. Suddenly my life changed. At first it was hard, but I kept doing it and now it's the easiest thing in the world. Plus, I found that when I started my day off with that little bit of exercise, my energy levels became higher. Now I wake up at 5 am to go running before biking to work. One thing leads to another, and it was a bike that started me down a path to becoming a better version of myself. 

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board? 

I've always wanted to get involved with a "group," but I just couldn't seem to find one to commit to. I work in media, so I looked at those types of membership groups, but none seemed to appeal to me. I am a painter, so I looked at those. Again, none seemed to fully capture my attention. Then I was asked if I would consider joining the board. Without hesitation I said yes. It was a no brainier for me. Joining the board was like going on my first group ride - I wasn't really sure about it, but from the minute I started the ride, I knew it was where I needed to be. 

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge? What do you do and what are you good at? 

As I just mentioned, I work in media, so I know people - a LOT of people. Too many people, really, but that is a good thing when you're trying to get things done. I enjoy getting information out there and getting the right people connected. Sometimes I feel a bit like a matchmaker, but instead of relationships, I create bonds that will get things done in this city. 

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

People who ride bikes on a regular basis tend to be very passionate about it. That passion, however, can be as positive as it is a negative. I think perceptions about bicycling will change over time, but until then, the greatest challenge for bicycling in Baton Rouge will be finding a balance between passion and patience. It's easy to identify the things that need to change, it's much more challenging to remain calm while waiting for that change to happen. 

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

The current board members are very focused on keeping things positive when it comes to bicycling. That doesn't mean we are ignoring the problems, the opposite, really. Rather, we are trying to find ways to address those problems in a way that will benefit everyone. For example, we want to make sure people on bicycles know the rules of the road and safety as well as the drivers. I'm particularly proud of our latest effort. Which is a partnership with the Baton Rouge Police Department to provide lights for bicyclists seen riding without lights. This program is meant to help bicyclists with free lights and information, as well as to hopefully reach drivers as well. We do not want to be a fist-on-the-table type organization, we just want people to be safe on bikes, period. 

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

I think we will progressively see more people on bikes, but my hope is not just to see bike culture improve, but also the car culture. As the city expands, the connection between ares will also improve, making it easier to get form one location to another without having to take a care. In 20 years, I hope people will no longer feel a need to drive 3 miles to work, or 1 mile to the grocery store. The infrastructure to make that all possible is already happening, people just don't know about it yet. 

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

Recently I had a random Friday off work. It wasn't a holiday, so I was excited to go do things that I need to do during regular business hours on a weekday. I mentioned to my plans to my dad and he said "it's a shame you have to run errands on your day off." I said, "I don't mind, I'm doing them on my bike, so really it's just an excuse for a bike ride." My ideal bike ride is one where I get to incorporate biking into my everyday life. Life moves so fast, if you don't slow down to enjoy it, you might only remember staring at the bumper of the car in front of you. 

Anything else you'd like to mention?

Biking changed my life. I can't say it will do the same for you, but I can say for certain that you will never know until you try. But if you don't want to, that's totally understandable, just don't be impatient with those who have. Slow down, go around, and let's all get to where we are going safely. 

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore (Photograph by Irene Kato)

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore
(Photograph by Irene Kato)

Meet the Board - Part 3 - Alaric 'Ric' Haag

Ric is an enthusiastic road bicyclist and is our liaison with the the Baton Rouge Bike Club, who put on road bicycling events such as group rides, educational events and their annual Century ride in St Francisville. Like most of us, Ric is new to the Bike BR Board.

Ric is an enthusiastic road bicyclist and is our liaison with the the Baton Rouge Bike Club, who put on road bicycling events such as group rides, educational events and their annual Century ride in St Francisville. Like most of us, Ric is new to the Bike BR Board.


Who are you and where are you from? 

I'm Alaric Haag, a native of Baton Rouge whose passions include music, my friends, and of course, riding!

Why do you love bicycling? 

Many reasons, but, as a road cyclist, one is surely that moment when I stop along a backroad, perhaps at a country crossroad 30 miles from where I started, and I can't say for certain what parish I'm now in, but I realize I got there on a bicycle. It is also, for me, a fitness activity that keeps me healthy, and clears my head. 

Why did you join the Bike Baton Rouge board?

I was given the Advocacy Chair on the board of the Baton Rouge Bike Club, which promotes road cycling, to act as a sort of liaison between the two organizations, which engage in different cycling activities, but clearly have common goals. I was honored to be placed on the Bike BR board, and hope I can provide a positive influence on its mission. 

What do you see YOUR role as with Bike Baton Rouge? 

My own goal is to bring a perspective to each of Bike BR and the BRBC that enhances both organizations and bridges their respective aims. For Bike BR, I look to be an independent voice, sometimes a "devil's advocate", but always a force that moves its goals forward. 

What do you do and what are you good at? 

The day job involves IT work which requires a lot of creative problem-solving. I tend to quickly see the many sides of a problem  and am able to "cut to the chase" to find a solution. Hopefully I can apply this constructively to the issues that face Bike BR. 

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

There seems to be an "us vs them" attitude between cyclists and automobile drivers that serves no one any good. My desire is to develop a culture of communication about cycling that connects the factions among cyclists and bridges the cyclists with the larger Baton Rouge community. I want to develop resources that foster communication about cycling in Baton Rouge so that the attitudes become more of a "conversation" and less of an "argument".

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

I'm encouraged by the growth of cycling infrastructure in Baton Rouge, but is has come slowly. Some large-scale bike trails are currently in the works (Capital Area Pathways Project, LSU Lakes redevelopment) and bike lanes are beginning to be included in roadway development (Greenway, Nicholson Dr south). These have the potential to  transform the city over the next five years, and once people get a taste, I expect momentum will grow for more of this development. 

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

Meeting friends on a clear blue sky day, riding around the LSU Lakes, neighborhoods, doing the levee trail, maybe even heading out to Alligator Bayou and back, but all the while soaking in the wildlife, beauty, and good times with friends that you only get on two wheels!

Anything else you'd like to mention?

I'm humbled by what I see Bike BR, a purely volunteer-run organization, is doing, and feel fortunate for the opportunity to contribute however I can. 

EDITOR'S NOTE : 

You can find out more about the Baton Rouge Bike Club at their website and on their Facebook page.

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore (Photograph by Irene Kato)

Bike Baton Rouge Board Members (Left to Right) Claire Pittman, Samantha Morgan, Alaric 'Ric' Haag, Kellen Gilbert, Mika Torkkola and Doug Moore
(Photograph by Irene Kato)