Bike Month Advocacy Organization Profile: U Create Macon Bike Team

Throughout May we are celebrating National Bike Month 2020 by sharing information on bicycle advocacy organizations around the state that are working to improve conditions for people who ride bikes in their communities. We’ll learn more about the cities they serve, their missions and goals, and how they are adapting their efforts during the pandemic. To learn more about bicycle advocacy groups in Georgia, visit our directory.

Bike Month Advocacy Organization Profile: U Create Macon Bike Teams

Tell us about your organization, your mission, and your community. 

The U Create Macon Bike Team is a very unique program. U Create Macon houses several cycling programs that maximize our opportunities to give our youth the best opportunity to have outdoor adventures. We are the only youth chapter of the Major Taylor Association (Major Taylor  – Middle Georgia Chapter), The Middle Georgia Composite Team (Mountain Biking), Trips for Kids (Trips for Kids Middle Georgia), soon we will be a Free Bikes for Kids program (Summer 2020). We are looking at bringing Little Bellas by 2021. Our goal is to continue to cultivate a relationship with US Cycling and Velodrome organizations to round out our programs.

Before the pandemic, what were your major goals, events, or initiatives for 2020?

Our major goal is to get more kids on bikes. Our strategic plan for 2020 is to have more kids on bikes (safely as possible) in the history of Macon and Middle Georgia. COVID-19 has changed our approach but the mission is still the same. We use the Georgia Bikes pocket guides and our Bike Rodeo with Georgia Bikes and OCMA Dream Team was the largest ever in Middle Georgia. It was a catalyst for our program. Without that youth bike rodeo, there would be no program like we have today. 
 

How have you adapted your plans to continue amid the pandemic?

We have incorporated more virtual opportunities and because so many races have been canceled, we are creating some local outdoor adventures. Working with Dublin OCMA Dream Team, Coach Chris is spearheading a youth-only, six-day event. We are grateful to our U Create Macon core adult volunteers — Coach Lisa Doughtery, Coach Janet Grier, Coach Sam Macfie, Coach Tommy Neaves, Coach Fred Simonelli, Coach Brian Robertson, Coach Diane Fowler, Coach Nathan Robertson, Coach Wesley Altram, Coach Chris Johnson, Coach Daylon Martin, Coach Tom Glover, Coach “in training” Michael Robinson, Victor Chatfield and Ms. Gigi Weaver — for keeping our programs moving forward.
 

How has your community changed during the pandemic? Do you see more people biking, walking, and rolling for recreation and transportation? 

COVID-19 has changed our community forever but I do see more people walking, biking, and practicing self-care. Macon has a high number of preventable diseases (obesity, diabetes, etc.) and we are hoping that U Create Macon can be a community partner to help our community get healthier. Our program is award winning. We just won the Safe Routes to School Friend Partner of the Year for the East/Central Georgia region.
 
 
 

Charise Stephens, U Create Macon Founder 

For more information visit the U Create Macon Bike Team Facebook Page or contact them via email

Bike Month Advocacy Organization Profile: Brookhaven Bike Alliance

Throughout May we are celebrating National Bike Month 2020 by sharing information on bicycle advocacy organizations around the state that are working to improve conditions for people who ride bikes … Read more Bike Month Advocacy Organization Profile: Brookhaven Bike Alliance

Bike Month will be different this year, but we will make the most if it!

Bike Month will be different this year, but we will make the most if it!

May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. This National Bike Month will necessarily be different, with a focus on well-being and connection.

The National Bike Challenge, which coincides with Bike Month is a great way to stay connected with friends and co-workers, while encouraging each other to get out and ride individually. You can search for groups in your community or company, or even start your own. We would be honored if you also joined the Georgia Bikes! group. (You can belong to multiple groups).

Haven’t been on your bike in awhile or concerned about cycling during the coronavirus pandemic? We have assembled information on best practices for health and safety to go along with our pocket guides and other publications. Want to teach younger family members to ride safely? We’ve got you covered there, too, with resources for teaching bike safety at home. In addition, we’ve curated a full calendar of cycling webinars, education programs, and other online events.

Stay tuned for announcements on Bike Month events next week, including webinars and a virtual advocacy happy hour! Stay safe and give extra support and ❤️ to essential workers and essential riders who are most at risk right now.

Atlanta City Council adopts Vision Zero, 25 mph default speed limit

On April 20 the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Vision Zero Strategic Transportation Plan proposed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The policy is focused on eliminating traffic deaths and reducing crashes and serious injuries in the City of Atlanta.

From an April 21 press release

"The new Vision Zero legislation also includes a citywide ordinance lowering the default speed limit on local roads in Atlanta to 25 miles per hour for the purpose of improving public health and safety. Vehicular speed plays a critical role in the frequency and severity of crashes. Speed contributed to 52 percent of the 73 traffic fatalities recorded in 2019. Lowering the speed limit on Atlanta’s streets will improve safety of all travelers, including children, the elderly, minorities and low-income persons, pedestrians, cyclists, and those using scooters and other mobility devices."

— Mayor’s Office of Communications Tweet

Congratulations to our friends at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and PEDS, along with all their partner organizations! Read more about ABC’s Vision Zero Campaign and what they are doing to celebrate this victory.

 

Georgia advocacy organizations working to connect people with donated bikes during pandemic

In Georgia, bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around during the coronavirus outbreak. This might include traveling to essential jobs, running crucial errands, or participating in mutual aid for vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes.

Bike Walk Macon is partnering with Re-Cycle Macon to connect Maconites who have an extra, ready-to-ride bicycle to Maconites who need one through Bike Match Macon. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has rolled out Bike Match Atlanta

Bike Walk Savannah is taking a slightly different approach. Throughout the year its New Standard Cycles team works with area non-profits and service agencies to assist their clients in finding transportation. During the current crisis they will be temporarily working directly with individuals to provide free bicycles.

Live elsewhere in the state and need a bike to reach important destinations? Or have one to donate? We’ve got you covered. Georgia Bikes launched Bike Match Georgia today!

Thank you to New York City’s Transportation Alternatives for sharing their Bike Match program model with us. 

Cycling in coronavirus coverage from around Georgia

Cycling in coronavirus coverage from around Georgia

As the coronavirus pandemic continues in Georgia, news organizations have taken note of cycling’s role in mobility, public health, and the economy in communities around the state. Here’s how bicycles are making headlines in Georgia:

MAY

APRIL

MARCH

See a story we should add to this list? Let us know!

Webinars, virtual events provide forums for bicycle advocacy and education

Cycling groups and other organizations are hosting webinar and other “virtual” events amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Free webinars scheduled for this week include:

The East Coast Greenway Alliance’s Southeast Greenways & Trails Summit is now a day-long virtual event on April 3.

 See an event we should add? Let us know

 

Tell us about bicycling conditions in your community

We are asking Georgia residents and local cycling organizations to submit field reports about what they are seeing on neighborhood streets, sidewalks, and trails in their communities.

More people biking, walking and rolling? More kids? Different times of the day when folks are getting out?

How about driver behaviors? More attentive or less? Increased speeding?

Any other changes in how people are getting around?

Please share so we can assemble more crowdsourced data. Email info@georgiabikes.org and let us know what’s happening where you live.

Resources for teaching bike safety at home

Looking for something to keep the kids engaged in learning and safe on their bikes? We’ve a webpage to aggregate links to videos, activities, and other resources for parents, guardians, relatives, and caregivers interested in teaching bike safety at home. With schools closed, it’s important for children to engage in healthy outdoor exercise. However, children and adults must ride safely to prevent injuries that could place demands on already burdened healthcare providers and emergency responders.

Bike shops are essential services

We are working to make sure that bicycle shops remain open and are included in any statewide essential service designation. So far, Georgia has not shut down bike shops in our state as non-essential and we hope they don’t. Georgia residents rely on bicycles for transportation, including healthcare and retail workers (grocery stores, pharmacies etc.).

Georgia cities, including Athens, have enacted their own ordinances and we were able to keep bike shops open there. Please contact us if you own a bicycle shop/business that has been required to close because of a local ordinance. We can work to get changes made so you can stay open and serve customers. You can also use this guide from QPB to communicate with local or state officials and educate them on why bike shops are essential to Georgia’s communities. 

We have  included additional guidance for bike shops and co-ops in our Cycling and Coronavirus Resource Guide.