Trip to Duke Farms to Bike the Living Habitats – July 16, 2016

Bike&Walk Montclair has been hosting a season of Guided Bike Tours and on July 16, we’ll meet at the lovely Duke Farms Living Habitats in Hillsborough, N.J. We’ll go for a ride along the multi-use paths to see butterflies, waterfalls, and sculptures and end the trip with a group picnic! We’ll get to experience riding in a shared space – very different from street riding!

Duke Farms is all about environmental stewardship and experiencing multiple habitats – this visit is sure to inspire! And, BONUS: we’ll be joined by friends from Bike Walk Morristown and awesome NJ bicycle education professionals who, not only know and love Duke Farms, but might know some secret spots to share!

Check out www.dukefarms.org for FAQs and info about parking, food, and bike share opportunities.

Duke Farms 2016 poster2Getting There

We ask that everyone plan to meet at the Duke Farms Orientation Center at 9 am. When you RSVP, we will try to match you with others who live near you so you can arrange carpooling if you wish.

Duke Farms Orientation Center
1112 Dukes Parkway West
Hillsborough, N.J. 08844
Phone (908) 722-3700

The Duke Farms Orientation Center has a nice cafe, bathrooms, an Eagle Cam, and water fountains for easy fill-ups.

Parking

Park in the Orientation Center parking lot.  A word of caution: the parking lot will close when it is filled to capacity, so try to get there at the 8:30 opening if you can.  We encourage carpooling if possible.

Bike Share Opportunity

Duke Farms has 60 “adult-size” bicycles available from 9 am to 5:30 pm for 2 hour sessions. If you would like to take advantage of Duke Farms’ Bike Share Service, please make those arrangements on your own.

Be Prepared

Come prepared with the basics: helmet that fits, a full water bottle, spare tube, and a charged cell phone. Do an ABC Check (Air, Brakes, Chain) before you come.

RSVP

Please complete the RSVP form and let us know if you’re coming!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MzEo4goSE8ieyGN5FJ0yYy4KuQF4p1tzLHQ-QfN-v-o/viewform

Strut Your Stuff with Bike&Walk Montclair in July 4 Parade!

7507368692_98827cbaca_oWhat are you doing for the 4th of July?  Why not participate in a fun annual tradition and march in Montclair Township’s July 4 Parade with Bike&Walk Montclair this year? This year’s theme is “Bring Back the Tour!”  because, guess what? The Tour de Montclair is back!  (Save the date for October 2, 2016!)

Bikes or Feet – you choose!  Bling your bike, decorate yourself, bring candy to toss, water squirters to cool off with, and a smile!  Wear a BWM tshirt if you have one.

It’s all about FUN!

Date: July 4, 2016

Location: S. Fullerton, in front of the Library/United Way Building “Serial 2”

Assemble Time: Assemble by 10:00am and be ready to march at 10:30.7507374660_151b33a43b_o

Parade Start: 11:00 am sharp!

Be Prepared:  Bring WATER, Wear Sunblock, comfortable shoes

*Cyclists Must Wear Helmets

**Parade participants assume all risks and responsibilities incidental to the participation in and of the conduct of the parade.

The route is 1.67 miles long and ends 50 yards beyond the reviewing stand at Edgemont Memorial Park.  Stick around after the parade for a quick Tour de Montclair status update and lots of volunteer opportunities to help make it happen!

Exercise Your Mind and Body This Summer: #MPLsummerreading #BikeWalkRead

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bike&Walk Montclair is thrilled to partner with Montclair Public Library (MPL) and Watchung Booksellers in MPL’s Summer Reading Program with an emphasis on exercising our minds and our bodies.

summerreading2016

Summer reading themes revolve around fitness, health, and sports and people of all ages and abilities can participate. The gist of the program is that the more you read, the more you exercise  your mind (and the better your chances are to win prizes including gift cards to Watchung Booksellers or even a FitBit)!

But there’s a twist!

You can also earn points for being physically active!  For example, if you exercise your body by participating in Bike&Walk Montclair’s Bicycle Education Program, Guided Bike Tours, or Walks, your activity will earn you extra points toward your goal!

MPL_logo2Registration opens June 24 and the program runs from June 24 – September 9.

Get social and tag your accomplishments with #MPLsummerreading  and #BikeWalkRead

For more information, check out MPL Summer Reading Program online or stop into the Montclair Public Library at 50 Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042.

 

Highlights of May’s Tour des Fleurs

May 29, 2016

What a way to kick off the holiday weekend! Yesterday, forty people came out to ride in Bike&Walk Montclair’s Tour des Fleurs! With no pre-registration, we had no idea what to expect but were delighted as person after person rolled up smiling ready ride and smell the roses!

TdF pic 8

Bike&Walk Montclair’s Guided Bike Tours are not only a fun way to experience the Montclair area on two wheels, but they are part of our Ride Right! Smart Cycling Program designed for novice to street savvy cyclists. All classes follow the League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling guidelines.

TdF pic 1Beginning at the Montclair Farmer’s Market, riders and the Bike&Walk Montclair Team assembled in the shade, learned about Bike&Walk Montclair, and prepared to pedal. We visited Freeman Gardens in Glen Ridge, Avis Campbel Gardens, Van Vleck Gardens, Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, and the Brookdale Park Rose Garden.  We are grateful to the garden keepers who gave us guided tours of the blooms and answered our questions. We learned that it’s important to keep your garden tools clean and sharp and bike chain lube is a good snipper cleaner!

Some participants hadn’t ridden a bike in years and really didn’t think they’d be able to do it. One such person –  we’ll call her “Liz” – was so thrilled to have ridden 13 miles, she had to stop to post her success on facebook! Another participant – fictional name, “Johanna” – just got a new bike and was happy to have these types of rides to practice “clipping in” her pedals. And riders came from all over – Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Verona, and Madison.

Our former Executive Director, Norma Tassy recalled, “A woman whose name escapes me but whom I have seen at spin classes at the Y said ‘This ride is making me feel more confident; now I know what it means to take the lane!'”

And so that’s what it’s all about. Empowering more people to ride bikes more often – for fun, for work, for eggs and milk, or to smell the flowers. Bike&Walk Montclair advocates for policies, programs, and street designs that support safe biking and walking and every membership makes a difference.

Paul Mickiewicz, Bike&Walk Montclair’s president said, “As the bike train was leaving the station, a man came running up to ask what the group was about. I handed him the postcard of rides and he and his wife said that was exactly what they were looking for.  Not to take the analogy too far but I feel like [these] rides represent the 99%. [Bike&Walk Montclair makes] it possible for everyone to ride. And if we can educate and mobilize this crew to support policy change, we will be successful!”

Here are some highlights from the Tour des Fleurs. Remember, it’s almost always ‪#‎BetterByBike‬!

TdF pic 2
A pleasant ride on Pleasant Ave
TdF pic 3
Freeman Gardens, Glen Ridge
TdF pic 4
Avis Campbel Gardens and The Montclair Garden Club
TdF pic 5
Presby Memorial Iris Gardens
Brookdale Park Rose Garden
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Save the Date: Magical History Bike Tour – 6/18/16

School’s almost out, summer plans are made, and the days are perfect for BICYCLING!  Time to straddle that saddle and see the world from two wheels.  Bike&Walk Montclair is hosting a season of Guided Bike Tours you won’t want to miss.  These rides are for adults and teens who are comfortable with street riding and have mastered some basic bike “driving” skills. Come prepared with the basics: helmet that fits, a full water bottle, spare tube, and a charged cell phone. Do an ABC Check (Air, Brakes, Chain) before you come. Let’s Ride!

History Tour 2016 posterNext up: Magical History Bike Tour – 6/18/16

Roll up!  The Magical History Bike Tour is coming to take you away.  Away to times long ago when Crane was the name and mills, quarries, and dairies were the game.  Bike&Walk Montclair has partnered with the Montclair Historical Society, Friends of Anderson Park, and Presby Memorial Iris Gardens to bring you this special tour of our town – by bike.  On Saturday, June 18, the tour will begin and end at the Israel Crane House at 110 Orange Road and have brief guided discussions at places like historic Anderson Park, Presby Gardens, Montclair’s “Little Italy”, Avis Campbell Garden and a private Trustee’s Tour of the Israel Crane House.  Bring some cash and a back pack for surprise bakery and market stops.

Saturday, June 18, 2015, Start 7:45am, Israel Crane House, 110 Orange Rd., 07042.

This Magical History Bike Tour is being offered by volunteers and is free of charge.  However, a donation of $10 per person to benefit the Montclair Historical Society, Friends of Anderson Park, and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is strongly encouraged.

Bike&Walk Montclair, Montclair Historical Society, Friends of Anderson Park, and Presby Memorial Iris Gardens rely on your membership to function.  Please become a member of these indispensable community organizations today.

ICYMI: Another Amazing Bike Swap at Hillside

4/30/16
Stephane Mortier

Bike&Walk Montclair would like to thank all who donated and participated in the bike section of the April 30 Hillside Swap! We are happy to partner with the community to give good bikes new homes and see the smiles that go with them!

Video courtesy of Jerry Fried.

We began by collecting donated bikes on Friday evening – we had 3 volunteers receive the dswap 3onations (Jason & Sidney, Jerry) and check the tires. Some late comers dropped 4 more bikes after volunteers had left. Thank you Norma for returning to put them away!

On Saturday, the Savitch family (Jen, Jon and sons), Jerry, and Stephane set up the Bike&Walk Montclair Swap Tent and prepared the bike display.  We are grateful to the 2 young client/volunteers who lined up early to get bikes but also offered to help us out!

Bike&Walk Montclair is a facilitator between people in the community that have a bike to give and people in the community that want or need a bike. ~Stephane Mortier

We received a total of 16 bikes for the swap this time, with a very nice one being dropped after all had gone (9:15 ish). We did not expect to distribute it as all participants had gone inside the building by then. Until aswap 1 young lady arrived in an outfit of the same green and white as the bike, and of the right size… a match made in bike swap heaven!  It was so amazing we didn’t think about taking a picture of the princess and the bike!

We usually have more kid-size and teenager-size bikes, and the quality is stacked on the lower end. Not this time! This time, the bikes were in very good shape, and the sizes were distributed on the 16 inch to 26 inch spectrum.

The bikes went mostly to Bloomfield, and Montclair, with some outliers in Irvington and swap 6Bayonne.

Please consider donating used bikes in good condition to Bike&Walk Montclair to be reused by people who need them.

To inquire about future Bike Swaps at Hillside, or if you’d like to host one at your own school community, please contact Norma Tassy at info@bikewalkmontclair.org.

 

2016 Bike&Walk Montclair Annual Newsletter

On the Calendar

The next business meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held Thursday, April 14, 2016, 7:30pm – location pending. We generally meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month but please check our Events Calendar for details. Members welcome.

Meet Our New Pres!

UntitledMy introduction to Bike&Walk Montclair in 2006 came in the form of a request for help. An invitation to a planning meeting to listen, offer advice and or assistance for the project. I immediately found myself among kindred spirits! A splendid group with a variety of talent, temperament and passion to create something really good for the community. In my ten years, I’ve seen the organization transition from a handful of volunteers to having paid staff and back to being an all-volunteer organization with even more initiatives and opportunities for people to get involved. With this expanded scope of work, we have a growing need to seek financial support in the form of grants, donations and membership. The most fundamental way you can support the organization is to go online and become a member! Please join us. The quality of life benefits from biking and walking as safe, enjoyable choices for getting around town are many and should not be underestimated. Let’s not forget that bikes and feet are a necessity for many, not a choice and even drivers have to get out of the car at some point and cross the road. The physical exercise, mental clarity, joy and connection with the people and neighborhoods we travel through are unique to this form of active transportation. The simplicity of this environmentally friendly solution is sustainable, socially responsible and even more attractive

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in contrast to the ever more complicated, high tech, fast paced world we live in. More parking and car lanes are not the answer. As I now take a turn at leading the Bike&Walk Montclair organization, I am proud and honored to work with a great group of volunteers, doing a lot of great things to make the community a better place for everyone. With the momentum building across the country as more communities recognize the value of supporting bike and walk friendly initiatives and infrastructure, it is clear we are moving in the right direction. Bike&Walk Montclair advocates for a community that embraces safe biking and walking for all. Please join us and be part of the solution. Paul's Signature

   

Our Mission

Bike&Walk Montclair’s mission is simple yet powerful: we advocate for policies, programs, and street designs that support SAFE biking and walking – because Streets Are For Everyone. Bike&Walk Montclair was founded in 2002 on the vision that Montclair and neighboring communities could one day become a safe haven for walking and bicycling. Today, 14 years later, we have helped to bring $1M in funding for programming and infrastructure that supports that mission so kids, seniors, and everyone in between can benefit. Our vision is for bicycling and walking to be safe, appealing and feasible for all users and all trips, building a strong community fabric on a more human scale. We eagerly seek new members from Montclair and surrounding communities. Bike&Walk Montclair is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. All memberships and contributions are tax-deductible.

Looking Back: Highlights from 2015

bike ed photo

Kids and Adults Learn Smart Cycling

Seeing the face of children light up with excitement and exhilaration when they first manage to pedal their bike is amazing! It feels good to see the thrill, pride and sometimes –relief — that parents experience, as well.

Adults get the same big eyes, huge grins and sense of accomplishment when they learn how to ride a bike. Same techniques, same results. Our League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors share this joy vicariously through our students in every class.

Of course if this were easy, it would not be as meaningful. Our “balance-first” method (where we remove pedals to start) takes lots of hard work, patience, short rest breaks and maybe a little saddle soreness or a scraped shin. But when the pedals go back on the bikes, the pride of first-time riders is palpable! Parents may learn as much as the child does by working through this process. Learn to Ride class is experiential learning at it’s best! Bike&Walk Montclair makes this happen for up to a dozen kids, teens and adults just about every weekend from April through October.

The Smart Cycling Program does more than teach people how to ride a bike. The instructors teach people how to ride right. Riders develop bike handling skills and street savvy awareness as they gain confidence riding on the road and navigating in traffic. The whole point of the program is to help people enjoy riding their bikes, for fun, exercise and transportation.

If you know how to ride a bike, but don’t feel comfortable on the road, Bike&Walk Montclair can help. From Learn To Ride, to Skill Building Ride Rodeo to Street Savvy Ride classes, instructors meet students at their own level. The Smart Cycling program has also helped Montclair schools by tailoring events for specific schools’ interests.

The Smart Cycling program wants to help people enjoy getting around by bike. If you can spare a couple hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning to be a Bike&Walk Montclair Bike Ed volunteer, please contact Paul Mickiewicz, at education@bikewalkmontlair.org. It is a LOT of fun and very rewarding!

“Pop-Up” Protected Bike Lanes

pop up lanes phototBike&Walk Montclair worked with the Montclair Police Department Traffic Bureau this year to make temporary protected bike lanes “pop-up” near three schools. Edgemont, Charles H. Bullock and Renaissance Schools all participated in 2015 so parents and students would know what “safe routes” for biking might actually feel like in Montclair and to show how good it feels to start the day actively! BWM Board Member, Norma Tassy, spoke for all of us when she said “we all agree that a lifetime of healthy habits can begin by walking or biking to school. “ Parent Volunteers at the three schools were instrumental in making these “pop-up” events a success. If you’re a parent who would like to make pop-up lanes a reality at your child’s school, please volunteer with us!

Our Pilot “Open Streets” Event

Open Streets MTC was an exciting first-time event for Bike&Walk Montclair. Our focus was to foster community and encourage healthy, active lifestyles in a setting that encouraged exploring Montclair’s vibrant downtown. Open Streets PhotoThis free, public, traffic-free event was sponsored jointly by Bike&Walk Montclair, the Montclair Center BID, the Montclair Police Dept. Traffic Bureau and Montclair Township. This powerful partnership allowed us to open a mile of downtown streets to all kinds of family-friendly fun: strolling, biking, hula-hooping, yoga, skateboarding and dog-walking. All took place along a route filled with shopping and dining options. The debut of Open Streets MTC in September 2015 transformed South Park Street, Church Street and part of Glenridge Avenue into a public space for play. Participants made their way along the route enjoying such free activities as art projects, bicycle workshops, yoga classes and more.

Ready to “Bike Montclair” and Beyond?

For the past two years, Bike&Walk Montclair has teamed with The Montclair Bikery to host mini bicycle eco-tours of Montclair and neighboring communities each Saturday from April through October. A Bike&Walk Montclair League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor led participants on casual 10 – 12 mile jaunts through Glen Ridge and Montclair – visiting some historic sites, hidden gems, favorite coffee spots and usually ending at the Montclair Farmers Market for some great shopping. Eco Tours photo For the 2016 season, Bike&Walk Montclair will partner with great groups like the Montclair Historical Society, Friends of Anderson and Brookdale Parks, Presby and Van Vleck Gardens, Montclair Public Library and more. Monthly themed rides throughout the season will include narrated tours of suburban farms, historical sites, secret alleys and, of course, shopping and coffee. Come bike with us! You will relish the flats, find that uphills require some work and downhills can be pure joy. These rides are for adults who are comfortable with street riding but are ready to learn some savvy bike “driving” skills. Dates, times and locations are on the Bike&Walk Montclair Events Calendar.

Bike-Friendly Businesses Make Bike-Friendly Communities

mc-alper02-082213-mt-tifThe Bike-Friendly Business (BFB) program represents a partnership between Bike&Walk Montclair and Montclair-area merchants. The overall goal of the partnership is to encourage residents to do their shopping via bike. We accomplish that goal in several ways: Bike&Walk Montclair promotes participating businesses on its website and Facebook page, and we talk up our BFB’s wherever possible. We also provide Bike-Friendly Businesses with a special sticker they can display on their storefront indicating that they are a BFB. Finally, as part of the program guidelines, the business itself provides some form of reward for shoppers coming to their store by bike (proven by a bike helmet, typically). The reward for bike-shoppers can come in the form of a small discount or gift, for example. There is a small yearly fee for merchants to participate in the BFB program, which is usually more than offset by the additional influx of customers. Please consider running your errands by bike for the health benefits AND the incentives offered by our BFB’s!

Bike Swaps

In 2015, Bike&Walk Montclair partnered with Hillside Schobike swap photool to match outgrown bikes to new owners. Since 2013, Bike&Walk Montclair has hosted 6 bike swaps at the Hillside School event and 2 at the Bullock School – redistributing over 200 gently used bikes to both kids and adults in the community!

Looking Forward: What’s Ahead in 2016

We planned events and programs for 2016 based on community feedback and we need you to help make things happen!

  • We’re bringing back the Tour de Montclair! Planning has already begun for this family favorite bike ride through all four wards of Montclair. We’ll need lots of volunteer support to coordinate and run this event so please lend a hand if you like being outdoors, meeting new people and getting involved in community events.
  • No Ridiculous Car Trips Campaign. We’re taking our cues for this one from Sweden. A public health campaign in Malmo used humor to help people recognize how silly it can be to drive short distances. Our goal will be similar and rewards like water bottles and seat covers will be offered when people use bikes for short trips.
  • Placemaking photoPlacemaking. We’ll aim to match the impact of that beautiful street art on the corner of Forest and Chestnut Streets. Look for Pavement Murals, Playful Crosswalks, Parklets and more!
  • Making our Streets Complete. We’ll be supporting Montclair’s Complete Streets implementation and driving home the message that policy and environmental change must always make walking and biking easier. We’ll have a presence at council meetings, ward meetings, advisory committee meetings, etc.
  • Fourth of July Parade. We’ll lobby to be in front of the antique cars this year to show that biking and walking should ALWAYS be front-of-mind over driving.
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!! STAY TUNED…

Join us! Have Fun!! Volunteer!!!

Bike&Walk Montclair is a friendly, grass-roots, all-volunteer organization that relies on people like you to help reach the goals of becoming a safer, walkable and bicycle-friendly community. Interested in safety, education, the environment, or health & fitness? Our volunteers make all the difference for our organization. WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU – Get Involved Today!   *****end*****    

Know the Township Code for Walking and Biking

Photo courtesy of peds.org
Photo courtesy of peds.org

The Montclair Office of Code Enforcement has the mission to ensure and improve the quality of life of all Montclair residents through enforcement of related provisions of the township, county and state rules. To that end, Montclair Township has created an easy-to-read page summarizing common municipal ordinances – some of which are particularly important to people walking and biking. Our goal is to spend the next few months sharing them with you.

We’ll start with Chapter 297 — Streets and Sidewalks.

This ordinance ensures sidewalks and aprons are in good repair and clear of all encumbrances year-round. Encumbrances include

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refuse/recycling containers, tree branches and other waste put out for collection; various sporting equipment such as portable goal posts and basketball hoops; low-hanging branches and overgrown hedges; and any other materials that may cause hazards to sidewalk users. Property owners are also responsible for the upkeep up of sidewalks and swales adjacent to their properties.

We all have a role to play in making biking and walking easier in Montclair. Know the code and please do your part!

Stay tuned for next month’s code!