Performance Better Bicycling Community Grants: Open Streets & Kidical Mass

In honor of our 30th anniversary in 2012, we partnered with the Alliance for Biking & Walking to identify 10 worthy organizations to receive $30,000 in Better Bicycling Community Grants, which were distributed directly to local communities to make the most impact on the ground. In this post we’re going to catch up with 4 groups that are making a difference though Open Streets initiatives, powered by the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Open Streets Project. By temporarily closing streets to automobile traffic, these events foster connections in their communities by allowing people to walk, bike, or just socialize in the heart of their town – creating a public space where before there was just traffic.

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First up is the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, part of our Chapel Hill, NC store community, and only a few miles from our home office & warehouse. The Open Streets event they hosted was designed to meet the city’s public health, social, economic, and environmental goals by allowing residents the opportunity to use the street, a public good, in safe, active, and socially engaging ways.

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Kids ride at Carrboro Open Streets

This first-ever Open Streets event in Carrboro took place on Saturday, April 13, and it was definitely a resounding success. A diverse cross-section of the community came out on bikes and on foot for a variety of healthy activities, from kids rides, to yoga, to rock-climbing and more!

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Cyclists young and old at Carrboro Open Streets

Our Chapel Hill, NC store sent a team to support the event, both to wrench on bikes that needed a quick tune-up or a flat fixed, and also to chat with anyone who stopped by to say hello – a big part of Open Streets events is just getting to know your local community members better.

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Performance Bicycle tent at Carrboro Open Streets

Seth LaJeunesse of the Carrboro Bike Coalition had this to say: “Through promotional activities, community rides, safety clinics, and bike light installation sessions, the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition has advanced the feasibility, quality, and safety of bicycling in the Carrboro- Chapel Hill region. Performance Bicycle’s Better Bicycling Community grant extends these efforts by placing bicycling at the center of a broader Open Streets initiative that promises to enhance the health, nutrition and well-being of diverse stakeholders.”

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There were many options to participate in Carrboro Open Streets

We were excited to be able to help out with an event so close to our home office, and we can’t wait for more events like it in the future.

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Gene, from our home office, at Carrboro Open Streets

Another $3000 Better Bicycling Community grant was awarded to Charlottesville Community Bikes to help celebrate Charlottesville’s bikeable and walkable Jefferson Park Avenue corridor and encourage and support a neighborhood desire to bike and walk to these businesses. Charlottesville’s first Open Streets Event was on held Aug. 18, 2012 along a 1 mile stretch of road, closed to vehicle traffic, and open to all other forms of active recreation and transportation. In collaboration with this event, the local neighborhood associations also held a JPA Bridge Reopening Ceremony and Farmer’s Market that day. Over 40 organizations supported the event through sponsorship and offering activities or items of interest to the community. Participating organizations and nearby businesses reported positive experiences including strong community engagement and even increased business sales from the 2,000 attendees at the event!

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Charlottesville Open Streets

Susan Elliott from Charlottesville Community Bikes said that the Performance grant “made it possible for us to demonstrate that active recreation and transportation can build community, be fun, and offer a valuable amenity to area. Being the first event of this type, many people were unsure of how it would be received. Everyone who experienced the event – families, government officials, represented organizations – came away with positive experiences and enthusiasm for more in the future. This grant gave us the ability to focus our attention on inviting the community to participate and ensuring a high quality experience.”

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Children’s group ride at Kidical Mass Tucson

Our Broadway Tucson, Arizona store has been involved with a slightly different take on the urban riding experience through a partnership with the Living Streets Alliance, who received a Better Bicycling Community grant to help promote family friendly bicycling in the greater Tucson region through four Kidical Mass events in 2013. Kidical Mass is a group ride that provides a safe, fun, and social setting for families to explore urban bicycling riding, for parents to grow more comfortable riding with small children, and for small children to gain confidence and skills in a loosely supervised group ride.

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Littlest cyclists at Kidical Mass Tucson

Since last fall, Living Streets Alliance has partnered with El Grupo Youth Cycling, a local cycling club with a mission of empowering youth through cycling, to host a series of Kidical Mass family-friendly bike rides, with 4 events total to date. LSA and El Grupo are planning two more Kidical Mass events - through partnering together these groups doubled the number of events they could host, and our store teams have been excited to be a part of this experience.

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Kids of all ages at Kidical Mass Tucson

Emily Yetman of the Living Streets Alliance had this to say: “The Performance Better Bicycling Grant has helped Living Streets Alliance make Kidical Mass, an incredibly popular, family-friendly, bike riding event, into a household name in a small, but growing number of homes in Tucson. Kids and neighbors now ask when the next ride will be held and word is spreading beyond the areas where we first held these rides. This kind of growth wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Performance grant.”

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Yoga on the street during Bike Utah’s Open Streets

The last Open Streets initiative from our Better Bicycling Community Grants is schedule to take place in Salt Lake City, UtahBike Utah worked with local partners to develop and implement the 2013 Open Streets event in Salt Lake City and use the success of this template to help other Utah communities organize similar events. The primary role of the Open Streets campaign is to build cycling awareness and to get more people out biking, walking, and partaking in community activities.

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Open Street cyclists in Salt Lake City

The first event, Open Streets – Salt Lake City,  took place on Saturday, May 4, and a big crowd took advantage of the opportunity to have fun on downtown city streets with no car traffic to deal with. Scott Lyttle, from Bike Utah, had this to say about our grant: “The grant from Performance Bicycle has allowed Bike Utah to partner with Salt Lake City to move forward Utah’s first Open Streets event. SLC has wanted to hold an Open Streets event for years and Performance Bicycle’s support has helped to make it happen.”

Community Events: 2013 South Florida Bike MS

Since we’re now open for business in Florida, with 4 new stores and 1 coming soon, we couldn’t wait to get on the ground and out in our new local communities. So what better way to celebrate than with one of our favorite activities, helping out with the dedicated riders of Bike MS.

Steve and Dave are set up and ready to tune-up some bikes.

Steve and Dave are set up and ready to tune-up some bikes.

Three Performance team members headed down to Miami to help out with the South Florida Bike MS in April. We were there to work, doing everything from handing out nutrition to performing quick bike tune-ups – before, during and after the 50, 80 or 100 mile rides.

Dave and Christopher tune up bikes.

Dave and Christopher tune up bikes.

As you would expect in Florida, the weather was sunny and beautiful on ride weekend! More than 1400 riders turned out for the 2-day event and everyone had a very good time. We worked on everything from dry and noisy chains to punctured tires and tubes (and even one punctured rim).

Three handups ready to happen.

Three handups ready to happen.

On the second day we had the first aid station. While there’s not usually too much mechanic work that needs to happen only 7 miles into the ride, we did have a few boxes of GU Energy Gels to hand out so we stood next to the course on a straight open section of road and handed out over 100 peanut butter GU gels on the fly. No need to stop for this aid station, we’ll hook you up as you ride by!

Steve distributes powerbars on the move.

Steve distributes powerbars on the move (click for the animated version).

Here Steve shows us the fastest way to empty a box of PowerBar Performance bars - open them up near hungry Bike MS riders first thing in the morning! All in all, the ride was a big success with no serious injuries and loads of smiles. We had a great time helping out and ended up manning 5 aid stations over the course of the two day event. We can’t wait to help out again next year!

Wordless Wednesday

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Community Events: Winter Wrap-Up

store_wideIt’s been a little while since we’ve checked in with our local store associates, but cooler weather didn’t stop teams from our over 100 stores all across the country from staying busy in their local cycling communities. We put on clinics, supported rides helped out with local advocacy groups and more. For more info about your local Performance Bicycle, check your local store page for regularly scheduled Spin Doctor clinics & group rides. Read on below for some of what our stores were involved with in the last few months.

el_tour_2012In November associates from our Arizona stores helped out at the 2012 El Tour De Tucson. We covered their day in detail in an earlier post, but our teams were busy at 3 aid stations out on the course, supporting the almost 9,000 cyclists on the 111 mile route. Our expert mechanical help meant that no one had to quit the ride because of their bike!

131_icemanOur Bloomfield Hills, Michigan store came out to support a slightly chillier race, at the Iceman Cometh Challenge Bicycle Race. This annual 29 mile point-to-point mountain bike race is so popular that registration fills up in minutes! Our team had a great time at the packed pre-race expo, and we even saw some familiar faces among the 3700 racers on a slushy race day.

bike the coast2Also in November, our Sorrento Valley, California store participated in the 3rd annual Bike the Coast event, which offered 7,15,25,50 or 100 mile courses from the Oceanside Pier. We provided the turn-around rest stop and sag support for the 50 and 100 mile course, which was conveniently located right in front of our store.  We had a great turn out for the event, as the organizers said they had approximately 1700 participants. Our two big tents were busy all day with volunteers handing out food, and our mechanics helping with flats and other mechanicals to keep folks on the road.

va_beach_rodeoThis next event may have been small in size, but we our Virginia Beach, Virginia store was still proud to receive this certificate of appreciation from the local Rotary Club.  Store associates Erin Simms and Bob Orr were instrumental in the planning and execution of this safety rodeo that we participated in for several hours – they were excited to be able to give back to their community in this small way, but who doesn’t like to get a little recognition for their efforts!

Also at our Virginia Beach, Virginia store, six riders participated in an Indoor Century in February. Following the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association’s rules for an indoor century, riders hooked up their trainers and set out for six hours. Riders were given advice on nutrition strategy and were given great advice regarding their riding style to help them optimize performance.  Our store manager, Terry, was nice enough to whip up some PB&J’s for the day and provided fresh fruit. In the end, two riders lasted the full six hours. It was a fantastic time for staff and customers alike!

This next shot is from an ongoing indoor cycling class in our Greenwood, Indiana store. A regular crew of about 15 people showed up on a weekly basis over the winter, staying fit and pedaling away the winter blues with our store team. There isn’t a much better way to stay motivated than to pedal away with some new friends!

79_clinicOf course our stores also continued with their regular Spin Doctor how-to clinics, covering topics from roadside/trailside repair, to tuning derailleurs, to basic bike maintenance tips that every cyclist should learn. Above is a shot from a group in our Virginia Beach, Virginia store getting tips from our resident Spin Doctor.
121_clinicHere’s an interested group of cyclists in our Southlake, Texas store, learning more about derailleurs.

97_clinicOur Dayton, Ohio store also fielded large crowds for their Spin Doctor clinics, like this one above.

tampa_goAnd finally, we can’t neglect to mention the Grand Opening of our very first stores in Florida! Here Bonnie, the store manager of our Tampa store, got to do the honors at the celebratorial ribbon-cutting ceremony at our very first store in the Sunshine State.

fort_lauderdale_goAnd here’s the excited crowd of cyclists stretched around the corner our new Fort Lauderdale store, eager to get inside and celebrate our grand opening with us.

So after a busy winter, we can’t wait to see what the warmer weather brings our way. Our store teams are excited to get back on the road and out in their communities even more to share their passion for cycling!

Wordless Wednesday

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Pro Profile: 10 Questions with Triathlete Cameron Dye

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Since Kestrel-sponsored world-class pro triathlete Cameron Dye will be dropping by our Fort Lauderdale store on Friday, April 5, we thought that we would reach out to him beforehand to answer 10 questions, for those of you who aren’t able to meet him in person in Florida. But before we get to the questions, we want to give you a little background on Cam, and what makes him so fast.

The 28-year-old Boulder native won his age group in his first triathlon, the Boulder Peak Triathlon, as a 15-year-old high school student. Cam attended the University of Iowa on a swimming scholarship, where he was named team captain of the swim team and received All-Big Ten Academic honors. After receiving his degree in finance in 2006, he moved back to Boulder and began training and racing full-time. He earned his pro license later that summer.

With his 2010 victory at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, Cam – along with his blonde, curly locks and his signature style of demolishing the field on the bike – made his presence known. Deemed an up-and-comer storming onto the tri scene, Cam tallied two wins and five podiums in 2011. After tallying six wins and an additional six Top-10’s aboard his Kestrel 4000 last year, Cam capped off his 2012 season with the greatest victory of his career: the 2012 Race the Toyota Cup series title. In recognition of his outstanding year, Cam was named 2012 Non-Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year by USA Triathlon.

10 Questions with Cameron Dye

cameron_dyeWhere are you from and how did you get started racing triathlons?

I was born and raised in Boulder, CO and began racing triathlons at 15. I grew up a swimmer and runner and after doing one at 15 decided it was something I wanted to chase as a career after swimming in college.

What is your favorite distance and why?

My favorite distance is the olympic distance, because of all the variety you have between drafting and non draft racing, and the fact that it is flat out for the whole race.

What’s your strongest event – swim, bike or run?

Historically it’s swimming, but I have won most of my victories because of my riding.

Which event do you need to work on the most?

Running is my weakest of the 3, and although I have made big strides as a runner it is something that I will continue to try and master.

What’s one piece of gear that you can’t do without (for racing or training)?

My headband… something has to keep the ‘fro under control!

Tell us about your bike – what do you love about your Kestrel?

My 4000 is fast, plain and simple. I love the fact that it still looks like a bike, and not a space ship like some of the “super bikes” and yet it is still winning lots of races. I have won 9 out of my 10 professional victories on a Kestrel, 8 of them on a 4000.

What do you eat before a race – is it the same every time?

I try and find Hawaiian pizza the night before, and I have always eaten maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal the morning of the race.

What is your best advice for a beginning triathlete?

In everything you do have a plan, but be willing to deviate from it if necessary. Listen to your body, and make sure you are having fun. Even the hardest workouts need to be enjoyable in some respect.

What are your goals for the season?

Defend my title as the Lifetime Fitness Series Champion, and win the fastest race in the world at HyVee.

Tell us about your hair – how does it fit under an aero helmet?

My hair has sort of become my trademark. I love the fact that I stick out a little bit from the average pro triathlete, and it fits my personality. Once it’s wet it fits just fine in a helmet, the trick is keeping it under control on the run!

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