Share Our Memories of National Bike Month

Wednesday, June 6 by silvia

About two dozen riders, plus our West Windsor police escort and a funeral hearse from Mather-Hodge, made up our solemn Ride of Silence procession through West Windsor. We certainly got attention, particularly by the Conover Road ballfields! (Notice how well reflective gear works!)

We kicked off the farmers’ market season with a walk to the market and promoted bicycling and walking on two market days, Princeton’s Communiversity at the end the April and West Windsor’s own BikeFest extravaganza. We also held a class for adults who wanted to learn to bike.

Unfortunately, our plans for a bikers breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association were rained out.

Communiversity and our new bike safety wheel

Walking to the first day of the farmers' market

 

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Celebrate National Bike Month

Wednesday, May 2 by silvia

bike month 2012 logoMay is National Bike Month, and the week of May 13 is Bike to Work Week. A number of events are planned in West Windsor and neighboring communities; one (or more) is sure to be right for you. We’ve also included a few for walkers. (Note that not all events listed below are organized by the WWBPA)

May 5: West Windsor Walks to the opening day of the farmers’ market. Join us at 8:50 a.m. in the parking lot at the back of Maurice Hawk Elementary school for a leisurely stroll of just over a mile. We’ll start walking at 9 a.m. and are excited that the route this year will take us along some stretches of sidewalk that weren’t there last year. Kids will be challenged by a game of “I Spy.” People in wheelchairs and kids in strollers are welcome.

May 6: Bring your child (up to age 10) and bike to a free bike skills class at Plainsboro’s Founders Day. Princeton’s police department is sponsoring a separate bike skills class that includes a bike obstacle course on May 19; call 921-2100, ext. 1848 for details.

May 11-12: Adults aren’t being left out. This skills class, offered through the West Windsor Recreation Department, is for those who want to boost their confidence when riding on the road. Cost is $50, but the WWBPA will reimburse $25 of the cost for members. Plus we’ll cover the other $25 for the first five members who write a review of the class that we can use on our website.

May 12: Buy a bike at Bike Exchange in Ewing and get a free helmet from Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. Learn more about this and other GMTMA events during National Bike Month here.

May 14-18: National Bike to Work Week. Register for a free T-shirt and a raffle with GMTMA.

May 15: Bikers Breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station, sponsored by the WWBPA and Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, starting at 6 a.m. Grab a drink and a snack on us. Want a bike locker? We’ll tell you how to get one.

Ride of Silence logoMay 16: The WWBPA is supporting one of three area Ride of Silence events to honor cyclists killed or injured on the roads. Meet at 6:45 p.m. in the Municipal Center parking lot; the silent one-hour ride will leave at 7 p.m. We will have a West Windsor police escort and a funeral hearse courtesy of Mather Hodge. We suggest you wear a black armband and turn on your front and rear lights. We will stick together for the entire 10-12 mile route. Last year, more than 12,000 cyclists took part in events around the world.

May 19: Tour historic Trenton with the Trenton Cycling Revolution. More information about this 15-mile ride and registration at www.trentoncycling.org.

May 26: BikeFest, West Windsor’s bicycling extravaganza, with rides for people of all abilities, from 1.5 miles to 40 miles. Register at www.westwindsorbikefest.com. Say “hi” to the WWBPA after your ride!

June 16: The WWBPA holds a free “learn to bike” class for kids who want to get off training wheels at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market. Watch the video of last year’s class. Note: This is a members-only event.

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May’s Magnificent Miles

Monday, June 6 by silvia

Thanks to all who sent in their May bike mileage, representing a mix of commuting, pleasure and errand-running miles. We reached 3,161 miles, despite a very soggy Bike to Work Week.

Forgot to send in your miles? Leave a message here, on Facebook or email wwbikeped@gmail com. We can always update.

What do 3,161 miles represent? Interestingly, we burn roughly the same number of calories per mile cycled, regardless of speed (Obviously we burn more per hour the faster we go). The other variable is your weight. You can work out where you stand below, but assuming an average weight of 155 pounds and a moderate pace (45 calories per mile), we burned 142,245 calories. If we hadn’t compensated for the riding with extra food, we’d have lost nearly 41 pounds.

Some of you sent in descriptions of your rides. Don P. used his bike to carry grass clippings to the EcoCenter in Lawrence and hauled mulch home. Dan R. confessed to being in the wrong gear when crossing a stream in Dorchester County, Maryland,  .. I assume that was a wet mistake! He also saw roads there flooded more than he’d ever seen before. All this was part of a one-day 138-mile ride around the perimeter of Dorchester County, in which he only had rain for 20 minutes. Dan also provided the inspiration for the title of this post — thanks, Dan!

Also thanks to Levi, Abby, Jessica, Deniz, Diane, Bill, John W. and everyone else who sent in their mileage count. As for that calorie information…

Vigorous Cycling

Bicycling 14 to 15.9 mph is considered a “vigorous effort” by the Wisconsin Department of Health. More vigorous efforts spur greater calorie losses by increasing your heart rate and the amount of fuel your body burns, according to “Swim, Bike, Run.” When you bicycle 14 to 15.9 mph, you burn 54 to 62 calories per mile if you weigh 190 pounds, 44 to 50 calories per mile if you’re 155 pounds and 37 to 42 calories per mile if you’re 130 pounds.

Moderate Cycling

Bicycling 12 to 13.9 mph is a “moderate effort,” according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. Your heart rate should be 45 percent to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate–220 beats per minute minus your age–when you exercise moderately, according to Dr. Dean Ornish in his book “Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.” When you bicycle 12 to 13.9 mph, you burn 50 to 58 calories per mile if you weigh 190 pounds, 41 to 47 calories per mile if you’re 155 pounds and 34 to 39 calories per mile if you’re 130 pounds.

Light Cycling

Bicycling 10 to 11.9 mph is regarded as a “light effort” by the Wisconsin Department of Health. If you’re 40 years old, you can bicycle lightly if your heart rate is under 81 beats per minute–220 minus 40 times .45 percent. When you bicycle 10 to 11.9 mph, you burn 44 to 52 calories per mile if you weigh 190 pounds, 35 to 42 calories per mile if you’re 155 pounds and 30 to 35 calories per mile if you’re 130 pounds.

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We’re Teaching Kids to Bike on Saturday

Friday, May 20 by silvia

Remember how you learned to bike without training wheels? One of your parents was probably clutching the back of the seat and eventually let go.
The WWBPA is doing it differently: At our free class at the WW Farmers’ Market this Saturday, we’ll take off the training wheels and the pedals, and then lower the seat so the child can touch the ground while seated. Kids will learn to balance by scooting while seated and lifting their feet off the ground. Only then will we put the pedals back on and make sure they know how to start and stop before letting them try to ride.
We’ll be teaching from 9 a.m. til the market closes at 1 p.m. Stop by!

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1,000 Miles and Counting

Thursday, May 19 by silvia

Hats off to those who have been riding this week — Bike to Work Week — despite the rain.

Two weeks into National Bike Month, we’ve been reminded of why we bike and that yes, you can bike to church. Through Sunday, we’ve reached 1,057 miles (though I know there are more of you out there who haven’t yet reported).

WWBPA member Sudi says she’s ridden 40 miles so far: two round trips from home to Rocky Hill via the canal tow path. “It was relaxing and energizing at the same time! Saw lots of turtles sunning themselves on logs. Found a good way to cross Route 1 later in the day when traffic gets heavier – go through the Sarnoff fields and cross Route 1 at Harrison. On the way out in the morning, since traffic is generally light, I cross Route 1 at Alexander. Looking forward to bringing my bike to Cape Cod and the Islands next month!”

WWBPA friend Don P. racked up 158 miles just commuting and then rode to church on Sunday (plus a few other places), for a total of 190 miles. “I commute to Mt Laurel. The preferred route is riding 35 miles to work and then a multi-modal commute home – 8 miles from office to RiverLine train station in Riverside, take the train to Trenton and then back on the bike for 8 miles home. To church I normally wear khakis, but today because of the wet roads, I wore black denims. As a family we walk, but as just me, I bike.

Another big commuter, WWBPA member Bill G., reported 103 miles, while WWBPA member Dan R. reported in as he rode the perimeter of Dorchester County, Md.: 90 miles.

We’ve got some more shout-outs: WWBPA member Bob S. rode 14 miles on his first ride of the season, while Levi S. notched 28 and Abby S., 8. Andrea tallied 15, much of it riding to and from the Mercer County dog show. Sonya L. rode to work and to the community garden, for 12 miles, while Clive did a five-mile loop one Saturday that included stops at the library and the farmers market. And Diane pedaled another 19 miles.

WWBPA trustee Silvia Ascarelli blames the early rain on Sunday for ending her streak of being out on a bike every day this month, but not before riding another 31 miles. It’s faster to bike to the station than to drive to the Vaughn Drive lot and then walk to the platform, she says.

What’s your biking tale?

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Bike to Work Week

Sunday, May 15 by silvia

National Bike to Work Week is this week!

Did you know that a mere 30-minute ride to and from work at a leisurely pace burns 500 calories?!

You can find the WWBPA at three events:

A bikers’ breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station on Tuesday, co-hosted with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. Stop by between 6:30 a.m. (we’ll aim to be there closer to 6) and 8:30 a.m. for a cup of coffee and some food. It’s our way of saying thanks for biking! You’ll find us on the southbound side. We’ll be happy to chat even if you’re not on your bike.

A Ride of Silence at 7 p.m. on Wednesday that leaves from the Municipal Center parking lot. This is a one-hour, 10-mile ride to honor those injured or killed on the road. Many thanks to Mather-Hodge Funeral Home and Peter Hodge for providing a funeral hearse for our procession of riders! You can read more about it in this Princeton Packet article. The ride will be cancelled if it’s raining. If the weather looks questionable, check the website and Facebook page for updates.

A “Learn to Bike” class aimed at kids 5 years old and older on Saturday at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Vaughn Drive. This uses a safe and effective method that doesn’t involve clutching the back of a bike. The class is free but space is limited, so we suggest pre-registering via wwbikeped@gmail.com. Please bring a working bike. A helmet is required (the WWBPA will be selling them for $10). Sessions will run continuously during farmers’ market hours; please arrive between 9 a.m. and noon.

In addition, GMTMA is hosting a bikers breakfast at the Trenton train station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday and  a “lunch and learn” session at the Princeton library on Friday to spotlight what Hoboken is doing to promote walking and biking. The session runs from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch refreshments. Space is limited, so pre-register by emailing rhersh@gmtma.org.

Through a variety of innovative planning, transportation, and parking strategies, Hoboken, New Jersey is rapidly transforming itself into one of the most bikeable and pedestrian-friendly municipalities in New Jersey. The consulting firm Civic Eye Collaborative recently produced a film that documents some of the strategies that have been implemented to reduce the need for automobile ownership, and to enhance and promote access to transit and other non-motorized transportation modes. The film shows how fundamental smart urban planning is to the quality of life of citizens, and how important these issues are to a town’s vitality and sustainability. After the movie, Ranjit Walia from Civic Eye Collaborative and Hoboken’s Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will speak about the importance of community outreach and sustainable transportation, and help guide the audience through a “visual preference survey” to engage in a discussion about where, how, and if similar transportation strategies could work in our communities. Lunch refreshments will be served, and attendees will be eligible to participate in a free raffle!

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Week One of National Bike Month

Wednesday, May 11 by silvia

It’s been a great weekend for getting out on a bike, and a great start for National Bike Month. As usual, the WWBPA is keeping a tally of miles ridden, whether to get to work or school, to run errands or for fun. We want to include yours!

With many who have yet to report, the mileage meter already stands at 492 miles. Impressively, several members and friends who racked up triple-digit mileage totals, or close to it. Hats off to WWBPA friends John W. with 177 miles and Don P. with 105 miles. WWBPA member Bill Garrett logged 99 miles for the first week. “Nippy ride this morning, but still better than chilly temps of January,” he told us Friday. “I see deer feeding as I ride through Mercer County Park.”

WWBPA member Dan R. reports 66 miles, and member Diane C. rode 40 miles.

WWBPA trustee Daryl McMillan rode 27 miles to and from work over two days.

WWBPA trustee Silvia Ascarelli figures she’s been on a bike every day so far, even if it’s just a couple of miles, for a total of 63 miles.

WWBPA trustee Mark Shallcross reports 14 miles.

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May is National Bike Month

Friday, April 29 by silvia

Did you know that on average, 40% of our trips are two miles or less?

Take part in National Bike Month by resolving to ride your bike more often, whether to work, the store, the library, the train station or to a friend’s house. We don’t need to remind you of the $4 a gallon gas you’ll be saving. Need another reason? The week of May 15 is National Bike to Work Week, and May 20 is Bike to Work Day. Stop at the Princeton Junction train station on May 16 for a bikers breakfast courtesy of the WWBPA and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

West Windsor has added many bike lanes in recent years, and the WWBPA can help you find safe routes using them and quiet roads as much as possible. (Google maps and Mapquest also have bike-route-mapping features.)

Don’t forget some of the rules of the road: Always ride WITH traffic, obey all traffic rules (red lights, stop signs) and be visible and predictable at all times. The WWBPA sells reflective ankle bands, safety vests, helmets and entry-level lights; see us at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market or email wwbikeped@gmail.com.

The WWBPA also is participating or promoting many bike events in May. See our newsletter for the list!

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Ride of Silence 2011

Thursday, April 21 by silvia

The WWBPA is delighted to support a Ride of Silence in West Windsor on May 18.

Ride of Silence is an international event to raise awareness among motorists that we are here and  to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling on the roads. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

At 7  p.m. local time around the world on May 18, the Ride of Silence will begin and roll across the globe in a silent procession. Each ride lasts just one hour and covers 10 to 12 miles. Cyclists ride in a group no faster than 12 mph and will remain silent during the ride. The event is free and is part of the WWBPA’s events for National Bike Month.

West Windsor’s Ride of Silence will start at the West Windsor Municipal Center on Clarksville Road. All you need to bring is a bike in good riding condition, helmet, squirt water bottle, spare tube, ID, cell phone and any other necessities you require. It will be dusk when we finish so don’t forget lights and, if you have one, a reflective vest to make you even more visible. Please arrive at 6:45 p.m.

A second Ride of Silence will roll from Van Horne Park (behind Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center) in Skillman.

Questions? Kyle is leading the West Windsor ride and is reachable at Advisor500@Gmail.com. Heather is leading the Skillman ride and is reachable at bpj2@gte.net.

Help spread the word and see you there!

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Upcoming Events

March 9   ******* Annual Membership Meeting ******* 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Main Mtg Rm A). Guest Speaker TBA.

March      Membership Drive. Become a member/Renew your membership today and support our local community.

March 12  WWBPA participating at the St Anthony’s Health Fair 1:30-2:30pm in the gym at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hightstown.

April 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

April 15     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May          Look for opening Season of WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

May 11     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Jun 8       Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

July 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

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