Bike Benefits


Bike Bingo Tips

Pedal to Play!

Plan ahead and try to get the full card prizes.  Prizes are available for Row and Full cards. You MUST ride your bike to earn stamps and redeem prizes.  No purchase necessary but show your Bike Benefis sticker – especially if you make a purchase to get your Bike Benefit.  Post pictures of your adventures. Have fun, be respectful and engage others.

You remember how to play Bingo, right?  You have to get the full row for a row prize.  Horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Then you get a row prize.  6 row prizes max.

Bike!Charlotte event – get your card stamped at the Mayor’s ride or Open Streets 704. At the Mayor’s ride – look for the Bike Advisory Committee members at the tshirt table. They’ll have Bingo cards and you can get it stamped. At Open Streets – look for the Trips for Kids tent or the Trike races. Both tents will have cards and either can stamp it.

Want the full card prize?  Redeem for up to 6 prizes. Make sure you look for times/dates of events.  For example, Cycling Savvy is May 3-5. You’ll need to be there before class starts to get your card stamped.  Plan accordingly. Use the Bike Benefits website on (your laptop or computer) to look up hours for each business.  From the bicyclebenefits.org enter the city: Charlotte, then the business name – it will have a pull down menu and you can see a link to the business website.

Find Pam – you’ll need to find Pam riding her bike around Charlotte.  Where? She rides all around mostly to Bike Benefits businesses. Sun and Tues excluded.  Tip: She’s hosting lots of events on the Bike!Charlotte website – like ride to yoga on Wed. Or you can look on the CSP calendar.

CSP event – This is any event put on by Charlotte Spokes People.  Look at the calendar for details.  Examples include the Mother’s Day ride on May 12th and the Tour de Sabor on May 19.  Show up before the start and get your stamp.

Volunteer at a Bike ride, event or bike shop – Mark a turn, count, make the safety speech at PMTNR or Sunday Ride, volunteer at a bike event during May (Take a picture and post it on fb Charlotte Bicycle Benefits or instagram #bikebenefits, #bikebingo) or volunteer at Trips for Kids or teach someone how to ride a bike.  Let’s share the love of biking with someone.

Need a card?  They should be at all the spots on the card.  If someone runs out, email pamlikestobike@gmail.com and you can have one for free.  Thanks for letting me know.

p.s.  Remember: You MUST ride your bike to earn stamps and redeem prizes.  


Bike!Charlotte 2019

April 26 – May 31

Bike Benefits Bingo

Time: Check participating businesses for hours of operation

Who Participates: everyone

Participation Cost:  $2/card, $1/card with Bike Benefits sticker

Event Link: http://cltspokespeople.org/bike-benefits-bingo/

Contact:   Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

April 28

Sunday Slow Riders ride

The Sunday Slow Riders is a chill 15 mile ride. We meet weekly at 1:45pm at Legion Brewing in Plaza-Midwood to ride at 2 pm. Safety is no accident, so please wear your helmet.  We’ll be stopping at a Bike Benefits location so remember to bring your helmet and sticker.

Location: 1906 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte, North Carolina 28205

Time: 1:45 meet, leave at 2:00 pm (about 2 ½ hours)

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

April 29

Route Planning Workshop

Learn how to plan a comfortable, low stress route using Ride with GPS, Google Maps, the Virtual Charlotte Map and the Charlotte Bike Map.  This will be an interactive workshop. Need a route? We’ll figure one out.

Location: Advent Coworking, 933 Louise Ave.

Time: 6 pm

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

April 30

Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride

PMTNR is a fun bicycle ride for everyone!  Riders meet at the Plaza Midwood Common Market at 7:30PM every Tuesday night.  The ride is from 8:00 PM until 10:30 PM and usually covers 15 miles. Expect a crowd! Lights and helmet required.  This ride is NEVER cancelled. We’ll be stopping at Bike Gallery which is a Bike Benefits location so remember to bring your helmet and sticker for 10% off accessories.

Location: Common Market, 2007 Commonwealth Ave., 28205

Time: 7:45 pm meet time, leave at 8 pm.

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Open to Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 3-5

Cycling Savvy 3 part course

The full CyclingSavvy Course INCLUDES Truth & Techniques (classroom session), Train Your Bike (bike handling) session, and our signature on-road experience — Tour of Charlotte. https://cyclingsavvy.org/in-person-courses/

  • Truth & Techniques (classroom session, no bike needed): 4 PM to 7 PM Friday, Fri, May 3 at Advent Coworking, 933 Louise Ave #101, Charlotte, NC 28204.
  • Train Your Bike (parking lot skills session): 2-5 pm PM Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 1510 East 7th Street (parking lot, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church)
  • Tour of Charlotte: 1-4 PM Sunday,May 5, 2019. We’ll start from and return to the parking lot in front of Okra Yoga at 1912 Commonwealth Avenue.

Cost: $95 for the full course.  Scholarships available.

Who Participates: Open to Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 5

Sunday Slow Riders ride

The Sunday Slow Riders is a chill 15 mile ride. We meet weekly at 1:45pm at Legion Brewing in Plaza-Midwood to ride at 2 pm. Safety is no accident, so please wear your helmet.  We’ll be stopping at a Bike Benefits location so remember to bring your helmet and sticker.

Location: 1906 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte, North Carolina 28205

Time: 1:45 meet, leave at 2:00 pm (about 2 ½ hours)

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 7

Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride

Bikes on a Train ride

PMTNR is a fun bicycle ride for everyone!  Riders meet at the Plaza Midwood Common Market at 7:30 PM every Tuesday night.  The ride is from 8:00 PM until 10:30 PM and usually covers 15 miles. Expect a crowd! Lights and helmet required.  This ride is NEVER cancelled. We’ll be stopping at a Bike Benefits location so remember to bring your helmet and sticker.

This week only.  Bikes on CATS is free.  10 and 20 mile ride options this week.  You can ride both ways or opt to put your bike on the light rail for one way.  

Location: Common Market, 2007 Commonwealth Ave., 28205

Time: 7:45 pm meet time, leave at 8 pm.

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Open to Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 8

Ride with a Cycling Savvy Instructor  – Plaza Midwood to Campbell Creek Park

Experience riding with a Cycling Savvy Instructor using lane control and release.  Experience cooperative and mindful bicycling while operating your bicycle as a vehicle.   You’ll have 2 hours to either explore the park or join me for yoga at Charlotte East (Y facility) before returning.   (Y members free, limited guests spots available) Bring a snack and water bottle. Ride out is 6 miles out and 6 miles back.

Location: Krazy Fish, 2501 Central Ave.

Time: 9:45 am meet, leave at 10 am, arrive at Campbell Creek Park at 10:30, will depart at 12:30.  

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 10

Bike Benefits ride to lunch

Ride to lunch and use your Bike Benefits sticker.  The group will decide which Bike Benefits business to go to.  There are about 200 to choose from. http://cltspok.es/CLTpocketList  Need a sticker?  Advent has them. $5 each.  Stickers never expire and can be used at over 2000 participating locations nationwide.  

Location: Advent Coworking, 933 Louise Ave.

Time: 6 pm

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: Everyone

Contact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/

May 12

Sunday Slow Riders ride – Mother’s Day

The Sunday Slow Riders is a chill 15 mile ride to the McGill Rose Garden, a Charlotte tradition. We meet weekly at 1:45pm at Gumbo in Plaza-Midwood to ride at 2pm. Safety is no accident, so please wear your helmet.

Location: 1916 Commonwealth Ave.

Time: 1:45 meet, leave at 2:00 pm (about 2 ½ hours)

Cost: FREE!

Who Participates: EveryoneContact: Pamela Murray @ pamlikestobike@gmail.com or  http://cltspokespeople.org/


Bike Benefits Bingo

We are so excited to introduce the best thing to hit the Charlotte bike scene since Bike Benefits. Charlotte Bike Benefits Bingo! Bike Bingo is a celebration of Charlotte by bike!

Front of card

How to Play:

April 26- May 31, ride your bike, collect stamps and win prizes!  Request a stamp at each spot upon showing your Bike Benefits sticker*.  No purchase necessary – 1 card per person. Register your card at https://cltspok.es/Bingo . Prizes redeemable at listed locations.  All trips (including prize redemptions) must be done by bike!

Where: Pick up Bingo cards at any Bike Benefit business on the card or at special events such as Bike!Charlotte events (Mayor’s Ride and Open Streets 704).  Cards will be sold for $2 (or $1 with a Bike Benefit sticker) but a limited number will be available at these Bike!Charlotte events.

What: Individuals pick up a $2 Bike Bingo card, then have 5 weeks to bike around the area, attend rides, events and pedal to Bicycle Benefits businesses in order to get their bingo card stamped. Individuals who get 5 in a row or fill their entire card can redeem prizes.   All prizes must be redeemed by May 31, 2019.

Post photos @Charlotte Bicycle Benefits on facebook, @Bicycle Benefits, #BikeBingo on Instagram.  



Tour de Sabor

 A two-wheeled taco tour

punchcard

Pump up your tires because the first annual Tour de Sabor is happening this spring….and you are invited!  Can you bike 20 miles on tacos alone? Well there is only one way to find out.

Guided ride begins at Common Market in Plaza Midwood at 2 pm on Sunday, May 19th.  Participants will receive their punch card starting at 1:30 and guided ride rolls out at 2.  Speed will average 11-13 miles per hour. If you are rolling with your friends or want to rip a speed record on the 20 mile route as fast as possible, here it is to upload on your phone.

https://cltspok.es/TourdeSabor

The Tour de Sabor is our way of celebrating Charlotte and letting you know that we love it when you ride your bike to our restaurants…once a day, once a month or all year long.  Bike for tacos people!

All participants receive

  • A Bicycle Benefits sticker that gives them everyday discounts at Sabor and 175 locations around the city when they bike there and show the program helmet sticker.  
  • A punch card which will give participants up to 10 tacos total at the 5 participating locations during the ride.  
  • Other purchases are up to the riders and will receive their customary 10% off Bike Benefits offer.
  • Churros for all participants and raffle prizes at the end of the ride. (Elizabeth location)  Don’t lose your punch card because you’ll need it at the end to win prizes. Raffle will be at 6 pm.
  • Cost is $20 which includes a Bike Benefit sticker. $15 if you already have Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker or card.  

Stops:

  1. NoDa
  2. Uptown
  3. SouthEnd
  4. Morrison
  5. Elizabeth

https://cltspok.es/tourdesabor

link to punch card order

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tour-de-sabor-a-two-wheeled-taco-tour-tickets-60936555879

event brite link for credit cards

Questions? pamlikestobike@gmail.com


F.A.Q. 1

  1. Can I come ride PMTNR?  Do I need to register?  Pay?
    Of course you can come ride.  Everyone is welcome to ride with us.  No need to register or pay.  Just show up.
  2. Any other requirements?
    Lights – front and rear, a helmet and a road worthy bike and a positive attitude.  No Debbie Downers, please.
  3. I want to ride but don’t have a light?  Helmet?  Can I borrow one?

    PMTNR 5/12/15 Credit - Kaitlyn Akers

    PMTNR 5/12/15
    Credit – Kaitlyn Akers

    Yes, but let me know a day ahead of time so I can remember to bring it.  Bring $5 as a deposit.  You’ll get your money back when I get the borrowed light or helmet back.

  4. What does “road worthy” mean?
    Have you ridden your bike recently?  Have you pumped up the tires within the last week?  Have you checked your chain?  Do your brakes work?  Ride around the block a few times and make sure everything is ok.
  5. What bike should I bring?  Road?  Mountain Bike?
    Any bike that works if fine.  You’ll see all kinds of bikes.
  6. Do you think I’ll make it?
    If you’re unsure, go ride 10 miles and see how you feel.  Since we stop at 10 miles for a short break this is the most pedaling you’ll be doing.  The return is generally about 5 miles.  If you’re still unsure, bring $2 and put your bike on the bus.  Or look at the route and plan to peel off early.
  7. When will I get home?
    The ride usually tries to return to the start by 10:30.  We usually get to the stop at the 10 mile mark around 9:30.  We allow time for a drink and restroom break then return.  Sometimes this is delayed if we have mechanical issues along the way, if we have a large group, etc.  Look at the route before the ride and plan accordingly.  If you need to leave early, bring a friend so y’all can make sure you both get home.
  8. Why do you leave at 8 pm?
    Most people have a hard enough time getting to the start by 8.  By the time most people get home, let the dog out, and get their bike, it’s about 8.
  9. The forecast looks iffy.  Will you still ride?
    YES!  We NEVER cancel the ride.  If it’s Tuesday at 8 pm, we’re riding.
  10. When did you start the ride?
    April 2013.
  11. Where do I get a Bike Benefits sticker?
    At area participating businesses.  You can look at the Bike Benefits website and look for the sticker icon.  Or just ask me, I always have some.
  12. How much is a Bike Benefits (helmet) sticker?
    $5
  13. Does it expire?
    No.
  14. Where do I see all the Bike Benefit offers?
    On the pocket list.  Print one off once a month since they change as we add businesses.
  15. Do you have a car?
    Yes, I have a car.  I just don’t like driving as much as I enjoy riding my bike.

Happy Chinese New Year

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Every year I review my past year on Chinese New Year.  The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar so this year Chinese New Year is Feb. 19th. This is the year of the sheep.  I like to see how much I’ve ridden, to reflect, to see what I need to do better or differently.  Happy Chinese New Year!

 

 

 
Photo: Jeff Cravotta

 

 

tincanannie2

 

Tin Can Annie; Photo: Wesley Johnson

My Inspiration

Please allow me to introduce you to my inspiration.  This is a photo of Tin Can Annie.  By the wonder of facebook someone posted a picture one day.  This is the lady I used to see riding her bike everywhere all the time way back in the early1990s.  She was always around Central, Plaza….   Yes, I’ve lived in Plaza Midwood since that time.  She rode day, night, rain or shine.  And she was always dressed head to toe in orange.  She was my inspiration.  You never know when someone will see you as their inspiration.  Keep riding.

.

 

Rides

Both of the rides –  PMTNR and Sunday Slow Ride are doing well.  I’m so glad people show up twice a week to ride.  We’ve had some great rides around town.  These are my 2 favorite days of the week.  Thanks for riding with me if you’ve been and if you haven’t, please join us sometime.  We have a 15 mile ride with a 10 mile stop then a 5 mile return.  A few times we’ll be a mile or two longer or shorter but that’s the idea.  I love that I meet some of the nicest, most interesting people on the rides.

 

Mileage

Bike Miles 4,669 (last year 4,294)

Car Miles 7,000

Long distance trips 4,500

Around town 2,500

I still haven’t met my goal of 5,000 miles/year on my bike.  Maybe next year.

Cumulative bike miles 20,394

My goal is to ride my bike everywhere.  This year I remembered to track trip miles for out of town drives so I can see how much I drive around town.  I’m surprised it’s still this much but I do drive to the farmer’s market on Yorkmont every weekend since I have to be there early and I’m pressed for time on Saturday.  That’s most of the mileage.  The rest are running the kids around to the doctor, dentist, birthday parties, etc.  I don’t like to drive my car nearly as much as I love to ride my bike.

 

National Bike Challenge Stats: (May-Sept 2014)

5,281 points

2,241 miles

152 days ridden

#7 rank locally

#1245 rank nationally

Monthly record 489 miles

Best day 42 miles

I don’t consider myself athletic.  I just like to ride my bike.  I’m surprised I was ranked #7 for the Bike Challenge.  A few miles here and there really do add up.  You don’t have to ride far or fast just consistently.  I think I missed one day during the 5 month challenge.  I even rode when I was out of town.

 

Bike Benefits

My goal for Charlotte Bike Benefits was to be the largest program this year but we didn’t quite make that goal this year.  We are #2 – behind Seattle, WA by about 17 businesses.  Let me know if you have suggestions for additions to the program.  And please ride your bike and support our participating businesses so they’ll continue to be engaged and supportive of bicycling in Charlotte.  Please let the participating businesses know that you support them because they are a part of the Bike Benefits program.  They need to know it’s a positive draw for them.

Cycling Savvy Charlotte

I taught my first Cycling Savvy class in December.  I’ll be scheduling classes regularly.  Let me know when you want to take a class and we’ll make it happen.  You can now sign up for notifications on the website so you’ll know when the next class is scheduled.  Here’s the link.  I like to keep the class sizes small (less than 8 people) so everyone can get the most out of the classes.  I know everyone says “I know how to ride a bike and don’t need to take a class.”  But if you learn one thing to make riding more enjoyable, less stressful and it could save your life, it’s worth it.  Just sign up and take the class and take my word for it.  You’ll learn a lot.  I promise.  Riding a bicycle is easy.  Riding a bicycle mindfully and courteously makes every ride more enjoyable.  Come learn how you can ride anywhere.

BikeFest

BikeFest is planned for Sunday May 3rd.  Mark your calendars and save the date.  And better yet, help me plan it and be on the inside.  Help me make this a great event to help share the joy of bike riding in Charlotte.  Planning starts now.  You can either help plan or on the day of the event or both.  There are lots of opportunities to help support bicycling in Charlotte.  Let’s get people on a bike so they can remember the joy they had riding just like the first time they learned to ride long ago.  Email me at pamlikestobike at gmail.com if you can help.  Thanks in advance.

 

Thanks!

Thanks for riding with me.  Keep inviting your friends to ride with us.  We’re filling up the calendar and have events most of the time now.  If you didn’t read it, here’s a link to the Year in Review newsletter.  As Rocky says, “Ride a Bike!”

 

 


Bike Challenge Prize Drawings

We'll draw for prizes at Birdsong at the stop for the Critical Mass ride.  Each rider who participated in the Challenge will get tickets based on miles, points, days miles were logged and leadership.  Choose which prize(s) you want to win and then we'll draw the winning ticket for each prize.

You can get your tickets before the ride or at Birdsong.  Please enter the prize drawings as soon as you get there so we can start drawing for prizes.  We should be at Birdsong around 9.  And drawings should start at 9:15.

Thanks to the Bike Benefits businesses who donated prizes.  We have a prize pool valued at $1800.  Thanks to Bart at Queen City Bicycles, Charlotte Bicycle Benefits, Davede Varner, Dilworth Eye Associates, Plaza Midwood Dentistry, Sir Edmond Halley's, Common Market, Birdsong Brewing, Letty's, BikeSource, Good Bottle, EcoLicious, Great Outdoor Provision Company, Dread's Mobile Bike Repair, VeloClean, The Diamond, Harry Johnson and Tony Cam.

Prize
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 1
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 2
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 3
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 4
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 5
Queen City Bicycles prize kit 6
Plaza Midwood Dentistry dental cleaning
Dilworth Eye – comprehensive exam 
Espada service gift certificate
Framed print
Davede Varner -Massage
Eagles Nest Doublenest hammock
Dread tune up
Dread tune up
Dread tune up
Sir Ed's gift cert
Brooks wrench
CM gift cert & Buddha dashboard cat
VeloClean gift cert
VeloClean gift cert
Growler w/free refill, pint glass,pint koozy
BikeSource gift card
Letty's gift cert
Good Bottle Hat, t shirt and sticker
EcoLicious gift cert
Floor Pump
Cyclometer
Chain
Chain
Diamond Gift card
Diamond Gift Card
Bell
Lube
Lube
Speed lever
Speed lever
Speed lever
Speed lever

Bicycle Benefits – Update

Please join me in welcoming the last 10 businesses who have signed up for Bicycle Benefits.

  • Tyber Creek Pub – a great Irish pub just off the trolley trail in South End
  • Healthy Home Market – the original home grown health food store
  • Pita Pit – great sandwiches on pitas with great vegan options
  • Kabob Grill – great kabobs and vegan options too
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe – at Metropolitan on the greenway, lots of healthy options including vegan
  • VBGB – great outdoor space at NC Music factory
  • Cherry Berry – self serve frozen yogurt on the greenway at Metropolitan
  • Varji Varji Salon and Spa – great salon and spa in Morrison
  • Concrete and Lace Boutique – edgy clothing boutique in Area 51
  • The Daily Press – newest NoDa coffee shop at the Evening Muse

Check the new interactive map and pocket list on the website.


Local Bike Challenge Celebration

  • Local Bike Challenge Celebration
  • Birdsong Brewing Co.
  • Friday, September 26th
  • 9:00 pm

The Local Challenge ends midnight Thursday September 25th.  We'll be riding from Common Market at 8 pm with Critical Mass.  Come ride to Birdsong for the prize drawing and celebration.  We have over $1,000 worth of prizes.  Thanks to Charlotte Bike Benefits, Dr. Mikie Farmer of Plaza Midwood Dentistry, Espada (bike shop), Harry Johnson of Trips for Kids / The Recyclery, Davede Varner, Letty's, Dread's Mobile Bike Repair Service, Birdsong Brewing Co., Common Market, Sir Edmond Halley's Pub, Great Outdoor Provision Company, BikeSource, Good Bottle, VeloClean for their generous donations.  

The prizes will be awarded on Friday.  Be sure to log all your miles before the deadline.  Each rider participating will be given tickets to enter the drawing for the prizes they want to win.  The more points you've earned, the more chances you'll have to win.  Additional tickets will be awarded for various accomplishments.

The National Bike Challenge formally ends September 30th midnight.  You can ride and log more miles up to that date.  It's been fun!  Let me know what you thought about the Challenge.  Thanks for riding.


Charlotte is a Great Biking City 3

Best Cities

There are many important things a city can do to gain our consideration for this list: segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards, to name a few. If you have those things in your town, cyclists probably have the ear of the local government—another key factor. To make our Top 50, a city must also support a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops.
Above is the first paragraph from the Bicycling article of the 50 best cities for biking.  I’m sure you’ve seen the article.   I take issue with the criteria and results.  Charlotte is a great place to ride your bike.  We may not have segregated bike lanes or bike boulevards but we do have buses and light rail trains equipped with bike racks.  We have the support of the city transportation department through the installation of bike detection signals at many intersections so bike can trigger the traffic signal and safely cross.  We have many municipal bike racks and building codes that require new buildings to provide both covered and uncovered bike parking.  Light rail park and ride stations have bike lockers where you can store your bike in a covered locker to secure your bike and all accessories.  Some buildings even provide bike lockers.  Bike culture in Charlotte is growing and diverse.  Not only does Charlotte have a variety of charity and race events such as 24 Hours of Booty and the Novant Criterium, we have great mountain biking, cross, and track events on local area trails, such as the Whitewater Center and the Rock Hill velodrome.  We have great local bike shops of all kinds.  We have a thriving Bike Benefits program that is the largest program in the country.  We have 190 businesses who support cyclists riding to their business by thanking them with an economic incentive.  We have bicycle events year round.  We have a great resource of Trips for Kids / The Recyclery that provides low income children a mountain bike experience they wouldn’t have otherwise.  TFK also has an earn a bike program and a shop that trains volunteers to work on bikes.  What a great community resource!  While some Charlotteans are intimidated by  changes in temperature and thus do not bike year round, Charlotte does have a temperate climate that enables one to bike all year.  I have biked year round for years.  I sometimes think the temperate climate decreases people’s likelihood to bike year round because small changes in temperature or weather seem to throw us.  But in places like Chicago, NYC or Madison where people are cooped up all winter, they burst outside to bike as soon as the daytime temperature hits 50 degrees or so.  It’s also similar in places like Seattle or Portland when it’s sunny.  Any time there’s a positive break in weather, people get outside.  I feel we in Charlotte often take for granted our pleasant climate.
Charlotte also has a thriving bike sharing system that has been a big hit.  We have a great tree canopy and a beautifully lush landscape.  Riding under the shade of the trees down streets full of unique homes is a daily treat in our hometown.  Neighborhoods are filled with beaming homeowners who take great pride in their homes.  Charlotte is a nice and clean city.   Cycling it is fairly straightforward.  For instance, while arterial roads do have to be used in some instances where creeks, rail road and utility rights of way cut through or where cul de sac neighborhoods were once built, most neighborhoods are connected.  We don’t have miles of bike lanes because they aren’t necessary.  Most of the streets are bike friendly.   I have a dislike for badly built bike lanes anyway even though that is part of the criteria for being rated in best cycling cities (See blog post).    My opinion on this is based on my riding experience with over 29,000 miles ridden in my career as a cyclist, as opposed to city planners who don’t usually ride bikes, but still make decisions for those of us who do.
Charlotte also has several signed bike routes to help you get from one part of town to another.  There is a growing multiuse path trail that will cross 30 miles through town when connected.  Many sections are complete and well-used.  In much of the city, it is possible to use your bicycle as your primary mode of transportation.  I live in Plaza Midwood and I can use my bike for everything. Some of the younger people moving into town often choose to cycle exclusively, never owning a car in the first place.  I believe cycling is part of the future of Charlotte.  
Through PMTNR we’re trying to help people get back on a bike, support local Bike Benefit businesses and share routes with them all while building road riding confidence.  Most people will ride on the greenway or around their neighborhood but wouldn’t otherwise be riding around on a Tuesday night. Our Tuesday group averages about 100 people each week during all but the coldest part of the year. Our stop almost always includes a bicycle benefits business.  This helps to familiarize new riders with all the places their bikes can take them in Charlotte.  It’s the highlight of my week.  It’s great to see so many smiling faces each week with flashing lights for blocks and blocks just riding around.  Come ride with us!