Brandon Blankenagel, Senior Engineer, Integrated Capital Management, No Phone Number Available
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at Noon
As I mentioned last week, my original concept for Commute of the Century was to ride 100 miles of bike routes in one day. I planned to do it in chunks that each started and ended at the Rotary Fountain, so I could invite friends to join me at specific times throughout the day. These chunks became the tour routes.
I am most familiar with routes in the northwest and west parts of town, and have little experience riding in other parts of town. The routes were originally selected purely on the presence of either planned or existing bicycle infrastructure. After all, this ride is about experiencing what's on the ground, and giving input regarding how it functions. However, this is NOT the best way to plan group rides.
When I first presented this event idea to the Bicycle Advisory Board, they were excited and ready to help pull it together. In attendance at that meeting were a small group of folks who appeared well seasoned to cycling and seemed to cling together. This group, I found, were members of the Spokane Bicycle Club (SBC). One of the club members came to me after the meeting and said something like, "This is really cool, man! You know…if the routes all start and end at the Rotary Fountain…that should be part of the logo." And so it is.
I've found a wealth of information, ideas, and willingness from members of the SBC. They have given me clear and direct feedback about the tour routes which I could never have accomplished alone in the short time this event has been coming together. In fact, at least one of them has already ridden the full tour…and plans to do it again for the event. Another of them planned a group ride of club members on the longest route, and rode it three times on three different bikes BEFORE taking his group. That was nearly a 100-mile effort, and he gave great feedback on the functionality of the route.
I've been adjusting the routes a bit here and a bit there as these valuable mini-events were occurring through folks like these members of the SBC. I owe them a tremendous THANK YOU! When it is GO-time for each tour, you'll see these same people in action as they help lead, encourage, and guide participants as part of the support crew. I hope you find their enthusiasm and activity level as addictive as I do!
For more information or to register, visit the Commute of the Century page.