Bicycling spotlighted on May 30, 2012 Urban Tulsa Cover. (Source: Urban Tulsa)
TULSA – In this week’s Urban Tulsa cover story, Matt Nelson provides an overview of Tulsa’s burgeoning bicycle culture.
Nelson points out that, for a city of its size, Tulsa has a treasure trove of bicycling amenities — think RiverParks, Turkey Mountain, Tulsa Tough, Tulsa Bicycle Club, Wednesday Night Rides — accompanied by a diverse community of bicyclists:
Over the past few years there has been a rising trend in the so-called “hipster” cycling community that values a simple, no technology approach to cycling because they believe cycling is just the right thing to do. Ask someone on their technologically advanced carbon-fiber bike wearing their team-sponsored cycling jersey and they’ll tell you it’s about the competition and fitness. Ask someone on their cruiser headed down Riverside, and cycling is an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy time with friends or family. So who are the real cyclists? The answer is YES!
The cover story hits newsstands today. Pick up your free copy this week or read it here.
TULSA – With two days left in Bike to Work Week and a long bicycling season ahead, the City of Tulsa released a short video documentary of Monday’s Bike to Work Week event with Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Councilor Skip Steele.
Let’s hope this willingness to participate in bicycling events progresses from talk into action in improving Tulsa’s streets for bicycling.
"Riding for Brighter Days" by Jan McKay on display at ART BIKE Tulsa 2012 during Mayfest. (photo: Lassiter)
TULSA – The National MS Society is presenting ART BIKE Tulsa 2012, an installation of colorful, uniquely-designed bicycles transformed by some of Tulsa’s leading artists and high school students to bring awareness to Multiple Sclerosis.
The art bike installation has been on display in the lobby of the Williams Center Towers at One West Third Street since May 9 and will continue to be on display at that location through Mayfest. The exhibit will then move to Tulsa International Airport where it will be on display through September 14 leading up to the Bike MS: The Mother Road Ride, a two-day ride from Tulsa to Oklahoma City along Route 66.
"Neon Okie" by Kate Johnson on display at ART BIKE Tulsa 2012. (photo: Lassiter)
The HBO documentary delves into our nation’s weight problem and finds that increases in calorie consumption coupled with a lack of physical activity are the root cause. Better diets will help you lose weight, but physical activity is needed to keep that weight off long-term.
“The question is what changed in the last 30 years to make this obesity epidemic happen,” says Robert Lustig, MD, a Neuroendocrinologist with the University of California, San Francisco.
The increase of car-dependency in our communities is a major factor in the reduction of physical activity.
“We don’t walk, we don’t bike, and it’s cut off hundreds of calories of physical activity,” says Barry Popkin, PhD, an economist and Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
More than 75% of Americans drive to work — a 300% increase since 1960. In 1969, 42% of children walked or biked to school. Today, more than 80% are driven to school. Currently, less than 5% of adults meet the minimum guidelines for physical activity.
“In fact, roughly one in four adults gets no physical activity at all,” says Eric Finkelstein, PhD an economist at Duke University.
“We’ve engineered physical activity out of our everyday lives,” According to William Dietz, MD, PhD, the Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Our work as adults has been increasingly sedentary.”
Much of our sedentary lifestyles comes about from the built environment, one that prioritizes the moving of motor vehicles as fast as possible while ignoring more active modes of transportation.
Cars dominate so much of our lives that one child in the documentary who lives in a poor community with few parks nearby laments, “all these parking lots are, like, kind of the park we have.”
Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville, is working to change his city into one that makes living a healthy lifestyle “the easy choice.”
Dean isn’t just talking either. He’s walking the walk by pouring $13 million into sidewalks. Nashville also has received $7.5 million in grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for obesity prevention efforts, building on their work of improving bike lanes, sidewalks and parks.
“We have to invest in quality of life. People want to live in a city that’s healthy, that’s clean, that’s walkable and bikeable, that’s full of places where they can exercise and enjoy fresh air,” says Dean.
“We know that to be healthier we need to eat better and exercise more. And how you make that part of the city is really the challenge.”
Mayor Bartlett (middle) and Councilor Steele (right) ride their bikes to City Hall to kick off Bike to Work Week. (photo: Wagner)
TULSA – Mayor Dewey Bartlett and City Councilor Skip Steele kicked off Bike to Work Week this morning with a bike ride from The Coffee House on Cherry Street to City Hall.
After speaking with media and attendees, the Mayor and First Lady, Councilor Steele and other bicyclists rode their bikes to work, complete with a police bike patrol escort.
Easels displayed aerial imagery showing the location of bike parking to be installed around Tulsa later this year. (photo: Lassiter)
Bike to Work Week runs from May 14 through May 18 and is part of Tulsa’s celebration of National Bike Month. Monday’s event, hosted by the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), offered free breakfast pastries, juice and snacks for commuting bicyclists while also providing a glimpse into the location of bicycle racks the city plans to install later this year.
Maps showing the locations of the racks were displayed on easels outside the Coffee House. Several on-street bike corrals will be located on Cherry Street. Bike corrals replace a car parking spot with a series of bike racks that can park 10 bicycles in the space of one car.
Bike to Work Week runs all this week and ends with a celebration on Friday at Joe Momma’s at 112 S. Elgin from 4:30p to 6:30pm. There will be prizes and music and you can enter the Bike Commuter Challenge.
Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Steele are interviewed by Fox 23 at Monday's Bike to Work Week kickoff event. (photo: Lassiter)
Mayor Bartlett (middle left) and Councilor Steele (middle right) ride on Norfolk Ave south of 11th Street. (photo: Wagner)
Bike to Work Week kickoff at the Coffee House on Cherry Street, Monday, May 14, 2012. (photo: Lassiter)
Councilor Steele and Tulsa Police ready to go. (photo: Lassiter)
Bicycle parking is sorely needed in Tulsa, and this first round of bicycle racks will make it easy to ride and park near key destinations in downtown, Cherry Street, Brookside, the Blue Dome and the Brady District.
The new bicycle racks will include Tulsa’s first ever on-street bike parking in the form of bike corrals. A series of inverted-U-shaped racks that allow 10 bicycles to be parked in one on-street car parking space, bike corrals will be a welcome addition to some of Tulsa’s most popular destinations.
These bike racks will be installed as part of Tulsa's pilot bike rack program.
In addition to the bike corrals, select bike racks are actually specially commissioned “art racks” in the shape of bison, oil derricks and the city skyline. These racks will be placed near prominent locations such as City Hall, BOK Center, the Central Library and ONEOK Field.
The public is invited to drop by the Bike To Work Week kickoff event at the Coffee House on Cherry Street at 1502 E. 15th Street to ask questions and see the locations of the bike racks.
Free refreshments and breakfast pastries will be provided. The event takes place bright and early from 6 to 8:30am.
Mayor Bartlett is scheduled to appear at 7am. The mayor is even rumored to actually ride his bike to work at City Hall from the event. Let’s see if he follows through.
Bike to Work week will cap off with a celebration on Friday, May 18 at Joe Momma’s Pizza from 4:30 to 6:30pm. There will be music and prizes. Plus, you can sign up for the Bike to Work Commuter Challenge that runs throughout the entire bike-to-work season.
Tulsa's First Lady, Victoria Bartlett, leads the pack on a bicycle tour of Tulsa with City Councilors and the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee. (photo: Lassiter)
TULSA – City councilors, Tulsa’s First Lady, and the City Manager took some time during National Bike Month to get out from behind the windshield and see what it’s like to get around Tulsa by bike or on foot.
The City Council passed a Complete Streets policy earlier this year, and this was their opportunity to gain first-hand experience with active transportation on the streets of Tulsa. The event was organized by the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
The bike tour rode four miles through Cherry Street into downtown Tulsa and back, while the walking tour covered a one mile route that strolled along 12th Street and Utica. Both tours began at Tom’s Bicycles on 15th Street.
Channels 2, 6, and 8 covered the biking and walking tours. You can view their reports below. Tulsa’s Bike-to-Work Week begins Monday, May 14.