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Volunteer for Bike Valet at MAHA!

July 28th, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Bike Parking

The MAHA Music Festival, taking place Saturday, August 11th, 2012 is now in its fourth year and expects its largest crowd ever. Over 4,000 people are expected to attend the show at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village to see more than a dozen acts, including co-headliners Garbage and The Desaparecidos. Locating the concert next the to Keystone Trail as well as near neighborhoods with many active cyclists, MAHA planners hope to see and want to accomodate bicycling as a way of getting to this concert.

Come help us support the festival by volunteering for one or more two-hour shifts. We also need a volunteer (with a truck or sufficient bike trailer) to help transport the system to and from the event. SIGN UP ONLINE HERE. The expected lineup is posted below (from the MAHA website) in case you have tickets and want to check out a band before or after your shift.

Noon Gates Open
12:10 Centris Stage The Seen
12:45 Weitz Funds Stage Conduits
1:30 Centris Stage Eli Mardock
2:05 Weitz Funds Stage Frontier Ruckus
2:55 Centris Stage Universe Contest
3:30 Weitz Funds Stage Josh Rouse
4:35 Centris Stage UUVVWWZ
5:10 Weitz Funds Stage Dum Dum Girls
6:15 Centris Stage The Mynabirds
7:00 Weitz Funds Stage Delta Spirit
8:10 Centris Stage Icky Blossoms
9:10 Weitz Funds Stage Garbage
10:40 Weitz Funds Stage Desaparecidos
Midnight Show Over – See you in 2013!

All times are approximate | Lineup is subject to change

Come be a part of the next stage for Omaha Bikes…

July 28th, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Advocacy, Bicycle Friendly Destination, Bike Parking, Bike Route, Bike Shop, Bike to the Ballpark, Community, Events, Get Involved, Handlebar Happy Hour, Rides, Stolen bike, Valet Bike Parking

As many individuals are aware, Omaha Bikes has recently launched a new website (are you coming to our special HHH to celebrate?), and we are entering a new stage of our journey. We are looking for talented individuals to join the Omaha Bikes leadership team in one of many specific capacities. Do you have a special interest or skill set that can elevate Omaha Bikes’ impact in the metro area? Take a look at the positions we hope to fill and if you are interested or have questions send an email to or leave a comment. Or you can stop by any of our upcoming events and talk with someone about the organization.

We hope to select folks to fill these spots at or before our next meeting on August 14th.

Hey, we’re kind of new at this, so take a look at these responsibilities and tell us what you think. Chances are you can do at least one of them better than we can, and we would love your help. Let us know why you’re the right person for the job:

  • Events and Outreach Coordinator
      • Oversee planning for events such as Bike D’Lights, Discover Omaha tours, Dust Off Your Bike events, and Handlebar Happy Hours
      • Manage and coordinate the Bike Friendly Destination program
      • Ensure events and tags on website are accurate and complete
      • Receive and respond to emails submitted via “events” widget
      • Manage newsletters, email groups, and social media
      • Activate members around advocacy opportunities
  • Volunteer and Bike Valet Coordinator
      • Act as the point person for events wishing to use Omaha Bikes’ valet system
      • Work with events to plan for use of the system
      • Provide expertise on use of the Bike Valet system
      • Maintain and track data on system users for each event
      • Work with the Treasurer to record revenue and donations from Valet
      • Work with Events Coordinator to recruit volunteers as needed for other events (e.g., ride leaders)
  • Blog and News Coordinator
      • Ensure blog is updated with regular content
      • Manage website “users” and monitor blog submissions
      • Recruit other Omaha Bikes leaders to write content
      • Monitor local and national news outlets for relevant stories and compile for blog
      • Monitor and post stolen bike alerts
      • Manage tags for blog post content
  • Bike Shop and Club Liaison
      • Regularly communicate with local bike shop managers and club presidents
      • Ensure managers and presidents are aware of Omaha Bikes’ priorities and events
      • Recruit shops and clubs to help with membership drives, volunteer recruitment, donations, and so on
      • Closely work with Events and Outreach Coordinator to continuously cross-post shop and club events on
  • Treasurer & Membership Coordinator
      • Pull monthly membership data
      • Provide regular reports to group on financial situation and memberships
      • Track financials and work with leadership team to develop Omaha Bikes’ annual budget
      • Work with LiveWell Omaha to establish a financial reporting plan
      • Receive emails submitted through the membership widget
      • Regularly review and approve membership payments

Advocacy Alert: 114th Street widening project public meeting

July 25th, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Advocacy

On Tuesday, July 31, the City of Omaha is hosting a public informational meeting regarding the project to widen 114th street between Pacific and Burke. The projects may present opportunities to accommodate non-vehicular traffic, including improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

The meeting is being held at Burke High School from 6:00pm–8:00pm. The City will make a short presentation at 6:15 and then have time for the public to explore preliminary plans. Employees from Planning and Public Works will be available to answer questions.

The image below shows with a red line the portion of 114th street under consideration. Note the proximity to portions of the  Big Papio Trail, marked with green arrows.


Bike Valet Volunteers Needed Saturday!!

July 24th, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Uncategorized

Omaha Bikes will be providing valet bike parking at the Playing with Fire concert on Saturday, July 28 from 3:30pm-11:30pm. We have four 2-hour shifts available. (sign up for multiple if you want to hang longer!)  Click HERE to sign up!


The valet will be located near Rick’s Boatyard Cafe, and volunteers will be able to hear the music.  Also, each volunteer will receive 1 drink ticket to be used at the Adult Beverage Site. :)  Once bikes have arrived, volunteers can take turns checking out the scene.

If you are interested in helping with future bike valet opportunities, mark your calendars now for the MAHA Music Festival, which will be held in Stinson Park, on August 11.

Use of Metro Transit racks continues to skyrocket

July 23rd, 2012 | Author: patrick
Category: Bike Commuting

Note: This is being cross-posted by Patrick McAtee from the Verdis Group blog. Patrick is president of Omaha Bikes and is also a senior associate at Verdis Group, a company that integrates sustainable solutions to help organizations flourish.

Omaha’s Metro Transit rolled out bike racks on its buses in September 2008. The racks were installed on every bus in the fleet using federal stimulus money. Every bus is equipped with a rack that can carry up to two bikes, and there is no extra charge to use them. If you’ve never used the racks, you can find “Bike & Ride” instructions on Metro’s website.

Metro has been tracking how many bikes it carries since it installed the racks, and the data is staggering. When looking at year-to-date numbers through June, 2012 has seen nearly twice as many bikes on the racks as 2011, and Metro buses have already carried more bikes so far in 2012 (7,269) than in all of 2010 (7,021). The graph below shows the number of bikes on the bus racks from January through June in the past four years:

(link to download: Metro Transit Rack Use YTD Comparison)

Three of the four highest-use months in the past four years were April 2012 (#4), May 2012 (#1), and June 2012 (#2). If past years are any indication, the rest of 2012 should also be phenomenal. The graph below shows monthly bike rack use for the past four years. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, use of the racks peaked in August or September. May 2012 appears to have been a peak (2012 is the first year that June was lower than May). However, with the continued heat wave and more and more individuals familiar with how to use the racks, I expect we’ll see, for the first time, a month with more than 2,000 bikes by the end of the year.

(link to download: Metro Transit Rack Use Monthly Comparison)

Keep on riding and thank you to Metro for supporting multi-modal transportation options!

City to Add Shared Use and Bike Lanes on Leavenworth

July 18th, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Bike Commuting, Bike Lanes, Bike Route, Filling in The Gaps, News

Last week the Mayor’s office announced plans to add shared use and bicycle-only lanes on Leavenworth Street from 31st street to 13th street. This one-way section of Leavenworth will improve east-west connectivity for bicyclists and help create a link between midtown and downtown.

The city plans various lane and parking restrictions along this corridor starting Friday, July 27th and ending Sunday, July 29th. By Monday, July 30th, we should have some fancy new bike infrastructure to ride on. This comes less than one week after the July 25th ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of phase 1 of the new South Omaha Trail, another east-west connector between Karen Park and the Field Club Trail.

Read the Mayor’s full press release here.

All or Nothing?

July 5th, 2012 | Author: Jules4110
Category: Advocacy, Women's Cycling

The Finch Family

Surely by now many of you have read the great article by Jonathan Maus of  that highlights Emily Finch, mother of 6, who bikes her children all over town in Portland.  I’ve had this article forwarded to me by a variety of people and have seen it posted in multiple places on Facebook; I finally just got around to reading it tonight.

Emily Finch is an inspiration to be sure – a woman who decided she needed to make a change and proceeded to ditch her gas powered GMC Suburban for what is essentially the pedal-powered version:  an elaborate cargo bike system that carries all of her children, groceries and various other sundries.

Truth be told, there was a tinge of envy to go along with my admiration of Emily Finch as I was reading.  I wish I could be her…I dream of a life in a charming, scaled down midtown Omaha house, downhill from my favorite grocery store, and with easy access to Metro transit.  (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)  In my dream, I commute by bike nearly everywhere I go, and although I might have a car, I don’t really use it very often.  My legs become so strong that I pedal carelessly up even the nastiest of midtown hills (California Street, I’m looking at you.)  My children willingly and happily pedal with me on every excursion.  I ride to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday and only cook meals with locally-sourced food. Oh, and there’s always a tailwind, a nice temperature of 72*.  And unicorns.

I have a lot of friends in Omaha that have lives very similar to the dream I just described.  (Well, maybe not the unicorns… not as far as I know, anyway.)  I have a lot of envy-tinged admiration for them, too.  My reality, however, is pretty much the opposite: I live in suburbia, and while I love and try to ride my bike(s) as much as possible and take transit when I can, the fact is, I still drive a lot more than I pedal.

When I pondered this a bit more, my envy-tinged admiration turned to frustration … not because I wasn’t living out my dream (yet!); I was frustrated because I caught myself falling into the trap that so many women fall into, and that is thinking we need to have it all in order to be worthy.  In other words:  Either I have to be Emily Finch, or I’m not worthy (certainly not a worthy bicycle advocate).   WHY do I do this to myself, and more importantly, how many others have created a barrier for themselves by having the same thoughts?

I was at the first annual Women’s Bicycle Summit in Washington DC last March, and I’m very pleased that there is momentum building.  There is going to be a follow up summit at the end of the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference in September, and the League of American Bicyclists has set up a Facebook page for the Women’s Cycling Project and a Twitter account, too @womenbike.  The goal is “…to encourage more women to bicycle in the United States.”   If we want a more bicycle-friendly city, then getting more women on bikes is the bike lane that leads to the proverbial promised land.  More women on bikes -> more kids on bikes -> more support for bicycling in our city… and it only gets better from there.

I’m pretty sure that the League is not going to measure “more women on bikes” solely by the number of cargo bikes sold or the total yardage of spandex procured by desingers of the Pearl Izumi women’s line, or the number of women completing century rides.   Progress will be achieved when more women start getting on a bike for short trips here and there, for whatever purpose, and however often it makes sense for them.  It most certainly does not have to be all or nothing.

I’m looking forward to plugging into the League’s initiative and being inspired by other Emily Finch’s of the world, but also by women who feel passionately about bicycling and “just” ride with their kids to school, or “just” ride their bike a few miles on the bike path near their house every so often…. or “just” WISH they could and need someone to be their voice in the matter.



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