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Is it #givingtuesday or #_GivingTuesday? – Either way, we need your support

November 29th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Bicycle Friendly Destination, Bike Shop, Community, Event, Events, Get Involved, How to Help | Tags: , , , ,

Today is Giving Tuesday, and Omaha Bikes can use your support today, tomorrow, and in the future. As we approach our ‘off season’ for events, we focus on community impact, planning for 2017, and our favorite signature event: Bike De’Lights! Make sure an join us for an evening enjoying of holiday decorated bicycles and enjoying our festive city by bike!

2016 is a landmark year for Omaha Bikes. This year we accomplished the following:

  • Secured funding to expand event bike parking
  • Hired first employee since 2014 reorganization
  • Increased bicycle event parking equipment to over 200 bike capacity
  • Increased bicycle valet parking from 2 to 10 events
  • Saved over 700,000 kg of emissions with event parking
  • Advocated for improved bike trail closure process
  • Hosted the first Omaha Bike Congress
  • Guaranteed maintenance agreements for 20 new Bike Fixit stations in 2017
  • Cranksgiving – Coordinated with local bike shops to deliver 1000 lbs of supplies to the Siena/Francis House by bike!
  • Secured bike safety education in Metro Transit bus driver training curriculum

As we look to 2017, our goals are set even higher:

  • Continue current programs
  • Expand bike event parking to 15 events
  • Expand event parking equipment by 50%
  • Expand permanent bike parking rack program to entire metropolitan area
  • Represent Omaha at the National Bike Summit
  • Guarantee bicycle event parking requirements for events
  • Update website with bike valet integration
  • Create and implement comprehensive bicycle education to all road users
  • Provide funding for children’s bike safety education
  • Expand Bicycle-Friendly Destination program
  • Secure maintenance agreements for and repair existing Bike Fixit stations

To accomplish our 2017 plan, we have applied for over $60,000 in grants from area foundations. Many of these would be awarded shortly after the first of the year, but there’s no guarantee. Even with full grant funding, we will still be short on general operating expenses. With our current funds near depletion, we need your help to continue our mission.

If you can’t give today, please consider Omaha Bikes and many of your favorite charities this season.

You can support us in many ways, and your donations are tax-deductible!


On a personal note:

To Omaha Bikes’ Board of Directors, thank you for making this year possible. I don’t know where I’d be without your leadership, confidence, and guidance.

To the amazing group of volunteers, your passion for bicycling is incredible. Thank you enduring the hot sun, pouring rain, and all the other battles of the elements!

Many thanks to partnering organizations for your support and encouragement.

Thank you to all of you for making this year the most amazing year yet!


Cranksgiving 2016 Recap

November 21st, 2016 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Community, Events

On Saturday November 19th, Omaha Bikes hosted a gathering of people from bike shops throughout the bicycling community to deliver an estimated 1000 lbs of supplies to the Siena/Francis House and its mission of hospitality for the homeless.

Cranksgiving began in NYC and has expanded to cities across the country. It’s basically a food drive/scavenger hunt race on two wheels. Traditionally, riders are given a list of items, and each rider must by each item at a different store and return to finish location. Prizes for winners, different divisions, a party after, and all the usual bike race things you’d expect.

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll! – Photo: Scott R.

Omaha has had many Cranksgiving races as well as social rides over the years, often hosted by Bike Masters as well as other local bike shops. This year Omaha Bikes wanted to do something different. We wanted to bring members of the bicycling community together in the spirit of giving. At the fantastic suggestion of Dale Rabideaux, a mechanic at Bike Masters Cycling, we selected the Siena/Francis House as the charity to benefit from goods collected, and we are happy to support the Siena/Francis House’s atmosphere of hospitality for the homeless. After a few email exchanges with SFH staff, they were very excited to have us pedal the goods over at the end of a Saturday.

Rather than have one big race event, each shop was encouraged to participate in the way that worked for them, and Omaha Bikes would host a gathering and opportunity to deliver all the collected goods by bike!

Bike Masters had a ride earlier this month with about 15 folks picking up food, supplies, and clothing. Also, the shop accepted donations throughout November. Dale rolled up with his minivan FULL! There were six bike boxes filled with food, hygiene products, clothing, coffee, and more! (We scratched out heads and cast doubt if our Bikes At Work trailer’s 600 lb capacity would be exceeded.) Dale didn’t even have room for his bike…but more on that later. Caps off to these folks!!

Endless Trail Bike Shop chose to have a food drive and delivered many boxes filled with canned goods!

The Bike Rack had a ride Saturday morning hitting some hills between the shop and a nearby Hy-Vee. Even with just a handful of riders, Katie and Brittney drove up with boxes and bags of clothes, food, and travel-sized toiletries! (I think they pretty much cleaned out the travel section.) Even after their hilly ride, the gals helped haul all the loot over and stay for a drink.

Last but not least, Omaha Bicycle Company rolls in from Benson, and Sarah leads a crew of 6 or 7 folks bringing all kinds of donations in overloaded panniers, cargo bikes, and backpacks.

Dale and I studied, plotted, and picked our loading plan for the cargo trailer. Everyone started transferring the donations to 5 bike boxes and a few small QBP boxes. With some tape, rope, and straps, the group managed to secure a load very likely near or exceeding it’s weight limit. I was glad to have hydraulic brakes on my Surly Pug Ops!

Uh, I don't know if it's all going to fit!

Uh, I don’t know if it’s all going to fit! Photo: Katie M

There were still several things that wouldn’t fit in panniers or on racks, so Brittney (who just started riding bikes in August) volunteered to pull a B.O.B. trailer, yes! We loaded her up as we saw the OBC folks roll up.


Brittney’s going to pull a trailer, too!


Photo: Katie M.

Dale grabbed a Heartland B-cycle and a big box of mac & cheese!

Bike sharing is giving! – Photo: Katie M.

The OBC folks hadn’t seen us inside, so we caught up with them on the street! I rolled slowly  and my brakes shimmied as I stopped suddenly before turning onto Cuming Street (or plan to ride Nicholas via the parking lot involved more of climb, so we opted to take a critical mass method).


Rolling off – Photo: Katie M.


Photo: Katie M.

Photo: Scott R.

Photo: Scott R.

Much smiling and bell ringing ensued.

Smiles all around - Photo: Scott R.

Smiles all around – Photo: Scott R.

We were met with the smiling faces of SFH staff and volunteers. Everyone helped bring the ridiculously heavy boxes from the trailer to the loading dock.

Photo: Scott R.

Photo: Scott R.

He must have been motivated by Scott Blake’s presence, so Scott Redd opted for the ‘safety second’ ride in the back of the trailer while holding his bike. There was much laughter and selfie taking on the way back.“It looked like it would be fun,” said Scott Redd. “It wasn’t really very comfortable.”

Safety Second! - Photo: Katie M.

Safety Second! – Photo: Katie M.

If you look closely, you can see this is a 'double selfie'...whatever that means. Photo: Pell

If you look closely, you can see this is a ‘double selfie’…. Photo: Pell

OBC crew meet up - Photo: Katie M.

OBC crew joins for the ride! - Photo: Katie M.

After coming back to Omaha Bikes’ office in the CO-LAB of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, we all enjoyed some beverages, snacks, a tour of the office (including a game of ping pong). It was a great afternoon and evening to spend with friends, new and old, in the spirit of giving.

Omaha Bikes is committed to making our city safer for people on bikes and is a non-profit community organization that promotes and advocates for bicycling infrastructure, opportunities, and experiences for the people of Omaha, Nebraska and the surrounding area. Your donations help us with program development and general operating expenses!





The Field Club Connection – an update and recap

June 13th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Events, News, Trails

More than 30 riders participated in a ride to see the most awesome South Omaha Trail connection on Sunday, and we had a great time! This connecting segment is a huge step for trail connectivity in Omaha with the full connection scheduled to be completed this fall!

With the sun blazing and 95 degree temperatures, we are were all grateful for the shade. (even if it means our picture was a little dark)

It was hot enough that we opted for this shady spot for the picture.

It was hot enough that we opted for this shady spot for the picture.

After a conversational pace ride south on the Field Club, we continued on the new South Omaha Trail connection by the silos. We reached the end of the new construction, and everyone hiked to see the work underway near 40th &D. It’s amazing to see how much prep work goes into constructing the trail, and the planning process for this has happened over years!

Looking west where trail will go under 42nd St

Looking west where trail will go under 42nd St

Looking northeast from the  end of the South O where it will cross under F St.

Looking northeast from the end of the South O where it will cross under F St.

After heading back north on the Trail, we climbed up Marcy Street to find our way to The Down Under Lounge.  With great drink specials, free hot dogs, and bingo, they were a most excellent host!

Our pre-warmed racks were nearly full!

Our pre-warmed racks were nearly full!


After some cold beverages and conversations about the awesomeness of bikes, we we played some bingo and laughed together for a great social hangout.

2013 Omaha Elections/Mayor Candidate Forum

March 26th, 2013 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Advocacy, Community, Events, Urban Design

Just when you thought the campaigning was over and we had elected the POTUS and a new Congress, Omaha’s election season ramped up! This year Omaha will be holding elections for mayor as well as for the seven seats on City Council. The primary election is April 2 and the general election is May 14.

Omaha Bikes teamed up with ModeShiftOmaha to pose some transportation and bicycling questions to our candidates. Volunteers from ModeShift compiled the responses. Click the links below to see what the candidates said (or if they even responded!). The questions are posted below for reference as well.

Lastly, if you want to hear from the mayoral candidates first-hand, there will be a candidate forum tonight focusing on land use and development issues in the Omaha Metro (which includes bicycling and transportation). The forum will be at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass Street. Doors open at 6:00 and the forum is from 6:30–8:00pm. It is a free event. If you can’t make it, look for a summary of bicycle-specific candidate comments on our blog later this week.

Here are the questions we asked the candidates:

  1. What do you see as Omaha’s most pressing transportation needs? If elected, how would you address these needs?
  2. During the past two years, the City Council approved the Transportation and Environmental Elements of the City’s Master Plan. Both include a commitment to shift modes and accommodate all users of streets, including: pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. What would you do to ensure this policy is advanced?
  3. Various laws and procedures require the city to solicit public comments for projects related to transportation planning and project design. What will you do to ensure that citizens representing all areas of the community have opportunities to authentically engage in these processes?
  4. Expanding suburbs requires expanding expensive public services such as sewers, police and fire protection, schools, and building and widening streets; these costs get higher the farther out you build. Researchers at UNL project a 60% or greater increase in population, employment, and housing in the Omaha area by 2050. What will you do to ensure fiscally sustainable growth for Omaha?
  5. Given the increasing congestion and travel times in the Omaha Metro area, as well as decreasing financial resources for transportation from federal and state government sources, what should the city do to address congestion?
  6. The number of traffic deaths in Nebraska, most of them in Omaha, reached its highest level in the past decade last year. Of the 207 traffic-related deaths, about 20 percent were pedestrians or motorcyclists. What would you do to help improve safety? In particular, what role do you think the OPD should play as the primary agency charged with keeping Omaha safe?
  7. A frequent constraint the city faces around improving transportation choices are state standards that pre-empt local needs. What will you do to work with the State of Nebraska to enable Omaha to build infrastructure that is more context-specific for our urban environment?
  8. The transportation needs of our community are diverse and changing, what would you do to make sure that Omaha accommodates the transportation needs of all citizens now and in the future?
  9. A growing number of studies find that biking and walking, for transportation or recreation, are associated with significant health benefits. Currently, 64% of adults and 28% of youth in Douglas County are obese or overweight. What would you do to promote increased biking and walking as a public health priority?
  10. Do you support retaining the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator position with the City? Why or why not?
  11. Would you support high speed intercity passenger rail that is now being considered in Iowa? If so, what will you do to encourage the implementation of a useable passenger rail option between Omaha and Chicago? If not, why not?
  12. The City of Omaha recently completed a study of parking and determined that “Downtown Omaha has enough public parking to meet today’s needs, and the needs for the next 20 years.” Research shows that plentiful parking leads to higher emissions, greater congestion, and depreciated land use. Now that the City of Omaha has a Parking Manager, what role do you see her/him play in reducing the demand for parking and better utilizing currently available parking in the city
  13. How often do you use a Metro bus, bicycling, or walking for transportation? If you have school aged children, how often do they take the bus, bike, or walk to school?


The Big Picture on the Big Screen

December 6th, 2012 | Author: Sam
Category: Advocacy, Events, Uncategorized

Film Streams is going to show Chasing Ice (2012). It starts Friday, January 11. So, it’s a long way off. But something to look forward to in the new year! Why is this up on Omaha Bikes? I thought it might be useful to put our project in the context of the big picture about climate change.

A Still from Chasing Ice, From Film Streams’s website.

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

CHASING ICE is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. CHASING ICE depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Win a pair of MAHA Music Festival tickets!

August 3rd, 2012 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Community, Events

With the MAHA Music Festival quickly approaching (August 11th), we thought we would offer an incentive for one person who has bought an Omaha Bikes membership. To be eligible, simply purchase an individual, family, or advocate membership with Omaha Bikes before 11:59pm on Thursday, August 9th. That is only six days away! We’ll randomly pick a winner from the list of members and notify the person via email. We will have the tickets available for pickup at the Omaha Bikes Bike Valet corral at 67th and Mercy, right next to the concert at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village.

Also, if you’re interested in volunteering for Bike Valet at the MAHA Music Festival, you can sign up here.

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

Bike De’Lights Winter Bicycle Ride

November 29th, 2011 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Events, Family

• Friday, December 9, 2011
• Meet at 6:00 PM and Ride at 7:00 PM
• Start/End at Blanc Burgers + Bottles
• 3157 Farnam Street at Midtown Crossing 
The Route:

This is the 3rd Annual Bike De’Lights. It is a social ride at a casual/conversational pace enjoying holiday decorated homes and businesses. Participants are encouraged to layer in warm and casual street clothes. Bicycle helmets are REQUIRED.

Enjoy frequent stops along the route to warm up and relax. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate (parents/guardians must be present). The ride will take 2 or 3 hours, depending on how long we stay at each stop.

Bikes are required to have a headlight and (at the very least) a rear reflector. We’re encouraging riders to decorate their bikes with battery operated holiday lights. Check for the route map, updates and reschedule date (in the event of bad weather).

UPDATE: As of 12:00pm Friday, December 9th, the ride is a GO! See you all tonight at Blanc Burgers + Bottles.


October 24th, 2011 | Author: OmahaBikes
Category: Bike Shop, Events, Family

It’s that time of year again – mark your calendar for one of our favorite events:  Cranksgiving!

Saturday, November 12 · 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Bike Masters (129th/Fort)
Event supporting the Omaha Food Bank.

Those of you who have participated in this event in the past know how much fun it is!   From their website:

It’s a race … of sorts. Each rider gets a list of 10 items that must be purchased, each from a different store. (Where you get them is fine, you just can’t get two from the same place.) First one back wins.

After the race, when everything is tallied and totaled, all of the food purchased goes to the local Food Bank.

There’s no entry fee — you’ll just pay for what you buy (15-20 bucks). There will, however, be prizes.

You’re going to go ride anyway, right? Just pick up some food along the way and help us help a lot of people who don’t have the luxury of jumping on a bike ‘just for fun.’

Hope to see you there!

Omaha Bikes
1516 Cuming Street | Omaha, NE 68102

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