By Rob Williams
Bike to Work Week was celebrated the week of May 14 through 18 with Mayor Buol making a Bike Month proclamation. Despite several postings on social media, bus banners and flyers, only ten people registered via our online survey. The Bike Coop had one person take advantage of their “free bike” during BTWW and a public maintenance clinic hosted by the Coop and TMBR at DubuqueFest was also poorly attended, though several people took advantage of the bike valet setup at DubuqueFest. After discussion with several others heavily involved in the local bicycling community, many thought that with the late winter, Dubuquers just weren’t ready to think about biking yet.
Nevertheless, planning on BTWW 2019 has already started with plans to make better use of online and local media. We will strive to have door prizes available from local businesses for those who post “selfies” with their bikes at their places of employment. Other ideas include sharing commuting trips and posting on social media with the hashtag #dubuquebikes. Additional discussion and ideas on how to improve Dubuque’s “bikeability” always welcome!
Now that we are in the early days of summer, let’s recap the events of Bike Month 2018 – also known as May. To kick off local events, two bicycle rodeos were held the week of Bike to School Day. On Tuesday, May 8th, the Dubuque Bike Coop hosted the Bee Branch Bike Rodeo at the Audubon Elementary playground with assistance with the Dubuque Police Department. We had six youngsters bring their bikes by for safety checks, and front and rear lights were installed. Turnout was less than desirable, mainly due to the elementary school track meet being that same evening.
Bike to School Day was also celebrated at Bryant Elementary on Thursday, May 10th and was a huge success. Normally there would be anywhere from 3-5 bikes parked at the rack behind school. On that particular Thursday, however, over 60 bikes took over the Bryant playground! The Bike Coop was on hand to perform safety checks and install front/rear lights, and the Dubuque Police Department taught the ‘rules of the road’ to ensure summer safety.
By Will Hoyer
Progress continues on the new singletrack mountain bike system being constructed at Interstate Power Preserve (IPP) south of Dubuque. This county-owned preserve will, by sometime late this summer or early fall, be open for riding and feature 7 miles of professionally-built trails on the steep, wooded terrain. Trail construction has been slowed somewhat due to recent wet weather, but already nearly two miles of trails have been built by Landowski Trailworx, one of the Midwest’s premier trail-building companies. Despite the heavy rains, a walking tour of what has already been constructed showed the value of expert construction, with very little damage from runoff.
TMBR has completed fundraising for the IPP trails, raising $175,000 from many donors, including substantial contributions from the Wellmark Foundation, ITC, the McCoy Group, Grant Wood Loop, Hodge, Richard Biechler, and McGraw Hill.
In May an exciting new trail project was announced, with John Deere Dubuque Works donating 137 acres to Dubuque County for a new park on Dubuque’s north end. This park, located across the road from the Deere facility, will feature a new picnic pavilion and disc golf course as well as new trails. TMBR is working closely with Dubuque County to raise the estimated $350,000 necessary to build out the park and has already identified funding for over $200,000. Like at IPP, singletrack trails at the yet-to-be-named park will likely total around 6 to 7 miles, and construction will be completed next year.
Between the trails that opened last year at Asbury’s Cloie Creek Park, the Interstate Power Preserve, the John Deere project, and others that are in the developmental stage, TMBR is well on its way toward achieving its goal of being designated a Ride Center by the International Mountain Bike Association by 2025. For more information about TMBR, these projects, or to donate, please visit http://www.tmbrtrails.org.