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BUSHWACKER CX

TAKE on BRADLEY PARK by BICYCLE at

Bushwhacker CX a Cyclocross Event

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On October 27th,  join us as area cyclists ride and race over the terrain at Bradley Park.  Expect to be cheered on as you ride around a 1.5 mile course across grass, sand, the Japanese bridge, and more.  You’ll start near the pavilion by the tennis and sand volleyball courts. This February’s event brought snow, mud, laughter, and cheers at Expo Gardens and now we’re ready to do the same at Laura Bradley Park.

With the success and popularity cyclocross has earned over the last few years, a group of central Illinois race directors decided to join in on the fun and start a race series. Bushwhacker jumped on board to sponsor the first event in the Peoria area.  The race is expected to have near 100 cyclists compete in four different categories. The event starts with a first timer/beginner friendly 40 minute race, followed by the 50 minute expert race, a 40 minute women’s and juniors race, and finish up with an open race for everyone to participate in. The course will offer something for everyone, easy enough for beginners, yet challenging for the faster cyclists.

Bushwhacker CX Feb 2013

What is cyclocross?

The origin of cyclocross is somewhat debated, but the Belgians claim to have started it all.  It is a form of bicycle racing requiring competitors to complete laps 1.5-2.5 miles long as many times as possible in a given amount of time.  Courses are about the width of a lane of traffic, mostly on grass, through fields and forests, and require riders to dismount over small obstacles, sand, or logs.  It is extremely spectator friendly, as crowds can line the course around fun obstacles to cheer or jeer riders as they pass.

The event will take place October 27, 2013 from 9:00am–2:00pm with races starting at 10:00am.  Beginners race for 40 minutes starting at 10am, Experts for 50 minutes at 11:00am, Women and Juniors at 12:15, and an Open Race for all classes will be held at 1:20.  Prizes will be awarded to top finishers in each class and due to the proximity to Halloween there will be a best-costume prize as well.

For additional information on the Bushwhacker CX, please visit www.bushwhacker.com/ or call Brad 309.692.4812.

Bushwacker CX Facebook Event Page

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Main Street Makes A Statement

There was a buzz on the bluff last night. A public forum was held at Bradley University’s Westlake Hall regarding the proposal of making the intersection of Main and University streets in Peoria more pedestrian friendly. It seems there has been a push in the recent months of making things more walkable, bikeable, and more equitable for people who are moving around town sans auto.

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What spurred this conversation is more of a happy accident than a true, dedicated effort to make things better for pedestrians [Water Main Break]. Either way, take what you can get. It was a full house of concerned neighbors, business owners, and people who are tired of Peoria being stuck in the proverbial four-wheeled rut. Local officials, engineers, and public administrators filled in the rest of the crowd.

Crowd

It became clear from the start, that the public’s input was not only appreciated but much-needed. The intersection today is pretty dangerous, and almost completely favors the car as you can see on the Google map view.

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Just looking at the curbs, they are rounded, which if you think about it, makes it quicker and easier for you to make a turn. The faster you do that, the faster you can hit someone on foot or on bike. The sidewalks are compromised, and there are no bike lanes to speak of. When thinking of how to “fix” this intersection, the best way is to bring everyone into the room and see how they actually use this space.

To better conceptualize the intersection for people, there were 3 options of proposed options. Making things difficult is that these three options are all different in their concepts and thus, you force people to love it or hate it (see roundabout discussion).

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

To me, this meeting was a breath of fresh air. Mike Rogers, the new Public Works Director and new to town, brought up old plans like the Heart of Peoria Plan and even the Walkable West Bluff Campaign. By old, we’re talking 10 years ago, but still are extremely relevant to last night’s conversation These efforts were to create a vibrant atmosphere that encouraged walkability, bikeability, and to induce neighborhood regeneration by reducing auto-dependency and increased human interaction.

Mike

Over the past 2 years, the revival happening  on Main Street cannot go unnoticed. It has seen a revival, in part, due to adding on-street parking which as traffic school teaches us, actually slows down traffic and gives businesses parking for its patrons. We’re so trained at wanting to go fast and breeze through wherever we are driving to or through, that we don’t want anything to get in the way. As a whole, what high-speed traffic had done to Main Street, and Peoria in general, was remove the desire for anyone to get out of their car.

As one commentor put it:

We want Main Street to be a destination that people come to and spend time, enjoy it – not just drive through it.

Which is very true. Somewhere in our history, 50 or 60 years ago, we stopped creating places people want to go and spend time at. We have built our streets and buildings to be high capacity, high speed ways to get people in and out – usually at the lowest cost. This oldie, but goodie TEDTalk by James Kunstler spells this out very clearly.

Main Street has that ability to be a place that people care about. They already do judging by the turnout last night. People showed up literally and figuratively to say so. The comments made were awesome. Even without a roundabout pamphlet professing safety, we know we want things to be safe. When we show them images with people, trees, flowers and texture they get excited. Show them a car sewer and the mood goes down.

Let’s make not only this intersection great for people, but the entire street and the neighborhoods that they serve. It’s easy and what it takes is to put cars in their place. Pedestrians, bikers, buses, delivery trucks, then cars. I will guarantee you that this area will continue to revitalize and that there will be more and more activity in this part of town. It will set the precedent for other areas around town that are going to have the same conversation. Within a short amount of time, Peoria can rebuild around its people, not their cars.

For more coverage on last night’s meeting view the links below:

Peoria Journal Star

WMBD 31

WCBU 89.9

WEEK/WHOI

Thank you to everyone who came out and shared their thoughts!

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Sunday Sunny Sunday

I’m pretty sure we’re all sick of the rain around here by now, so today looks to be a great day to get out and ride. There’s a lot happening around  Peoria, so make sure if you’re going, go by bike!

Day 2 fun of Bike Summer:

  • Bike to Church – Didn’t make the early service? Join your fellow parishioners, clergy men and women in riding your bicycle to service on the holiest day of the week.
  • Where’s The Rack, Peoria? – Where’s the Rack Ride – Come out and have some fun riding bikes with friends while helping to complete the Peoria bicycle rack map! We’ll start at Terwyn Park (2219 Idaho Street) around 7 AM, and split up in teams to cover major streets in Peoria (Sterling, University, Sheridan, Knoxville, Wisconsin, & Prospect) noting locations of bicycle racks along the way. All routes will end back up at Leaves and Beans in Peoria Heights for coffee & prizes! This ride is FREE and helmets are REQUIRED to participate. We will not be returning to Terwyn Park after the ride is over, so we highly recommended you ride your bike to the start! All routes will be between 8-10 miles. Please bring a camera or camera phone with you to help document the rack locations. Notebooks will be provided if you do not have access to a camera. For questions, please contact Mike Honnold at 309-696-2591 OR cannondale_25@juno.com

Also, there is the Market On Moss today from 9-3. If you haven’t been in years past – it’s a must do. Check out their Facebook page to find out more Market On Moss.

Send us your pictures of you around Peoria on bike! Instagram or Twitter #bikepeoria

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