Not only does Asheville on Bikes do a lot for the bike community, they also know how to throw a good party.
The annual Bike Love party rocked it out for a great crowd with several bands, locally brewed beer, raffles for cool free stuff, and dancing. We were graced with a warm weekend, which made riding bikes to the party very fun.
This year AOB helped raise money for more bike parking at downtown festivals and events. Bike corrals will help create better and safer parking areas for those who want to leave the car at home.
Yes, bikes can also be used to commute—that is, get from place-to-place like you did when you were 14 and didn’t have a driver’s license and your parents were sick of playing chauffer.
Mike Sule, founder of AOB, has taken a personal interest in schooling folks on the benefits of commuting. He rides his Surly to work every day. Snow can be pounding down, traffic backed for blocks behind him, because one person doesn’t know how to safely pass a cyclist, and he never even provides physically aggressive suggestions of what drivers should do. Maybe it’s because he’s a sixth-grade teacher and the motorists are probably his students and their moms.
Maybe that’s why he’s such a powerful advocate for riders. He needs an outlet.
Mainly, Sule believes that the more people there are riding bikes, the more people will understand how fun, economical, environmentally friendly and easy that it is and can be.
Sule has partnered with all of the local bike shops to teach middle schoolers how to ride safely in the city, and to teach driver’s bicycle education about the laws of sharing the road. He has also started middle school bicycle clubs and has maintained active interest in all of the city bicycle plans.
The AOB holds biking events every couple months. This year’s Bright Light Biker ride was held in honor of the man who was shot at by a local firefighter who felt that it was unsafe to commute by bicycle, especially with a 3-year-old child. Apparently he found it was safer to shoot at people…in front of their 3-year-old child. Less traumatizing then a bicycle ride in traffic? I think not.
Don’t miss upcoming AOB events: Bike of the Irish (March 20), Summer Cycle (June 20), Pumpkin Pedaller (October 21), Asheville Holiday Parade (November 20) and the Bright Light Biker (December).
More info here.