Celebrate National Bike Month
Last year at this time the Door County Bike and Pedestrian Plan was making the rounds at public meetings before it was presented to the Door County Board of Supervisors for its approval, which came at the board’s Jan. 28 meeting.
Paul Anschutz took off from work at Bay Shipbuilding that below-zero morning in order to be at the historic adoption of a plan that recognizes the bicycle and perambulation as legitimate modes of transportation in Door County.
It was just part of what Anschutz, Bike Committee Chairman of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance, understands will be a long process of education and, in some cases, re-education to accept and embrace the bicycle culture in Door County.
“It’s the Five Es,” he said, “Education, education, education…”
And, he adds, he means education for everyone – bicyclists of all ages, motorists and elected officials.
“With all these biking events going on, it’s time for people who care to educate,” Anschutz said. “We’re trying to change the culture, the mindset, for people who live in Door County about bikes and pedestrians.”
A great time to do that is during the month of May, which is National Bike Month – sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast since 1956. Within the month there is also Bike-to-Work Week May 12 – 16, which is being recognized for the second year in Door County.
“This is big,” Anschutz said. “This is our second kick at the can for Bike-to-Work week. It’s all about getting people out on bikes.”
The Door County Public Health Department is again involved in the Bike-to-Work week event. Individuals and businesses can sign up by calling the Door County Public Health Dept. at 920.746.2234 or by sending an email to [email protected]. Then download the log form from the Public Health website (co.door.wi.gov). Return the completed log to the Door County Public Health Department by email or fax to 920.746.2320. The business/agency/individual with the most logged miles wins a trophy.
“It went very well last year,” said Public Health Director Rhonda Kolberg. “We had probably eight or nine different businesses or agencies participating. Sturgeon Bay Schools had the most people who biked to work that week. This year we’re hoping to get more participants. We want to encourage biking as a form of transportation and exercise. It improves mental health and also your physical fitness.”
There will also be a celebration of Bike-to-Work week with a seven-mile bike ride and fish dinner at The Lodge at Leathem Smith on Friday, May 16. Also on May 16, there will be free bike checks and coffee starting at 6 am at Martin Park. More information is on the Health Department’s Facebook page and on the Door County Website at co.door.wi.gov.
Out of all the events planned, Anschutz seems most proud of the eighth annual Bike Rodeo geared for third through seventh grade riders. The rodeo is being held at Sturgeon Bay High School on Saturday, May 17, with sessions at 9 am, 10:15 am, 11:30 am and 12:45 pm.
“We’re pretty proud of that,” he said. “Cellcom’s been a provider of bike helmets since year one. Habush, Habush & Rottier, at the drop of a hat, ‘How many helmets do you want, Paul?’ We give helmets to the city of Algoma. We give helmets to the Door County Sheriff’s Department to pass out in northern Door. They have a rodeo up there with the kids at the Y. This year we’ve got Ministry Door County Medical Center graciously gave a huge amount of money to buy these blinky lights, so the kids can be seen by motor vehicle operators. The Sturgeon Bay Police Dept. supplies the CSOs, Community Service Officers, that help us out. Dairy Queen is giving the kids a free Dilly bar. When I was a kid, I’m 56 years old, there was nothing like this.”
Ultimately, Anschutz said, the rodeo is about “getting kids confident and feeling safe to ride on the road. We not only teach the kids, we teach the parents what it takes to make the child safe. Come to the rodeo, learn safety, and be a mentor to others.”