Poky Pedaling Stevens Point https://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org Bikes are fun! What's the hurry? Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:00:20 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.com/ https://secure.gravatar.com/blavatar/945dc41d460d19ab722271015fdada56?s=96&d=https%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fi%2Fbuttonw-com.png Poky Pedaling Stevens Point https://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org Very Sad News /2017/12/26/very-sad-news/ Tue, 26 Dec 2017 20:17:08 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=420633 Continue reading ]]> Just over a year ago, I posted on the PPSP blog that I would be taking a pause in my Poky Pedaling Stevens Point activities due to a number of personal issues. Topmost was my frequent travel to Los Angeles to visit my Dad, who had a variety of health issues including dementia.

A few weeks ago on December 12, as I was by his side, my Dad passed away.

Visiting my Dad on his 90th birthday last year

In the past three years, I made 16 trips to visit him. During this time, his health varied considerably. Although there was no consistent pattern overall, over the past 9 months I felt that his brain function was steadily diminishing. During my trip this past September, he didn’t seem able to remember anything about anything.

Despite this, he seemed generally comfortable, he continued to eat very well, and his health was relatively stable although he had symptoms indicating very poor blood circulation. I had concerns about his quality of life, but I did feel it was still on the positive side.

I arrived once again in Los Angeles on Monday December 4, expecting my visit to last four days. There was no indication upon arrival that anything was notably amiss with him, even though he slept through my visit that day.

The next morning, Dad showed symptoms meriting a trip to the emergency room. There were a number of issues he was dealing with, including fluid in his lungs. After becoming more stable, he was moved to a hospital room that evening.

On Thursday, he was moved to intensive care. He was being given oxygen through a mask that pushed air into his lungs. He was also very weak and unable to swallow. Tests showed that his system was functioning very poorly.

On Sunday, they did a dialysis treatment to cleanse his blood because his kidney function was extremely poor. He had a slight uptick after that, and for a short time I felt optimistic he might gradually improve.

Unfortunately, his condition turned worse on Monday. He was unable to clear the fluids out of his lungs, and his level of lung, heart, and brain function seemed inadequate to keep up with all the issues he was dealing with. He was generally unresponsive to any external stimulus, including gentle sustained shaking of his face.

On Tuesday December 12, his vitals started slowly declining over the day, and at about 3PM, the decline accelerated – his blood oxygen levels and blood pressure plummeted. Non-invasive measures were taken over the next 20 minutes, but they were unsuccessful. As I stood near my Dad hoping my touch would communicate my love for him, he calmly passed away. He showed no sign of any pain or suffering throughout this ordeal, so that is a blessing.

My Dad’s funeral was on Monday the 18th. He was buried in the same plot as my Mom, who passed away about four and a half years ago.

Two days later, I boarded the train out of Los Angeles and arrived back home on Friday.

To state the obvious, this been a stressful and emotional few weeks for me. I am sad, but otherwise I am doing fine.

It is far too early for me to consider the future for Poky Pedaling Stevens Point. I occasionally pondered the possibilities over the past year, yet I was too overwhelmed to consider taking any action.

Moving forward, I am likely to be far less overwhelmed since I won’t be taking trips to Los Angeles every two or three months. Nevertheless, deciding which activities I focus on over the next few years will require far more reflection than I have had opportunity to contemplate.

I am posting this message simply to let Poky Pedalers know what is going on with me. I realize this is not a typical blog post, yet my recent experiences merit something out of the ordinary.

Just as winter will persist for a while before gradually giving way to spring and summer, I expect to navigate through my grief over the next few weeks, slowly reestablishing my routine and eventually moving on to new endeavors. I’m pretty sure some of these endeavors will involve bicycling.

A meaningful life requires us to embrace both the sadness of loss as well as the joy of Bike Fun. I hope all Poky Pedalers are fully embracing whatever festivities you participate in during this time of year.

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pokypedalingstevenspoint A message from the Chief Bike Fun Officer: It is time for a pause /2016/12/14/a-message-from-the-chief-bike-fun-officer-it-is-time-for-a-pause/ Wed, 14 Dec 2016 17:58:02 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373336 Continue reading ]]> After a great deal of self-reflection, I have decided to take a pause for 2017 in my Poky Pedaling Stevens Point activity.

My decision means that it is unlikely there will be any Poky Pedals next year. It also means that if I post at all to the PPSP blog over the coming year, such posts will likely be infrequent. The PPSP website, including all past blog posts and other accumulated information, will remain available online.

The pragmatic rationale for my decision stems from a collection of personal issues, several of which have drawn significant amounts of my time and energy over the past few years. In the recent past, these have prompted me to scale back my PPSP activity in hopes I could find a suitable sustainable balance.

Unfortunately, scaling back did not go far enough. As a result, I feel it is best for me at this time to take a pause. This has been a difficult decision, but I am satisfied that it is the right decision for me at this time.

I am not ready to say what may or may not happen beyond 2017. That is for me to consider at a future time.

Fundamentally, PPSP has always been about advocacy, trying to encourage our local leaders to create safe, comfortable, and convenient bicycle infrastructure suitable for use by 8- to 80-year olds. Behind all the Bike Fun shared on our Poky Pedals over the past 5 years, these events have always demonstrated that bicycles are feasible and useful transportation vehicles.

The PPSP blog has provided a voice to document local bicycle transportation news. Such stories were often ignored by other media sources. On the infrequent occasions these stories made local papers, the coverage was often shallow because the author rarely had recent experience with transportation bicycling and had essentially no context of broader bicycle advocacy across the United States within which to frame their coverage.

The PPSP blog provided more complete discussion of the issues relevant to these stories because of my perspective as a daily user of a bicycle for my local transporation (in good weather – I walk otherwise) and because of my daily reading of blogs discussing transportation bicycling in cities all over the United States, not to mention a few beyond our borders.

Over the past year or so, the flow of bikey news reporting on the PPSP blog slowed considerably. There was plenty of local bikey news going on that I wanted to cover. Due to the personal issues I referred to earlier, I just wasn’t able to keep up with the reporting of all this news while also planning, promoting, and participating on Poky Pedals. This was a clear sign to me that I wasn’t finding the sustainable balance I needed to keep PPSP active.

Bicycle culture in the Stevens Point area has moved forward substantially since I first created PPSP in 2012. On the Bike Fun front, Point Area Bicycle Service has offered themed community rides over the past few years, including the wildly successful annual Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza. On the advocacy front, there are now several people who regularly keep bicycle transportation on the minds of local officials at government meetings. Stevens Point has adopted the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and has created a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee charged with making suggestions on how to implement plan recommendations.

Although I still feel something like PPSP is useful to encourage local leaders to make bicycling better, I am no longer the only voice advocating for bicycling like I felt I was 5 years ago. Given all the other bicycle culture activity taking place locally, my pause in PPSP activity will not leave a void in local efforts to improve bicycling in the Stevens Point area.

Now that winter has finally arrived, I’m walking my errands around town. But once the weather turns warmer and the snow melts away, I’ll once again be using my bicycle for almost all my local transportation needs. Between now and then, my pause in PPSP activity will give me the opportunity to better focus on my personal issues that demand attention.

Regardless of how things proceed beyond that, I look forward to sharing the streets and paths of the Stevens Point area with all Poky Pedalers.

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Bike Fun Report: A recap of the 2016 Poky Pedals /2016/09/28/bike-fun-report-a-recap-of-the-2016-poky-pedals/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:46:10 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373205 Continue reading ]]> The just completed fifth season of Bike Fun with Poky Pedaling Stevens Point again provided a variety of slow themed urban bicycle rides for the enjoyment of all Poky Pedalers. Before we all start preparing for the colder weather to come, let us review some highlights from all the Bike Fun shared with PPSP over the past several months.

PPPPicnic pic

2016 was another great year sharing Bike Fun with Poky Pedalers

The 2016 Bike Fun Calendar provided 6 Poky Pedals, which averaged 13 Poky Pedalers on each. Besides these rides, there was also a special event that crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.

Our rides covered a broad portion of the urban area. Poky Pedals within Stevens Point ranged from west of the Wisconsin River to east of Hoover Ave and from north of NorthPoint Dr to south of Patch St. In addition, we explored neighborhoods on the east side of the Village of Plover on one Poky Pedal.

The themes this year had Poky Pedalers visiting several types of destinations. Our Poky Pedals included visits to department stores, museums, a non-profit social service agency, and a veterans memorial. As always, food was a regular theme. Usually this meant consuming food, but we also went shopping at a grocery store on one Poky Pedal.

CAP S&DB group riding street

Poky Pedalers on Shop & Donate by Bike (photo credit: CAP Services)

Shop & Donate by Bike
The most notable Poky Pedal this year was our first one, Shop & Donate by Bike. This was a benefit for CAP Services Family Crisis Center, a local resource for domestic abuse survivors and their children as well as for runaway youth. Shop & Donate by Bike was also a celebration of Bike to Shop Day, a counterpart to other events that encourage people to use bicycles more frequently for their daily transportation needs.

On Shop & Donate by Bike, we visited three shops. At each one, each Poky Pedaler contributed $5 towards the purchase of donation items. The purchases from each shop were loaded onto the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier, a 5-foot-long bicycle trailer, and then towed to the next shop.

CAP S&DB trailer Copps

The Colossal Cargo Carrier hauled all the donation items purchased during Shop & Donate by Bike (photo credit: CAP Services)

After our shopping was complete, we rode over to CAP Services (with your Chief Bike Fun Officer pulling the trailer and goodies weighing roughly 250 lbs) and donated all the purchased items to their Family Crisis Center.

The value of all the donations made to CAP Services on Shop & Donate by Bike totaled $368. This was the first charity-themed Bike Fun we’ve shared, and I am grateful that Poky Pedalers made such a meaningful contribution to a worthy and vital nonprofit in our community.

Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point
PPSP organized a special event to crown the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point. This took place during the annual Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza organized by Point Area Bicycle Service.

pokiest pedaler winner

Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point

At one of the BAE checkpoints, a slow race challenge was provided. Fifty-eight teams sent a representative to negotiate the 20-foot-long course as slowly as possible without putting their feet down or touching either of the side markers. The longer one took, the more points one received towards BAE prizes.

The slowest eight adventurers over the afternoon qualified for a tournament at the afterparty. The tournament involved heats of head-to-head slow race competition on a 35-foot-long course, with the slowest advancing to the finals.

When all was said and done, Jared was crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.

Other highlights

  • The Tiny Museum Ride included a visit to Historic Fire House No 2 on Strongs Ave. This building, now a museum run by the Portage County Historical Society, is the oldest remaining municipal building in Stevens Point. Karen and John Zinda of the Historical Society were kind enough to give us a tour of the artifacts on display.
  • fire house trucks

    Poky Pedalers exploring Historic Fire House No 2 during the Tiny Museum Ride

    On the “P”-Street Bellringer Ride, we discovered the plethora of Stevens Point streets that start with the letter “P”. Of the 81 street transitions we made during the ride, over 1/3 of them were onto “P” streets.

  • The Maple Ride included an impromptu visit to the Wisconsin Korean War Veterans Memorial, situated on an island in Lake Pacawa and accessible from Worzella Pines Park via a short causeway.
  • Food themed Poky Pedals this year included a Poky Pizza Pedal and a Poky Pedaling Potluck Picnic.

This recap only touches upon all the Bike Fun shared this year with PPSP. For more detail, click here to read the Bike Fun Reports from each of our 2016 Poky Pedals. Without a doubt, 2016 has been another great year of sharing Bike Fun.

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Bike Fun Report: Maple Ride /2016/09/25/bike-fun-report-maple-ride-4/ Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:54:42 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373197 Continue reading ]]> Yesterday on a cloudy yet pleasantly cool day, nine Poky Pedalers shared Bike Fun on the Maple Ride. As always, the Maple Ride celebrated the onset of fall by seeking out streets named “Maple”, in whole or in part.

This year, the Maple Ride took a route through the village of Plover. Starting from Little Plover River Park, we took a route that skirted the west end of Springville Pond, after which we generally travelled southeast. Poky Pedalers enjoyed riding on calm streets through many lovely neighborhoods. Yet as we turned south on the Hoover Ave sidepath and crossed busy Plover Rd at a signal, we still had not encountered a single “Maple”.


The view from our snack stop in Worzella Pines Park, with the Wisconsin Korean War Veterans Memorial in the background

Our fortune changed quickly as we came across Maple Dr soon after passing Menard’s. We turned east on Maple Dr and rode to the end where we enjoyed a snack stop at Worzella Pines Park, immediately adjacent to Pacawa Park. These two parks on the south side of Plover are quite scenic with their ample greenspace surrounding Lake Pacawa. We took in the pretty setting while enjoying an assortment of snacks Poky Pedalers brought for sharing.

One major attraction at Worzella Pines Park is the Wisconsin Korean War Veterans Memorial. It is located on an island in Lake Pacawa and is accessible via a short causeway. During our snack stop, we walked over to the memorial and explored this tribute to those who served in the Korean War.

Upon leaving the park, we headed north. From the Hoover Ave sidepath, we turned east on Roosevelt Dr and immediately came upon Maplewood Dr, our second “Maple”. We enjoyed our brief excursion on horseshoe-shaped Maplewood, and then continued to wind through pleasant neighborhoods until we returned to Hoover Ave. A short ride up the sidepath returned us to our starting spot and completed our 8-mile loop.

The end of the Maple Ride also brings a close to the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar. In a few days, I will be posting a recap of the Bike Fun shared with PPSP this year. Poky Pedalers should keep an eye out in order to relive the Bike Fun highlights from this past season of Poky Pedals.

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Maple Ride on Saturday will close out the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar /2016/09/21/maple-ride-on-saturday-will-close-out-the-2016-bike-fun-calendar/ Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:49:48 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373189 Continue reading ]]> Our final Poky Pedal of 2016 is coming up this Saturday. The Maple Ride will offer a bit of Bike Fun to celebrate our passage into the fall season.

The Maple Ride will meet on Saturday September 24 at 12:45 PM in Little Plover River Park near the tennis courts. As always, the Maple Ride is our annual opportunity to seek out streets named “Maple”, in whole or in part. This year, our route will take us on calm streets and non-motorized paths through scenic neighborhoods in Plover.

maple st sign

We’ll be seeking out streets named “Maple”, in whole or in part, during the Maple Ride.

During our 8-mile loop ride, we will ride slowly in one contiguous group. There will be a snack stop about halfway through, so Poky Pedalers are encouraged to bring a little something along to enjoy there. Unfortunately, there will not be any option to purchase snack items during our ride.

The Maple Ride is free of charge and all Poky Pedalers are welcome. If riding slowly and sharing Bike Fun sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon, then you are a Poky Pedaler.

As of Wednesday morning, the weather forecast for Saturday afternoon is calling for temperatures in the mid-60’s under cloudy skies. No rain is expected, as any light drizzle is predicted to end Saturday morning. Conditions should be cool yet pleasant for our Poky Pedal.

I will continue to monitor the weather forecast and will update this blog post if necessary over the next few days. If the forecast changes drastically and requires a postponement, I’ll also include that info in the update. For now, it seems that we should be able to enjoy the Maple Ride as scheduled.

The Maple Ride will be our final opportunity to share Bike Fun this year, so Poky Pedalers won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to enjoy a colorful fall afternoon. I look forward to sharing Bike Fun with all Poky Pedalers on Saturday.

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Bike Fun Report: Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament /2016/08/30/bike-fun-report-pokiest-pedaler-in-stevens-point-challenge-and-tournament/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:42:26 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373165 Continue reading ]]> On Sunday, Point Area Bicycle Service held the third annual Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza. John Pawlak, the mastermind behind the BAE, told me that approximately 250 people participated. Adventurers rode around Stevens Point for about three hours looking for checkpoints and objects that allowed their teams to accumulate points. The finish destination was at Lakeside Bar, where an after-party with food, beverages, and live music awaited the Adventurers.

pokiest pedaler crown

Adventurers were contending for this coveted crown signifying the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point

One piece of the BAE was the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament. The checkpoint at Goerke Park provided a slow race challenge to each team who showed up.

One member of each team had two chances to ride their bicycle on the 20-foot-long course as slowly as possible, using the best (i.e., slowest) time from the two runs. The basic rules were that you could not travel backwards, you could not put your foot down, and you could not touch either lane side marker.

pokiest pedaler challenge

An Adventurer tackles the slow race challenge at the Goerke Park checkpoint

Points were awarded for the slow race challenge as follows: 50 points for at least 5 seconds, 100 points for at least 15 seconds, and 150 points for at least 25 seconds. Times for all Adventurers were recorded, and the slowest riders over the afternoon participated in the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament at the after-party.

Fifty-eight teams took part in the slow race challenge at Goerke Park. Here are some stats from all these runs:

  • 11 teams took 25 seconds or more and were awarded 150 points,
  • 31 teams took at least 15 seconds but less than 25 seconds and were awarded 100 points,
  • 14 teams took at least 5 seconds but less than 15 seconds and were awarded 50 points,
  • no team with at least one qualifying run took less than 5 seconds,
  • 2 teams were disqualified on both runs and received no points,
  • the slowest time was a remarkable 59.2 seconds, second slowest was 34.5 seconds,
  • the median time over all teams was 19.0 seconds.
pokiest pedaler winner

Fresh from his victory in the finals, Jared earns the honor of being crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point

The slowest eight Adventurers from the challenge at Goerke Park qualified for the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament at the after-party. The tournament course was about 35 feet long, almost twice as long as the challenge course, and featured head-to-head competition.

After a few preliminary heats, the finals were held before a roaring crowd of Adventurers. The finals included the Adventurer who blew away the field in the challenge with his time of 59.2 seconds, and he was the clear favorite. But as fate would have it, he touched one of the side lane markers early in the finals and was disqualified.

The final slow race continued, and in a close finish, Jared was the last Adventurer to cross the finish line, thereby earning the honor of being crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.

Adventurers and judges shared a heap of Bike Fun during the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament. Congratulations to Jared and to all Adventurers on an outstanding day filled with Bike Fun on the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza.

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Are you the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point? Prove it on Sunday during the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza /2016/08/26/are-you-the-pokiest-pedaler-in-stevens-point-prove-it-on-sunday-during-the-bicycle-adventure-extravaganza/ Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:04:59 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373155 Continue reading ]]> The 3rd annual Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza organized by John Pawlak of Point Area Bicycle Service is taking place this Sunday. PPSP is collaborating with PABS on the BAE by organizing one small piece of this event: the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament.

Sunday will provide a massive amount of Bike Fun. I will first give an overview of what the BAE is all about before giving a few details about the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament.

Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza
The best brief description about what the BAE is all about is probably this snippet from the event website: “Included in this year’s adventure is an awesome photo/found items scavenger hunt, a bunch of excellent challenge checkpoints, a poker run, a costume contest, 8 super-secret hidden clue checkpoints, and an amazing after-party & potluck with musical guests Armchair Boogie!”

big bird selfie

One team taking a selfie of a ‘found’ item during the 2014 Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza

The BAE is on Sunday August 28 starting at 1 PM at PABS (1311 Strongs Ave between Main and Church in downtown Stevens Point). If you have not registered in advance online, either as an individual or as a team, you should show up before 12:30 PM to register. The entire BAE, including the after-party, is free.

I have talked with Pawlak several times about the BAE. Here is some general information I have learned from these conversations and from the event website, although specifics may change before Sunday.

The BAE is not a race but rather a point-based competition. Prizes will be awarded to top point scorers as well as to winners of other competitions, such as the best poker hand (using cards collected during the event), the best costume, and the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament. There will also be a drawing among all participants to award numerous other prizes.

Here is a list of items, taken from the event website, that Adventurers should bring with them to the BAE: a bicycle, a digital camera (cell phone camera OK), a pen or pencil, and something to carry special items in. PABS also suggests bringing sunblock, water, and a few snacks.

saddle 5

One past challenge involved tossing a bicycle saddle through suspended bicycle rims

At 1 PM, participants will receive a handout with clues and information. A map will show recommended streets and paths to take, the location of challenge checkpoints, and the finish destination. Items to find and take pictures of will be listed. Clues will suggest places Adventurers should visit to gain additional points.

Adventurers will have until around 4 PM to ride around Stevens Point accumulating points through the handout information. Adventurers should be able to locate all handout items and destinations within a mile or two of the start location.

At the challenge checkpoints, each team will have the opportunity to successfully complete a challenge that can award them more points. In the past, the BAE has included challenges such as tossing a bicycle saddle through a suspended bicycle rim and a bicycle-themed variation of horseshoes involving U-locks and front forks.

costume mix 1

The Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza will fill the streets of Stevens Point with costumed Adventurers on bicycles

Adventurers must arrive at the finish destination by the time deadline (somewhere around 4 PM, maybe a bit later) to hand their score sheet in. The finish destination is the location of the after-party. The after-party is a potluck – any potluck contributions brought to PABS at 1 PM will be transported to the after-party. There will also be free beverages (beer and soda). The band Armchair Boogie will be playing. (They played at PABS’s store expansion celebration event in May and were awesome!) And in the midst of all the eating and drinking and dancing, celebrants can cheer those participating in the costume contest and the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament.

Did I say yet that the entire BAE, including the after-party, is free of charge? It is worth saying again. This entire afternoon of Bike Fun is completely free of charge. Wow.

To get an even better idea of what to expect during the BAE, read this PPSP blog post with lots of pictures from the 2014 BAE.

For more info on the BAE, including how to sign-up, either as an individual or as part of a team, visit the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza webpage or the PABS website.

Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament
PPSP will be stationed at one of the checkpoints to offer the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point slow race challenge. Each team will choose one member to ride their bicycle across a straight 20-foot course as slowly as they can. (Individuals simply ride themselves.) The slower you go, the more points you will accumulate.

Here are the basic rules:

  • You cannot travel backwards and you may stop only momentarily (no track stands).
  • You are disqualified if you put your foot down or touch either side lane marker.

While the after-party is always a blast, this year will feature live music and the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament

There will be practice lanes set up for you to work on your slow race technique before attempting the challenge. The rider will be allowed two runs of the course, and the better (i.e., slower) of the two will be used for scoring.

At the after-party, the slowest riders from all the slow race challenge runs during the day will participate in the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point tournament. The tournament course will be about twice as long as the challenge course. The eight slowest riders from the afternoon will participate in two heats of four, with after-party participants cheering for their favorites. The two slowest riders from each heat will move to the finals, and the slowest rider in the finals will be crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.


Everyone else is going to be at the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza on Sunday. Where will you be?

Are you the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point? Sunday’s challenge and tournament will be your opportunity to put this question to rest and claim the honor of being the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.

As Bike Fun goes, the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza will be off the charts. Last year, over 400 Adventurers participated. Wow. With numbers like that, it is obvious that PABS is the place to be Sunday at 1 PM.

While you’re out accumulating points, I look forward to seeing all Poky Pedalers at the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point slow race challenge. You might even qualify for the after-party tournament and earn the title of the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point. Good luck to all Poky Pedalers.

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Bike Fun Report: Poky Pizza Pedal /2016/08/26/bike-fun-report-poky-pizza-pedal/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:44:15 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373149 Continue reading ]]> After an overcast and damp morning, conditions Wednesday became downright pleasant for our Poky Pizza Pedal. Eight Poky Pedalers shared pizza-themed Bike Fun as blue sky gradually emerged from between the clouds.

We met at Point Area Bicycle Service where we learned about the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza that PABS is putting on this Sunday. As part of that event, I will be staging the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament. Look for a blog post shortly to learn more about this upcoming event.

From PABS, we headed out on a 4-mile loop upon neighborhood streets east of downtown. We rode southeast until we reached Center St, a scenic and calm east-west route that we then rode to Frontenac Ave. From there, we generally bicycled north and west to Franklin St.

We stopped at the intersection of Franklin and Division St to learn about the new crosswalk treatment the city recently installed, a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). When the RRFB button is pushed by someone wishing to use the crosswalk, alternately flashing yellow lights alert people on Division to their presence.

The flashing yellow lights themselves do not obligate Division traffic to stop. Rather, once someone enters the crosswalk, the lights basically serve as a reminder that people walking across the intersection have the right-of-way, meaning that traffic should stop for them as dictated by state law.

It is worth mentioning that even if the lights are not flashing, Division traffic is still obliged to stop for anyone walking in the crosswalk. There is no ‘Don’t Walk’ condition associated with the RRFB. That being said, many people may feel more comfortable knowing the flashing lights are operating before stepping into the crosswalk.

The RRFB was installed in the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see how traffic responds to it and whether the walk crossing of Division at Franklin will now feel safer. Since this walk crossing gets substantial use from those traveling to or from UWSP, such observations will be particularly interesting once the fall semester starts.

Our Poky Pedal continued west on Franklin to Third St, where we turned south to return downtown, specifically to Polito’s, our pizza destination. This was our first visit to Polito’s on a Poky Pizza Pedal. Everyone made their pizza selections from among the many available choices, and we sat together at one of the benches to enjoy conversation, pizza, and beverages. Once we finished our feast, our Poky Pizza Pedal came to an end.

Yet there is always more Bike Fun to look forward to. The Upcoming Poky Pedals webpage and the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar are Poky Pedalers’ best sources for their next Bike Fun adventure.

And there will be adventure galore in a few days on the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza, during which all Poky Pedalers will have the opportunity to claim the title of Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point. I will have more to say about this on the PPSP blog shortly.

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This Wednesday: Poky Pizza Pedal plus a chance to learn more about the upcoming Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza /2016/08/21/373141/ Sun, 21 Aug 2016 16:12:56 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373141 Continue reading ]]> [Weather update Tue 10 AM: It looks like the weather will cooperate for our Poky Pizza Pedal. The forecast for Wednesday indicates that any rain should end early in the day. After 5:30 PM, temperatures should be in the mid-70’s with mostly cloudy skies and less than a 20% chance of rain. Wednesday shapes up to be a nice evening for sharing Bike Fun.]

Poky Pedalers have another opportunity to share Bike Fun this Wednesday on the Poky Pizza Pedal. Combining two of everyone’s favorite things, bicycling and pizza, the popularity of these Poky Pedals should come as no surprise.

The Poky Pizza Pedal meets on Wednesday August 24 at 5:30 PM at Point Area Bicycle Service (1311 Strongs Ave in downtown Stevens Point). Veterans of past Poky Pizza Pedals should note that our meeting time is 15 minutes later.

arbuckles patio

The pizza feast during one of last year’s Poky Pizza Pedals

From PABS, we’ll head off on a 4-mile loop bike ride through pleasant neighborhoods. As always, we will ride slowly in one contiguous group upon calm streets and non-motorized paths.

Our bike ride will end at a pizza place no more than a few blocks from our start location. We’ll all pile in to enjoy food, drink, and socializing in the company of other Poky Pedalers. Poky Pedalers may either join in on the group pizza order or else order something else off the menu. You are even welcome to sit and chat without ordering anything. Please plan on purchasing whatever you choose to eat or drink. Cash is most convenient for those participating in pizza.

Besides whatever you spend on food and drink, the Poky Pizza Pedal is free and all Poky Pedalers are welcome. If riding slowly and sharing Bike Fun sounds like a great way to spend some time, then you are a Poky Pedaler.

Bills bike parking

Which pizza place will we visit on this Wednesday’s Poky Pizza Pedal? Poky Pedalers never know until we get there.

If you have never been on a Poky Pedal and are curious what to expect, you can read the Poky Pizza Pedals and Are Poky Pedals Family Friendly? webpages.

As of Sunday morning, the weather forecast for Wednesday late afternoon is calling for temperatures in the mid 70’s with a 40% chance of rain, likely no more than a drizzle. I’ll continue to monitor the forecast and post updates to this blog post. However, I anticipate that we’ll meet at PABS on Wednesday regardless of the weather. If conditions seem too wet for comfortable bicycling, we can simply head directly over to our pizza destination for our feast and conversation. Sometimes you don’t have to ride a bicycle in order to share Bike Fun.

One last thing to mention is that upon gathering at the start, Poky Pedalers will have a chance to learn about the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza that PABS is organizing on Sunday August 28. The BAE is hard to describe, but it is a full afternoon loaded with Bike Fun for all ages. This PPSP blog post about the first BAE a couple of years ago should give you a general idea of what to expect.

This year, as part of the BAE, PPSP will be staging the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament. I’ll have more to say about this event later in the week. Needless to say, Poky Pedalers will definitely want to participate in the BAE if only for a chance at the honor of being crowned the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point.

At the start of our Poky Pizza Pedal, you can learn how to sign up for the BAE. The BAE is free, and participants can register as either individuals or as part of a team. Poky Pedalers even have the option of forming teams among themselves Wednesday evening.

Between the Poky Pizza Pedal on Wednesday and the BAE on Sunday which includes the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament, there will be a barrel of Bike Fun to enjoy this week. Yet it is always best to take Bike Fun one day at a time. I’ll have more to say on the PPSP blog about the BAE towards the end of the week. Until then, I look forward to sharing Bike Fun with all Poky Pedalers on the Poky Pizza Pedal this Wednesday.

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pokypedalingstevenspoint arbuckles patio Bills bike parking
Bike Fun Report: “P”-Street Bellringer Ride /2016/08/08/bike-fun-report-p-street-bellringer-ride/ Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:37:09 +0000 http://pokypedalingstevenspoint.org/?p=373133 Continue reading ]]> This past Saturday, nine Poky Pedalers enjoyed a beautiful sunny afternoon riding through scenic neighborhoods while ding-dinging our bike bells on the “P”-Street Bellringer Ride. We had to wait a couple of weeks beyond the original schedule due to a personal health issue, so having a pretty day for our delayed Bike Fun was much appreciated.

The theme behind the “P”-Street Bellringer Ride was to chime a chorus of bike bells each time we rode upon a street whose name starts with the letter “P”. Over our 12-mile ride, we discovered that an unusually large number of street names in Stevens Point start with the letter “P”.

From Iverson Park, we headed south to the neighborhood east of McDill Pond. That area kept our bike bell fingers busy as we encountered a plethora of street names starting with “P”.

p-st ice cream

Poky Pedalers enjoying ice cream at Carl D’s while resting their bike bell ringing fingers during the “P”-Street Bellringer Ride

We then headed west, crossing a “P”-street desert where we rode over a mile-and-a-half without encountering a single “P”-street. During this portion, we contemplated getting a street-sign-green marker and doing a little street name editing to address this deficiency. A few pen strokes would quickly change streets like Rice St and Blaine St into the “P”-streets Pice St and Plaine St.

Upon turning north, we soon resumed our “P”-street bike-bell-ringing frenzy. We stopped for ice cream at Carl D’s to fortify our group for the remainder of our Poky Pedal.

We then continued into the neighborhoods north of downtown. From there, we generally headed east as we rode back to Iverson Park. We encountered “P”-streets galore through these areas as we repeatedly rang our bike bells with glee.

For the record, here is the list of “P”-Streets in the order we encountered them during our ride:

  • Patch St
  • Parkway Dr
  • Pine Ridge Dr
  • Pine Ridge Ct
  • Pine Ridge Dr (again)
  • Pleasant View Dr
  • Parkway Dr (again)
  • Pioneer Dr
  • Parkwood Dr
  • Parkway Dr (yet again)
  • Patch St (again)
  • Prairie St
  • Park St
  • Prairie St (again)
  • Park St (again)
  • Plover St
  • Pine St
  • Prentice St
  • Portage St
  • Pulaski Pl
  • Prentice St (again)
  • Philips St
  • Portage St
  • Prais St
  • Peck St
  • Prais St (again)
  • Pinecrest Ave
  • Park Ridge Dr

This totals 28 instances where we rode upon a “P”-street. Considering that we made a total of 81 street/path transitions over the entire ride, over one-third of the streets we traveled on were “P”-streets. Pretty remarkable, in my opinion.

To sum it up, we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon riding upon an abundance of “P”-streets providing ample opportunities to ring our bike bells. Pure Bike Fun.

Yet even more Bike Fun is on tap over the next few weeks. Poky Pedalers can look at the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar and the Upcoming Poky Pedals webpage to discover their next opportunities to share Bike Fun with PPSP.

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pokypedalingstevenspoint p-st ice cream