2017 Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional Awards

We’re proud to announce the recipients of our 2017 Bike Awards – Paul Dahl of Lynchburg, VA for the Bike Hero award and Mackenzie Jarvis of Blacksburg, VA for our Extraordinary Bike Professional.  Read below for more on the great work these women are doing for cycling in the region.

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Draper Mercantile Lynchpin of Town’s Success

Continuing our efforts to highlight great stories of small towns in the region, we offer this story from The Roanoke Times about the growth of Pulaski County’s Draper.  Of course, we’re pretty proud that former Bike Hero award winner, Thomas Hash, has helped cycling play a role in that success.

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2012 Bike Month Award Winners Announced

The Regional Bicycle Advisory Committee, organized by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, is excited to announce the winners of its 4th Annual Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional awards.  Award winners will be recognized at the Mayor’s Ride on Saturday, May 5th, 9:45 am.  Mayor David Bowers and RIDE Solutions Program Director Jeremy Holmes will present the winners with their plaques and describe what each has done to improve cycling in the greater Roanoke region.  The presentation will take place in the Bennington Park parking lot of the Roanoke River Greenway, near the water treatment plant immediately before the start of the ride.

The Bike Hero Award is awarded to an individual who has shown dedication to the use and advocacy of the bicycle as a transportation alternative in their day-to-day activities, their work in the community to improve bicycle accommodations, and their encouragement through advocacy or by example for others to replace vehicle trips with bicycle trips.  Rob Issem is the winner of the 2012 Bike Hero award.  Rob is recognized for his personal dedication and passion for cycling in all of its forms, whether for transportation, recreation or utility; his tireless support of many bicycling programs and organizations; and his clear goal of making bicycling fun for everyone in the Roanoke Valley.

The Extraordinary Bicycle Professional Award is given to an employee in the public or private sector who has shown remarkable leadership in encouraging the use of bicycling as a transportation alternative.  Wake Fulp is the winner of the 2012 Extraordinary Bike Professional award.  Wake is recognized for his support for cycling through both his professional and personal activities; his work with the Junior Cycling team and passion for mountain biking; and the valuable services he provides to the bicycling community and his customers through his knowledge and expertise of the bicycle business.

The Bike Month Awards are part of Bike Month in Roanoke.  The Bike Month mission is to bring attention to both the opportunities and challenges of bicycling as recreation and transportation in the Roanoke Valley by creating events that involve all interest, skill, and age level of cyclists.   More information can be found at www.bikeroanoke.com.

RIDE Solutions is a service of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.

2011 Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional Award Winners Announced

Roanoke, Va., July 6, 2011 – The Regional Bicycle Advisory Committee, organized by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, is excited to announce the winners of its 3rd Annual Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional awards.  The awards honor individuals who have shown extraordinary dedication to improving bicycle accommodations, education, access, and safety in the region.  Individuals were nominated throughout Bike Month, and winners were selected by the Regional Bicycle Advisory Committee.  The awards and winners are as follows:

Wesley Best, Bike Hero:  The Bike Hero Award is awarded to an individual who has shown dedication to the use and advocacy of the bicycle as a transportation alternative in their day-to-day activities, their work in the community to improve bicycle accommodations, and their encouragement through advocacy or by example for others to replace vehicle trips with bicycle trips.

Wesley Best, owner of the East Coasters Bike Shops, has been recognized as a Bike Hero for his tireless work on cycling, both as a business owner helping customers find the right bike for their needs, as well as a community activist making practical, tangible improvements in cycling accommodations in the valley.  He has been involved in extensive trail building work at Carvins Cove, volunteering his own time and leading groups of volunteers to add and maintain the Cove’s myriad mountain biking paths.  His advocacy work includes attending this year’s National Bike Summit and meeting with congressional representatives to lobby for continued, strong funding of improvement in bicycle infrastructure.  His shop has sponsored a number of events in the area, including the Junior Cycling Team, an effort to get more kids into healthy, competitive cycling.

Liz Belcher, Extraordinary Bike Professional:  The Extraordinary Bicycle Professional Award is given to an employee in the public or private sector who has shown remarkable leadership in encouraging the use of bicycling as a transportation alternative.

Liz has been the driving force behind the regional greenway network, one of the best things to happen to cyclists of all stripes in the Roanoke Valley.  Her dogged determination in seeking to complete this trail has resulted in a multiple-mile, paved, easy-to-ride bicycle highway that continues to connect some of the major activity centers in the Roanoke Valley.  With the recent completion of the Wasena bridge and expansion of the greenway into Vic Thomas Park, it’s now possible to bike from Downtown Roanoke to the Grandin Village almost entirely off-road, and the presence of the greenway is an important catalyst in the upcoming revitalization of the Wasena neighborhood. Because of Liz’s work with planning, fundraising, event organizing, and her ability to work with the many jurisdictions and stakeholders, public and private, involved with the greenway, we are pleased to recognize her with this award.

Try Walking to School

Via the Blue Ridge Caucus Blog:

Gov. Bob McDonnell has vetoed legislation that would require elementary and middle schools to provide 150 minutes of physical education per week, calling it an unfunded mandate on localities.

There is undoubtedly an epidemic of childhood obesity facing the country.  The CDC reports that obesity rates among preschoolers doubled to 10% over the last 20 years, and to 20% for 6 to 11 year olds.  The thinking behind the PE bill was sound, then – clearly, the kids need the exercise.  The objection from teachers and school districts was also justified – school systems don’t need more unfunded mandates.

If my experience walking my daughter to school every morning is any indication, though, there’s a really easy way for a lot more kids to get close to that 30 minutes of exercise a day – walk or bike to school.  It’s not an option for everyone, I know, but I’m pretty confident that some percentage of the kids stepping from their parents’ vehicles every morning live well within walking distance of the school.  Not only would that walk be a healthier option for them, it would make Mom and Dad’s work commute a little easier and keep all those cars from lining up and idling alongside the sidewalk where the rest of the kids travel each morning.

If your child is tending towards obesity, thinking about integrating more walking and cycling into their daily regimen is a good idea, even if it’s as simple and dropping them off a few blocks shy of the school.  Not only do they get some additional exercise, but you get to avoid the congestion around the loading zone and get to zip off to work a bit more quickly.

And in case you’re concerned that your kid can’t walk or bike to school, consider the example of then-sixth grader Jamie Taliaferro, the winner of the 2010 Bike Hero award.

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