Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


Home · Articles · News · Features · Third Coast Bicycle Festival
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Third Coast Bicycle Festival

Erin Crowell - August 23rd, 2010
On a Roll: The Third Coast Bicycle Festival
By Erin Crowell
Just over a year ago, Bill Palladino handed his nephew the keys and title to his 2002 Saturn Vue and walked away from car ownership -- well, pedaled away is more like it.
The Traverse City independent consultant prefers cycling as his main form of transportation. Being the thorough creature that he is, Palladino broke down his vehicle-vs.-bicycle usage into two separate financial charts.
What was one of his main discoveries? “In most cases individual vehicle ownership has a negative net effect on local economies. This means that on average more vehicle-related expenses leave the community than stay locally,” he reports in the online article “Making the Leap - Going Carless” (see mywheelsareturning.com).
In other words, biking--along with other forms of alternate transportation--has very little negative impact on the local community. Actually, few will argue that the actual benefits of a biking community lies solely in the realm of economics.

A WEEK OF WHEELS
Think of a town that embraces bicycles. There’s less traffic, noise and pollution. Life seems to slow down. Look around the local neighborhoods of Northern Michigan. The region continues to grow as a biking community, with several trails and biker-friendly road projects; and most outstandingly, the group of cyclist teams and races held throughout the year.
This week marks the culmination of such events with the Third Coast Bicycle Festival, held Aug. 22-29 throughout Traverse City and the surrounding area. Eight organizations will present their activity, normally spread throughout the summer calendar.
Palladino, head of the Fixed Gear Symposium event, is one of the several bike-minded persons that, as he says, just seemed to think about such a festival at the same time.
“We wanted to compress all these events into one week that would really have an impact on the community,” says Palladino.

THE EVENTS
The week starts with the popular Traverse City Triathlon on Sunday; and will wrap up with the road cycling enthusiast’s popular Cherry-Roubaix, a three-day event of sprints, criterium and road racing.
Roubaix officials are expecting larger registration numbers than the first two years, according to Tim Barrons, head of marketing and one of the four race directors of the Roubaix.
Additionally, the Roubaix is one of several featured events that will make the Third Coast Bike Fest a memorable one for all types of spectators and cyclists.
“(The festival) is reaching out to the fringes of cycling,” he explains. “It’s not just the road racers or tourists. It’s kids, families, safety demos…people who take part in the trial or BMX events. We’re introducing them to all aspects of bicycling.”
The more adventurous crowd will enjoy the 2 Wheel Technique trials, where participants will execute what is called “observe trials” of riding up, over and off various obstacles – including park benches, fences, steps and more.
For a different type of competition, spectators can check out the Fixed Gear Symposium’s bike polo match happening on Saturday; as well as the Twin Bays CycloCross– a cross-country circuit race that will take riders directly through the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival tent on Friday at the Grand Traverse Commons.
“Getting this festival together hasn’t been a burden for really anyone,” Barrons explains, “because we’d be doing all these events anyway. The concept is all the same: we’re here to promote the fun you can have.”
While Traverse City continues to pedal forward, many--including Palladino--agree there’s many miles to cover when it comes to creating a bicycle, and alternative transportation-friendly community.
The Third Coast Bicycle Festival is just one of those milestones.
“I’m hoping people will come into town this week and think, ‘Wow, this place really embraces the biking lifestyle,” says Palladino. “It’s not just crazy road racers wearing lycra spandex costumes, it’s about kids riding safely and families learning to fix their bikes. It’s so much more.”


Go the Distance:

Highlights of the Third Coast Bicycle Festival include the following:
• Cherry Capital Cycling Club Group Rides – various distances and locations throughout the Grand Traverse region, held all week
• Fixed Gear Symposium rides and challenges, including the mechanics race on Friday, bike polo on Saturday and the “Hell Yes” Sprints on Saturday evening.
• Friday Night Live – held on Front Street in downtown Traverse City, 5:30-9 p.m., featuring a children’s bike rodeo, bike sprints and live music.
• The Twin Bays Racing CycloCross on Friday evening, featuring a cross-country ride through the tent of the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival at the Grand Traverse Commons
• The Cherry-Roubaix, featuring the Old Town Criterium, where cyclists race through the brick-paved streets, like a traditional European race, is happening on Saturday. Sunday features the 13.7-mile road race near Cedar.

For a complete schedule of events, including registration and spectator info, visit tcbikefest.org.

 
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