Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Riverview, MI
Bikes: flat bar road bike
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Don't have a great memory, so I'd have to take a look at the itinerary for the Expo on their website (if it's still posted which it probably is), as well as the entire bike week activities, because aside from the rides, nothing on the itinerary really set in my memory, probably because it wasn't specific enough and/or appealing enough in writing.
I even sent some sort of message in the feedback about how their website's links weren't necessarily working (for the "North American Bicycle Week" website) but am not certain they got it, as I never received any response.
Based on the short and non-detailed itinerary having looked at them over the last three years, I'm still not exactly sure what the Bike Expo is all about and how it's different from say a bicycle store or looking around on the internet. It is a place for people within a metropolitan area that have a common interest, to perhaps convene and I would ask or even suggest, perhaps do social networking with one another. I would say network and organizing for better roads or organizing rides on a more local basis, at the municipal level.
However, what good is say organizing to advocate for better roads at a more local level, going to do in a fairly bicycle unfriendly metro area with a lot of work to do in regards to actually making more "complete streets"?
Don't get me wrong, the suburbs are not completely lacking of roads and relatively seamless residential streets, to ride, but there is a reason, even for more modest distances (4 miles and less), that people don't commute places or go for recreational rides on suburban roads hardly at all (at least in my experience in what I observe); safety, traffic volume/speed, and far too many sub-par roads/streets. Essentially, it would take more than just putting paint on roads or paving a path and expect, "Well, OK, there..we're good now."
Putting actual infrastructure would need to be done at more than a half-assed approach, so that people actually feel safe riding, have designated places to lock up to, and additional people want to ride, and in turn, reduce some of the automobile traffic, and make it even a little more safe.
Of the two bicycle paths nearest my residence, one is fine, the other is sort of a joke..paralleling a somewhat busy/high speed road (45MPH limit), is not completely safe for riding any faster than say 10 MPH, along with several driveways along its duration, which is good in that the path is near locations people would perhaps commute to such as small businesses and offices, but again, for multiple reasons is not that safe; the speeds people are traveling along with the traffic volume and how careful people are when entering or exiting the driveway (not very careful) I don't think the path I refer to is very safe and seems like a half-assed/semi-waste of money approach to cycling infrastructure. I like riding a lot, and I rarely ever ride this path, and the start of it is only about 1.5 miles from my residence.