Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

Winter Expo

Written by Jim Sheehan
Monday, 28 October 2013 16:21

Come for the party, stay for the Fashion (& Function!) Show, leave ready to ride more this winter!

Friday, December 5th 2014, 6-10pm

We are rapidly ramping up for our 2nd annual open-house, tech-transfer, on-bike winter cycling gear runway fashion show.  Lots of folks showed up and had a great time at the first one last year, so we are doing it again.

Beginning at 6pm with food generously donated by Toast, Spice, and the Flying Fig; beer from Great Lakes and our new neighbors Brick and Barrel; and soft drinks from Old City Soda Co. and Coca Cola (who are bringing drinks along with a giant check to fund our 2015 Earn A Bike program that they will be awarding that evening!).

While digging cool tunes by DJ Darryl Dickenson, everyone will have a chance to look over the basket raffle items and visit tables with DIY demos and our friends from local bike shops and related businesses with cool (or warm!) winter-cycling products they'll be offering for sale. Our advocacy partners from Bike Cleveland will be on hand as well, with information on bike infrastructure projects and their famous blender-bike making Bananna-Nut Nog (choice of vegan or dairy -- made in separate carafes, of course!).

The runway show will begin at 7pm, with models modeling auction items and some select products from local bike shops, and our traditional Symposium show-of-hand poll (e.g. "Lycra or wool?"), a few pertinent remarks, and that giant check award from Coca Cola.

The basket raffle will close at 9pm. Winners need not be present.  We'll hang around until the beer or the guests are gone (hopefully at about the same time).

If there is snow, we'll have Bike Skis and studded snow tires to try out, and if not we may play a game of foot-down or something.  There will be another chance to demo winter gear on the next morning's Social Ride to the Christmas Story House -- where we likely will  do some caroling -- and get in some shopping at our Expo Sponsors with shops on 25th St.

This event is free to attend, but it is a fundraiser for the co-op, so please bring some cash (or checks or card) to enter the raffles, for what promise to be an eclectic collection of distinctive, innovative winter cycling gear and great gift prizes. Donations for dinner and beverages are also appreciated.  All proceeds will benefit the bike co-op’s educational mission to “help people use bikes.” 

2014 Sponsors include:

Food/beverage donors:

Toast CLE
Spice Kitchen+Bar
The Flying Fig
Brick and Barrel
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Old City Soda Co.
Coca Cola

Raffle donors:

Rust Belt Welding
Forest City Portage
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
Rising Star Coffee
Vision Yoga
Harness Cycle
I Love CLE
Acenda Yoga
Rust Belt Riders


Broadway Cyclery
Eddy's Bike Shop
Fairview Cycle
Forest city portage
Joy Machines
Simpler Times
Spin Bike Shop
The Bicycle Hub

DIY demos:

Studding tires on the cheap

Clear Vision: eyewear innovations and maintenance

Chuck Harris-inspired PET fenders

Be Seen: reflective tape for you and your bike

...with more to come!

The back story:

Our Bike-art show was a chance for folks to make art and crafts from the tons of scrap we generate each year; we'll have many of those items and more for sale, but decided to skip the art show this year to focus on the educational part: 

Our Winter Cycling Symposium was always an informal information exchange of winter riding tips and tricks – but since those discussions always seemed to get stuck on the topic of clothing, accessories, and other gear, we thought we should give folks a chance to peruse, use, and purchase some of that stuff.  Also, there are a bunch of OCBC members and friends already making custom bike gear, and we figured it would look better modeled on bikes rather than just hanging on the wall.

So we expanded our definition of “art” to include, “anything you can use on a bike,” and the definition of “Symposium” to include, “fashion show.” Keeping with tradition though, “winter” still means, “cold weather” and “bike” still means, “thing with pedals.”

For more details email Info@OhioCityCycles.org 

Think Snow!

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 November 2014 18:08 )

Bike co-op finances: Thanks for your help!

Written by Joshua Goran
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:54

Q: How’s the co-op doing? A: Much better, thank you!

OCBC is winding up 2014 with some great news – from several fronts -- about our prospects for a secure, sustainable financial future filled with wide-reaching programs to “help people use bikes.”

End-of-Season campaign raised $5,002!

First, it is my pleasure to thanks the 35 of you who donated to our End-of-Season campaign. We surpassed our goal of $5,000 (by $2!) at the Ghost Ride!, just before OCBC Board President Krissie Wells drew tickets for the incentive prizes: Cheryl Teare won the Scapegoat Cycleworks frameset, and Jim Kelley the OCBC membership. Thanks again to all who contributed!

Foundation funding pledged for Strategic Planning process in early 2015

OCBC has, since its inception, had many 'irons in the fire': our mission to “help people use bikes” is broad, and has really only been limited by our policy of not “lobbying” general advocacy positions for bike facilities or government policies. While we have urged you to speak up about infrastructure investments in our immediate neighborhood – like the Innerbelt or Columbus Rd. Bridges – we are happy that our advocacy partners at Bike Cleveland are doing that important work (and happy to help them with the education pieces – see the Social Ride and Central on Bikes items, below).

But, we still need to think carefully about where we focus our work most effectively, so we’re pleased to have significant support from the George Gund Foundation for a formal Strategic Planning process, to conduct interviews and hire a consultant to facilitate our work to guide the co-op’s future growth.

If you are interested in providing your input – as a member, volunteer, bike customer, or educational programming client (or just an interested observer) – please feel free to email us at info@ohiocitycycles.org and we’ll put you on the list to contact for an “external scan” interview in the first few months of 2015.

Prospective Grant for Social Ride includes expert “tour guides” and Bike Cleveland advocacy education

Our application been recommended for a grant from the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Commission to expand the scope of our Social Ride in 2015 to include participation by the Museum of Contemporary Art and Bike Cleveland. Stay tuned to learn how the County Council feels about bike cultural tourism!

Central on Bikes collaboration with Bike Cleveland reaches hundreds in need of basic transportation

As part of the HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) initiative of Sisters of Charity and St. Vincent Hospital, OCBC and the Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors program partnered with Bike Cleveland to present an Earn a Bike summer camp, two Fixathons, a school program and other outreach activities. The goal is to seed and support community bike projects in neighborhoods that are "bike-repair deserts."  We look forward hopefully to expansion of this program in 2015, and creation of a locally-led bike program in Central!

$30,000 grant from Coca Cola to expand Earn A Bike program

Still the core of OCBC’s work, our Earn a Bike program, designed to provide children a sense of investment in a safe, reliable bike along with safe cycling education – and a new helmet and lock – has been funded by grants in some years, but not consistently. When it’s not, we’ve covered program expenses from our general operating budget (read: bike sales, and your donations!).

So, we are extremely pleased to announce that the Coca-Cola Foundation had generously committed to fund a major expansion of this program in 2015! Please join us to express our gratitude when their representatives join us for the formal announcement of this grant in a presentation (of, yes, one of those giant checks!) at the OCBC Winter Expo, below.

Winter Expo Friday, Dec. 5th: food, drink, fashion, camaraderie, Holiday gifts and bike education

Here’s a chance to support the co-op’s “off-season” operations – while you enter raffles on great prizes, get great deals on winter bikes and gear, learn some winter cycling tips and tricks – and enjoy a fine party to boot!

Besides a lavish buffet and beverages from local breweries, including our new neighbors Brick and Barrel (and plenty of Coca Cola products!), our 2nd annual Winter Expo will feature local shops showing off and selling the latest new winter clothes, tires, lights, etc.; a Basket Raffle of great prizes from those shops and other local merchants, plus unique items from the co-op’s Art Dept. and “fancy parts" collection; DIY demos on tire-studding and other tech stuff; and an on-bike, winter-cycling fashion show!

There is no door-charge for this event, but it is our winter fundraiser, so we hope you’ll choose to spend some of your holiday gift budget (or your OCBC shop credits, for OCBC items) to support our work. It’s an open-house format, so stop in anytime -- doors open at 6pm, at 7pm we’ll start the fashion show and a brief program of co-op news (including that giant-check presentation from the generous folks at Coca Cola), the basket raffle will be held at 9pm (but you need not be present to win), and we’ll hang out ‘til everyone goes home (so we can be back at 10am Saturday for the Social Ride to the A Christmas Story house!). We hope to see you there—think snow; for some bike-ski and fat-bike demos!

(Note: if you’d like some to get some on-the-road Winter Traffic Skills, our ride this Sat. still has a few spots open – and is free for OCBC members, or if you RSVP for the Cranksgiving Ride on Sat. 11/22)

All are welcome at OCBC members’ Annual Meeting Tuesday, Dec. 16th, 6pm

You must be a current member as of 11/25 to vote for Board of Directors candidates – though there is no membership requirement to be elected to the Board! Board of Directors Nominations are due by Dec. 15th.

Board members are elected by the membership at our Annual Members' meeting in December, and serve for a 1 year term beginning Jan. 19 (our first scheduled Board meeting of 2015.

9 to 15 Board of Director nominees will be voted into office

Annual report DRAFT will be presented

Policy proposals will be outlined and entertained

Election of Board candidates

Buffet dinner will be served

Members only sale will be held.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 November 2014 18:04 )

With deck in place, Columbus Rd. bridge is almost ready to open -- but will it be safe for cyclists?

Written by Jim Sheehan
Sunday, 03 August 2014 13:26

photo: Cleveland.com

The August Social Ride visited Bridges of the Cuyahoga River -- at least the nearby ones -- to commemorate the only-two-months-or-so-left-to-go of the closure of our own Columbus Rd. Bridge (which is currently scheduled to re-open in late October). 

The new bridge deck is now in place (and can be seen getting there in this video) so, after marveling at that feat of planning, we rode up- and then down-river, looking at bike-friendly treatments on other bridges that might have been included on the Columbus Rd. bridge if reason had prevailed in the planning process. These un-featured features could have included a concrete deck as on the old Eagle St. Bridge instead of a slippery metal grate; SlipNOT® plates as on the sidewalk of the new W 3rd St. bridge; or diamond shaped grating as on the Willow St. Bridge instead of the square ones, which are a serious and well-documented diversion hazard for cyclists.

In 2008 I emphatically voiced these concerns and suggested these solutions in a private stakeholder interview with City bicycle planner Marty Cader and a representative of the engineering contractor.  Last fall, when the deck construction was beginning, I checked back to learn what had been decided.  I learned that the "accommodation" for cyclists on the bridge would be a 4' wide concrete-filled section at the far edges of the deck, immediately adjacent a pedal-high curb with a low rail (visible at 4:15 in the video) to keep cars from hitting the columns -- just high enough to catch a cyclist who were to contact it below their center of gravity, sending them head-first into the columns. 

This substandard width "bike lane" is barely adequate for a small volume of cyclists traveling straight across the bridge, but absolutely hazardous for those making left turns onto Carter Rd. or Merwin Ave., as there is no means of doing so without crossing potentially hazardous grating (and the transition in a turning movement to a surface with greatly reduced traction, especially in the wet, is even more likely to cause a fall, especially for inexperienced riders). 

So in September 2013 Bike Cleveland and OCBC met with City officials to again voice these concerns -- which were related at the time to the striping plans for Columbus Rd.  The preferred recommendations for striping were not adopted, though we are pleased to have parking lanes marked, however inadequately, and sharrows in the travel lanes, which will hopefully cut down on the high speeds and illegal passing previously common during rush hours.

What was discussed about the bridge at that time is still up in the air: whether the "bike lane" will be "protected" with bollards, if there will be a turn lane on the Northbound side for traffic into Merwin Avenue; and if the sidewalk treatment at the north end of the bridge will include a "landing area" with a crosswalk so that cyclists can make at least a "pedestrian left turn."

If you are concerned about the safety and convenience of cyclists visiting OCBC (or the adjacent Metroparks Rivergate Reservation), you can contact the pertinent City officials at the eddressed below.  Please cc info@OhioCityCycles.org and  in any emails to them.

Cleveland Planning Commission:

HUNT, Trevor (216) 664-2212

CADER, Martin (216) 664-2952

Traffic Engineering:

Mavec, Robert  216.664.2510

Ward 3 Councilman

Joe Cimperman  (216) 664-2691

Flats Forward Executive Director

Mark Lammon  216.736.7799

Now is the time when citizen's concerns can have an impact on how this project is finished.

Good Luck!

Jim Sheehan

Executive Director,

Ohio City Bicycle Co-op


On August 7th I met at the south end of the bridge with Councilman Cimperman and representatives of the City Planning and Traffic Depts., Bike Cleveland, the Metroparks and Flats Forward to discuss possible solutions.  We agreed that a "jug handle" pull-off with a striped crosswalk to enable a "pedestrian left" turn from Columbus Rd. southbound onto Merwin St. was desirable, and that striping on the bridge to create a 6-7' wide "shoulder" would continue the effect of the existing parking lane strip, and further discourage the two-abreast car travel that occurred often in the past.

Due to weight issues, non-slip roadway treatments are not possible, but the good news is that the bridge deck is indeed made with the diamond-shaped grating as on Willow St. bridge, which is the new standard.

I wish to thank Councilman Cimperman and his staff for so quickly convening this meeting, and the City officials present for their willingness to explore creative solutions. I look forward to seeing the new plans from them which were promised to be sent this week, and will share those here when I do.

On Oct. 8th I received this email from Marty Cader in reply to my third request for follow up info about the plans we had discussed:

"Hello All:

I was told that the changes we proposed after the last meeting were presented to the County and they refused to make the requested changes. – Marty Cader


Be careful crossing this bridge, if it ever opens (the contractor starts getting fined after 10/23, fwiw).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 October 2014 18:56 )