2015 Report from the BFF Chair

Bicycle Friendly Farmington Accomplished Much in 2015. Will You Join with Us in 2016?

Dear BFF members and supporters,

RonGoralskiWhen I moved to Farmington in 1997, I was already a frequent bicycle commuter and pedaling through town on my way to Simsbury or Bloomfield. Like most towns in the area, Farmington presented cyclists with an array of hazards and obstacles, and many motorists could not relate to a bicycle rider with the backpack and flashing lights. In recent years, bicycle advocacy has changed how others view cyclists, and how towns and cities structure their communities. Being “bicycle friendly” is now an asset to local businesses and employers. Linear parks (bike paths) now connect neighborhoods, towns, and states.

You have the unique opportunity to become a part of this movement, and a part of something that is taking place in your own community.I wanted to take a few moments to review all that Bicycle Friendly Farmington (BFF) has recently achieved in hopes that you will join our renew your membership in BFF.

  • The Town of Farmington was named a Bicycle Friendly Community(Bronze) by the League of American Bicyclists in 2014, one of just five towns in Connecticut to have been so recognized at the time. This designation is good for four years, so our work is not over. The town and the BFF organization hope to re-apply for Silver status in 2017.
  • May is National Bike Month, and BFF kicked it off in grand style in 2015 by helping to organize the inaugural Kevin Adorno Memorial Ride & Festival, with hundreds of participants. The Ride will be back in 2016 on May 14 mark your calendars!
  • Throughout the summer, BFF hosted Monday Night Social Rides, encouraging community members to get on their bikes. The rides often culminated with frozen yogurt in Unionville. We will begin riding again in May 2016. Check Facebook for details.
  • BFF also launched a series of Weekend Breakfast Rides throughout the year, with varying levels of distance and difficulty. Watch on Facebook for announcements of these rides.
  • Two of our BFF board members, Tony Russotto and Doug Gerlach, passed the intensive exam to become certified League Cycling Instructors (LCI), joining just 50 or so current LCIs in Connecticut. The pair have already developed and taught bicycling safety and maintenance classes for Farmington Continuing Education, with more scheduled for 2016, and are available to present at your school or organization.
  • BFF is advising the town on the designation of new bikeways that help connect the rails trails system with local destinations using side streets and less traveled thoroughfares. These “connectors” provide safe routes to our schools, parks, libraries, shopping, and other town facilities.
  • BFF is the local sponsor of the National Bike Challenge held from May through September,  which helps us see how our town stacks up against other areas of the country.
  • BFF has officially adopted a segment of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, and now help to keep it clear of garbage and report other areas that need attention.

Please Help Us with Our Efforts

BFF water bottleFor as little as $15, you can be a member of Bicycle Friendly Farmington. In addition to our gratitude, you’ll also receive a BFF water bottle. Join or renew today.

We also welcome volunteers and prospective board members. Volunteering can be as simple as helping with trail cleanup or helping to lead a social ride. If you have a ride route that’s a personal favorite, please let us know so we can add it to our roster and share it with other riders.

A favorite quote of mine is attributed to the great author and visionary, H.G. Wells, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” Much has changed since the turn of the twentieth century. Wells would surely cringe today at how automobiles and bicycles often antagonize the other for mere inches of pavement.

My hope is that BFF will inspire a culture of respect and understanding to all who use our roads, regardless of the number of wheels below them. Please accept my invitation and come along for the ride!

Sincerely,

Ron Goralski
Chair, Bicycle Friendly Farmington
www.BicycleFriendlyFarmington.org
www.Facebook.com/groups/BicycleFriendlyFarmington/

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