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Fall 2017



Bicyclists under the LMB Tours arch at the start of Shoreline West 2017.

In this issue:

LMB Legislative Updates

How Much Space Does a Cyclist Need?

Thank You to Our 2017 Donors

And More!

Need? • Thank You to Our 2017 Donors • And More! Page 9 Getting Retirees Back

Page 9 Getting Retirees Back to the Joy of Being on a Bicycle

9 Getting Retirees Back to the Joy of Being on a Bicycle Page 7 Advancing Cycling

Page 7 Advancing Cycling Infrastruc- ture at the Local Level

Being on a Bicycle Page 7 Advancing Cycling Infrastruc- ture at the Local Level Page 6

Page 6 Photos from our Inaugural HUB Fest!

Small Actions Matter

The League of Michigan Bicyclists, or LMB, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of bicycling. Our mission is to promote bicycling and increase the safety of bicyclists on Michigan roadways.

Michigan Bicyclist Magazine is a LMB member benefit. It is published as part of our effort to educate Michigan cyclists, law enforcement, policy makers, engineering and planning communities, and others on issues affecting bicycling in Michigan.

Michigan Bicyclist Copyright © 2017

On the Cover: Bicyclists under the LMB Tours arch at the start of Shoreline West 2017.

Editor, Art & Design: ANETA KIERSNOWSKI

Letters/Comments/Advertisements may be directed to:

LMB Directors:




Executive Director

ANETA KIERSNOWSKI Development & Communications Director


Outreach Coordinator


Tour Director SCOTT ELLIOTT Tour Director Printed with recycled content League of Michigan Bicyclists

Printed with

recycled content

League of Michigan Bicyclists

410 S. Cedar St. Suite A, Lansing, MI 48912 (517) 334-9100

with recycled content League of Michigan Bicyclists 410 S. Cedar St. Suite A, Lansing, MI 48912

Lindsey DesArmo - LMB Board Chair

Together, we are making a difference in bicycle and pedestrian safety in Michigan. In signing our Action Alert, your calls and letters to your lawmak- ers are helping move our 5-foot safe passing and driver’s education improvement bills in the right direction. The work is far from over, please keep the urgency and momentum going as we head into the end of the year. You can sign the Action Alert at If you’ve already signed the Action Alert, there are other ways you can get involved to help LMB further its mission.

ways you can get involved to help LMB further its mission. LMB continuously advocates on your

LMB continuously advocates on your behalf to promote safe places for people who walk, roll, and ride. Over the last year, LMB has been busy. In addition to hosting our annual Sunrise Adventure, MUP, and Shoreline West tours (no small feat!), we launched a new event: HUB Fest! Read about it on page 5.

We also launched our Micro-Grant. LMB was thrilled to award over $12,000 in Micro-Grant Funds to 10 organizations across the state for their projects to improve access to bicycling equipment, facilities, and education in their communities.

Just recently, we re-launched our Community Bicycle Safety for Law Enforcement Training, where law enforcement officers discussed legal issues within the Michigan Vehicle Code and Michigan Compiled Laws.

To keep these and other LMB programs moving forward, we need your help. As we head into the giving season, we hope you will keep us in mind as you plan your charitable giving. We hope you will consider setting up your own recurring gift as a LMB member. You can set up a recurring payment that fits your budget by selecting the Recurring Option that works best for you when you visit the LMB website’s donation page. You can also call the office to start this service. LMB staff would be happy to answer our questions or assist you in looking back at your past giving.

Many LMB donors also double their gift through their employers’ matching programs. Some employers will match all or a portion of their employees’ donations. Please speak with your employer to find out if your place of work offers a way for your gift to go even further.

However you choose to give, know we are here to give back to you through our actions

and efforts to achieve our vision of a Michigan where cycling is safe, comfortable, and

convenient for all.

our vision of a Michigan where cycling is safe, comfortable, and convenient for all. • 1



Fall 2017

Director’s Hub


John Lindenmayer – LMB Executive Director

2017 has been a year full of exciting changes at LMB. In September, we moved our office within our building. We outgrew our previous space, where tour equip- ment, merchandise, safety literature, and other nonprofit essentials were stacked floor to ceiling. The move was long overdue! With double the square footage, our new headquarters are already proving to be an asset in helping LMB advance our work to make Michigan a more bicycle- friendly state. We invite our members to stop by for a visit anytime!

state. We invite our members to stop by for a visit anytime! The LMB team expanded

The LMB team expanded this year as well. Ben Saint-Onge transitioned to full-time as our Outreach Coordinator. Ben has proven himself a valuable staff member playing a key role in supporting our tours, membership coordination, and general administration. Nancy Krupiarz, recently retired Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, is now coor- dinating LMB’s law enforcement training program. Nancy held her first training in collaboration with the Michigan State Police in Traverse City in September. We also added the services of Midwest Strategy Group. MSG is supporting LMB’s work to advance our legislative agenda. Their inside knowledge of the State Capitol is proving invaluable as we navigate more legislative issues than ever before. Check out the side panel on this

5 FOOT PASSING SB 123, SB 124, SB 170, HB 4185, HB 4265, HB 5003 Establishes requirement for drivers to maintain a 5-foot distance when passing a bicyclist.

DRIVERS ED SB124, HB 4198 Requires training component for drivers regarding safety for bicyclists and other vulnerable roadway users.

DISTRACTED DRIVING SB 580, SB 581, HB 4466 Sets penalties for use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle causing death. Adds computers, tablet devices, cameras or other internet-based communication devices to the list of devices not to be used while operating a motor vehicle to Michigan Vehicle Code, and sets penalties.

OBSTRUCTED LICENSE PLATE HB 5100, HB 4881 Clarifies definition of obstructed license plate to exempt bicycle racks.

ACT 51, SECTION 10K (1% NON-MOTORIZED FUNDS HB 4954 Eliminates requirement that funds be allocated to non-motorized transportation services and facilities (LMB opposes).

TRAIL MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT SB 596 Clarifies what issues trailways managers should consider when developing plans for a multi- jurisdictional trail with a specific focus on signage, maintenance and appropriate uses. Clarifies that trail development and appropriate amenities are consid- ered to be in the “public good”. Provides direction for how local histories are told on trails so that cultural and historical resources are used appropriately.

TURN SIGNAL REQUIREMENT HB 5119 Requires drivers and bicyclists to use turn signal while changing lanes.

RIGHT OF WAY HB 4444 Requires collaboration and notice for projects located within right-of-way.

page for an overview of the legislation we are currently working on.

Our 5-foot passing and drivers education legislation continues to move forward. I’m pleased to share both bills passed unanimously out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September. The Senate is expected to take up the bills on the floor in the near future. House versions of the bills were also recently heard by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Chairman Cole formed a workgroup on bicycling to continue the discussion on these issues. We still have work ahead of us, but we are cautiously optimistic that Michigan could soon join the 38 other states with safe passing laws.

We are also thrilled to report that our e-bike legislation has been signed into law (see below)! LMB worked collab- oratively with the bicycle industry, trail groups, land managers, municipalities, and others to build consensus on this issue. As the fastest growing sector of the bicycle industry, LMB believes e-bikes play an important role in the future of cycling and have the potential to significantly expand ridership.

Our work to promote bicycling and the

safety of bicyclists is not possible without our members, donors, and volunteers. My sincere gratitude goes out to all of our supporters! I hope you will consider LMB as you plan your year-end giving. With your support, we will keep the

momentum moving forward in 2018!

Legislative Victory!

Legislative Victory! On October 30, 2017, Governor Snyder signed our e-bike legislation into law! Public Acts

On October 30, 2017, Governor Snyder signed our e-bike legislation into law! Public Acts 138, 139, and 140 of 2017 define and regulatese-bikes, including their use on trails. Further, it puts power in the hands of local government bodies to make e-bike usage more or less permissible based on the needs of the community. The law goes into effect 90 days after being signed. For more infor- mation about the e-bike law, please visit our website, www.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their lawmakers or otherwise supported our legislation!

Sen. Rick Jones tries an e-bike at LMB’s 2017 Advocacy Day.


Bike Bills Pass Out of Committee

Aneta Kiersnowski


September 8, 2016, bills that would create










effectiveness of mandatory seat belt laws in


5-foot safe passing law and require driver’s







changing the mind-set of motorists.

education to include time devoted to bicycle awareness were introduced by Senators Margaret O’Brien and David Knezek. The bills were introduced two months and a day after a driver plowed into a group of nine

bicyclists killing five and seriously injuring four

in Kalamazoo.

together to testify.

The survivors seemed determined to turn their tragedy into an opportunity to make a difference for others who share their passion. During her testimony, Sheila Jeske told the committee members “none of these laws would help us, but if [they keep] one other person from going through what I am

“Those are the types of changes we need to see towards cyclists. We need to affect the driving culture in that someone wouldn’t even consider getting in the car and passing too close. They would give the cyclists, the human beings, what they need to safely go on their way. And we can do that with the toolsets that we already have and already know how to use. The driver’s ed training was amazingly effective [with] the laws about buckling a seat belt. Yes, some folks grumbled about that when it first happened, but now it’s really not that big a deal because everybody know you just put on your seat belt and you don’t need to worry about that ticket. This five-foot passing law would be the same thing. We just need to ingrain that in the driving culture to save lives.”

The June 7, 2016, Kalamazoo tragedy put

a spotlight on bicycle issues,

and, though the new bills would not have changed the outcome of that crash, our bicycle bills were received enthusiastically across Michigan.

After the bills were introduced, nearly 10,000 supportive emails were sent to legislators through LMB’s Action Alert. Legislators’ offices also reported many phone calls regarding bicycle safety.

The bills eventually passed out of the Senate nearly unanimously, made it into the House, where they were referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity closed when the legislative session ended

on December 31.

closed when the legislative session ended on December 31. Jennifer Johnson summed up the feeling of
closed when the legislative session ended on December 31. Jennifer Johnson summed up the feeling of
closed when the legislative session ended on December 31. Jennifer Johnson summed up the feeling of

Jennifer Johnson summed up the feeling of bicy- clists as they continue to see crashes and tragedies in the headlines: “Does Michigan believe that every life matters? Are the lives of cyclists less significant?

Michigan legislators need to act now to protect cyclists and prevent additional tragedies.”

The impact of the Kalamazoo tragedy was strong, however, and when a new legislative session

started, Senators O’Brien and Knezek reintroduced the 5-foot passing and driver’s ed improvement bills. The 5-foot passing bill was reintroduced as SB 123 and

170, the driver’s education improvement bill as

SB 124. Companion bills SB 580 and 581 were

also sponsored by the Senators and supported

by LMB. These bills will strengthen distracted

driving penalties.

Top: Senators Knezek (left) and O’Brien (right) speak before the Senate Jusduciary Committee. Botton: The survivors of the Kalamazoo cycling tragedy, (left to right) Paul Gobble, Paul Runnels,

Sheila Jeske, and Jennifer Johnson testify.

physically going through, and my other fellow

it would

other bike riders are going through just mean the world to us.”

Paul Runnels shared that he is acutely aware of how close he is to more tragedy as motorists pass by him as he rides. “I got started riding

I’ve ridden there’s two

things that have been discomforting to me that is people who pass me too closely and people who are going relatively fast, even if pass too quickly and closely.”

again this spring


Paul Gobble called out the need to change the driving culture and address the animosity many bicyclists feel from motorists for just being on the roadway. He cited the

Following additional testimony from cyclists throughout the state, as well as LMB’s Executive Director, John Lindenmayer, and Board Member, Bryan Waldman, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously in favor of the entire package of bills. The bills now await action by the full Senate.

Though the Kalamazoo tragedy is no longer prominent in the news, we continue to see bicycle crash headlines. As long as emails and phone calls continue to stream into

lawmakers’ offices, bicycle issues will continue

to be in the spotlight.

On September 27, 2017, the new package of legislation faced a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ahead of the hearing, the committee members’ offices were once again flooded with emails and phone calls from bicycle advocates.



Fall 2017

Just How Much Space Does a Cyclist Need, Anyway?

Sue Kropscott - Cycling Savvy

As with most issues, opinions vary on how much space a cyclist needs. And as with anything else, the more factual information we have and the more knowledge we gain, the more valid our conclusions become. Let’s walk through what we know about the characteris- tics of a bicycle and applicable Michigan traffic law as it relates to a cyclist’s spatial needs.

Lateral spatial needs are determined by combining operating width, space for defen- sive riding, and clearance from other vehicles.

The American Association of State Highway and Traffic Officials (AASHTO) determines the minimum operating width of an upright bicycle to be 4 feet, allowing 30 inches for the bicycle and cyclist, plus 9 inches to each side.

A lot of people stop here when determining

adequate bicycling space. After all, that’s what

cars are allotted – the width of the vehicle plus

a little bit to each side. See how that space

looks when sharing a 12-foot lane in Figure 1.

However, there is an important difference between 4-wheeled vehicles and 2-wheeled vehicles. 4-wheeled vehicles don’t fall over; 2-wheeled vehicles do. Unlike the wide tires on motor vehicles that can easily roll over most surface hazards, the narrower tires and

roll over most surface hazards, the narrower tires and reactive steering characteristics of a bicycle constitute

reactive steering characteristics of a bicycle constitute a fall risk when riding over them. Cyclists need space to go around hazards.

To protect their own safety, cyclists need to ride where they can see and be seen. Traveling where one has the best sight lines (vantage) is a basic safety strategy for all drivers—motorists, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. That’s why car drivers are positioned on the left side of the car. The sooner people see each other, the

Figure 1

more time and space they have to coordinate their movements and share space safely.

Cyclists need space between themselves and other vehicles. Gusts of wind blast from larger, fast-moving vehicles, encountering an unexpected hazard, or contacting a raised roadway feature can cause cyclists to veer suddenly. Cyclists need space to swerve or fall unexpectedly without risk of being hit by approaching motorists.

Cyclists need separation not only from moving vehicles, but stationary ones as well. When analyzing crash data from sources that include doorings (crashes caused by opening a car door into traffic), recent research found that doorings make up 12% to 27% of all urban car- bike crashes. (“Bike Lanes Next to On-Street Parallel Parking”, Paul Schimek, PhD) Cyclists need to ride at least 5 feet from parked cars to protect themselves from getting doored.

So, how much space does a cyclist need? Besides 4 feet of operating width, cyclists need several feet more on each side to avoid hazards, to ride where they can see and be seen, to fall or swerve unexpectedly, and to maintain a safe clearance from other vehicles. That adds up to most of a lane—about the same space someone driving a car uses. It looks like Figure 2.

Coninued on Page 10

most of a lane—about the same space someone driving a car uses. It looks like Figure

Figure 2

HUB Fest - A Successful Inaugural Year

Elly St. John - LMB Intern This summer, LMB added a new event to our
Elly St. John - LMB Intern
This summer, LMB added a new event to our
tour lineup, launching HUB Fest, a one-day
cycling event for all Michigan bicyclists
capped off by a party. HUB Fest, short for
Hadrian’s Ultimate Bicycle Fest, took place on
June 10 in Adrian, Michigan, an off-the-beat-
en-path cycling destination loved for its quiet,
hilly country roads. The host city lent some
of its history to HUB Fest’s name. The town
of Adrian was named in honor of Hadrian, a
Roman emperor known for being a just ruler
and building Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. Adrian
was chosen as the location of the event not
only for the town’s historic qualities, but also
for the variety in the cycling opportunities the
surrounding area offers.
cool during packet pick-up and heated by the
time the first after-party band began to play.
Mighty winds ensured that riders enjoyed
an excellent workout no matter which route
they chose.
off to explore and add more mileage to their
day. Many sat in lawn chairs or a patch of grass
to laugh with one another, rub sore feet, or
take an afternoon nap. Some people danced
while others rested and soaked in the music as
the bands ended the day on a great note.
The range of cycling opportunities around
Adrian meant that HUB Fest could offer four
unique routes to choose from. The Hadrian
Hoopla route traveled along the quiet Kiwanis
trail for a 7 or 15 mile ride. Though children are
always welcome on LMB Tours, the Hadrian
Hoopla is the first route to be specifically
designed for children, complete with a skills
course and a bounce house.
With preparations for next year already under-
way, we are looking to improve on a successful
first year for HUB Fest.
Plans include better
road markings and a condensed after-party
schedule. LMB considers HUB Fest a smash
hit destined to become one of Michigan bicy-
clists’ favorites. It was a joy to see the bicycling
community, of all ages, join together to share a
day dedicated to riding in Michigan.
We could not be more excited to see everyone
After months of planning, participants began
arriving the night before HUB Fest, some
taking advantage of a pre-registration event at
Over 200 riders pre-registered for one of HUB
Fest’s four routes. Almost 50 more took advan-
tage of day-of registration. Bicyclists ranging
in age from two years old to 76 years young
joined. The weather on June 10th started off
Some of our most adventurous riders took
on the Gravel Grinder, where they twisted
through 55 miles of Adrian’s off-roads. Riders
raved about this new course at the after-party,
with beer in their hands and big, muddy smiles
on their faces.
again at HUB Fest 2018!
Other LMB Tours 2018 Stats:
TheRoadRamblewas achallengefor our heart-
iest riders who cycled their choice of a 40, 62, or
100 mile route. Though a few cyclists reported
slight confusion about a couple road markings,
a first-year “bump-in-the-road”, most cyclists
said they had a blast, nonetheless.
Finally, for our cyclists with a taste for wine,
our fourth route, Vino Velo, brought cyclists
to three local wineries. Riders sampled wine
while sitting on outside decks to rest and
enjoy the gorgeous views.
Sunrise Adventure - June 15-18, 2017
Riders: 79 Female, 66 Male
Youngest Rider: 7
Oldest Rider: 86
Number of States Represented: 5
Number of Countries Represented: 1
Farthest Traveled: GA
High Temp of the Week: 75.2
Low Temp of the Week: 58.3
SAGs along the routes were ready to fight the
summer heat, having prepared snacks, Gato-
rade, and lots of water to replenish cyclists
on their travels. Camaraderie was in the air as
cyclists stopped to help each other fix flat tires
or check in to see how their rides were going.
MUP - July 9-15, 2017
Riders: 81 Female, 97 Male
Youngest Rider: 7
Oldest Rider: 82
Farthest Traveled: WA
High Temp of the Week: 82.0
Low Temp of the Week: 50.0
When cyclists made their way back to home
base, they were greeted with a variety of deli-
cious food, with options from BBQ to vegan
choices. Cold beer from two Adrian breweries
were chilled and ready at hand. The summer
afternoon turned into the night with sounds
from local bands. Some cyclists could not get
enough of the quaint Adrian town as they set
Shoreline West - August 5-12, 2017
Riders: 200 Female, 278 Male
Youngest Rider: 11
Oldest Rider: 81
Number of States Represented: 27
Farthest Traveled: HI
High Temp of the Week: 84.0
Low Temp of the Week: 55.0
Fall 2017
Photos Courtesy of Tim Potter and Ken Mathis. 6
Photos Courtesy of Tim Potter and Ken Mathis. 6
Photos Courtesy of Tim Potter and Ken Mathis. 6

Want Better Roads? Look Local

Katie Parrish - Contributing Writer The pothole came out of nowhere, as potholes often do.

I hit my brakes too late. Moments later my

back was against the pavement, my bike flung further down the block. I was in downtown Ann Arbor and the crash had drawn attention. Embarrassed and surrounded by concerned strangers, I quickly stood up, got back on the bike and headed home.

The next day brought a diagnosis of broken

ribs and a premature end to my 2016 cycling season. There was little I could do for my broken bones, but there was something

I could do about the pothole. I worked at

Washtenaw County Road Commission at the time, and it was pure coincidence that the road I crashed on would soon be resurfaced, thanks to an innovative millage designed by both our county commission and the road commission.


Motorized Path Millage





The initiative was the first county-level millage of its kind in Michigan—a four-year plan that will repair over 200 miles of roadways, add more bike lanes and expand the county’s non-motorized path network. The millage sailed through the November 2016 election with 72% of the vote, including support from those far outside cycling-friendly Ann Arbor.

Before any revenue goes toward roads, the first

20% goes to the county’s parks and recreation commission to expand the county’s non- motorized path network. Some of the park’s revenue will help rehash their Connecting Communities grant program, which supports locally-driven path projects in municipali- ties. The remaining funds will help expand the Border-to-Border (B2B) Trail which hugs the Huron River from Dexter, east through Ann Arbor and into Ypsilanti. The ultimate vision for the B2B is 70 miles of a continuous non-motorized pathways

Expanding our path networks is essential if we want to encourage cycling and provide safe non-motorized routes, but that doesn’t mean road cyclists were forgotten. The millage stipulates that no less than 50% of the road projects within each municipality (and 25% in townships) must include a non-motorized component such as bicycle lanes or widened shoulders.

Finding Local Solutions

The millage won’t improve road conditions everywhere, nor does it avail the funding needed to build a comprehensive network of bicycle lanes and protected paths, but it is a step in the right direction. And at a time when influencing national and state policy can feel out of reach, the millage can also serve as a model for how we can repair and reshape our infrastructure at the local level.

repair and reshape our infrastructure at the local level. Despite the failure of 2015’s Proposal 1,

Despite the failure of 2015’s Proposal 1, a ballot measure that would have raised taxes to generate funding for road repairs and more, voters have overwhelmingly passed local road initiatives in recent years. Out of the 75 road millages on the November 2016 ballot in Michigan, 70 of them passed with an average of 67% of voters in favor. What makes Washtenaw’s millage unique is that it is the only county-level initiative that recognized that citizens want bike lanes and other non-motorized improvements.

I can’t imagine residents of Washtenaw County are alone. Many communities want more bicycle lanes, care-free paths, and smoother roads. The good news is we don’t have to pick between good roads or cycling-friendly roads—we can have both. There are tools available that can help rebuild and repair our

roads in a way that promotes bicycling, safety and environmental sustainability—we just

have to get creative and look local.

Katie Parrish is the Communications Officer at the Michigan Environmental Council and former Communications Manager at the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

Manager at the Washtenaw County Road Commission. Above: Liberty Road before and after. Photo by Katie

Above: Liberty Road before and after. Photo by Katie Parrish. Top Right: Huron River Dr, a very popular road for cyclists. Photo by Roy Townsend.

Top Right: Huron River Dr, a very popular road for cyclists. Photo by Roy Townsend. 7



Fall 2017

Secretary Rides a Bike

Why I Tour in Michigan

Barabara Acker - Contributing Writer

Lisa Burris - Contributing Writer

- Contributing Writer Lisa Burris - Contributing Writer I’m lying in my tent, listening to the

I’m lying in my tent, listening to the sounds of the campground, the crick- ets and the snorers, and realizing that it really was all worth it—the planning, the packing, the wondering if I could yet ride another Michigan bike tour.

For more than twenty years, I have completed various bike tours in Michi- gan, and the last ten have been a commute from Colorado. It’s not that Colorado doesn’t have bike tours, but they’re of a different kind. Most of them are multiple daily century rides, often involving snow at the summit. I prefer an easier pace, with lakes and foliage, as opposed to riding above the tree line, having to use my inhaler while I climb, or attempt to climb, thousands of feet. Coming to Michigan is worth it. After booking a flight, I pack for a week of camping: including my tent, sleeping bag, and now as an arthritic retiree, an inflatable air mattress, along with the requisite bike shorts and jerseys. I am ready to go.

I’m not the only one who comes back to Michigan for the various summer bike tours. I’ve met people from Ohio, Florida, California, and other states. They come to Michigan to ride LMB’s Shoreline West, the DALMAC, and many others. Some of us arrive early and join warm-up rides to help us adjust to the heat and humid- ity; others stay after the tour, enjoying the local trails while riding by crystal clear lakes.

So what makes these out-of-state cyclists go through all the planning and preparation to ride one of Michi- gan’s organized rides? Riding down quiet roads or limestone trails offers a respite from quotidian life. There is time to admire the forestry or watch the sun hit the water, making it sparkle in a silvery light. There is time to see chip- munks, squirrels, deer, fox, and even the occasional bear cross the path in front of you. And there are also the long sunny days that don’t end until almost 10 p.m. And with Michigan weather, ambiguity is a given. Driving rain, bike shorts that don’t dry overnight, damp bike shoes, and setting up or packing up a wet tent are sometimes not what was bargained for. But then there are those cherry pies, turnovers, and cobblers that make it worth the trip on their own.

Overriding any of the bad, are the people. It seems to me, that the people who ride these Michigan tours quickly become family. And who doesn’t want to keep in touch with family? To laugh and joke, even about the mud, the road rash, the missing turn that cost an extra 15 miles—this is what it’s all about.

For more than twenty years, I have seen my “family” every year. Although it’s only once a year, I couldn’t imagine not

finding them at registration, being able to hug them, and setting off together

for another Michigan bike tour.

and setting off together for another Michigan bike tour. • In the backwoods of my mind,

In the backwoods of my mind, The thrill of descent is always worth the climb.

Lists, rifts & a million unchecked boxes demand attention Along with bodily fluids I care not mention.

I escape like a child running from chores.

I suit up and open the hatch to the great outdoors. Work is constant, life is tiring, My frazzled brain requires frequent rewiring.

I hit auto-drive and head to the woods

To recharge, reset--it’ll do me some good.

Suddenly space for contemplation opens,

I pull and I push, and grind through the motions. This reintroduces me to the best me I know. Self-described novice mountain biker, experienced pleasure road rider,

I am also a mother, wife, a night owl, And an aspiring writer. I work an 8-4 where I file and type, I’m lost behind a huge desk, The phone rings off the hook,

I’m proud of my profession, and I love it most days, On others, I’m most satisfied when I get away.

I shred stress by the mile, I constantly smile.

With my bike under me, Im never so free, I’m one with the mud, friends with the trees. My body is dense, I am tough to the core, Ready to conquer the next challenge in store. Same ol’ path, different day, steady beat, Legs churn to the rhythm of clipped-in feet. Bugs in my teeth, sun on my back, Steep blind turns, downhill attack! Pedals hover without much thought, Over Michigan terrain: stones, roots, and rot. Climbing back up, I pant, I burn,

I bless my strong legs and the sturdy crank they turn.

can become everything I strive to be, Strong and steady, sure, true, and free Revel in yourself and the terrain, Remembers a School Secretary on her personal day.


It’sbeentwodecades since Jeanne Brown hopped on a bike.

The retired Michigan State University child development professor said she has loved bikes since she was a kid.

Now, she’s rolling again and declaring it fun. The return to her childhood joy is courtesy of her retirement home in Williamston, which purchased an expensive, giant tricycle from Denmark called a trishaw, apparently a first for the Mitten State.

It’s like a pedicab or rickshaw but instead of sitting behind the rider, or pilot, passengers sit up front to experience an unobstructed view and the unobstructed air. The trike is part of a hot trend out of Europe called “Cycling Without Age”.

“It allows folks to be back on a bike and experience the wind in their hair,” said Todd Walter, the owner of Crosaires, a home for six older adults in Williamston. Crosaires is Gaelic for crossroads, he explains.

Walter said an intern working at his home was looking for ways to engage seniors last winter and he found an online site about returning the rewards of cycling to those with limited mobility.

Cycling Without Age started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kassow started offering free bike rides on the trishaws to nursing home residents. It’s a movement based on kindness, slow rides and storytelling.

a movement based on kindness, slow rides and storytelling. Todd Walter, owner of Crosaires, a residential
a movement based on kindness, slow rides and storytelling. Todd Walter, owner of Crosaires, a residential

Todd Walter, owner of Crosaires, a residential living facility for the elderly in Williamston, gives a ride to 103-year-old Matilda Post of Haslett, and Ziona Bisno, 94, of Williamston on the facility’s trioBike Taxi on Sept. 8, 2017. Photos: Matthew Dae Smith/ Lansing State Journal, with permission.

Kassow said, via Twitter, that it’s the first trishaw in Michigan. His website lists 50 Cycling Without Age chapters in the U.S. but none in Michigan.

Walter has become one of 10,000 trained “pilots” across the globe.

It’s not surprising that the trend comes from Copenhagen, known for being extremely bike friendly. I visited the city two years ago. Though I did sightseeing via a bus and on foot, there was no room for doubt that Danes love their bicycles, they are everywhere.

The trioBike, the brand name for the trishaw, was an eye-popping $8,000. Walter raised donations to buy the bike from a Copenhagen, Denmark dealer that he found through the Cycling Without Age website. It was delayed for six weeks when the freight company had a cyber-attack. It arrived about a month ago, just in time for residents to enjoy the remains of summer.

He said it’s helping older adults connect to other area residents, such as a neighbor who grows giant pumpkins and regularly welcomes the trishaw riders to his farm.


Walter said.


a life enhancer,

there is no doubt,”

Friends Ziona Bisno, 94, and Matilda Post, 103,

got on for a spin on a recent Friday. The air had

a nip of fall and the women were cold.

After a few minutes down the driveway and

a ride along Zimmer Road, Bisno, who lives at

the home, pronounces the ride “rocky” but she has a big smile on her face as she exits the bike. Her friend, who was visiting, tried the ride but wasn’t enthusiastic about it.

Walter is convinced they’ll ask to ride again on another day.

Brown, the MSU retiree, is a lot more upbeat. She recalls her days teaching in China.

“I’ve ridden the rickshaw in China. They were scary,” Brown recalled. “They never hit anything but you think you’re going to die any second.”

The trishaw is much slower, no more than 10 miles per hour and Brown contrasts the ride favorably to the long-ago rickshaw.

“It was much more serene,” she said.

Re-printed with permission. Judy Putnam, Lansing State Journal, Published Sept. 18, 2017. Judy Putnam is a columnist with the Lansing State Journal.



Fall 2017

Continued from Page 4

When Cars Turn Left

But what about the law that says you have to ride on the far right? Let’s take a quick look at how and why that law came to be, and what it actually says.

When automobiles started becoming more preva- lent, the law was made for cyclists to ride near the far right edge of the lane in order to facilitate in-lane passing by motorists. But it soon became obvious that riding in this position is problem- atic for cyclists, so a long list of exceptions** was added for the purpose of assuring cyclists’ safety when being passed. [Michigan Vehicle Code (MVC) Section 257.660a.] When any of these exceptions apply, cyclists do not have to ride on the far right of the lane.

The most significant exception is “if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.” The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) “Bicycle and Pedestrian Terminology” booklet, in agreement with numer- ous traffic guidance documents, defines a narrow lane as “a travel lane less than 14 feet wide, which therefore does not allow bicyclists and motorists to travel side-by-side within the same traffic lane and maintain a safe separation of distance.”

As it turns out, this exemption alone applies to approximately 99% of all lanes, making it rare that the far to right law applies at all. Most lanes are 10 to 12 feet wide. As a result, cyclists can use as much of a lane as they need in order to ride defensively and protect their own safety.

But isn’t it RUDE to take up a full lane? Courtesy and cooperation are important components of our

traffic system. We’ll discuss how cyclists can partici-

pate safely, legally and politely, in the next issue.

** In 2016, LMB led a successful campaign to amend the MVC from saying “as close as possible” to “as close as practicable”. The change added five specif- ic exceptions for when a cyclist is allowed to ride further in the travel lane.

Editor’s Note: LMB advocates 5 feet as the minimum amount of space a vehicle should give a bicyclist when passing. Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Portage, Oshtemo Township, Dearborn, Kalamazoo Township, and Norton Shores have all adopted five- foot passing ordinances. Battle Creek has a similar policy.

Sue Kropscott is a CyclingSavvy Instructor, LMB member, & life-long transportation cyclist. Cycling- Savvy is an adult traffic cycling course. For more information, visit

Sarah W. Colegrove & Todd E. Briggs

We recently represented a person who was injured while riding her bicycle. She was riding through an intersection that had a stop light. Even though she had the green light, a car turning left from the opposite direction, who also had the green light, struck her causing significant injury.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common scenarios we get hired to litigate. Who was in the right?

As we know, each person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and

is subject to all of the duties applicable to

the driver of a motor vehicle (MCL 257.657). The applicable statue when a bicyclist is riding through an intersection with a traffic signal is MCL 257.650 and it states: “At an

intersection at which a traffic signal is located,

a driver intending to make a left turn shall

permit vehicles bound straight through in the opposite direction which are waiting a go signal to pass through the intersection before making the turn.”

Here, the bicyclist had the right of way because she was lawfully riding straight through the intersection over the car who turned left in front of her without yielding. In Michigan, since the automobile driver was at fault and caused the collision, the no-fault insurer of the automobile driver is liable for any pain and suffering the bicyclist experienced, if her injury is above the threshold mandated by MCL 500.3135.

Other potential right of way rules that motor vehicles are required to follow, when no traffic control device is present, to ensure safe bicycle travel are found at MCL 257.649, which state:

The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.

When 2 vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to vehicle on the right.

When a vehicle approaches the intersection of a highway from an intersecting highway or street which is intended to be and is constructed as, a merging highway or street, and is plainly marked at the intersection with appropriate merge signs, the vehicle shall yield right of way to a vehicle so close as to constitute an immediate hazard on the highway about to be entered and shall adjust its speed so as to enable it to merge safely through traffic.

It is important to know and understand the rules of the road when cycling on the road, in particular these rules pertaining to the right of way at intersection. Feel free to email us at attorneys@briggscolegrove. com with your questions and comments.

As always, please ride safely!

© 2017 Todd E. Briggs and Sarah W. Colegrove. Todd and Sarah are lawyers in
© 2017 Todd E. Briggs and Sarah W. Colegrove.
Todd and Sarah are lawyers in private practice.
In addition to helping athletes injured in bicycle
and sports-related accidents, they concentrate in
the areas of civil litigation, including personal
injury, commercial litigation, probate and estate
planning law. Todd and Sarah are competitive
cyclists, triathletes and adventure racers. Each has
competed in many state and national swimming,
running, biking and triathlon competitions,
including the Hawaii Ironman. You can contact
them at the following address or telephone number:
Briggs Colegrove, P.C.
660 Woodward Ave., Suite 1523
Detroit, Michigan 48226
(313) 964-2077

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