Bike safety and infrastructure are a big deal to the people at Bike Lafayette, and they want to get people talking about it in a fun environment, at their Bikes, Beer, and Burritos Fundraising Social on Sat., Sept. 9.
The social is a chance for cyclists and those who have an interest in biking to gather to share their concerns about biker safety and build community through the 10-mile casual ride, 25-mile or 50-mile ride.
The rides will start at 8 a.m. on Sat., Sept. 9, and afterwards burritos from Chipotle and beer from Bayou Teche will be served at the park.
April Courville, a Bike Lafayette board member, hopes the event will get people talking about bike infrastructure in Acadiana. and help raise awareness about cyclists on the road.
“Cyclists are out there, they’re not going away and we’re all sharing the road, so we want it to be a safer harmonious place for everyone,” said Courville. “Both motorists and cyclists need to adhere to the traffic laws, but the more people that are receptive, pay attention to and are welcoming to the cycling community, the better it’s going to be for everyone.”
Bike Lafayette has plans to use the funds raised from the event to launch an educational ad campaign and to educate future drivers about the rules of the road and how to share it with both pedestrians and cyclists.
In 2008, Bike Lafayette submitted a schematic to the city which was used as a roadmap for installing bike lanes in areas like Johnston Street, General Mouton and St. Landry.
Bike Lafayette has plans to work towards improving bike infrastructure in the city by reviewing the schematic with the city to talk about the current needs of cyclists.
“It’s been almost 10 years since the plan was submitted, so we want to review how our needs as motorists and cyclists have changed during that time,” said Courville. “We feel like improvements need to be made to existing bike lanes, especially ones that are used a lot, and we want to move forward with adding additional bike lanes.”
Courville hopes community members will attend the event to give their input on how to improve biker safety in the area.
“We want to take the information we gather, hand it to the city and say look this is what people are saying, so we can start working towards change,” said Courville. “The event is open to everyone and it’s all about connecting the community to start those conversations.”
Musical entertainment will be provided by Kiwi Bautista of Organic Radio, there will be fun jumps, giveaways and several vendor booths present at the event.
Rides will start at the head of the mountain bike trail in Acadiana Park, and cyclists can choose to enjoy the trails or go on one of the group rides departing at 8 a.m.
Although roads won’t be closed for the ride, the route is mapped out and there will be SAG stops on the longer routes for riders to stop and get water at.
All proceeds go towards benefiting Bike Lafayette and those who can’t make the event are encouraged to make a donation on their website.
“Even if they can’t go, they can make a small donation through the page or become a member of Bike Lafayette,” said Courville. “The ticket covers the ride, beer, food and music, so even if you don’t want to ride, you can still come be part of it and hang out.”
To purchase tickets for the event or for more information about Bike Lafayette, visit bikelafayette.org.