# Bike To Work Week

Biden in Cedar Rapids and other events coming up this week

Governor Chet Culver and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge are kicking off their re-election campaign this week with events all over the state. One highlight will be Tuesday’s rally at noon in Cedar Rapids’ Greene Square Park, headlined by Vice President Joe Biden. To RSVP for any of the Culver campaign events, click here.

Follow me after the jump for the whole event calendar. If you know of anything I’ve left out, please post a comment or send me an e-mail: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

Continue Reading...

Events coming up during the next two weeks

Governor Chet Culver kicks off his re-election campaign on Monday, May 17. The governor, First Lady Mari Culver, and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge will hold events in 41 counties over five days. Members of the public can RSVP to attend the Culver campaign events here.

Details on those and many other events can be found after the jump.

Bike to Work week also begins next Monday and runs through May 21. According to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition,

In 2009, 716 employers, 114 cities, and 2,395 commuters (22% first-timers) participated. Approximately 63,188 commuting miles were pledged, 3,510 gallons of gas saved, and $7,336.83 saved in fuel costs. Contact Mark Wyatt at (515) 309-2867 or mark@iowabicyclecoalition.org.

Here’s hoping the bicycle commuters will get warm, dry weather next week.

Continue Reading...

Events coming up this week

It’s been a week since same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa, and I’m happy to report that my hetero marriage has not yet collapsed under the strain of sharing rights with gays and lesbians.

Click “there’s more” to read about events coming up this week. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

Advance warning: May 11-15 is Bike to Work week.

Registration is FREE. Over 500 Bike to Work Socks have been ordered from the Sock Guy. This year’s socks are green. Socks will be available at events throughout the week on a first come, first serve basis. (One pair per pre-registered rider.) Everyone who registers and takes the pledge is eligible for $1,000 in Bike Bucks for use in any sponsoring bike shop and many other prizes! Registration closes at Noon on Thursday May 14th. Questions? Check out Bike to Work Week events and businesses around Iowa at www.bikeiowa.com.

Continue Reading...

Fallon chides Boswell over Bike to Work photo-op

I got an e-mail from Ed Fallon’s campaign that contrasts Fallon’s “personal commitment” to transportation by bicycle with Congressman Leonard Boswell’s “photo-op” Bike to Work event on Monday morning:

Ed has been riding his bike as a consistent form of transportation for years. It’s his way of demonstrating his personal commitment and responsibility for reducing his carbon footprint.

The e-mail then shows a photo of Fallon “arriving by bike at his campaign office in the February snow,” as well as a photo of Boswell riding his bicycle on Monday, which the incumbent e-mailed to constituents:

Personal commitment or photo op?

You decide!

Speaking of Bike to Work Week, Fallon will be at the Handlebar Happy Hour on Friday at 5 pm at the El Bait Shop, 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines.

Now, do I think Fallon would represent me better in Congress because he rides a bicycle regularly? No, but I do have confidence that because of this experience, he understands the need to make our roads more bike-friendly.

I know many people who are afraid to run errands on their bikes, but would consider it if there were bike lanes on more streets in the Des Moines area.

Although Boswell has served on the House Transportation Committee for some time, I have not seen any commitment from him to promoting “complete streets” that encourage travel by foot and by bicycle as well as by car.

I don’t care how often Boswell uses his bicycle as long as he gets behind the Safe and Complete Streets bill that Representative Doris Matsui recently introduced in the House. Tom Harkin has already introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate.

Continue Reading...

Congratulations are in order

To everyone who worked hard toward the passage of a law expanding health insurance coverage for Iowa children, which Chet Culver signed yesterday.

To the Iowa Council for International Understanding, which has posted translations of Iowa voter registration documents on its website in light of a court ruling that bars the Secretary of State’s office from providing information in any language other than English.

To Senator Chuck Grassley for looking into the spending practices of six tax-exempt “media-based ministries,” despite a large-scale public relations campaign accusing him of “religious McCarthyism.”

To Iowa Independent blogger Dien Judge, who was just appointed to the Monroe County board of supervisors, a position he will hold for the next six months.

And to Iowa City Council member Ross Wilburn, the bicyclist who won Johnson County’s annual Bike-to-Work Week Bike-Bus-Car race.

Put up a comment if you know of someone else who deserves congratulations this week.

Events coming up this week

Please put up a comment if you know of an event I’ve missed, or e-mail me to let me know about upcoming events: desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

A bunch of meetups and other events are listed on William Meyers’ website (http://www.meyersforhouse.com/home.html), but I couldn’t find details about the time or location for any of those.

I listed the central Iowa events for Bike to Work week, but there are also events taking place in Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Go here to find a link to those event schedules:


Monday, May 12:

Bike with Congressman Leonard Boswell, 7:45 a.m., 39th and Grand Avenue, ride to 300 E. Locust in Des Moines. Federal, state, and city policy makers will ride to kick off the work week. The number of riders demonstrates to them how many of us are watching and listening and demanding safer bicycle facilities.

Becky Greenwald, a Democratic candidate in the IA-04 primary, will be in Decorah from 7-8 p.m. at the Oaks Restaurant to meet and talk with Democratic activists in Winneshiek County.

Tuesday, May 13:

Bike Kollective Breakfast, 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. • 617 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Stop down, grab a bite and check out the new space called the Des Moines Bike Kollective (while supplies last).

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Annual Award Dinner, Reception at 6 pm, Dinner at 7 pm, Hotel Fort Des Moines, 1000 Walnut Street, Des Moines. The Keynote Speaker will be The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, retired Episcopal Bishop of Washington; second woman in the United States to be elevated to the office of Bishop. The Interfaith Award will be presented to Rekha Basu. The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus will perform. Individual reservations are $50. Although reservations for this event were due by May 8, you may be able to squeeze in. For more information, email tiaiowa@dwx.com or call (515) 279-8715.

One Iowa “Happy Hour/Coffee House” at Ritual Cafe, 13th St. between Grand and Locust in downtown Des Moines, 5 pm to 6:45 pm. This is a time to meet like-minded friends and relax in a welcoming atmosphere. If you have never attended, the Happy Hour crowd will put you right at ease. If you are a regular or have attended in the past, we want you to come see how we have grown! On Tuesday, One Iowa has the honor to host Mathew Skuya, one of One Iowa’s Regional Organizers at Ritual; he will talk about the all of the Pride events happening around Des Moines and throughout Iowa in June, and discuss how you can become more involved.  Matt’s presentation will start at 5:30pm. Ritual Cafe is an LGBT-operated coffee shop and cafe offering “really great coffee and food” in an open and affirming place.

State Representative District 16 Forum and local Democratic candidates, 7 pm at the Decorah City Hall, Council Chambers. For further info contact Lyle Otte, 563-382-3137

House party for Jerry Sullivan, candidate in House district 59, at the home of Kerry Bowen in Windsor Heights, starting at 6:30 pm. Call 274-1877 to RSVP and get address details.

Wednesday, May 14:

This is the last day of the current reporting period for candidates seeking state offices in Iowa. Donate to one or more Democrats facing a tough House or Senate race!

“Helmet Hair Specials” are available at participating businesses all over the state as part of Bike to Work Week. Coffee shops all over the metro are offering those who bike and shop great deals. Show your support, because these businesses support us! After the jump I’ve put the full list of Des Moines-area businesses offering discounts to bicyclists on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 15:

If you need maintenance done on your bicycle, this is the day to take it to a participating bike shop. Many of them are offering deals on maintenance items as well as maintenance classes on this day. Call your local bike shops for details.

Friday, May 16:

It’s the official Bike to Work Day. Go to biketowork.bikeiowa.com for a list of free breakfasts, showers and staging locations. Staging locations are for camaraderie, commuting with friends, and creating a group of cyclists for visibility. Today one lucky registered rider will win the grand CASH prize! Awards will also be announced for the top Two Bicycle Clubs and Employers with the most registered riders.

“Potluck” Commuter breakfast in Ames, 6:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., Skunk River Cycles. Coffee, juice, and some bagels/bakery goods will be provided. Free to bring something to share with others that stop in. While supplies last.

Afterwork drop-in following Bike to Work day, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Stomping Grounds in Ames (303 Welch Avenue in Campustown). Stop and share stories of the day and put your name in the drawing for prizes.

Crossroads Luncheon organized by The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.The Crossroads speaker is Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan, Executive Director of Colorado Council of Churches (formerly Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa & senior minister at First Christian Church, Des Moines). The concept of his new book Doing Justice in a Purple Congregation and of the conversation at Crossroads is there really are no red or blue congregations but a mixture (making purple).  Yet, how do purple congregations really “do” social justice to create change?  It is a very relevant conversation in these times and at the intersection of religion and politics.  Reservations are due by noon this Tuesday, May 13. For more information, email tiaiowa@dwx.com or call (515) 279-8715.

Handlebar Happy Hour celebrating Bike to Work week starts at 5 pm at the El Bait Shop, 200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines. Ed Fallon will ride his bike down to the event and play his accordian.

Saturday, May 17:

Pancake breakfast for Windsor Heights Firefighters, 8 am to 1 pm at the Windsor Heights City Hall (a block south of University on 66th St.). Windsor Heights Mayor Jerry Sullivan, candidate for House district 59, will be there. It’s a fun event for families–kids can see and even touch a real fire truck! $5 per person or $10 per family.

The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club is having a fundraiser for its Political Action Committee at the Des Moines Botanical Center, 909 Robert D Ray Dr., May 17, 2008 from 3-5 PM. Refreshments will be served. The cost is $50. A presentation by Ty Smeades, nature photographer, called “Things Worth Saving” combines, wildflowers, wildlife, and Iowa scenes, into a 17 minute show set to music. Ty says, “I truly went the quality route with this show”. Contact Debbie Neustadt at debbieneu AT earthlink.net if you plan to attend.

Sunday, May 18:

Fourth Congressional District Democratic candidate Forum:

1:00-2:00 p.m. Knights of Columbus Hall, Waukon

2:30-4:00 p.m. at The Oaks Steakhouse, Highway 9 in Decorah

5:00-6:00 p.m. at Mabe’s Pizza, Cresco

For further info contact Barb Ettleson 563-382-1469

Continue Reading...

Bike to Work week starts May 10

Check out Bike Iowa’s page on Bike to Work week:


There’s a ton of information there about special events, promotions, benefits of cycling, and lots of other topics.

I am not working outside the home now, but if you or your employer are participating in Bike to Work week, please put up a diary to let us know how it goes!

I noticed that on the morning of Monday, May 12, Congressman Leonard Boswell is organizing a bike ride to his office in downtown Des Moines. Good for him. May I suggest that he become a co-sponsor of the Safe and Complete Streets bill that Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) just introduced in the House of Representatives:

The bill would make sure that roads built and improved with federal funds safely serve everyone using the roadway-including pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, as well as those with disabilities.

“Once again, gas prices have hit record highs this week. As American families continue to feel the pain at the pump due to the skyrocketing costs of gasoline, they are driving less and less,” said Rep. Matsui. “By diversifying our roadways, we can provide real alternatives to travel by car.”

Boswell sits on the Transportation Committee and could help move this bill along.

Tom Harkin and Thomas Carper (D-DE) have already introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Continue Reading...