2018 was a full year of bicycle events and news. Here we present, in no particular order, some of the most memorable bicycle moments of the year. Happy New Year!
Inaugural Sioux Falls Trail Challenge
In June, Falls Area Bicyclists hosted the first Sioux Falls Trail Challenge. Nearly 400 participants registered to Ride, Run or Roll around the Sioux Falls Bike Trail. Proceeds from the event were donated to construction of new singletrack trails in Tuthill. FAB announce in July that nearly $7,000 was raised for the Trail Challenge.
New Singletrack in Tuthill Park
Falls Area Singletrack (FAST) broke ground on 4 miles of singletrack in Tuthill Park. This partnership with the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department is completely funded by private donations. FAB was proud to help raise money through our membership and Trail Challenge event. Currently about 2 miles are completed and they are amazing. It’s a gem for Sioux Falls mountain biking, trail running, hiking and nature watching.
Bike May Use Full Lane Signs Appear
At various tight locations, signs were installed to remind drivers that people riding bicycles have the legal right to use an entire traffic lane when it is not safe for a bicycle and another vehicle to occupy the same lane. Being predictable and visible is the best way to say safe when riding. Using the full lane clearly communicates to faster vehicles that they will need to change lanes to pass and does not give tacit approval to “squeeze by” when it is not safe. A group of FAB members continues to work with the City to identify additional locations for signs.
New Skunk Creek Trail Addition
The ribbon was cut in August on an additional 1.25 miles of trail along the north side of Skunk Creek. This project, by the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department, connects from Dunham Park to the main trail loop over the diversionary dam near the golf courses. West side residents now have safe and convenient access to the main trail and routes into the core.
FAB Membership Surpasses 240
At the end of 2017 FAB’s membership was hovering around 100 people. Through an increase of volunteer effort, web site & software overhaul, and a host of new ride opportunities. FAB’s membership is now over 240 and growing! Thank you to everyone that made this year so successful! We encourage everyone, with an interest in seeing more people on bikes and making Sioux Falls safer for riders, to come along side and become a FAB member. Together we’ll make Sioux Falls a better place to ride!
First Winter Bike Summit
In January, FAB teamed up with RASDak to host the very first Winter Bike Summit. Over 200 people attended the Thursday evening event to learn the 2018 route for RASDak, attend the FAB Winter Meeting, and browse the expo floor with vendors and area ride leaders. This year’s Bike Summit will be bigger and span a weekend with rides, seminars, film festival and more.
New E-Bike Ordinance
The Sioux Falls City Council unanimously approved the use of class one e-bikes on the Sioux Falls Bike Trail system. Class one e-bike can only assist a rider when they are pedaling and cannot provide any assist over 20mph. The ordinance also made a variety of changes to city ordinance not all related to e-bikes including codifying a 15mph speed limit on the trail. You can read about the changes here.
Cycling Without Age
A group of volunteers lead by FAB Board member, Jodi Erickson, are working to bring Cycling Without Age to Sioux Falls. The organization works to connect elderly with the outdoors by providing rides on special e-bikes called tri-shaws. Nursing home residents seldom if ever get to experience the joy being outside with the wind in their hair. Cycling Without Age Sioux Falls hopes to bring those moments of joy to residents at our local nursing homes. Learn more from their Facebook page.
FAB Light Giveaway
As the daylight shortened and Daylight Saving Time ended in November, FAB’s Community Involvement Committee mobilized to giveaway sets of front and rear lights downtown to riders who had none. Bicycles are not just for recreation, and often times, a bicycle may be the only mode of transportation available to get back and forth to work. Our Community Involvement Committee recognized the need to reach out and provide safety lights to individuals where safety may not be a priority compared to just making it to work.
A Growing Community
It was hard not to notice through the year, but it’s become apparent the bicycle community is growing in Sioux Falls. FAB’s Coffee Shop Rides, Family Sundae Fundae & Pizza Rides, and Wandering Wednesdays saw large jumps in the number of riders participating. The Trail Challenge was huge. Rides sponsored by our local shops also saw increased participation. We can’t help but feel excited for the future of bicycling in Sioux Falls.
We Miss You Greg
2018 began with sadness as we were forced to say goodbye to friend and fellow rider, Greg Wickre. Co-owner of Harlan’s Bike and Tour, Greg was taken from us too soon. There is some solace knowing that Greg passed while doing what he loved, riding the winter fatbike trails near Spearfish, but we miss him, and our hearts still ache for Nicole, Sophia, our friends at Harlan’s, and the rest of Greg’s family.
There’s so much more
We could add Elmwood Forest Cross, three new repair stands on the trail, Cyclocross Racing with Sanford Power, Cranksgiving, Tour Divide adventures with Greg Gleason, RASDak’s 6th year, Trans South Dakota, Chariots for Children bicycle build, and more. What would you add to the list?