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Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition has busy summer despite virus

A bike rack installed at Lake Tahoe.
Provided / Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Even though the pandemic prevented the Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition from hosting some of their usual events, they still achieved many accomplishments this summer.

LTBC is an all-volunteer organization that advocates for additional and improved bike paths and lanes by working with local jurisdictions and agencies, raising funds and providing volunteers to make biking safer.

With people working remotely or not working at all because of the pandemic, it seemed like there was a large spike in popularity with biking.

“There were a lot of people out biking, realizing what a great resource we have,” said Gavin Feiger, LTBC president.

LTBC is known for their annual Tahoe Bike Challenge each June which encourages cycling as a mode of transportation. They partner with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to run the challenge, and they maintain a website to track rides, give awards, and work with the schools to get as many people out of their cars as possible.

This year, they weren’t able to host the usual events they would have during the challenge but they still had over 300 people who tracked their rides totaling over 45,000 miles. In 2019, a little over 20,000 miles were logged. However, the 2019 challenge was two weeks long while the 2020 challenge was the whole month.

Along with tracking miles, they also hosted a bike path trash clean up with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Clean Tahoe.

“Almost 50 volunteers picked up 750 pounds of trash along a three-mile section of bike path in the City of South Lake Tahoe,” Feiger said.

For the third summer in a row, LTBC, with the help of the Tahoe Fund, was able to install more bike racks around the basin. They’ve now installed 450 racks, which parks more than 900 bikes. They are located within one-quarter mile of town centers all around the lake.

“The Tahoe Fund has continued to support the bike coalition’s efforts to install more bike racks because we recognize the value it offers to the community and the Tahoe environment,” said Allen Biaggi, Tahoe Fund board chair in a press release. “Increasing the amount of bicycle parking and access to free repair stations region-wide encourages residents and visitors to ride. This in turn helps reduce vehicle emissions and roadway sediment that can affect lake clarity.”

They have also been able to install 10 fix-it stations which allow cyclists to make easy repairs on their bikes.

In addition, they were able to update and distribute the Tahoe Bike Map which is a free comprehensive map that helps residents and visitors get around Tahoe on bike.

LTBC also helped provide volunteers for several projects around the basin, including the Al Tahoe Boulevard Mobility & Safety Project and the South Tahoe Greenway: Glenwood Way to Sierra Blvd., that was able to complete the boardwalk over Bijou Meadows despite delays from COVID.

Overall, Feiger describes the summer of 2020 as a, “mixed bag” but they are already looking forward to 2021.

LTBC will help local agencies on the Lake Tahoe Blvd. Bike Trail: Viking Way to the Y, San Bernardino Bike Path and Bridge in Meyers and completion of the Baldwin and Jamison Beach Bike Path Extensions in Camp Richardson.

During the winter, they will continue to advocate for new and improved bicycle paths, routes and parking.

To stay up-to-date on LTBC’s work, visit http://www.tahoebike.org.


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