Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Tree Tour Ride, New Farmers Market Ride, Coming Dog Park, Floatilla, Sabine River Float, Discussed at Last Meeting

At our meeting last Monday, we had great news on social bike rides and street painting. Here are the notes for the June 7th meeting:

In attendance: Stephanie Pedro, Cynthia Kieth, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath, Matthew Linn


With ride organizing as the priority, what a pleasure it was to have Matthew Linn come and announce that he and Hallie Dozier are up for joining us to organize another bicycling tour of city trees next fall! Many of us remember so fondly the tour last fall. Once again, the low registration fee will cover insurance for all riders, as well as t-shirts, and a fabulous picnic lunch will be donated by Columbia Cafe. But the highlight, of course, will be just bicycling through our beautiful city with so many other folks, stopping along the way to learn about trees and tree-care from our state's leading professional expert, Dr. Hallie Dozier.


Another ride to the Farmer's Market this Saturday was scheduled. This time we'll meet at 8:45 in the Columbia Park parking lot (or earlier for breakie at the Cafe for those wanting fine food for fuel) rolling out at 9:00 a.m. sharp. The route will be Creswell to Marshall. Loren and Maurice reported a lot of fun rolling in with the kids last Saturday. Easy relaxed pace mean they didn't break a sweat getting there, yet it still only took 20 minutes to get there.

Maurice has noted that in many places the farmer's market is year-round. Kip Holloway is in charge of timing for Farmers' Market; could be flea market stuff; the need for it here is more acute since we don't have a Whole Foods and it's a great place to get organic food, much of which isn't produce and seasonal.

A future ride could be one to "Hot Jazz on the Red"; could be biked to from Stoner Boat Launch; meet at 6:00, ride to the jazz, ride back at 8:00; could do last one on June 24th with AJ and the Two-Tone Blues Band.


Great news too from Stephanie. In her meeting with Mike Strong, Director of Operational Services for the city, he said he was ready to help us carry out the painting. With the Mayor supporting us, we're good to go. So, thank you so much Mayor Glover! And thank you so much Mike Strong!

Loren will be in touch with Mike about when to schedule painting dates. Saturdays are good because of less traffic, but Strong's people might not be available then.

Maurice mentioned Shreveport bicycle club and Ian Webb deserve a lot of credit for promoting proper driving ettiquitte in the city. Ian's bike shop, Rivercity Cycling, developed and sells the "Share the Road" lawn signs that we see around town. Get you one!


Cynthia Keith reported that the Shreveport Dogpark Alliance (SDA) is meeting with Shelly Raigle (executive director of SPAR) as well as councilwoman Joyce Bowman on the dog park.

They are deciding that it should be something that would include a large fenced-in area, a pavilion, access to water, benches, and would be on the river side of Clyde Fant just north of the Jimmy Davis Bridge.

Dog would have to be registered to go in; go to city, show vacination reords, sign to show you've read the rules; would get owners' release of liability ("CYA" before anything happens); would get a tag

Julianna Hofpower started interest in this project before moving out of town; Cynthia Keith has since taken it over and made it all happen, founding and directing the SDA.

Once this park is established and accepted, other areas would be established as permissible to have dogs off-leash.

Stephanie noted that when one started in New Orleans, there was a line to get in; it's been very popular. She noted that it's also a social amenity for pet owners, and it's an excellent way to meet and socialize with others beginning with shared interests. Cynthia mentioned that people visiting here often ask where a dog park is.

The parks are also fun to watch too. Garrett Johnson said he'd almost gotten in so many wrecks looking at the dogs in the Raising Canes Dog Park in Baton Rouge. Stephanie said the rubber necking can be downright dangerous.

Cynthia noted the issue of policing and regulation is an issue; but often people self regulate out of care for own animals that are there (like P.T.A.'s; neighborhood watch organizations, etc.).

The SDA has been in contact with the Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation Department about the verbage on their ordinance, their regulations, etc. It's basically going to be a city park; not run by animal control of Caddo; it'll be all SPAR's deal; they'll be taking care

A resolution was moved and passed at the meeting that ABS write a letter of support for the dog park; Stephanie also plans to write one from the perspective of an urban planner and former resident of a city with one that's been a success.

Dovetailing with the group's interests in the social benefits cycling as transportation, Cynthia told the story of passing Charles Grubb, former city attorney and mentioning the dog park while she was biking and he was running. As she passed she mentioned the dog park to him and he said he'd support it. Later, he told Cynthia of his dog's routine of going in the water during his daily run, and would really appreciate the dog park.

Maurice also mentioned Janet Creech as a potential supporter of the dog park; she is a horticultural expert who is often flown to China for consulting.

Cynthia said once the park opens we'll have to publicize it heavily then have people at the park to register dogs on the spot.


Currently boaters have to pay for a permit for each boat the own when boating in something like the Foatilla, as the permit takes the form of sticker. Maurice said Dick Maxwell (who builds his own canoes; lives on an arm going into Cross Lake on the south shore) told him that we're required to each boat individually. But Maurice said it's not appropriate for non-motorized boats; they're like bicycles in that most people have a "quiver" of them and only ride one at a time. The license should be transferable. Also, canoes and kayaks do not pollute, use as much space on the water, or creating as much noise as motorized boats.

Local artist Su Stella is selling ceramic pelican magnets to help fund her trip to the Mississippi coast to help with the clean-up. (See her facebook page.)


One of Maurice's favorite floats is on the Baudcaw Bayou well upsteam from the dam; floating from Sarepta to Cotton Valley.

A can't miss float is the Sabine River float in September on the labor day weekend; from wee hours Saturday until Monday evening; from Leesville to Deritter; spend two nights on the river; can easily arrange to rent a canoe; camp on beautiful white sandbars and bring tents, cooler, etc.; cool clear water from the bottom of Toledo bend dam; paddling clubs from all around come; typically 100 boats; great for families -- kids can get bored in canoes, but you can drop them off on the sand bars and they run along the sandbar.


Maurice noted that Russ had said we need an aggregating site like Austin on Two Wheels that may not have its own content but compiles all the stuff around town for biking. Our site, could serve that role. It needs to have a way of getting what the different rides and routes are, recent posts from other sites, etc.; aggregating is the mechanism.


The meeting began with chat about Maurice's bike helmet, home-made from a Hummers' bee keepers hat. Coolest thing rolling with the ventilation and wide brim.

Garrett recalled how he built his bike for free in exchange for volunteering two hours a week over a period at the bicycle coop in Boulder, Colorado. (Many of us hope to have a bicycle coop in Shreveport someday.)

While Garrett recommended "Pedaling Revolution," Maurice recommended "Bicycle Diaries" by the Talking Heads' David Byrne. (They pledged to exchange books.)

NEXT MEETING SET FOR MONDAY: 6 - 7. See you then!

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