Muscle Powered still going strong
August 1, 2008
It’s been about 11 years since Anne Macquarie and a core group of walking and biking enthusiasts attended a city meeting to request more paths in the city’s master plan.
The city’s plan has now seen several changes, but one thing has remained constant. The community group, Muscle Powered, Macquarie organized as a result of that meeting is still going strong.
Although the members Muscle Powered are still working on several projects, including connecting the series of bike paths and lanes throughout Carson City, they’ve also seen many successes.
One of the greatest achievements the group has seen is putting up about 10 yellow, bike-shaped bike racks throughout town. One that has had the most impact is a bike map they produced with grants from the State Office of Traffic Safety and the city.
The bike map outlines the various types of routes, both paved and dirt, in and around Carson City.
“I’ve even heard people who don’t bike say they use that map,” said Macquarie, president of the organization.
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The map is available online at musclepowered.org and at the bike shops in town.
She said she’s pleased to see increasing numbers of people on bikes, but hopes both cyclists and motorists learn and obey the rules.
According to Nevada law, bikes are considered vehicles, and therefore subject to the same rules.
“My pet peeve is when people on bikes don’t stop at stop signs,” Macquarie said.
With cars, it’s when they “don’t leave bicyclists enough room. Sometimes a car needs to get out of its lane to go by – it’s like passing another car.”
Another project Macquarie would like to take on is holding workshops for women. She said women often feel intimidated and self-conscious when riding a bike in public. The workshops would address specific needs of women, including what to wear, in commuting on a bicycle.
Women interested in such workshops, or those interested in joining the group, should contact Macquarie through the Web site musclepowered.org.
• Contact reporter Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1272.
Here are some tips from Muscle Powered president Anne Macquarie and board member Jeff Moser to get you started:
• Study the bike map (available at musclepowered.org and the bike shops in town). Choose a route that avoids main streets.
• If you have a bike, use it. As you ride more, you’ll determine your needs and buy the bike that best meets them.
• Before riding your bike, bring it in for a tune-up. Make sure tires are inflated and brakes are working.
• Learn to fix a flat tire and other basic maintenance. Contact bike shops for help.
• Talk to owners of bike shops about racks and fenders available for carrying items.
• If you don’t have a bike, buy the one that’s right for you. If you want to commute, you probably don’t need a mountain bike.
• Find a comfortable pack. A regular backpack may be too bulky or heavy.
• Ride around town short distances before taking a long commute.
• Learn the rules. Bicyclists should ride with traffic. And always wear a helmet.
For more information or advice about getting started, contact your local bike shop or check out the following Web sites: