Archive for Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Crazy’ cyclist ready to ride again for a good cause

July 17, 2007


Three questions with ... Joe Spradlin about the MS ride

Joe Spradlin, Lawrence resident, talks about his upcoming 150-mile Multiple Sclerosis bike ride. It will take place Sept. 22 and 23 and will start and end at Heartland Park in

Lawrence resident Joe Spradlin, 78, plans to participate in the Eastern Kansas MS 150 Bike Ride on Sept. 22-23. The 150 mile fundraiser tour will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Spradlin says he trains by cycling 20 or 30 miles on nice days.

Lawrence resident Joe Spradlin, 78, plans to participate in the Eastern Kansas MS 150 Bike Ride on Sept. 22-23. The 150 mile fundraiser tour will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Spradlin says he trains by cycling 20 or 30 miles on nice days.

Never too old to ride a bike?

Fundraising and the love of a challenge keep one Lawrence resident biking at 78 years old. Enlarge video


That's one word Lawrence resident Joe Spradlin uses to describe his decision to bike across the United States in 1995. His 36-day and approximately 2,500 mile trek took him from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla.

Now, the 78-year-old is ready to embark on a slightly easier trek: the 150 mile, two-day Eastern Kansas Multiple Sclerosis Bike Ride. The fundraising ride, which is Sept. 22-23, will begin and end at Heartland Park in Topeka.

"To some degree, it's just a very nice, challenging ride," said Spradlin, who has done the MS race many times before.

He also does the ride because he has family members, friends and colleagues who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system and nerves' ability to conduct electrical impulses to the brain.

The tour will include the Flint Hills area, Clinton Lake area and the towns of Lawrence, Auburn, Eskridge, Harveyville, Burlingame, Scranton and Carbondale.

Spradlin picked up his bike-riding habit in the 1970s, as gasoline prices started to climb.

He usually raises about $2,000 for the MS society from friends and relatives. Altogether in 2006, the ride raised $160,000, and this year's goal is $175,000.

Spradlin, who prepares by riding 20 to 30 miles on "good weather" days, said the ride is very well-organized.

After this ride, Spradlin doesn't plan to stop pedaling. He would eventually like to ride on a 220-mile trail in Missouri.

"I'll quit when I die, or somehow I'm incapacitated and can't ride," he said.

Join the ride

For more information about the MS Bike Ride, go to and click on "Events."


average 10 years, 10 months ago

Did 458 recently become something other than a public roadway?

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

Paris Aims to Cut Traffic With Bikes

By ANGELA DOLAND Associated Press Writer

July 15,2007 | PARIS -- The City of Light wants to be the city that bikes.

Paris City Hall launched a new bicycle service Sunday, with more than 10,600 posted at 750 stations all over the city. Users can take a bike and put it back at any station around town.

The service -- called Velib', a combination of the words "velo" (bike) and "liberte" (liberty) -- is an initiative pushed by Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who has made fighting traffic and pollution his No. 1 goal.

For Parisians, the bicycle service means another public transport option, in addition to the subway, buses and trams, Delanoe said.

"In the morning, you can go to work in the tram and come home by bike; it depends on the weather, it depends on your mood and on your friends," Delanoe said at the launch.

Business was brisk the first day. Parisian Sandrine Millet checked out her local station near the Champs-Elysees avenue and discovered only four bicycles left at a stand of 27. She hopped on one of the gray three-speeds and said it was "very comfortable."

"It's perfect for short rides, when you want to get somewhere fast, but don't have the courage to walk," she said.

Velib' is also accessible to tourists. The service is offered in eight languages, and its machines accept foreign credit cards.

Paris is following the example of other European cities with inexpensive bicycle services, including Stockholm, Vienna, Brussels, Barcelona and Copenhagen.

Delanoe has promoted biking heavily since taking office in 2001, and the city now has 230 miles of bike lanes. Velib' is due for expansion: By the year's end, Paris says it will nearly double the number of Velib' bicycles and stations.

A yearlong pass costs $39.50, while a one-day pass costs $1.36 -- and a seven-day ticket goes for $6.80. But the project is designed for short rides and has a sliding price scale -- so as to keep the bikes in rotation.

The first half-hour after users pick up a bike is free, but additional half-hours cost extra. Anyone who does not know the sliding scale and goes for a long joyride is in for a surprise: A one-day pass plus a 6-hour ride costs around $55.

Paris is distributing pocket copies of road safety rules to Velib' riders -- but bikers have to supply their own helmets.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

The Bikes to Schools program works with nearby schools to get bikes to students who may not otherwise have access. The program grew from the YBP Collective's desire for more interaction with the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the 51st Street shop. To date, Bikes to Schools has donated 89 bikes at four nearby elementary schools. REI granted money for the 2006 2007 school years to ensure that students also get helmets, light sets and locks. The Austin Cycling Association (ACA) has pitched in to add a bike safety education component to the program. The next Bikes to Schools donation will take place December 15 at the Austin Discovery School, the day before the Open House. The school will utilize the thirty donated bikes, which are overhauled during open hours at the 51st Street shop, as part of their Environmental Fitness curriculum. As Tuesday Night Volunteer Shop Coordinator Patrick Jones points out, "Bikes to Schools gives those who regularly utilize the shop an excellent opportunity to volunteer and give back to the Project and the community." To ensure that all the programs go forward as planned, Yellow Bike needs used bikes of all sizes. The YBP Collective encourages everyone to stop by the Open House to see the shop and find out more about current programs. If you have a bike you'd like to donate, bring it to the Open House or to any open shop at 51st Street. To view a current schedule or for more information, see .

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