Summer and fall programs by Bike and Walk Montclair.
With a weekend of some beautiful weather, Montclair residents are starting to trade in their coats and boots for sneakers and bikes. Bike and Walk Montclair is an advocacy group whose mission is to advocate for policies, programs and street designs that support safe biking and walking, according to Nick De Toustain. Their motto is “Bikes and Feet on Every Street,” and residents can expect some great upcoming programs and events with Bike and Walk!
“We started way back in 2001, when a local bike shop put two bike advocates (Rika Alper and Jerry Fried) together and said, ‘you guys should talk,’” said De Toustain. “At the time, we were called ‘Bike Montclair’ but about five years ago changed it to Bike and Walk Montclair to reflect our involvement with pedestrian safety issues and guided walks as well.”
Bike and Walk provides many programs and events, such as the legendary “Tour de Montclair,” which could have as many as 1,000 riders at this year’s event. “It will take place on Sept. 25 and will also include our second ‘Open Streets Montclair’ like we did last year,” said De Toustain. “That’s where we close off several streets near Church St. and bikers, walkers and anyone at all can do whatever they want in the streets. There are people doing yoga, doing artwork, singing, tae kwon do and more.”
Aside from these events, Bike and Walk also puts on programs such as the “Pop-Up Bike Lanes” at local schools, scavenger hunts and the Bike Friendly Businesses, where Bike and Walk collaborates with local merchants to encourage people to do their shopping by bike.
“Our goal is to get people active by biking and walking more, and providing a safe place for them to do that,” said De Toustain. “That’s where the advocacy part comes in. We have strong ties with local government, including the mayor, the council, the township engineer and the police department. We show up to council meetings to build awareness for our programs.”
According to De Toustain, Bike and Walk has a board with about 10 members as well as many volunteers. They are a 501(c)(3) organization. To get involved with Bike and Walk, stop by one of their monthly meetings or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the nice weather finally makes its way to New Jersey, mark your calendars for some of the upcoming summer events by Bike and and Walk:
- April 30: Alley Cat Ride at the Montclair Farmers’ Market. Meet at 7:45 a.m. with the ride from 8 to 10 a.m.
- May 28: Tour Des Fleurs at the Montclair Farmers’ Market. Meet at 7:45 a.m. with the ride from 8 to 11 a.m.
- June 18: Magical History Bike Tour at the Montclair Historical Society. Meet at 7:45 a.m. with the ride from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- July 16: Trip to Duke Farms at Duke Farms Orientation Center. Meet at 9 a.m.
- Aug. 2: National Night Out Evening Bike Tour at the Kaveny Baseball Field. Meet at 5 p.m. with the ride from 5:15 to 7 p.m.
- Aug. 20: Garden and Farm Tour at the Montclair Farmer’s Market. Meet at 7:45 a.m. with the ride from 8 to 11 a.m.
There will be additional events in September and the fall, so be sure to check back at BikeAndWalkMontclair.org for a full schedule or to find a schedule of monthly meetings.