Back in February of 2014 I wrote about local bicycle theft stats, and security tips. I interviewed the Eureka, and Arcata Police departments. Sharing valuable information with local bicycle owners. In that article it was discussed that it was important to pay a small fee to your local police department to register your bicycle, to then be in a national database. This greatly increases the chances of your bicycle if recovered, being returned to you.
Now thanks to Bike Index you can double dip registration of your bicycles. While I still think it is important to register with your local police department. Bike Index is free, and it has some awesome added features for the Bike Index registered bicycle owner.
Let’s go over some of the Bike Index features, and highlights -
Bike Index was founded in 2013 out of Chicago, by Seth Herr. They ran a successful Kickstarter campaign. Bike Index is absolutely free to create your own account, and very quick/easy to use. It is an open source platform, that continues to have new features added. Unlike your bicycle license with the local police department, you have full access to update your information at anytime, from the comfort of your own home.
It’s even bigger than when Bike Index first launched -
In June of 2014 Bike Index merged with StolenBicycleRegistry.com
Seth says “We’ve combined the most sophisticated, user-friendly bicycle registry and the longest running and most successful stolen bicycle recovery service — creating the largest and most effective bike registry in the galaxy”. Read the full announcement here.
Twitter is integrated into Bike Index -
If you tweet bike serial numbers @IsItStolen it responds with a short description of bikes matching that serial number on the Bike Index along with their stolen status.
Integrated with bicycle shops -
Bike shops can choose to automatically register your bike, when you buy it at the store. Bike shops must have established accounts with Bike Index. Encourage your local bike shop to participate, if they are not already.
What’s in it for you, the bicycle owner ?
It’s your bicycle’s best friend ! Yes you can register multiple bicycles under one account. The forms to fill out to describe your bike are very easy, and quick to submit. You can add a photo of your ride. You can choose to create a page listing of all your bikes, and you decide what information to share.
I’ll show you some examples – here is my Holland bike listing. Another example is someone local to my area who is a registered Bike Index user who updated their bike as stolen. This is what the page looks like. As you can see if you find a Bike Index stolen bike, you can contact the owner via Bike Index. To help unite the bike with its owner. You could also run a serial number at Bike Index to see if it’s clean, say when you buy a used bike. Of course the more bikes that are in the system, the more effective it will be. As seen in the previous link you can update your bikes status to stolen if that were ever the case.
Police departments can implement it -
Your local police can contact Bike Index to set up an account. This gives them even more power to help recover bicycles to their rightful owners. Seth the founder says “we can also import any existing records they have if they’re interested, and assist them in any way we can”. So you should encourage your local police department to contact Bike Index to inquire for more information.
I hope this information was helpful to inform you about a new source to register your bike. Remember it’s free, and very simple. View some of the Bike Index success stories on Facebook. Over 30,000 bikes are registered, and more than 2,000 bikes recovered.
If you are someone who rides a bicycle to Los Bagels in Arcata, you have certainly noticed the absence of the bicycle rack at the front parking lot. I have recently received multiple readers asking what is going on with this? As it turns out I met with store manager Travis May, I can share with you insight on what caused the changes, and what is in store for the future.
First I think it is important to highlight that Los Bagels supports customers choosing to arrive by bicycle. Dennis and John both owners of Los Bagels commute by bicycle on a daily basis, along with many of the staff members. You can also spot Dennis in the Humboldt Bay trail overview video, discussing briefly his support for bicycles(at the 3:30 mark in the video).
As mentioned I met up with Travis, store manager not long ago. I did reach out to him to share my concerns with the bicycle rack moving to the back of the parking lot. Travis invited me to the store to do a walk-about outside to discuss ideas for the future. Primarily non-motorized ideas on how to improve the customer experience.
The initial change -
The bicycle rack was removed from the front parking lot, and set back in the rear of the parking lot. In the rear corner of the parking lot was a seating area that was not being utilized as well as it could have been. They decided to move the seating to the front, which in turn affected the bicycle parking.
Both Travis, and I agreed that having the bicycle rack in the rear parking area was not optimal. We both also agreed that the general public area were also lacking bicycle parking. It just so happened that days after I met with Travis, he was meeting with the city of Arcata public works department. The meeting was to discuss bicycle parking primarily in the public right of way. This was related to the upcoming bicycle blvd project, which had allotted funding to install more bicycle parking in this neighborhood area.
A few recommendations I made to Travis – we discussed ideas on more bicycle parking on the Los bagels property, as well in the public right of way
1. An on-street bicycle corral – this would be the first in Humboldt county. It would create a very unique experience in front of Los Bagels, make the seating area much more welcoming, increase the parking capacity, and increase visibility to the business from the street. This would be in the public right of way. At the time of this publication I have not received any official feedback about this idea.
2. With the new seating at the front of the store – I suggested the first auto parking spot right next to the seating could be re-purposed as bicycle parking with racks. As the current situation has a large planter box next to the parking spot it makes it very difficult to enter/exit a vehicle. It can also be difficult to reverse when leaving this auto parking spot. I have also suggested if they choose not to re-purpose the parking spot in the below image to bicycle parking. They should consider replacing the planter box with something smaller to allow for easier auto parking in this spot. I suspect Los Bagels will keep it as an auto spot, and I hope they re-configure the divider to something that will not take up so much space. Perhaps two extra-large plant pots, that way it will not interfere with opening/closing of car doors, but it still provides protection to the seating area.
3. We discussed ideas on various locations for the city to install bicycle racks in the public right of way. A bottom line idea was it would be great to see more bike racks up, and down the street in general. In this image below Travis, and I thought this “dead spot” could be more utilized with a bicycle rack. Just an idea to explore.
Employee bicycle parking -
The Los Bagels staff has bicycle parking at the rear of the store with hooks on the outside of the building with some sheltering on the parking lot side. As well on the opposite side of the building from the parking lot, additional bike racks exist, along with a pathway making easy access for employees to enter the store.
Travis meeting with the city -
Chris – How did the meeting go with the city, Travis?
Travis – “The feedback from our meeting with Netra and Dolby(public works) was good. With relative ease, they can add a 12ft “bulb out” with 4 hoops. The bulb out is going to be located right in front of the new tables and take up part of the apron entry way to the parking lot. They are also going to work on options for the dirt median across the street by T’s café. As well as add a few hoops along the street”.
The bulb out as discussed above would be part of the bicycle blvd project. You can see an image of the location, below -
In general I know that the city identifies this area does not have enough bicycle parking. It is my understanding that the funding for the bicycle blvd will include more bicycle parking throughout the bicycle blvd project area.
I would like to thank Travis May for his time, and having this important discussion. About how we can improve the experience for customers at Los Bagels, arriving by bicycle, foot, and automobiles. It is good that a business can recognize the importance of the overall customer experience, which begins with access, before they even get in the store.
Of course I will keep readers updated as future changes unfold. Once the bicycle blvd has been completed on I and 10th streets, I’ll share my impressions on how the project was implemented into our community.
On July 7th, 2014 a wonderful story was completed. A man pushed his best friend in a wheelchair, across the 500 mile Camino de Santiago trail in Spain.
You can read an article about it here.
I thought this would be a warming video to share this week !
Earlier in the year the City of Eureka, CA received a request to re-name the Elk River Loop trail. The request asked for the trail to be re-named the Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail. Recently both the Eureka open space parks and recreation commission, as well as the planning commission – voted to approve this request.
A few life facts about Melvin -
After retiring Melvin was a passionate environmental advocate in the Eureka/Humboldt Bay region. His primary passion was the Elk River area, which was the driving force to honor this trail in his name. Melvin was a strong advocate behind the Elk River wildlife area , being upgraded to a sanctuary in 2003. Melvin was very active in speaking at Eureka City Council meetings, educating citizens and government entities alike.
At the Aug 5th council meeting, many citizens and environmental groups spoke publicly in favor to approve this request. One example of this was Larry Glass, President of the NorthCoast Environmental Center – sharing support on behalf of the NEC for this request. Larry said “I miss Mel, he was a good friend of mine, great guy, and worked tirelessly to protect this area”. In Aug of 2013, after Mel’s passing the NEC contributed an article to highlight the wonderful legacy of Mel on the NorthCoast.
Where is the memorial trail located ?
The Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail in located mid-way on the Hikshari trail in Eureka, CA. You can find more general info about the Hikshari trail on TrailLink.com, which includes a map, access points, etc. The Hikshari trail is paved, and the Melvin Mckinney trail is a gravel surface. The memorial trail is a semi loop with two access points along the Hikshari trail. A beautiful segment of trail that is a wonderful place to reflect on Mel as you move about the Elk River area. Parking is an option for both automobiles, and secure bicycle parking at the mid-way right by the memorial trail. As seen in the TrailLink map, the dotted line on the map highlights the memorial loop.
At the time of this article publication, I have not received word on when an updated trail sign will be installed.
Below are images of the Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail -
This sign below is what existed before the new memorial sign was installed -
I would like to thank Mel for his environmental passions. I hope that community members will always visit the memorial trail while visiting this area. Be sure to take a few moments to stop at the bench along the trail, and listen for Mel’s strong presence. To extend Mel’s passion I’m sure he would love for each of you to engage in council meetings to speak your voice, support local environmental groups, and be active in enjoying the outdoors !
May the voice of Mel live through the rest of us, protecting the Humboldt Bay region for future generations.