Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water By-Cycle Preview

Guest Contributor - Karja Hansen, Bike Crew Chief

Three weeks ago I came on board as Casey Trees Water By-Cycle Bike Crew Chief and the experience thus far has been astounding. Thanks to amazing support from Casey Trees staff, volunteers and partners we now have a fully operational bike shop, a fleet of 10 quality bicycles, and a trailer capable of hauling 300 pounds of tree care equipment.

Before the Water By-Cycle program fully launches, we are coordinating bike watering routes, teaching our interns bicycle safety, and having them practice street biking.

On Friday, two of our interns - Jonathan and Heydi - and I spent the afternoon working on bicycling basics. Within two hours, Jonathan went from never having ridden a bike to successfully riding 100 feet and executing a controlled stop and dismount. Heydi’s enthusiasm and persistence was awesome. By the end of the lesson, Heydi was riding uphill from a dead stop, braking and cornering with the best of them.

There is nothing like personal accomplishment.

On Monday, two more interns - Waaiz and Nina - and I embarked on the inaugural bike test run, riding eight miles and watering trees at eight planting locations. Despite Waaiz and Nina having minimal street biking experience, both maintained confident and safe riding positions throughout the entire day – all with big grins on their faces. Beyond having a successful introduction to street biking, Nina caught a strangling tie on a tree's root collar and Waaiz kept everyone laughing all afternoon.

I have no doubt that the Water By-Cycle program will be a successful addition to Casey Trees tree planting and education initiatives and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer.

Check back here often for more Water By-Cycle adventures and to find out when the bike fleet will be officially unveiled. Tomorrow also begins our Wednesday Intern Blog Posts - Alex Reade is up first.

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