Velo LA 2012 Press Release

BATON ROUGE, LA: For immediate release (rev. 2/26/12)
3rd Annual Velo Louisiane Bicycle Festival Weekend
March 31- April 1, 2012

Velo Louisiane is a statewide celebration of all forms of human-powered cycling. The 3rd Annual Velo Louisiane festivities in Baton Rouge will be hosted by Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets (BRASS) and the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC).

This FREE, FAMILY-FRIENDLY bike weekend includes bike parades, demonstrations, competitions, and more!  Check the website for schedules, event locations, and updates.

Previous Velo Louisiane festivities have been attended by thousands of citizens, helping to publicize important considerations of bicycle safety and motorist awareness while being fun, engaging, and entertaining.

A number of important bicycle-related advances have been made around the state since the first annual Velo Louisiane, in 2010:
·         The Capital- area Metropolitan Planning Organization received grant funding and mounted an extensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign.
·         Safety Campaign events and publicity have included public workshops, rides and promotional events stressing the need for bicyclist visibility, safe riding and walking practices, and motorist awareness.
·         Wide- reaching messages for bicycle and pedestrian safety have been publicized via signage, print, and broadcast on both radio and television.
·         Bicycle-safety and bike-friendly-business concepts promoted among the Baton Rouge business community.
·         BREC’s refurbished and expanded cycling-sports facility at Perkins Road Community Park has been extremely popular, and very successful in promoting action sports and fitness lifestyle.
·         Grand opening of new trailhead facilities at the southern terminus of the Levee Path.  Construction of the nearly 2- mile extension of the Levee Path completing its link from downtown, to LSU, to Farr Park.
·         New path constructions and refurbished multi- use paths have been completed around EBR, such as along Seven Oaks and Brightside, and the Nairn Park connector path across Dawson Creek.
·         Upgrades and improved signage along shared- lane routes have improved bicycling connectivity between neighborhoods.
·         Revised Louisiana laws including:  requirement of reflectors and a red tail light at night; refinement of Colin Goodier 3-feet law; cycling allowed on paved shoulders of roadways; right-hand signaling for right turns;
·         Complete Streets legislation requiring transportation planners to consider all roadway users in context- sensitive setting.
·         Revised revenue structure from Share-the-Road specialty license plates.

There have been great increases in the number of cyclists on our local streets and roads.  And there is an explosion of cycling interest, infrastructure development, and bicycling- group organization around the state.  Bikes have become a significant part of the street- scape; whether for sport, exercise, or basic transportation.  Research indicates the more people bicycle on our streets and roadways the safer bicycling becomes. This effect carries over to greater safety for motorists and pedestrians as well.

Velo Louisiane will begin to roll on Saturday Morning, March 31st; here’s the lineup:
·         08:00 AM  Join the Baton Rouge Bike Club ride, from BREC’s City- Brooks Park tennis courts, 1515 Dalrymple Drive, to Mayor’s Bike Day celebration at BREC’s Farr Park Trailhead, 8402 River Road.  Returning by way of the Downtown Markets.
·         09:00 AM  Mayor Holden’s Annual Family Fun Ride; wheeling along the new Levee Path extension, from Farr Park Trailhead to Skip Bertman Drive.
·         09:30 AM   2nd Annual Blessing of the Bikes at the Farr Park Trailhead.
·         10:00  AM  Trek/ Capitol Cyclery mountain bikes demo at  BREC’s Hooper Road Trails, 6261 Guynell Drive.
·         2:30 PM  BRASS Velo Ride, a group tour from City- Brooks Park tennis courts.
·         7:00 PM  Velo Artiste art show and sale at Bricks & Bombs, 449 Hearthstone Drive near Government St.
·         8:00 PM  Velo Louisiane Bicycle Social and celebration, with Goldsprints stationary- bike competitions, displays, and more, 3079 Government Street, at the Radio Bar and Ogden Park merchants.
Events continue Sunday, April 1st at Hooper Road and at Perkins Road locations:
  • 9:00  AM, the 2012 Hooper Hustle Mountain Bike Race at BREC’s Hooper Road Mountain Bike Trails, 6261 Guynell Drive.
  • 10:00  AM Velodrome events get cranked up at Perkins Road Community Park; with races, demonstrations, and information sessions on using the velodrome.
  • 12:00  PM, Sunday’s main events begin at the Perkins Road Community Park. These include a variety of fun competitions, bicycle-related demonstrations, children’s activities and contests, displays, raffles, a bike parade and more.
Velo Louisiane will run until 6:00 pm Sunday, with closing ceremonies and an invitation to come again next year.  Please join us in Baton Rouge, or attend other cycling events in your hometown.  Share your joy of bicycling on the weekend of March 31- April 1!  Details for Velo Louisiane 2012 are on the BRASS website,