Velo Louisiane 2012 Review

What a weekend! The weather co-operated, people came out to enjoy the festivities, Gold Sprints were fast and furious, art enriched the lives of many, and we all discovered it's possible to make a Penny Farthing with rum!

The Mayor's Family Bike Ride, Saturday, March 31st, Farr Park

The weekend started with the Mayor's Family Bike Ride. For the third year in a row, Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden and his wife Lois came out to kick off Bike Month with a family-friendly bicycle ride. This year we met at BREC's Farr Park to celebrate bicycling, bless bicycles and bicyclists, dedicate the Levee Path trail head facilities in the Park, and to dedicate the new two-mile extension of the Levee Path. City-parish officials announced the status of Phase Three of the Levee Path (more on that below). About 80 people turned out to ride!

 Some of the Baton Rouge Police Department Bicycle Patrol waiting for the ride to roll.
 Some of the bicycles of those same Bicycle Patrol police.
 At last, the patrolmen and women with their bicycles.

 A representative of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center distributes helmets provided by
 Rannah Gray (left), of Marmillion and Gray, talks with Mike Bitton (right) while Susie Skaggs, BREC's Perkins Road Park, looks on.
 Amanda Schram, Federal and State Grants Coordinator, Office of the Mayor-President, steadies the poster showing the new levee path extension.

 Mayor-President Melvin "Kip" Holden opens the ceremonies with an emphatic point.
 Bruce Wickert, Baton Rouge Bicycle Club, reads a few lines from the New Testament to introduce the blessing of the bicycles (and bicyclists).
 Father Bob Stein, Christ the King Parish and Catholic Center, reads a few words for the Blessing of the Bicycles and Bicyclists.

 William Daniel, EBRP Department of Public Works Head, gives the good news that the Levee Path Phase 3 - nearly 7 miles of new paved levee top - is underway, which means the environmental impact  study is underway. Estimated start of construction is 2013.
 Larry Reilly speaks to the deaths of cyclists on Louisiana roads and streets followed by a moment of silence for the dead.
 Gilles Moran, EBRP City-Parish Planning Commission, spreads the word about the rest of Velo Louisiane.

 Officer Pointer, with the BRPD Bicycle Patrol, lays down the law.
 Carolyn McKnight, the newly appointed Superintendent of BREC Parks and Recreation, welcomes the crowd to Farr Park.
 Gerard Melancon and his 3-year-old twins, Madeline and Miles, go for a ride.

 His Honor Mayor-President Holden leads the way to better bicycling in East Baton Rouge Parish.
 Officer Pointer and the Mayor's wife, Lois, return.
 One happy rider pursued by the EBRP EMS bicycle squad return to Farr Park.

Saturday Afternoon Velo Ride

A small group of riders gathered at City-Brooks Park around 3 PM for a slightly-more-than-12-mile round-trip ride to Perkins Road Park and back. On our way out, the route took us through the Rouzan field to Pollard Estates, which means - as the map below will show - we did NOT have to ride on Perkins Road to get to the Park. On the way back we took Moss Side - Potomac - Bennington to the Albertson's / Wal-Mart area. From there we crossed on the new Nairn Park connector to Valley where we turned right over the Interstate Bridge to Bawell. It's a short ride up Glenmore to Hundred Oaks then on to City Park. Easy as pie and all without getting on Perkins Road!

Find more Bike Ride in Baton Rouge, LA

Velo Artiste at Bricks & Bombs

Saturday evening we had the pleasure of using Brad Jensen's Bricks & Bombs shop for the Velo Artiste show and silent auction. The crowd was chill and appreciative of the art. I believe everything sold. Thanks to all the artists, Brad Jensen, and Travis Hill for putting it all together!

 Velo Artiste guests checking out one of the pieces by Roger Lootine, creator of Residue Comics.
 Milling about smartly while checking out the art.
 Leif gives us his opinion from across the room.

 Never saw the resulting image but the press were represented.
 Susie, Travis, and Andy - three of the people who really made Velo Artiste and Velo Louisiane possible. Thanks y'all! It wouldn't have happened without you.
 More earnest chatting between friends, old and new. It really was a very nice crowd for the show. 

 Mike likes art; Mike likes bikes; Yeah Mike Bike!
 Two of the pieces up for auction.
 Nicko is hard to pin down but he makes great glass.


 Ben and Delaney happened to be riding through Baton Rouge on Velo weekend.
 Barrington and Robin enjoy a ride now and then.
 And the silent auction winner for this piece is . . .

 Our friends at The Radio Bar installed this bike rack with room for many bikes . . .
 . . . unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), there were too many bikes for the rack . . .
 . . . except for the clever and industrious, that is. Joshua finds a way to get one more bike locked up.

Velo Party and Gold Sprints at The Radio Bar

 Our expert Radio Bar bartenders helped ensure a good time was had by all.
 Even the non-bikey crowd was enjoying itself.
 Let the games begin! First up . . . Gilles and Quang.

 It was a mighty pedal-fest!
 Until Quang just had to look at the meter and it all fell to . . . um . . . Gilles.
 Tony and Dave mix it up on the Gold Sprint bikes.

 These guys really tore it up.
 Sound and fury and a whole lot of yelling.
 Eager to go . . . as it turned out, a bit too eager.

 Zach makes it clear that the racers need to listen for HIS voice not that of someone in the crowd.
 So, having sorted out who does what, they get back to it, only this time everything is legit.
 A very well done stencil portrait of Nathan Crowson. Nathan was killed by a drunk driver on Perkins Road in January 2012.

More to come!