This site offers resources and provides support to bicyclists using bike trails in the Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty area. Through the trails hotline, people can ask questions or request personalized video trails guides and maps.
Announcing the Interactive Bike Trails Video Tour!
The Interactive Bike Trails Video Tour involves the following: (1) Upload videos of local bike trails and suggested routes, (2) Create YouTube playlists of these ride segments to form complete ride videos, (3) Provide links from each video to choices of where to go next for an interactive experience, (4) Include a narrated Google Maps guide showing a bird’s eye view of each ride by enabling satellite view and bike trails view. — Any municipality or community can replicate this project to create their own local guided video bike tours (or even walking tours). To request your own personalized bike trail in the Iowa City area, visit IowaCityBikeTrails.com/guide.
ENGAGING AND IMPACTFUL
A ride on the same trails every day could become monotonous. Here’s how a daily bike ride can be more engaging and impactful.
- Eating Local Foods. With a bike ride around the city, there are always new and interesting foods to try in a variety of restaurants. Visiting locally owned neighborhood restaurants brings more variety than going to a national franchise establishment. It also helps the local economy and promotes locally grown foods (a popular trend among smaller restaurants). We’re likely to eat healthier if we can be mindful about our food choices and have the nutritious choices that are sometimes more plentiful locally.
- Enjoying Photography. As a typical commuter, when you’re driving at 60 MPH down the highway, or struggling through traffic in-town, you’re not likely to stop for taking photos. On a bike, you see more, you’re closer to nature, and you can stop anytime to enjoy snapping some photos. Taking and sharing photos is a great way to be engaged with and inspired by our natural surroundings, and it’s something that most people enjoy doing. With seasonal changes, and the unpredictable spontaneity of wildlife, there’s always something new to observe.
- Getting Work Done. Depending on the terrain, and your pace, it’s possible to talk on the phone while riding your bike if using a headset or AirPods. For those involved in creative processes such as web design, music composition, writing, or consulting, just having some time to get out and think can offer a great boost in productivity, creativity, inventions, and innovative solutions to problems.
- Living Healthier. There’s something deeply satisfying about improving our physical health. We’re happier and more productive when we’re exercising regularly.
- Lowering Our Carbon Footprint. When we’re riding rather than driving, we lower our carbon footprint and reduce noise pollution.
- Making Deliveries. With bike bags and carts it’s possible to make deliveries on bicycle rather than by car. This often speeds up delivery times and reduces cost.
- Promoting Cycling. There’s no better advertisement for bicycle riding and supporting bike trails than bicycle riding on trails. When people see someone riding, they are inspired to get out there as well.
- Promoting and Supporting Local Businesses. It’s not easy being a small local business owner. Big national franchises have name recognition and multimillion dollar advertising budgets. So, bad reviews can really hurt a local business that was already at a disadvantage. That’s why it’s so important to have communities that are intensionally supportive of local businesses. On a bike, you can visit more easily visit local businesses and take time to post well-deserved positive reviews and feedback on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Twitter, and other social media. These positive reviews can help offset the few angry disgruntled people who were having a bad day and unfairly gave a good business a 1-star review, or the social media ‘blowback’ that sometimes happens when a local business makes a mistake and then gets flooded with bad reviews from people in other states who have never been to the business. This aspect of engaging with local businesses is key. Also, as you’re benefitting from meeting a client or doing work in a local establishment, it’s an opportunity to be a valued paying customer who also tips well and brings in new customers. If you’re not paying $1,200 a month rent for a brick-and-mortar office, you can afford to generously support the local businesses where you do your work.
- Socializing More. We’re able to connect with people and be more sociable when we’re on a bicycle. Whether interacting with other cyclists or stopping to talk with people along the way, it’s easier from a bike than driving a car.