Meeting Summary March 7, 2024

Attending: Palmer, Hultgren, Serazo, Clark, Thorne, Waldburger, Brazeau, Gosselin

The meeting began shortly after 7:00pm in the lobby of the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center.

Hultgren updated members on the progress being made to prepare for the Mau 28th fourth grade bicycle education program at the Mansfield Elementary School. He reported that the 24 bicycles needed for the program had been ordered and will cost less than what was originally budgeted, and that after checking with the CT DRS he learned that we won’t have to pay CT sales tax because we are documented 501(3)C and can submit an exemption form to vendors that we purchase bikes and equipment from.

He said that temporary storage of the bicycles will be needed so that they can be assembled and delivered before the storage trailer is available and said that he had identified 3 places so far that can store about 15 or 16 of the bikes, but a couple of additional places will be needed to store bikes for the month between the bikes being ready and the trailer being ready.

He said that after speaking with two bicycle industry people, he has identified a way to store the bikes in the trailer against the trailer walls that will be workable and inexpensive and can be installed in a day or two once the trailer is in Mansfield. He said he was collecting the school district and school logos as well as pictures and illustrations of kids on bikes for the artwork that will be displayed on the trailer wrap. Palmer said he had some decent kids on bike illustrations also, so he offered to compile the artwork for the wrapping. There apparently will be a 4–6-week production time for the artwork to be placed on the wrapping material, so there may not be time after the trailer is delivered to get the wrapping done prior to the trailer’s use. Temporary magnetic signs could be used on the trailer if the permanent wrapping can’t be done in time.

Volunteer recruiting and coordinating for the program was discussed. Serazo said she could help with the coordination of volunteers and would find out the school’s vetting requirements. Hultgren said he would send her the spreadsheet that South Windsor uses to track volunteers in their bike ed program. The South Windsor spring bike ed schedule is now available and everyone who might volunteer for the Mansfield program can go observe the SW classes, Hultgren has the schedule.

Hultgren said that Bike Mansfield did not get the $1600 grant it had applied for late in 2023 to purchase two 3-wheeled kids bikes for the school program; however, he learned of a new microgrant program from the CTDOT Safe Roads to Schools (SRTS) section that will be offered through the regional Council of Governments targeting Active Transportation relating to the SRTS effort. Waldburger noted that this grant program would not only cover bicycles and equipment, but tuition and training for League Cycling Instructors. Hultgren said he will put together an application for the two bikes and a few more helmets as well as for two people who are interested in being trained as LCI’s (League Certified Instructors). An LCI class is scheduled for May 15-17 in Simsbury, and a prerequisite Smart Cycling class will also be held in Simsbury on April 5th and 6th. (Note: Since this meeting Ron Manizza and Coryn Clark said they would be interested in this training.)

Thorne updated members on the Cycling Without Age efforts. He said he was compiling all the information needed to apply for the Chapter’s insurance policy, which we now have permission to pay for out of the ARPA grant funds. He said he was also exploring routes that will be used by pilots and he learned that some rides needed to be quite short (15min). The consensus of the discussion as to what population will be served was that at least initially it should be limited to mobility-challenged people who live or reside right in the complexes near where the bicycle is stored (rather than trying to serve others in the Town). He said that some additional equipment will be needed (patch kits, tire pump, chain lubricant, cleaning materials, etc.). Thorne said he would get a draft of the insurance application to Hultgren and Palmer for review.

Hultgren said that the final edits to the Mansfield Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan were being completed in the next week and the plan should be sent back to the Town Council for approval at its March 25th meeting. Some Bike Mansfield members will be needed at the meeting to support the plan’s adoption.

Hultgren announced that the Mansfield Lions Club (who donated $2500 to help fund the 4th grade bicycle education program) called to ask if we could assist them with a 2-hour kid-bicycle event at their annual spring picnic at Holiday Hill Day Camp on May 19th. Hultgren said that he would help and would like a few other Bike Mansfield members to also help plan and coordinate this activity which will be from 12:00 to 2:00.

Palmer circulated a one-page “leave behind” business membership information sheet that he had edited from Clark, O’Keefe and Hultgren that we can use in our effort to get the 30 or so 2023 business members to renew for 2024. The information sheet was greeted very positively by everyone present.

The meeting concluded at approximately 8:20pm.

Lon Hultgren, Sec-Treas

Bike Mansfield