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Plan your low-stress ride with our new bike map

Thursday, May 20, 2021 by Wade Johnston

One of the most frequent questions we’ve received during the pandemic bike boom has been, “Where can I ride my bike?” Our online Trail Finder tool has been a great resource to get people started–but with this new captive audience of people riding bikes, we wanted to take the opportunity to encourage folks to ride their bike in their neighborhood, not just on the trail.

So we’ve created a new tool for beginners to use to navigate the urban core by bike–our Low-Stress Bike Map. Over the past six months we organized 15 meetings with over 50 avid bicyclists around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The result is a collection of comfortable routes, hand picked by experienced local cyclists to help you plan your next bike commute or joy ride. The map is organized into five categories of routes:

  1. Trails and shared use paths: The ultimate low-stress experience. Multi-use and physically separated from car traffic. Always yield to pedestrians when biking on these routes.
  2. Low-stress routes: These streets just feel good. With less traffic and slower speed limits, these routes bypass busy roadways to get you where you need to go.
  3. Use with caution routes: To make key connections, we’ve included some streets that are a little busier. Try these once you have some experience. Weekend mornings are a great time for a test ride.
  4. On-road bike infrastructure (bike lanes and sharrows): Our region still has some work to do in this department. Bike lanes have historically been installed where they fit on wider thoroughfares, not necessarily where they feel comfortable to ride. Consider these routes as use with caution routes.
  5. Walk on sidewalk: If you’re a beginner, we recommend walking your bike on the sidewalk in some cases to navigate through a particularly treacherous area. In most of our local communities, it is prohibited to ride your bike on the sidewalk.

Included in the printed map are tips for riding safe and smart. The map also identifies notable hills, streets that are one-way, and the best bridges for crossing the Ohio and Licking Rivers.

You can pick up a copy of the map at your local bike shop, the Cincinnati main library, Newport library, and Covington library. In June, we will distribute the map to more locations like coffee shops and recreation centers. You can explore the routes in our online interactive bike commute map.

Thank you to our project partners

The Low-Stress Bike Map was made possible thanks to financial support from the Paula Nye Memorial Education Grant through the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeways Commission, the Devou Good Foundation, and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation.

Our map wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable insights from so many community members who helped us select these routes. Below is a list of all the people who contributed their local knowledge to our low-stress bike map. THANK YOU!

Katie Vogel, Joe Humpert, Jody Robinson, Joe Koehl, Jason Reser, Liv Birkenhauer, Gary Dangel, Wes Crout, Jack Martin, Bob Yoder, Tanner Yess, Henry Frondorf, Heidi Neltner, Jay Hisset, Michelle Knight, Richard Hunt, Rigel Behrens, Jim Casey, Caitlin Sparks, Jason Barron, Aharon Varady, Reba Hennessey, Chris Carr, Sam Conover, Dana Boll, Jim Coppock, Doug Gallagher, Elizabeth Fischer Smith, Vincent Wilson, Marye Ward, Cedric Rose, Francisco Alfaro, Nate Kemphues, Bob Schwartz, Marty Boyer, Jen Barnett, Tim Moore, Daniella Beltran, Shannon Ratterman, Brendon Cull, Mike Schur, April Gallelli, Junine Jones, Jeremy Worley, John Hodges-Batzka, Jamie Hoffpauir, Joe Klare, Larisa Sims, Josh Tunning, and Chris Fehring.

Finally, we want to give a huge thank you to Rachel Culley from our team and Jenny Vogt, our graphic designer, for putting countless hours into creating the map and making it beautiful!

We want your feedback.

Please fill out this form and let us know your thoughts on the Low Stress Bike Map.

Now get out there and ride!

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