The inaugural community ride of the Mickey Shunick Memorial Bike Loop commences today (Thursday, June 7) from Rotary Point on West Bayou Parkway. Organized by nonprofit Forward Lafayette, the ride comes on the heels of a request of some residents skirting West Bayou that the bike lanes there be removed. Roughly 250 residents submitted a petition to Mayor Joel Robideaux requesting the removal of the lanes. In response, Forward Lafayette has generated nearly 2,000 signatures and counting from cyclists in support of the lanes. Thursday’s ride will underscore that support.
Thursday marks the one-year anniversary since the City-Parish Council approved a resolution establishing the loop in honor of the late UL student and cycling enthusiast.
“We have received 1,800 signatures and a lot of positive feedback in the last two days, and a lot of people have said they want to demonstrate their support beyond signing. We also heard from Mickey’s sister who encouraged us to put on this ride, and the timing of the anniversary of the Council’s resolution establishing the Loop just felt right,” says Mark deClouet, Forward Lafayette organizer, on the Facebook page for the event.
As a warm-up to this evening’s event, cultural producer/programmer Todd Mouton produced a fun video (see below) this past weekend on his own bicycle using his smartphone and a computer.
“I love riding my bike, and it cracks me up that we’re developing these super confusing and sometimes scary bike lanes about 130 years after the invention of the bicycle. But we are getting there, and I made this film because I believe we need even more public engagement, civic discourse and good humor,” Mouton tells us. “This short is dedicated to my late and very dear friend Tom Petitjean, who made me wake up early on Saturdays mornings to watch the original broadcasts of ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse.’”