Rossi Junction – Honoring a Crucial Bicycling Activist – New York’s network of bike trails, paths, and routes that we enjoy today did not just materialize. In the 1990s laws were enacted that allowed the federal Highway Trust Fund to be used for bicycle and pedestrian needs. Afterwards, public investment in bicycle infrastructure exploded. No activist contributed more to New York State’s bicycle infrastructure than did Lou Rossi. He was a principal influence in opening the trust fund, and then became the driving force behind New York’s system of 21 signed Bike Routes. He wrote popular books on touring the state by bicycle. Moreover, as a founding member of NYBC, the New York State Bicycling Coalition, he formed an organization that vigorously lobbies State government to make cycling in New York friendlier and safer. You can learn more about Lou Rossi’s career and contributions to New York’s bike systems at this Internet link: https://tinyurl.com/RossiStory.
When Lou passed away in 2020, his colleagues at the State Department of Transportation decided to construct a memorial to honor his immense contribution to bicycling. Lou’s work exemplifies the best of Civil Service. Few in the broad bicycle community are aware of his contributions, but we all owe him immense gratitude. His colleagues hope to dedicate the memorial this spring. The memorial will be in Albany the intersection of the two longest Bike Routes – Bike Route 5 from Niagara Falls to Massachusetts and Bike Route 9 from Canada to New York City. ROSSI JUNCTION will denote the junction’s significance and have a rest area for local and touring cyclists’ enjoyment. If you want to know more about the memorial plans, go to this link: https://tinyurl.com/MemorialDescription.
We are raising funds to erect a suitable junction marker with interpretive plaques. If you enjoy New York State’s bike network or otherwise have benefited from Lou’s efforts we hope you will help.
If you would like to assist, please make a check out to the New York Bicycling Coalition and put “For Lou Rossi Memorial Fund” on the memo line. Mail it to New York Bicycling Coalition, PO Box 8868, Albany, NY 12208. Alternatively, go online at NYBC.net where you can use a credit card.
Thank You from the Committee for a Memorial to Lou Rossi:
Questions? You can email us at LouRossiMemorial@gmail.com or call at 518-461-8803
You can now order Albany Bicycle Coalition apparel through our new online store. Simply go to https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/ , click on “ON-LINE ABC STORE,” and select and order the items you want. We currently are offering men’s and women’s long- and short-sleeved T-shirts in various sizes and colors. All products are emblazoned with ABC’s logo that is recognized around the world.
All products are locally sourced and reasonably priced. A portion of the revenue will help fund ABC’s advocacy projects.
Saturday’s freezing, windy, snowy evening was a good reminder of the plight of those who lack warm clothing, a bicycle, money to feed themselves, and a warm place to which to return after a “night on the streets” of Albany.
Twenty-three riders showed up at 7 PM for 2013’s Cranksgiving Alley Cat “race” – an international event that gives riders a chance to have some fun while helping others.
Armed with shiny new spoke cards, we started with a quick run from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Park to the Price Chopper on Madison and then returned to the Monument for a new manifest. The “A manifest” riders collected canned goods and extras. The “B” riders carried a juice/soda from each stop and the other extras. (We even hit a 2-for-1 special on potato chips.)
Snow flurries with 20-degree temperatures were augmented by a steady west wind as we then headed straight into the wind and snow toward the Westgate Plaza and Colvin Ave. for combined stops (thank you Jay and Stacy for combining these) at Hannaford and Price Chopper. While still freezing and with some slippery spots on the pavement, it was back to the Monument to unload and pick up the last manifest for a short crosswind ride to the Delaware Ave. Price Chopper. Riders assembled at the Madison Café at Swan to complete filling the boxes and then helping load the Homeless Action Committee (HAC) van. We had seven large size boxes plus two more in Stacy’s truck for later drop off. The average spent was $19 which equals $437 or about 200 lbs of food donated to HAC. Many hands make light work!
Our ride leaders presented us each with an embossed Cranksgiving pint glass, a nice memento of a great evening. Everyone had a good time and will hopefully return for next year. It is nice to see riders come out and ride to help those without and recovering from addiction. Riders were indebted to Jay and Stacy for a well-organized event and particularly to Stacy who staffed the pickup vehicle at the Monument. Thanks to everyone. We are always open to ideas and future volunteers for 2014.
At 9 PM, it was time to face the wind again and head back to a warm house.
Tomhannock Bicycles is hosting a “Matthew Ratelle Family Trust” benefit ride on Sunday, 8/18, 9 AM. The Albany Bicycle Coalition made a donation to benefit the late cyclist’s children one of whom was born after his death.
The ride starts at Tomhannock Bicycles, 3149 Rt. 7, Pittstown (10 min. east of Troy). There is a $25 entry fee for a 28-mile loop ride for all levels with food and refreshments after the ride. All proceeds from registrations go to the Trust. Register at bikereg.com. Those wishing to contribute individually may make checks payable to the “Matthew Ratelle Benefit Ride” and mail them to the following address:
ATTN: Matthew Ratelle Benefit Ride
3149 NYS Rt. 7
Pittstown, NY 12094
and Collard City Growers, is a bicycle compost delivery project employing neighborhood youth. It diverts household and restaurant food and yard waste back into the ground on our urban farm all by way of the transportation of the future: The bicycle!
Food Cycle will create a hyper-local compost network that lays the groundwork for a self-sustaining, scalable enterprise. We need the help of financial backers for initial investment.
How we’ll do it:
Build cargo bikes and trailers from recycled bikes and parts
Grow food in the garden
Collect food scraps and other organic material from neighborhood households and businesses by bicycle
Pedal the loads to the large compost bins at our garden site
Use the finished compost to build more soil in our garden
Bikes and trailers will also be used to deliver fresh produce to people in the neighborhood and beyond
Who we are: Collard City Growers is a grassroots demonstration garden and composting project located in North Central Troy. We turned a vacant lot located in a brown fields-designated area into an urban garden, drawing upon resources from the community and the Upstate New York region to grow produce and the next generation of growers.
Troy Bike Rescue is a collective of bicycle enthusiasts committed to removing bikes from the waste stream and putting them back into use. TBR operates a volunteer-run community bike space where we organize:
Albany Bicycle Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Membership dues and donations are fully tax deductible. Annual dues are $25.00. Any donations are welcome. The 2020 CARES Act allows taxpayers who don’t itemize their deductions to adjust their income up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple). This adjustment is available for cash gifts to public charities, such as ABC.