Buchanan brewery earns Bike Friendly award

BUCHANAN – One Buchanan business has been recognized for its dedication to promoting outdoor activities.

A newly minted Bike Friendly Business Bronze Award from The League of American Bicyclists was designated to River Saint Joe last week. The brewery, located at 15475 Walton Road, Buchanan, is host to Liz Martin’s Bike Buchanan rides in warmer months on Tuesday evenings.

In the newly announced round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards, 43 businesses from around the U.S. earned a distinction, according to a statement from Lauren Jenkins, of Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly America with the league.

“The 43 businesses join a movement of 1,406 Bicycle Friendly Businesses with a shared belief: bikes mean business,” Jenkins said.

The statement said 27 of the businesses who applied and were recognized were new to the program, with 16 of them renewing their Bicycle Friendly Business applications. River Saint Joe was one of just two businesses in Michigan to be a part of this round, with the other being Steelcase, Inc., a manufacturing and research business with 1,800 employees in Grand Rapids who renewed their Silver award standing.

River Saint Joe is listed as having four employees with its new Bronze standing.

Awards are Honorable Mentions, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.

The League of American Bicyclists lists Encouragement, Education, Engineering, Evaluation and Planning as attributes it assesses in the application process for bicycle-friendly businesses.

The application preview on the league of American Bicyclists website shows a 20-page document for business applicants to fill out, including asking how a business supports or promotes bicycling in the community it resides, encouraging a bicycling culture with its employees, as well as asking about efforts planned to continue creating a welcoming environment for cyclists.

Now that River Saint Joe has won its award, its ownership is hoping to continue its bicycle-friendly atmosphere in more ways in the future.

Fran Tuite, owner of Flat Water Farms and co-owner of River Saint Joe, splits her time between Chicago and Buchanan. In both locations, she finds ways to incorporate riding her bike into her routines. Bringing the bicycle-friendly element to the brewery was important to her for multiple reasons.

“It’s good for you to be active and exercise. It’s obviously very good for the environment since we’re not emitting carbon our bikes,” Tuite said. “We’re not polluting. We’re human powering, so that’s good for the planet and good for our bodies.”

Easier to pedal in the warmer months, Tuite is still hopeful for potential winter rides in Buchanan.

“We want to do everything we can to keep upping our game, and right now, I was hoping we could do something over a weekend in the winter,” Tuite said. “The roads aren’t great yet.”

Tuite hopes River Saint Joe can continue partnering with bicyclist groups, like Bike Buchanan, and encourage more people to ride their bikes. Tuite has hinted at seeking solutions to make the community more bicycle-friendly, and possibly provide rental bicycles in the future for trips into Buchanan’s downtown.

For Tuite herself, she knows bicycle riding can take a bit of commitment and adaptation. When cycling to the office in Chicago she plans what she carries and what she wears to be appropriate for both in the office and on the bicycle. She has ridden her bicycle to her home in Buchanan from the Amtrak train station on her way back in from Chicago.

“It takes effort and commitment,” Tuite said. “It’s remarkable how easy it is and joyous it is to have fresh air. It’s really freeing to know you can get somewhere on your own accord.”

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government

Dowagiac

SMC COVID task force leader talks with Dowagiac Rotary Club

Business

Niles roller rink reopens following legal battle

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces community wide survey to learn about COVID-19’s impact

Cass County

Cass County prepares to adjust to criminal justice reforms

Berrien County

Michiana Family Center seeks mentors for foster teens

Business

Nobo Michigan opens Edwardsburg location

Cassopolis

Businesses battle over land use in Cassopolis’ Industrial Park

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 19-24

Berrien County

Mount Calvary Baptist to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland give vaccination updates

Cass County

Applications open for Cass County Sheriff’s Community Scholarship

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners send message to state on regionalizing COVID-19 approach

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to host superintendent interviews Monday

Cass County

Michigan Works! to open office in Cass County administration building

Business

Dollar General, marijuana microbusiness, Iron Shoe expansion coming to Niles

Dowagiac

Silver Creek Township Planning Commission tables short-term rental ordinance draft vote

News

New SOS online, self-service options coming soon

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene