Archive for the ‘Cycling Events’ Category
This is my fourth year to ride in the Richardson WildRide! Against Cancer rally. Previously, I rode the 16 mile loop in 2010, the 40 mile loop in 2011 and the 40 mile loop in 2012. This year my goal was to complete the 64 mile loop. This might not seem like a big deal to some of those weekend warriors out there who do 64 miles before breakfast – but let me give you some perspective. If you read this blog, you’ll know that I’m a practical cyclist who only rides for fun or transportation. I am not athletic, I don’t ride for sport, nor do I even own a ‘proper’ road bike. Most of my longer rides are 14 mile (each way) commutes to my office, and my last, longest ride was last year’s 40 mile WildRide loop.
So, the 64 mile loop was a big deal to me.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to ride it alone. My buddy, Jason, who just got back into cycling this year, decided to join me. I was glad, because he was just the motivation that I needed to complete the task. Jason rides a lot, but hasn’t completed a 64 mile ride either.
Like the previous 3 years, the start of the rally was really impressive. There were hundreds of cyclists at the start, arranged in staging areas for each group of riders (64,40 and 16). You can see the difference in types of riders as you move from the fully-kitted 64 mile group at the front, all the way to the more casual 16 mile group in the back. With our baggy shorts and heavy, fat-wheeled bikes, Jason and I looked a little out of place waiting in the 64 mile staging area. With all due respect to those in tight shorts, who ride super-slick road bikes – we just don’t ride that way. Quite frankly, until this 64 mile ride, I didn’t think there was ever a need.
It’s very impressive watching the start of this rally, where you see a huge mass of riders rolling down Plano Road. As always, with fresh legs and high spirits, I really enjoy this part of the ride. This good feeling kept up for the first 20 miles of the ride, so much that we skipped the first rest stop. By the time we reached the second rest stop, just past Lake Levon dam (which happened to be the 40 mile loop turnaround) we were still feeling pretty good.
This was the point at which we needed to decide to push on and do the 64 mile loop, or turn back. We pushed on.
Since this was the first time for both of us to venture out this far, we didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, we were greeted with a couple of really nasty rolling hills. We still had some good strength, so they weren’t too bad. Facing them on the return trip was a problem. Beyond that, the extended 24 mile loop took us deep into open country, where there were some amazing views.
We started to get tired.
On those long country roads we were exposed to some nasty wind, paired with the late morning sun. Our baggy shorts were sails and our bikes felt like they were loaded with bricks. The energy level dropped fast. By the time we returned to the rest stop at Lake Lavon dam, our bodies were starting to shut down. Bonk was hitting us hard and we still had 20 miles to go. We drank and ate as much as we could at each remaining rest stop, but recovery was getting harder and harder as we pushed to get back to the start. The last few miles were the worst, but ultimately we made it back.
It wasn’t a fast ride – an average of 14MPH – but we succeeded with our goal (and we weren’t DFL).
To add insult to injury, we had the brilliant idea of riding to the rally, which meant we had to ride back home. That was the worst 2.6 miles of my life.
Would I Do This Again?:
As we were making our way up Shiloh Road, hitting all headwind, we were saying never again. But, since we’ve had a day to recover, our thoughts go back to those riders wearing skin-tight shorts, rolling on ‘proper’ road bikes and had practiced on prior weekends. Perhaps, if we are better prepared, we would do it again.
Here are my pics from the ride. Click here to see the entire set.
Mark your calendars! Friday, May 17, 2013 is National Bike To Work Day. IF there is ever a day to ride to work, make it this day. Think about the positive statement we’ll be making as cyclists, safely using an alternate form of transportation throughout the DFW Metroplex.
GARLAND - Downtown Garland Station (Partnered with The City of Garland)
DALLAS - Akard Station (Partnered with the City of Dallas)
OAK CLIFF - Jefferson St. Viaduct (Partnered with Bike Friendly Oak Cliff)
RICHARDSON - Arapaho Station (Partnered with Bike Friendly Richardson)
PLANO - Intersection of Bluebonnet & Chisholm Trail (Partnered with The City of Plano)
DATE: Friday, May 17, 2013
TIME: 6:30-9:00 am
If you are in the area, please stop by. Also, let them know on Facebook.
MORE DETAILS TO COME.
KIND Healthy Snacks - on Facebook (All Stops)
Clif Bars - on Facebook (All Stops)
Neuro Energy Drinks (Akard Stop)
Re-Geared - on Facebook (Akard Stop)
Generator Coffee House - on Facebook (Garland Stop)
Zang Triangle Apartments - on Facebook (Oak Cliff Stop)
Plano Cycling and Fitness - on Facebook (Plano Stop)
Richardson Bike Mart - on Facebook (Richardson and Akard Stops)
Don Johle’s Bike World - on Facebook (Garland Stop)
Oak Cliff Bicycle Company - on Facebook (Oak Cliff Stop)
ALSO: There will be other stations available:
Dallas Bike Works will have coffee and doughnuts and free minor repairs from 7:30 – 9:30am at White Rock Creek Trail where it passes under NW Highway (opposite the shop on Lawther). Facebook Event here.
The City of Fort Worth will have food and beverages and a bike share station set up at the Inter-modal Transit Center from 7:30 – 9am. There will be group rides to the Fort Worth event starting from various locations (map).
As I say every year, EVERY month is National Bike Month – we all know that. However, it’s nice that national organizations like The League of American Bicyclists (who originated National Bike Month) and People For Bikes, are focusing their efforts on May – one of the best months to bicycle – just so that they can get some good traction and be more effective with their messaging.
Speaking of messaging, they’ve even come up with some helpful things (pdf) that advocates can post on Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few:
• Where will the ride take you? Join us this Bike Month to find out! [link]*
• Bike Month is here! What’s your favorite way to celebrate cycling?
• What are your favorite places to ride in [your community]?
• Do something different this Bike Month. Download the League’s BIke Month Bingo card and join the fun! bikeleague.org/bikemonth
• Are you grabbing your morning coffee on two wheels this morning? What’s the best thing about Bike to Work Day this year?
• Hopping on your bike instead of the bus to school this morning? Let us know how your celebration of Bike to School Day is going!
• Honor the past and empower the future of women in cycling! Join the Cyclo- femme movement and spread the word!
• More than 80% of bike commuters say they feel healthier & less stressed. How has biking improved your health?
• Average annual operating cost of a bicycle? $308. A car? $8,000. How do you spend the extra cash?
Even People For Bikes is doing a great push for National Bike Month. Their Roll Together - with two wheels or four wheels, let’s build the next generation of safer roads where we can all roll together - campaign is pretty impressive.
Well, I hope you get to take part in National Bike Month, and that you get a chance to enjoy a good ride or two (or 31).
From the BikeDFW blog:
Every two years in Texas, we get a unique opportunity to talk about cycling with people who can make a difference.
Save the date, take the day off and take a road trip with a bunch of friends to Austin to participate in your democracy. You’ll meet the people that represent you and, most importantly, let them know that you think more effort to accommodate bicycling is important for the future of your community and your state.
It cannot be stressed enough that numbers matter; we need representation from every congressional district in North Texas.
Don’t worry about jumping off the bus and not knowing what to do. Bike Texas will provide a thorough briefing on hot topics as well as tips and techniques for meeting and communicating with your legislators. They will also organize groups according to their legislative districts. It’s also OK if you just want to be a smiling face with a bicycling pin! Your interest and presence speaks volumes to your representatives.
BikeDFW has made arrangements for one-day, round-trip chartered bus trips from both Dallas and Fort Worth to Austin to participate in Cyclists in Suits for the very reasonable cost of $30 per person. The buses are luxury coaches and we will serve breakfast and coffee on board.
Dress: The name says it all, formal office attire makes the best impression and helps to break down the lycra stereotype, allowing for more effective communication. You can wear more casual clothes on the bus and change upon arrival, that is up to you.
Dallas area departure location: Richardson Bike Mart (SE corner, Coit and Campbell, Richardson)
Fort Worth area departure location: Trinity Bicycles (343 Throckmorton, Fort Worth)
Departure Time from both locations: 5:00am
Estimated return to both locations: 9:00pm
Purchase your ticket for Fort Worth or Dallas departure at the bottom of this page.
Schedule in Austin:
The agenda per Bike Texas is as follows (more details on the Bike Texas site:https://www.biketexas.org/news/biketexasevents):
8:30am – Beginning Brief (Capitol Extension, Room E1.004)
Get briefed on the important issues and learn best practices for meeting with legislators.
9:30am – Meet your Legislators (through mid-afternoon)
Visit legislative offices and meet with legislators and their staff about the Complete Streets Bill and other bills of concern to Texas cyclists. In the course of the day, we will see the House or the Senate in session. We’ll take a group photo with the capitol as our backdrop.
Lunch – Capital Grill (expect about $10 per person)
4:00 pm — Happy Hour (Bike Texas HQ at 1902 E 6th St.)
Depart Austin: approximately 5:30 pm
I saw the Southwest Frameworks 5th Annual Retro Ride & Bike Show event on Facebook, but didn’t realize how big it was. The bikes were amazing and I was in classic bicycle heaven. My dream is to have one of these in my garage some day. Unfortunately, we caught the tail end of the show and most of the bikes were getting packed up and hauled away.
I did manage to snap a few pics of some fantastic classic bikes and I will keep an eye out for this event next year.
With cooler months in North Texas, the weather has been ideal for some amazing group rides. Here are just a couple that I participated in:
Last weekend my local bike group, Bike Friendly Richardson hosted their 4th Annual Black Friday Ride. It was an amazing day with an incredible group of riders (totaling over 30). Even Richardson City Councilman, Amir Omar, stopped by to see us off and applaud our efforts.
There was a pretty large variety of bikes, from a stretched-frame cruiser, a cargo bike, a tandem, some classic refurbs, a few mountain bikes, to some super light road bikes. With so many different styles of riders, our concern was how we were going to pace a ride and keep everybody happy. With such an amazing group, this ended up not being problem.
There was no an agenda, other than having a casual ride around town and avoiding the crowded, Black Friday shopping malls. The ride was slow with lots of stops to let folks, who got stuck at crossings or lights, catch up. Everybody seemed relaxed and ready to enjoy the amazing fall colors, as we rode through some nice, Richardson neighborhoods.
Overall, we took lots of back roads, bike trails and some bike lanes – all made possible by the City of Richardson’s great bike plan as well as some amazing, interconnecting neighborhoods.
Here are a few pics from the Black Friday Ride:
Also, this weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson participated in the annual City of Richardson Christmas parade. Like with the Black Friday Ride, we had a great variety of bikes, including one with a kid trailer, one with a couple of dogs leashed on, an urban cruiser, a couple of family truckster cargo bikes (loaded with kiddos) and even a penny farthing bike – all decked out with holiday lights and decorations. Even the riders were dressed with festive gear. All together, we had 12 bikes and 16 participants.
The ride itself was mostly stop-and-go or very slow paced, which made it easy to enjoy each other’s company, as well as the spectacle of the parade. The ‘super mom’ (I actually heard that term used by a spectator) family trucksters and the penny farthing bike got a lot of crowd’s attention.
Participation in the parade was Bike Friendly Richardson’s way to build on their bike community, gain awareness and to just have fun. They also, unexpectedly, won an award from the city - 1st place in the ‘Civic Clubs/Organizations Mixed Unit Category’. Not bad for the first time out.
Here are some pics from the parade. Click here to see the entire set of Christmas Parade Pics.
It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to AVOID all the big crowds at the shopping mall, work off that Thanksgiving dinner and have a fun ride around town.
If you are in the north Texas area during the Thanksgiving holiday, you are invited to attend Bike Friendly Richardson‘s FOURTH annual Black Friday Ride. Started four years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson, the Black Friday Ride gives folks an alternative way to kick off the holiday season. This is a casual paced ride that will explore many of the different route options available to Richardson cyclists. We will ride on back-roads, side-streets, multi-purpose trails and available bike lanes.
The first part of the route will be around 10 miles and stops at Dal Rich (Whole Foods) shopping center for a nice break.
The return ride, back at the Shops at Eastside, will be around 6 miles.
DATE: Friday, November 23, 2012
TIME: Arrive: 1:00 pm, Ride: 1:30 pm
START/FINISH: Shops At Eastside – 700 E. Campbell Road @ Central (meet at the fountain)
RSVP: Via Facebook
ROUTE: Click Here (subject to change)
A little over a year ago, bike friends Colin and Andee, opened one of the coolest bike shops in Dallas: Switching Gears Cyclery. It started as a small, boutique shop in a small storefront in the Fair Park area.
Just recently, Switching Gears Cyclery has grown their business and moved into a larger space in the same Fair Park area. You can now find them at 3615 Parry at Exposition – just across the street from the DART Fair Park Green Line station. We thank them for being a big part of the north Texas cycling community and we wish them great success.
BTW, I have my eye on that Surly CrossCheck.
Last weekend was the Texas Custom Bicycle Show, held at Club Dada in Deep Ellum. We stopped by for a quick look, but ended up staying a bit longer. After seeing so many beautiful bikes and meeting the really nice community of local builders, I couldn’t help but leave the show wishing I had the means to have one built for myself. Some day.
There are two problems for me if I could ever afford one: Which builder would I uses (they were all so amazing) and what color would I have it painted?
Here are some pics from the show. Click here to see the rest.
Yesterday, my local cycling group, Bike Friendly Richardson, was invited to have a table at the Cyclesomatic Bike Fair - hosted by Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. It started off a bit chilly, but it ended up being a great day.
Along with many booths and a huge crowd, there was a cyclocross race. I’d never seen one in person, so it was pretty exciting to watch.
There was also a bike powered smoothie station hosted by BikeDFW as well as representatives from Metroplex BMX, Pedal Power, Bicycles, Inc and ReGeared. Good Karma Kitchen was there with some tasty food and the youngsters in the crowd were entertained by a bounce house and fantastic face painting. If that wasn’t enough, there was a BMX Stunt show.
Here are some pics of the event. Click here to see the entire set.