Archive for the ‘DFW Cycling’ Category
It was quite a while ago, when I first heard about bike sharing. My first thought was, that’ll never come to north Texas – it just doesn’t make sense with our suburban sprawl. Well, Fort Worth proved me wrong.
Partnered with a company called B-Cycle, Fort Worth Bike Sharing is a nonprofit organization in charge of operations for the city’s bike share system. The concept began in the planning department at the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, which received a grant from the Federal Transit Administration to help cover the costs. On this past Earth Day, April 22,2013, they launched the first bike sharing program in north Texas.
All together, they have 300 bikes available at 27 check-out stations set up around town – with plans to add more stations.
I didn’t get a chance to ride one of the bikes while I was out there, but I hope to get a another opportunity in the near future. Hopefully, the stations will be a great success and more of them will pop up – even in Dallas.
The cycle track over the Jefferson Boulevard bridge is older news to the locals in Dallas, but I wasn’t able to try it out until last weekend. This cycle track is the result of the new city streetcar project which necessitated the, neighboring, Houston Street Viaduct bridge to be closed down. The, once, one-way Jefferson Boulevard bridge was now re-striped to accommodate two-way traffic as well as bike lanes.
Although this is a temporary solution, some hope that it serves as a way to show how this could work well in future planning.
Having it built on the far left lane, I was curious as to how safe it was – especially running cycle traffic right up against fast, oncoming automobile traffic. Even though it is only protected by paint and plastic posts, I felt pretty comfortable – even as cars whizzed by. There were several other cyclist using it as well, who seemed to feel the same way.
The cycle track lane is nice, but it isn’t perfect – especially getting on and off. Because of all the bypassed traffic and special detours, cyclists have to cross a maze of redirects to get you onto the cycle track. Once in downtown Dallas, cyclist are forced onto, and then off of the sidewalk to get back into the traffic lane.
Again, this is just a temporary solution. Once it’s properly designed from end to end, I can see myself and many other cyclists using it to cross the Trinity from Oak Cliff into downtown Dallas.
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
Ever since Dallas was listed as one of the country’s worst cities for cycling by Bicycle Magazine (twice), folks have been trying to change that. The new Dallas Bike Plan was a huge step forward, but the momentum has slipped a bit. Politics and the lack of money are part of the problem.
I am keeping an eye out for any bicycle updates around town, and I’m seeing some street markings and signage pop up in random locations. Dallas has also just passed a safe passing ordinance. Some say all this is nice, while others are saying it’s not enough.
I say, every little bit helps. Let’s keep the momentum going until Dallas can change that status.
I meant to post these last week, but I was busy with prepping for my own biking course (more to come on that). A couple of Sundays ago, we had our first – in quite some time – Bike League Traffic Skill 101 class in Richardson, Texas. The class was lead by League Cycling Instructors Mike Freiberger, Warren Casteel and Renee Jordan.
They had a great group of students with a broad range of riding experience. Their bicycles ranged from super light road bikes to incredibly long and heavy utility bikes. I was really impressed with how well all of the cyclist handle their bikes – even the big ones – through the parking lot drills. Scroll down to see a video of how well a long frame bike handles the really tight Avoidance Weave.
Here are some pics from the parking lot drills. Click here to see the rest.
Check out THIS Avoidance Weave:
Sponsored by Bikes Belong, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and the City of Dallas worked together to bring us Dallas’ first ever ciclovia event called Ciclovia de Dallas. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ciclovia is essentially a huge block party that takes place in a metropolitan area, where the streets are blocked off from car traffic and the space is left for families to have open and safe city cycling. This can turn into an event where pedestrians, skaters, dog owners, street vendors, artisans, performers and food trucks can all gather and enjoy an afternoon of community bonding.
This was the goal of Ciclovia de Dallas, which I’m glad to report, was successfully achieved. Yesterday, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, the City of Dallas blocked the entire Houston Street Viaduct Bridge, where hundreds of cyclists from all over the DFW Metroplex came to enjoy safe and open cycling. Since I live pretty close to town, a small group of us took our bikes on the DART train to Mockingbird Station, where we picked up the Katy Trail for a nice cruise to the event. Once there, I got to work with some great volunteers and help a little with the set-up. The Bike Friendly Oak Cliff group did an amazing job organizing such a massive, grassroots event.
With the exception of the really strong April winds – which took it’s toll on some of the vendor’s tents – the weather was perfect for enjoying an amazing view of the city’s skyline. Overall, this was a great event which articulated clearly that cyclists want the City of Dallas to become more bike friendly. I hope to see more events like this to help raise awareness for bicycling and promote safe riding for all who cycle in the city.
Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Far North Dallas Advocate columnist, Emily Toman to talk about biking in north Dallas. She was collecting perspectives from a few different types of cyclists to get a broad scope of local bicycling. I’m afraid I might have used up my time by rambling on about my love for riding.
I have to admit that I’ve been in such an odd flux with my view of cycling advocacy, that it was really hard to lock down a definite opinion about the topic. I feared that I might have come off as a bit random or, perhaps, vague.
From these interviews, she wrote an article called The Future Of Biking In Far North Dallas. If you like cycling in Dallas, you should take a moment and read it.
Included in the article were fellow north Dallas cyclists including Chris Curnutt with BikingInDallas and vehicular cyclist Richard Wharton. The article does a great job at articulating the struggles of bicycle advocacy in a city defined by urban sprawl. My takeaway is that a bike plan, which includes a better cycling infrastructure as well as rider education, can lead to a better cycling community in north Dallas.
It’s finally happening. Dallas is starting to become a bike friendly city. Not only are we beginning to see bike friendly businesses, but also places that are actually built for cyclists. Dallas Bicycle Cafe is now one of those destinations. Parked close to both the White Rock Creek Trail and the DART White Rock Station, this place will be a great hub for cyclists and commuters. Here’s there information:
Dallas Bicycle Cafe
Addresss: 7510 E. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75214
Phone: Not Available Yet
Website: http://www.DallasBicycleCafe.com Not Up Yet
Tue – Thu: 6:00 am-10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 6:00 am-12:00 am
Sun: 6:00 am-10:00 pm
Description: Health Food, Green Nutrition, Coffee, Tea, Beer, Wine, Bicycle Storage Lockers, Changing Room. @White Rock Lake
For more information, check out this post over at BikingInDallas.
When: Thursday December 29th, 11am – 3pm-ish
Where: Meet at Dallas Museum of Art 1717 North Hardwood (at Flora)
Join Biking in Dallas as we tour the Dallas Arts District, marvel at the architecture, take photos of the sights (and each other), see the Crow Collection of Asian Art, eat from a food truck and most importantly, sport a big smile while enjoying it all on a bicycle.
This popped up on the BFR Facebook page, so we thought we should share:
SPOKES for FOLKS CHRISTMAS PUSH THIS SUNDAY–Please come if you can
We have a lot to do—
• We are still trying to fill a 50 bike request for the four locations of Family Gateway
• Just received a new request for 36 bikes from the Heart of Africa associated with Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church.
• 30 – 50 families are coming from Jubilee Center to work and earn bikes for their kids—we need mechanics to help them learn!
Come rebuild bikes for several really good causes!
Sunday from 10 AM until about 2 PM
Everyone is welcome and needed, experienced or not. Bring tools if you have them.
8901 Chancellor Row at Hans Johnsen Company - south of 183 of Regal Row just past Superior Foods
It will be our last chance to rebuild bikes to give to others for the holidays.
Come for the camaraderie, come for the fun, come to learn more about repairing your own bikes.
PLUS—Dea Henson, expert massage therapist, is donating her time and skill—if you’re sore from riding, come build a bike and get a free massage!
Spokes for Folks is a non-profit organization – based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas – that refurbishes donated bicycles that are then given to children of families that could not otherwise afford to buy them.