Archive for the ‘Good Causes’ Category
This is my fifth year to participate in Methodist Health System’s WildRide! Against Cancer. Unlike last year, when I rode the 64 mile route with my buddy and barely made it, I opted to go easy and just do the 40 mile route (Well, with the new starting point this year, it was only 38 miles). The day was beautiful and the wind a little forgiving, which made this year’s rally one of the better ones for me.
Like with every WildRide, I keep promising myself that I’m going to get a new bike that’s lighter and not so mechanically challenged. Instead, I keep riding the only geared bike that I own – my 21-year old DiamondBack Apex mountain bike that’s been converted to a commuter. It’s heavy, the wheels wobble and the original drivetrain is showing it’s age. But, like the previous 4 WildRides and dozens of commutes to work, it gets me to where I need to go – even if I have to work a little harder.
As I stated earlier, this year’s rally started at a new location. It was still close to my house, so I opted to ride my bike the 4 miles to the rally. The new staging area was nice, but didn’t seem as well organized. I’m sure it’s just growing pains and getting used to the new place.
The starting lineup is usually much longer, giving room to all the cyclists who are planning on riding the 64 mile route – which is probably 75 percent, leaving the remaining lineup space for the 40 and 16 mile group. This year, it seemed to be the reverse, which left about 25 percent of the space for the lead group and a lot more for the rest. This forced many cyclists to cram together at the front, some waiting on the sidewalk and on the road median. Quite frankly, the rally always starts out slow for everybody, so it doesn’t really matter where you start.
Other than the awkward, overly-crowded start, the rally was really nice. The 40 (I mean 38) mile route was mostly the same with the typical rest stops, and riding over the Lavon Lake dam is always spectacular. Since I rode solo, this year’s ride was a bit lonely. Also, even though it wasn’t going to be as hard as last year’s 64 mile route, I think I had underestimated this year’s ride. I had forgotten that the 38 mile route was still a challenge for me, and it caught my legs off guard for the last few miles. I completed the route, but that 4 mile ride back to my house was miserable.
Here are a few pics of this year’s rally. Click here to see the entire set.
Organizing a National Bike To Work Day, Bike Commuter Energizer Station is quite a challenge. Organizing 5 of them is nearly impossible without the right partners and volunteers. This being the second year, we’re still trying to figure everything out – but we’re getting better.
Let’s Start With Last Year:
Bike Friendly Richardson member Jenny Rilling, and myself decided that we needed to set up a rest stop for bike commuters in our town of Richardson. Because Jenny was a BikeDFW board member, we were able to partner with them, who in turn, connected us with a few sponsors, including Richardson Bike Mart the Dallas Area Rapid Transit folks. Richardson Bike Mart provided us a bike mechanic to help out with bicycle safety checks and DART gave us a place to set up at one of their local train stations. We managed to pull in a few other sponsors and had great success providing breakfast, beverages and swag for bike commuters coming through Richardson.
With such great success with last year’s Richardson stop, BikeDFW (of which I am now a board member) wanted to set up multiple stations this year. Coincidentally, DART was also wanting to set up multiple Bike Commuter Energizer Station. I got an email from Dan Dickerson with DART asking if we were interested in partnering with them. Obviously, we did. Dan, using his connections, contacted several local cities in the Dallas area. Of that list, Plano, Garland, Dallas and Bike Friendly Richardson (representing Richardson) wanted to participate. BikeDFW was also working with Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, who also wanted to set up a Bike Commuter Energizer Station.
Dividing Up The Tasks And Organizing:
Because I was the initial contact for DART, I became the liaison between DART and BikeDFW, and most of the organizing for this event was done via email. This being only the second event like this in our area, and the fact that I am organizationally-challenged, there were many challenges. Fortunately, Dan was very organized and I had a team of great support with BikeDFW. My friend Eliot, with Cycling Savvy DFW, even suggested that I set up a Google Doc spread sheet and share it with the team, which was a lifesaver.
The Art of Finding Sponsors:
Finding sponsors is one challenge. Asking them to give stuff to our event is another. My hat is off to people who need to do this on a regular basis. The lesson that I learned is that you have to get an early start. Plus, you need to communicate by phone or face-to-face. When asking by email, you’re most likely going to get overlooked.
Fortunately, we were able to manage getting local bike shop sponsors, including Plano Cycling and Fitness, Richardson Bike Mart (Richardson), Richardson Bike Mart (White Rock), Don Johle’s Bike World and Oak Cliff Bicycle Company to do the bicycle safety checks at each station.
This was yet another challenge. Although DART and the local cities were bringing out volunteers for each station, it was quite difficult to pull in BikeDFW volunteers. This was mostly because of scheduling issues (getting folks to take time off on a work day) or bicyclists wanting to actually ride to work on Bike To Work Day. Fortunately, some great folks stepped up to help run each station.
I plan on adding a complete list of volunteers and sponsors, as soon as I get all the information in. Until then, here are the ones at the top of my head:
Arthuro Garza (KIND), Clif Bars (Jeanine Romine), Kasey Smith (Neuro Energy Drinks), Rachel Spire (ReGeared), JimD (Generator Coffee House), Zang Triangle Apartments, Waco Moore and Eliot Landrum (Cycling Savvy DFW)
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS FOR SAFETY CHECKS:
Plano Cycling and Fitness (Plano), Richardson Bike Mart (Richardson), Don Johle’s Bike World (Garland), Richardson Bike Mart (Downtown Dallas), Oak Cliff Bike Company (Oak Cliff)
DART: EVENT CO-SPONSOR/ORGANIZER:
Dan Dickerson and his team of great volunteers from DART – Chris Walters, Steve Biba, Shaun Tooley, Jennifer Jones, Charylene Crayton, Jennifer Hall (and more).
Ann McGinnes and her team (City of Garland), Renee Jordan (City of Plano), Max Kalhammer, Kevin Lefebvre, Kimberly Mackey (City of Dallas)
Jonathan Braddick, and his team (names to come) (Oak Cliff), Michael McNair (Garland), Jared Cook (Garland), Robert Cherry (Garland), Joshua McNeely (Richardson)
BIKEDFW: EVENT CO-SPONSOR/ORGANIZER:
Marc Mumby (Akard), Jenny Rilling (Richardson), Anita Mills (Oak Cliff), Michael Freiberger (Plano), Warren Casteel (Multi-Location Support)
Pics Of The Event (Richardson and Garland) See full set here:
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).
Bike Friendly Richardson friend, Barbara Fullerton sent us an email wanting to share her cause. We decided to post it over here as well:
My name is Barbara Fullerton and I live in and cycle in Richardson/Plano area. This summer three librarians from Texas are participating in the Cycling for Libraries event in Europe. About 100 cyclists around the world were accepted to participate in this event. We are cycling from Amsterdam to Brussels, visiting public and special libraries. Check it out here.
We have set up a fundraising page.
We are trying to raise around $1000 for traveling funds.
Thank you for your consideration!
I think this is a fantastic opportunity for these ladies, and I’d love to hear about their journey. If you have a few bucks to spare, please help them out.
I’m back from the Cyclists in Suits event that was hosted by BikeTexas in Austin. It was an exhausting day that involved getting up by 3:00 am to catch a 5:00 am bus. After a 3+ hour trip from Dallas to Austin, we spent the day lobbying for cyclist to our state officials, only to repeat the same trip back that evening. It was a great learning experience and I got to meet some great people, which made it all worth while.
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
Like with a lot of cool bike things that I learn about, I found out about this on Urban Velo. Young bike rider, Ryan Stamerro, will be riding his bike across country this summer. Sure, there’s really nothing special about that. Folks do cross-country bike rides all the time (it’s one of my personal bucket list items). What makes Ryan’s trip a bit different is that he’s going to do it on a fixed gear bike. The entire trip is also meant to bring awareness to Half United.
He’ll also be recording his ride with 35mm photography and through his blog, One Country, One Gear. It sounds like a great challenge and adventure, and I wish him a safe journey.
If you are interested in following his journey and would like to help him get started, click here to see his Kickstarter page.
A fellow cyclist has fallen and needs your help. From their Facebook page:
We are working on a fundraiser for our fellow cyclist Misty “Liberty Kat” who was seriously injured on a group ride recently. She sustained broken bones and even a fracture in her neck among other things–she was wearing a helmet or the damage might have been worse. We’re happy to report that Liberty is out of the ICU where she was Care Flighted and she seems to be recovering quite well with the help all of your positive thoughts and well wishes.
The fundraiser is January 29th at the AMAZING Fitzgerald Loft at 2814 Canton in Deep Ellum. We are SO LUCKY to have generous people like Sean & Karen Kohler Fitzgerald in our community, so please make sure you thank them for their hospitality when you meet them :)
Your donation of $10 at the door gets live entertainment and FREE BEER which is being donated by the kind folks at Franconia Brewery!
Raffle tickets will be sold for our long list of AWESOME prizes (see comments section for details). Prize values are $20-$600!
If you own a business or have connections to anyone who may be interested in donating cash or items for raffle/auction at the event, please contact either Toni Youngblood or Susan Reeves ASAP.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE $ DIRECTLY TO LIBERTY
Every little bit counts – even $5 or $10. These donations my not pay for all of her bills, but will help her get back on her feet.
Date: Sunday, January 29, 2012
Time: 1:00pm until 6:00pm
Location: Fitzgerald Loft at 2814 Canton in Deep Ellum
Cover: $10 Donation at the door (FREE beer) – Raffle tickets will also be sold.
Our friends over at BikeDFW are hosting the movie Bicycle Dreams in Dallas, and would like you to come see it. The money raised will help support BikeDFW and their local bicycle advocacy efforts. Here are the details from BikeDFW:
Bicycle Dreams, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the Race Across America (RAAM), will premiere in Dallas/Fort Worth at the Studio Movie Grill Royal Lane on Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. The screening is a benefit for BikeDFW.
The film, which has won numerous awards at film festivals all over the world, “is an up-close look at what RAAM riders go through,” says Stephen Auerbach, the director and producer of Bicycle Dreams. “They deal with searing desert heat, agonizing mountain climbs, and endless stretches of open road. And they do it all while battling extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. It’s a great subject for a film.”
“Bicycle Dreams is a spectacular and heartfelt film that offers a riveting portrait of extreme courage in the face of inhuman obstacles,” writes TheLoveOfMovies.com. “It is an artistic triumph that renewed my belief in the power of desire and the strength of the human will.”
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Studio Movie Grill Royal Lane – 11170 N. Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75243
RSVP (via Facebook): Click Here
Tickets: Click Here or get them at the door.