Posts Tagged ‘Bike Friendly Richardson’
This past weekend, I rode with my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, in the City of Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade. Of all the rides I do, this is one of my favorites. It’s not because of the great speeds or distance, but rather the opposite. Since this is a parade, the route is extremely short and equally as slow, which opens it up for people I don’t normally get to ride with, families.
Many folks decorated their bikes and brought candy to hand out to spectators. My neighbor, Howard, even brought his goat on a trailer, pulled by a tandem. My friend, Jenny, brought her young baby for his first parade. Both the goat and the baby were big hits with the crowd.
Riding with families in a parade accomplishes many goals – two of which are important to me. First, it allows families with kids (and goats) to be part of the bike culture, which hopefully builds a stronger bike community. Also, it allows the other folks, who weren’t riding, to see that cycling is something that’s fun and can be shared by all.
Participating in the parade definitely requires a lot of patience. Since you have to get there early, there is a more waiting than there is riding. I suggest that if you want to be part of a Christmas parade, folks with families, should try to arrive a bit later or have ways to entertain the kids until the start. Also, bring plenty of candy to hand out. I always seem to run out in the first 200 feet.
Here are a few pics from the parade. Click here to see the full set.
For the 6th year, bike riders from all over the north Dallas area gathered for Bike Friendly Richardson‘s annual Black Friday Ride. Each year, to celebrate the anniversary of our bike group, we launch the holiday season with what matters the most: having a nice, casual ride around town. No pressure. No shopping malls. No discount stores. No long lines. No angry people. Just a bunch of folks, enjoying the fresh air and a beautiful day.
Today, over 20 people gathered in front of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson. We took a slow, mostly flat, ride around some of the more scenic roads and trails of Richardson. Here, we enjoyed some of the colorful fall foliage that doesn’t last very long in north Texas. Overall, the short route of about 12 miles gave us the perfect amount of riding – especially after a day of heavy feasting.
Each year, I am thankful to do this ride with so many great cycling friends.
Here are a few pics. Click here to see the full set.
We are very fortunate to have a League of American Bicyclist board member, Gail Spann living in north Texas. Her dedication to cycling and bike education is an inspiration for many bicyclists, advocates and enthusiasts. This past weekend, she and her husband, Jim, hosted a visit from the League’s president, Andy Clarke, who came to talk to us about Bike Education and the Bike Friendly Communities Program in north Texas.
Given that our time with Andy was limited and wanting to keep this visit focused, we set up two meetings with just a few key instructors, advocates, industry leaders and city officials.
The first meeting – which was held Sunday evening at Gail’s house – was about the current education program, were several local LCIs (League Cycling Instructors) met with Andy for dinner and a ’round table’ discussion. We discussed ways to make the program better and how to reach a larger audience. Quite a few good ideas were discussed and many of us left the meeting inspired and ready to move the program forward.
Bike Friendly Communities:
The second meeting – held on Monday evening at the Plano Parks and Recreation office – was about north Texas and the the Bike Friendly Communities Program. Attending, were representatives of BikeTexas, BikeDFW, Bike Friendly Richardson, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and Plano Bicycle Association, city officials from Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Richardson, and industry leaders from Richardson Bike Mart and Plano Cycling and Fitness.
At this meeting, city officials were able to openly discuss the efforts that have been made towards bicycling infrastructure, issues and concerns with the Bike Friendly Communities Program and ways to get clear benchmarks moving forward. It was evident that many of the city officials weren’t expecting a ranking based on the current program, but wanted to see some sort of recognition for the expenses and efforts made so far. They felt that having this would help motivate and inspire city management and council to continue investing in bicycling education and infrastructure.
Given the limited amount of time, we were able to have a good conversation with Andy Clarke, and he was able to assure us that the League of American Bicyclists was listening and willing to help us achieve our goals of becoming bike friendly communities. It was nice to be able to have this direct link to the League to make it clear that cycling is growing in north Texas and we are a strong community of bicycle riders.
Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in my city: Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, right into my neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.
I got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:
This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.
As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.
From a personal perspective, I ride down this part of Collins, almost every time I ride. The traffic is usually very light and having it three lanes in each direction, made it very accessible for me – even without bike lanes. My first thought was that these bike lanes might be overkill for this road. I was completely wrong.
First, having these bike lanes opens this section of Collins Boulevard for many, less confident, cyclists who would never attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail. Also, it wasn’t until I actually rode the bike lanes, before I realized how much more relaxed I am riding down Collins. This has become a great upgrade to my commute.
As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.
Update: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible, now.
Last Friday was the Bike League’s National Bike To Work Day. For the third year, my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, worked with BikeDFW, DART and NCTCOG to set up a bike commuter Energizer Station at one of our local rail stations. This year, BikeDFW and DART were able to set up 9 stations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Reports are coming back that those stations had great success greeting the many bicycle commuters who came through. This indicates to me that folks around the Dallas area are starting to look at bicycle commuting as an viable form of alternate transportation – which most feel is hard to do in a city built for cars.
The Richardson station was quite successful. We had 25 bike commuters stop by our Energizer Station, where we provided them with snacks and breakfast tacos. We also handed out lots of swag donated by DART and NCTCOG as well as energy bars provided by Clif Bar and KIND. Richardson Bike Mart was out to do bicycle safety checks.
We even had a news camera man from Channel 11 stop by and interview us, but we never made the news cast that day. Fortunately, other stops in Dallas got some coverage:
Here are some pics from this year’s Bike To Work Day Energizer Station in Richardson:
I had forgotten all about this, until I ran across the pic in my photo stream.
A few years back, during the construction of one of Richardson’s bike trails, I buried a “Bike Friendly Richardson” pin in the ground before they laid the cement. I’m calling it a time capsule of positive thinking.
Hopefully, many years from now – when they dig it up to widen the trail – somebody will see that we cared about cycling back then.
Here are just a few of the many bicycle events that are happening this weekend in the Dallas area.
AURORA Ciclovia 2013
When: Friday, October 18, 2013 (tonight)
Location: Pearl and Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201
Details: Calling all Bike Friendlies, save the date! Get ready for the biggest lighted ride in Dallas. Held in conjunction with AURORA 2013, AURORA Ciclovia will meet at Main Street Park for a Best of competition, then ride the town to show off the lights, finishing at AURORA. Be a part of the largest independent arts event in Dallas!
More Info: On Facebook
Texas Custom Bicycle Show 2013
When: October 19-20, 2013 (Saturday-Sunday)
Time: Saturday at 10:00am until Sunday at 4:30pm
Location: 2642 Main St., Dallas, TX
Details: True Fabrication, Violet Crown, Phantasm, Southwest Frameworks, Gallus Cycles, Millennium (Massengill), DalTex Handmade, Gjertsen, Kirklee, Edoz, Clyde James Cycles and more to come.
More Info: On Facebook (and here as well)
Bike Swap Meet: Cyclesomatic 2013
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013 (Tomorrow)
Location: Community Beer Company – 1530 Inspiration Drive, Dallas, Texas 75207
Details: Join us for our first-ever swap meet at the Community Beer Company in Dallas for an afternoon bikes, bartering, and brews. This event is one of a series of events in BFOC’s 5th annual Cyclesomatic.
Want a table at the swap meet? Get one for only $10. Here’s where you sign up: http://goo.gl/OT96Vz
More Info: On Facebook
Cycle to the Nasher Sculpture Center
When: Sunday, October 20, 2013 (Sunday)
Time: Ride Start: 1:45; @ the Nasher: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: Ride Start: Oak Cliff’s Oddfellow’s; Arrive: Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201
Details: A few folks will be gathering at Oak Cliff’s Oddfellow’s at 1:45pm, to depart shortly thereafter.
More Info: On Facebook and on the Biking In Dallas website.
ALSO: Don’t forget that the Bike Friendly Richardson Bike and Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt is still going on.
When: October 2013 (all month long)
Location: Various Richardson Locations
Details: You are invited to participate in Richardson’s first Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the month of October, we are inviting and motivating folks to get out and ride their bikes, explore their neighborhoods and win prizes! This year’s theme will be “The Sculptures of Richardson”.
More Info: On Facebook and the BFR Website