Posts Tagged ‘BikeDFW’
I try to stay involved with local bicycling advocacy to promote cycling in my city. I started Bike Friendly Richardson, a few years back, as a partner for local, non-sport cyclists. With the help of some great friends, it’s growing at a pretty good pace.
I’m also a board member in the regional advocacy group, BikeDFW – which covers a much larger area and many more types of cyclists. In addition to my duties as a board member, I was asked to help design their new logo. Now that it’s approved and out in the world, we’re starting to get it produced in many forms – starting with stickers.
We will also have t-shirts available within a few weeks. There will also be a bike jersey designed and available to order soon.
Cycling is on the rise in north Texas and more people are captivated by active transportation. Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding areas are becoming transformed by cyclists wanting to ride more.
As a leaders, educators and advocates, local bike organization, BikeDFW, strives to keep up with the momentum and remain a valuable partner to all local bicycle advocacy groups. Because of this, we have decided to update our look.
Being a board member of BikeDFW, and a graphic designer, I was given the challenge of redesigning our logo. My goal was to update the look and create a mark that could appeal to a broad audience of local cyclists.
There were several design options explored, and this solution was voted as the final selection. The idea behind this mark was to graphically articulate ‘bike’ while assertively communicating ‘DFW’. I added a single star to the ‘D’ as a nod to the Lone Star State – making the mark a simple, yet powerful symbol for cycling in the north Texas area. To add another layer, I added a sprocket ring to encompass the mark which transformed it into our new identity.
We will use this logo for collateral, marketing materials and swag.
Recently, BikeDFW launched this new logo. Our only hope is that it gets well recognized and becomes the new symbol of bicycle advocacy and education in the DFW area.
One of the main reasons that I became a League Cycling Instructor was to teach people how to ride bikes and how to do it safely. Although the League’s Traffic Skills 101 has been a staple course that’s taught in my area, my hope is to get better trained at Bicycling Skills 123 and Bicycling Skills 123 Youth and teach kids how to ride safer. If you teach them young, perhaps they’ll carry those skills with them into adulthood.
Something that I never considered was teaching adults how to ride. Being connected to our local advocacy group, BikeDFW and a network of local LCIs, we discovered that there was enough interest in this course, that we decided to offer it.
Many of our available instructors (including myself) were not fully trained in teaching this course, so we reached out to Gail Copus Spann, who is not only an LCI, but also trains them. Gail was able to take time away from her busy schedule as Chair of the Board of Directors for the League of American Bicyclists, to help teach both students and instructors. The students learned how to ride while the instructors picked up some great techniques on how to teach this course.
We decided to have the course at Bob Woodruff Park, in Plano, where there was plenty of open space that included a nice, grassy hill. The class was scheduled to run just a couple of hours, because any longer, students start to get burned out and too tired to focus. That was plenty of time to get the students acquainted with the basic fundamentals of the course and allow them to continue at their own pace, if needed.
The first thing we noticed in offering this course, is that most of the students did not have their own bicycles. This made sense, since they haven’t ridden before. We were able to pull together a few loaners, which we plan to offer for future courses. Once we got all of the bikes set up and fitted for each student, we were able to start taking them through the steps.
The pace of the course was slow by design. The goal was to steadily teach each student how to control the bike and not let the bike control them. Gail guided the students down the low-sloping, grassy hill dozens of times to help them gain their confidence and increase their skill level. With every run, our team of instructors would watch and evaluate the student’s progress – providing positive feedback. We were amazed at the level of progression that was made by each student throughout the course.
By the end of the class, all of the students were able to ride their bikes. The smiles on their faces reminded us of how wonderful it is to start somebody down the amazing path of bicycling. I enjoyed working with Gail and the other instructors, Warren, Mike and Bob. I hope to get more opportunities to assist people with courses like this.
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).
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
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.
Raise your hand. How many of you ride a bike without ever learning how to ride a bike? I’m not talking about that moment when you discover your balance on a two-wheeler and the training wheels come off. I’m talking about actually learning the skills and rules that will actually keep you safe on the road.
Like most of you, I was given little to no training on a bike. My parents sent me to a traffic safety course when I was a kid, but that was just to teach me basic knowledge of stop signs, yield signs, crosswalks and traffic lights. If anything, we learned how to make hand signals. I remember years of my childhood, carelessly riding around the neighborhood without helmets and barely watching out for traffic. It’s amazing that I’m still alive.
As I got older, most of my road travel was by car. My road knowledge came from driver’s ed and years of experience while navigating through rush hour traffic. Even so, I felt that riding my bike around town required a new level of training.
I’ve been wanting to take the League of American Bicyclists, Traffic Skills 101 course (hosted by BikeDFW) for a while, but was never able to make the time. Last weekend, I was finally able to attend.
The local class has been modified so that the first part of the course is done online. That portion had to be completed and passed, prior to meeting up for the bike skills training. The online course is relatively easy, as long as you pay attention to the materials. It consists of 4 chapters that cover everything from Bicycle Parts, Bicycle Selection, Adjusting Your Bicycle, Clothing & Equipment, Pre-Ride Safety Check, Tools, Tires, Gears, Adjusting Derailleurs, Adjusting Brakes, Bicycle Handling Basics, Bicycling in Traffic, Emergency Maneuvers, Crash Avoidance, Road Hazards, Riding Enjoyment, Energy Maintenance, Trail Etiquette, to Educating Motorists. The online course can be finished in a couple of hours (more or less, depending on if you are watching TV at the same time).
The classroom portion of the course took a good part of a Sunday, where I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was this going to be a reprise of my slightly useless childhood traffic safety course, or was this going to he a hardcore drill that would toss me in the middle of a major road with hundreds of cars speeding around me? I soon learned that this part of the class was divided into two sections. The morning was set aside for the parking lot drills, while the afternoon was left for the road portion.
After a nice morning of breakfast, introductions and a quick review of the online course, we went out to do our first lesson – the ABC Quick Check. Here we learned how we should be inspecting our bikes to ensure a safe ride to our destinations. This is something that should be practiced every time you go out for a ride. Steve A from DFWPointToPoint, who was there as an instructor, pointed out that a quick release always seems to work itself loose and you should never assume it’s locked. Sure enough, mine were loose.
Next, we rode out to our first destination, a parking lot down the street so that we could learn and practice some basic handling and safety skills. There, we divided up into two smaller groups, where two instructors, each, took us through several drills. Our instructors, Renee and Brad, taught us quite a bit, including starting and stopping, scanning, signaling, rock dodge, quick stops and instant turns all while maintaining good control of our bikes. Quite frankly, I thought this would be the easiest part of the class. To my surprise, I found the drills to be somewhat challenging – especially the instant turns.
Once we had completed all of the parking lot drills, the instructors took us out on the streets to familiarize us with the route of the bicycling in traffic portion of the course. After that, we took a break for lunch.
After lunch, the instructors separated us into even smaller groups. Each group rode a few loops of the street course with an instructor following close behind – offering up instruction, tips and feedback as we utilized the skills we had learned earlier at the parking lot. The route covered several lane changes, obstacles and challenges all while riding in moderate to heavy traffic. Riders had to think ahead, observe all the traffic laws, communicate with drivers (via eye contact and hand signals), be predictable, handle hazard avoidance and deal with lane position – all while keeping their cool and maintaining control of their bikes.
I was most apprehensive about the road portion of the class. Although I ride on the streets, they’re usually back roads with low traffic, so I wasn’t sure what to expect getting on this busier route. Again, to my surprise, I found that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The online course and the parking lot drills helped build my courage for bicycling in traffic. My fellow rider, Steve and instructor, Brad also helped me ride confidently when it was my turn to lead the group.
It was a good day of quality training that made me a better bicyclist, while undoing many years of bad riding habits.
Overall, I felt that the Traffic Skills 101 course is well worth it, and everybody who rides should take this class. Even if you find yourself a confident road rider, it’s always nice having some knowledge and a few skills to take on the ride with you.
Just to tease it a bit, the course was both harder and easier than I expected. Until my review, I highly recommend that if you get the chance – take the course. You will become a better cyclist.