Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’
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.
Four great Dallas amenities opened this past weekend during an event called the Trinity River Revel, and it was celebrated with a Rolling Ribbon Cutting. A large group of a few hundred cyclist, which included a few of Dallas’ elected officials, representatives from local and state bicycling groups as well as surprise visitor Gary Fisher, all set out on a slow paced rally around the Trinity River to officially reveal these great new open spaces.
This is what opened:
The Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge – A new linear park build on the old Continental Street Bridge, which spans the Trinity River west of downtown Dallas. It includes 39 trellis and shade structures, a meditation labyrinth, bocce court, spray fountain and playground.
Trinity Skyline Trail – This is a paved hike, bike and skate trail in the Trinity River basin that leisurely rolls between Sylvan Avenue and West Commerce Street. This is a great place to take your family for a nice bike ride or walk, and see lots of nature around the Trinity River.
Sylvan Avenue Bridge – The bridge has been redesigned as a six-lane bridge with two six-foot sidewalks on the shoulders. Even better, is the Trinity Skyline Trail crosses the river below.
West Dallas Gateway Plaza – This is located between the western end of the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and Trinity Groves. This is a perfect spot to visit, with great views of the Dallas skyline.
It was a great day to ride and be part of this historic event. It was also inspiring to see such a large group participate, letting the City of Dallas know that bicycling and walking are important to the people who live here.
Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.
Mark your calendars! Friday, May 16, 2014 is The League of American Cyclists‘ 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.
Based on our great success in Richardson 2 years ago, which grew to 5 stations around Dallas last year, BikeDFW, DART and NCTCOG have partnered up to host 9 Bike Commuter Energizer Stations around the Dallas/Fort Worth area:
• ALLEN – Allen Events Center
• GARLAND – DART Downtown Garland Station
• DALLAS – DART St. Paul Station
• OAK CLIFF – Jefferson St. Viaduct
• RICHARDSON – DART Arapaho Station
• PLANO – Intersection of Bluebonnet & Chisholm Trail
• IRVING – DART Las Colinas Urban Center Station
• CARROLLTON – DART Trinity Mills Station
• MID-CITIES – TRE CentrePort Station
DATE: Friday, May 16, 2014
TIME: 6:30-9:00 am
We will be providing snacks, beverages and FREE bicycle safety checks at most stations.
Let us know you are coming on our Facebook Event Page.
MORE DETAILS TO COME.
I am sorry for the delay on posting this recap and pics of the All Out Trinity event from a few weekends ago, but it’s been really busy.
On March 1, the City of Dallas shut down one direction of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – one of Dallas’ newest icons – for the All Out Trinity event. Throughout the day, there were lots of activities that included a running event, yoga and a bike rodeo for kids – right on the bridge. Meanwhile, below the bridge there was an artisan market with food trucks and even more activities.
My group, BikeDFW, was part of the event, which we shared with our friends from BikeTexas, Richardson Bike Mart , Mercy Street Community Bike Shop and many others. Throughout the day, thousands of participants came out to experience and enjoy the bridge from outside of their cars. Add that to some perfect weather, and you get a fantastic event to end a long and cold winter – even for north Texas.
Here are a few pics from the event. You can find the rest here.
We stopped by the Texas Custom Bicycle Show last weekend to check out all the local bike builders. The show included True Fabrication, Violet Crown, Phantasm, Southwest Frameworks, Gallus Cycles, Millennium (Massengill), DalTex, Gjertsen, Kirklee, Edoz, Clyde James Cycles and more. As usual, the bikes on display did not disappoint. I only wish we could have stayed longer to visit with more of the builders.
I even picked up a couple of cool t-shirts from the event. My only complaint of the event is purely selfish. I wish the venue was a little better lit with less clutter in the background – mostly so that I can get better pics of the beautiful bikes.
I took a ride with my buddy on Saturday and we tried a new route. On that new stretch, we ran across this strange looking object – a huge eye, just beyond a fence, looking straight at us. It was interesting how it was placed so randomly with the construction, and I’m sure there’s a story behind that.
I also took a ride on Sunday to get more pictures of local sculptures for a scavenger hunt I will be hosting in October. That morning, I ran across some interesting characters: a sleeping bum (odd in the ‘burbs), an opossum, and this little guy (see below). The Nine-banded Armadillo is the state mammal (small) of Texas, but you rarely see them alive and 3 dimensional (at least along the road). He looked like a giant pill bug with a head, a tail and furry legs.
A couple of new businesses have opened near me, and both have really cool rack systems for bike parking.
The first is Whole Foods in Addison. Although it’s bittersweet that they closed the store that was closer to me, their new store in Addison is pretty impressive. What makes it even more impressive is their cool bike racks that are in the shape of bicycles.
The next business is the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson. Not only has this become one of the hottest destinations in town, it also has an amazing lineup of bike racks that are in the shape of film reels.
I’m glad that both of these businesses care enough about cyclists, and got really creative with their bike parking. This shows that there are some forward-thinking business owners that care about supporting alternate transportation, the local bike culture and a strong community.
I hope that bike parking, like this, continues to be an ongoing trend with new construction around town.
I’ve been spending most of my time riding for utility, with the purpose of commuting or to reaching a destination. As much fun as I have doing that, sometimes it’s just nice to just go for a fun ride – with no goals or destinations. I did that last weekend.
I took the DART train into Dallas and meet my friend Jason from the Wild Ride. He took me on one of his regular weekend routes, which was a nice loop from his house, into downtown Dallas, down the Santa Fe Trail, around White Rock Lake, and then back to his house. Overall, the route was just shy of 30 miles – but it didn’t feel like it.
It was nice to get out of my town and experience another city. Although I’ve ridden around Dallas before, it’s been a while, and not on this course. There are always some amazing things to discover when exploring a new and different route. I’ll try to keep changing it up every once in a while.
I’m a strong believer that if you build a good network of bike parking, more people will ride their bikes. Better destinations that accommodate cyclists and provide safe places to secure their bikes is a win for any community. What I often wonder is, what impression are people getting when they see empty racks? Do they think that the racks are a waste of money and use up ‘precious’ sidewalk and parking lot space?
Are they really working to get more cyclists out?
In contrast – at locations where there aren’t bike racks – I wonder what people think when they see bikes locked to things like fences, benches, street signs, gas meters or shopping cart returns? I find it quite frustrating to see this unbalance of empty bike racks in some areas, where in others, you see bikes locked to random things. The problem is, where do you put bike parking racks so that they actually get used?
My solution is, everywhere.