Posts Tagged ‘north texas’
It’s no surprise to me, since I ride in this city all the time.
With the announcement of 42 new and renewing BFCs today, Richardson joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming our neighborhoods.
“We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The growing number of leaders taking up bicycling as a way of solving many complex community problems is encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 350 BFCs in all 50 states. The Bronze BFC award recognizes Richardson’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
This is a big deal in north Texas. Even though many cities in the area – including Fort Worth, Plano and Frisco – have received an Honorable Mention, Richardson is the first north Texas city to be recognized as a Bike Friendly Community. With it’s many bike lanes, growing trail network and interconnecting neighborhoods, this is a well deserved recognition.
There were many other variables involved in earning this status, including a great city management team – encouraged by a city council with a vision to create a great city. Richardson is also growing a strong bike community – supported by local and regional advocates like Bike Friendly Richardson and BikeDFW.
Richardson is just getting started. They’re hoping that Bronze is just a stepping stone to an even better, more robust bike community. They also hope to see that the many great efforts of their neighboring cities get recognized by the League as well.
I hope that this recognition becomes a way to motivate other north Texas cities to work harder to become bike friendly as well. Let’s keep this momentum going.
I know that I really can’t complain. Riding my bike during the winter in north Texas is nothing compared to riding up north. It still sucks.
The cold is one thing, but when you throw in winter rain and the occasional ice and snow storm, riding becomes a real chore. I hear the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing.” all the time. I just wish it were that easy. I do follow the rules of layering and dressing for the last mile, which really helps.
I also feel, having the right bike – or the right bike setup – is also key. At least, get a good set of fenders.
I’m so glad, spring is here and riding is much more pleasant. Bring on the summer.
We’re having a true winter storm coming through my town of Richardson, Texas. It’s a big one too, stretching pretty far south while also effecting several states to the north and east of us. Since we don’t have them very often, Texans are usually not prepared and the whole area shuts down. This storm was a bit worse, since we skipped the snow and went straight to ice. The roads are a covered in it and too treacherous for many cars. Most folks just stay home.
Since the roads were mostly empty, I thought I would try my luck getting around on my bike. I didn’t get far, but I was able to survey the storm damage in my neighborhood. It became pretty apparent that nature took a big hit from this storm as well. Since our warm temperatures were lingering through the fall, the leaves on the trees seemed to be taking a bit longer to drop. We also have a lot of like oaks in my neighborhood which drop their leaves in the spring. The ice just accumulated on these leaves and brought many of the branches down, breaking a few right off of their trunks. Unfortunately, with our temperatures staying below freezing for the next few days, thing are going to get worse.
Fortunately for us, we still have power – and heat. There are a lot of homes in the area without and I hope those folks are able to stay warm and safe until it gets fixed.
Stay warm and be careful out there.
Here is a short video of me riding through my neighborhood:
With cooler months in North Texas, the weather has been ideal for some amazing group rides. Here are just a couple that I participated in:
Last weekend my local bike group, Bike Friendly Richardson hosted their 4th Annual Black Friday Ride. It was an amazing day with an incredible group of riders (totaling over 30). Even Richardson City Councilman, Amir Omar, stopped by to see us off and applaud our efforts.
There was a pretty large variety of bikes, from a stretched-frame cruiser, a cargo bike, a tandem, some classic refurbs, a few mountain bikes, to some super light road bikes. With so many different styles of riders, our concern was how we were going to pace a ride and keep everybody happy. With such an amazing group, this ended up not being problem.
There was no an agenda, other than having a casual ride around town and avoiding the crowded, Black Friday shopping malls. The ride was slow with lots of stops to let folks, who got stuck at crossings or lights, catch up. Everybody seemed relaxed and ready to enjoy the amazing fall colors, as we rode through some nice, Richardson neighborhoods.
Overall, we took lots of back roads, bike trails and some bike lanes – all made possible by the City of Richardson’s great bike plan as well as some amazing, interconnecting neighborhoods.
Here are a few pics from the Black Friday Ride:
Also, this weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson participated in the annual City of Richardson Christmas parade. Like with the Black Friday Ride, we had a great variety of bikes, including one with a kid trailer, one with a couple of dogs leashed on, an urban cruiser, a couple of family truckster cargo bikes (loaded with kiddos) and even a penny farthing bike – all decked out with holiday lights and decorations. Even the riders were dressed with festive gear. All together, we had 12 bikes and 16 participants.
The ride itself was mostly stop-and-go or very slow paced, which made it easy to enjoy each other’s company, as well as the spectacle of the parade. The ‘super mom’ (I actually heard that term used by a spectator) family trucksters and the penny farthing bike got a lot of crowd’s attention.
Participation in the parade was Bike Friendly Richardson’s way to build on their bike community, gain awareness and to just have fun. They also, unexpectedly, won an award from the city – 1st place in the ‘Civic Clubs/Organizations Mixed Unit Category’. Not bad for the first time out.
Here are some pics from the parade. Click here to see the entire set of Christmas Parade Pics.
It’s amazing how something as simple as water and sub-freezing temperatures can shut this city down. You never realize how dependent we are on our road system until it’s taken away. Schools, airports, mass transit, trash, mail, businesses – all shut down or delayed. The irony is, I can’t even take advantage of these car-less streets and get a good ride in. Without spiked tires, keeping control would be a nightmare.