Posts Tagged ‘Richardson’
Last Friday, my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, hosted our 5th annual Black Friday Bike Ride. The event isn’t a race, a charity ride or even an advocacy statement. The Black Friday Ride is just a nice, alternative way to spend the country’s busiest shopping day by riding a bike, instead of dealing with mad rush of crowds fighting over flat screen TVs. Unlike shopping, the ride is a relaxed, low paced, no-drop cruise around town.
This year’s group was amazing as always. On bikes ranging from mountain to road, a little over a dozen riders gathered at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson. As a group ride leader, this is a good amount. Fewer is ok, but once the group gets over 30 riders, it becomes difficult to manage.
The cruise took us through some remarkable neighborhoods in Richardson. I always hear comments from folks that didn’t know these areas existed. As we rolled into the north part of town, past the University of Texas, Dallas campus, we stopped at the Pearl Cup for a nice little break.
On the ride back, we had to make a small emergency stop. One of our riders got a flat. The group waited patiently as the repair was made, which gave us a chance to visit with each other a little more – something you don’t get waiting in the long lines at Wal-mart.
At the end of the ride, which totaled a little under eleven miles, a few of us grabbed a beer at the Glass Half Full Taproom, which is connected to the Alamo Drafthouse. They had an amazing selection of brews on tap that would impress any craft beer aficionado. It’s great to have places like this and the Pearl Cup in Richardson.
Overall, the ride was great and the riders were happy. We hope to continue the tradition of the Black Friday Ride for years to come. Here are some pics:
It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to AVOID all the big crowds at the shopping mall, work off that Thanksgiving dinner and have a fun ride around town.
You are invited to attend Bike Friendly Richardson‘s FIFTH (that’s right, 5th) annual Black Friday Ride. Started five years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson, the Black Friday Ride gives folks an alternative way to kick off the holiday season. This is a casual paced ride that will explore many of the different route options available to Richardson cyclists. We will ride on back-roads, side-streets, multi-purpose trails and available bike lanes.
Come on out to the Richardson Heights Shopping Center, enjoy a tasty lunch at Haystack Burgers, or one of the many fine restaurants in the area. We’ll meet in front of the Alamo Drafthouse around 1:00 pm.
More details to come.
From the folks at local bike store, Richardson Bike Mart:
The weather’s getting colder, but here’s a fun way to stay warm and ride your bike!
Ride your bike (don’t forget your helmet!) to, or have a rest stop at any place that sells hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, apple cider, etc.). Your coffee stop can be in traditional brick and mortar form, at a farmer’s market, a gas station, or a mobile vendor!
While enjoying your beverage, take a photo! Have fun with it! Be sure you show your hot beverage with yourself/your bicycle/your helmet. Label the photo with where you went and what you drank. Each photo you submit (one stop per day) will enter you in a drawing for prizes ($100 gift card to RBM, free bicycle tune-up, and others)!
How to enter your photo:
- post it on the Richardson Bike Mart Facebook timeline
- Instagram #RBMcoffee2013
- Twitter #RBMcoffee2013
- email your photo with “coffee crawl” in the subject to email@example.com
**If you submit with Instagram or Twitter, please email your contact info to match up with your screen name!**
Some coffee/hot beverage destination ideas:
Pearl Cup Coffee (Richardson and Dallas locations),
Sweet Firefly (they’re not just homemade ice cream!),
Alamo Drafthouse Dallas / Fort Worth (see a movie too!),
Wound Up! Cafe,
Dunkin’ Donuts or any other doughnut shop,
Nasher Sculpture Center,
and, of course, Starbucks!
If you have any questions, post them up here, or email Theresa – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bike Friendly Richardson, is hosting Richardson’s first Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the month of October, they 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”.
Date: October 1- 31 (all month long)
Place: Various Richardson, Texas Locations
Prizes: A few partners have donated prizes that we will give away to participants via raffle
Sponsors: Richardson Bike Mart, Alamo Drafthouse, DART
HOW TO PLAY:
- Self-paced ride and hunt around Richardson, Texas
- You must capture images of your bike next to (up to) 14 specific sculptures (or fountains) around town (listed here)
- All images must be taken between October 1-31, 2013
- Each image submitted will equal 1 raffle ticket for prizes; Complete Set (all 14 images) = double bonus tickets
- All images must be submitted (see below) by Thursday, October 31, 2013
- Bonus tickets will be given to any shots of your bike with any OTHER sculptures (than listed here) around town
- Must be taken in October 2013
- Does not count as part of the “Complete Set” for bonus tickets
IMAGE SUBMISSIONS (choose one of the following):
- email (images or links) email@example.com
- BFR Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BikeFriendlyRichardson/
- Instagram #bfrhunt2013
- Twitter #bfrhunt2013
- Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/groups/2296216@N24/ (you must join this group to submit)
EACH IMAGE SUBMISSION MUST INCLUDE:
- Your full name
- Your email address
- Your phone# (optional)
(flickr, twitter and instagram users can email BFR this info to match up with your alias)
For more details, lists, images and maps, please visit the Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt page.
One of my favorite destinations, on my weekend morning ride, is the Starbucks down the street (about 2.5 miles). Some mornings are way too beautiful to just stop there, so I choose to go to the Pearl Cup, which is much further away from my house. The coffee is really good, but when you ride a little more, it tastes a lot better.
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.
My city, Richardson, Texas, is adding an extension to an existing trail which runs along our transit rail system. It’s all part of our biking and pedestrian master plan. Once finished, it will run through the center of the city limits, connecting three of our four rail stations. Eventually, it will connect to the trail systems of neighboring cities and provide an off-road connection for cyclists and pedestrians.
Here are some pics of the current construction:
Here, you can see the start of the extension. The transit tracks are to the right.
As you can see, the city is making efforts to save the existing trees along the tracks.
Here you can see how the trail will coexist with the rail system.
They’ve had to make some adjustments to work around existing infrastructure.
This will be a nice addition to our city.
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.
This is my fourth year to ride in the Richardson WildRide! Against Cancer rally. Previously, I rode the 16 mile loop in 2010, the 40 mile loop in 2011 and the 40 mile loop in 2012. This year my goal was to complete the 64 mile loop. This might not seem like a big deal to some of those weekend warriors out there who do 64 miles before breakfast – but let me give you some perspective. If you read this blog, you’ll know that I’m a practical cyclist who only rides for fun or transportation. I am not athletic, I don’t ride for sport, nor do I even own a ‘proper’ road bike. Most of my longer rides are 14 mile (each way) commutes to my office, and my last, longest ride was last year’s 40 mile WildRide loop.
So, the 64 mile loop was a big deal to me.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to ride it alone. My buddy, Jason, who just got back into cycling this year, decided to join me. I was glad, because he was just the motivation that I needed to complete the task. Jason rides a lot, but hasn’t completed a 64 mile ride either.
Like the previous 3 years, the start of the rally was really impressive. There were hundreds of cyclists at the start, arranged in staging areas for each group of riders (64,40 and 16). You can see the difference in types of riders as you move from the fully-kitted 64 mile group at the front, all the way to the more casual 16 mile group in the back. With our baggy shorts and heavy, fat-wheeled bikes, Jason and I looked a little out of place waiting in the 64 mile staging area. With all due respect to those in tight shorts, who ride super-slick road bikes – we just don’t ride that way. Quite frankly, until this 64 mile ride, I didn’t think there was ever a need.
It’s very impressive watching the start of this rally, where you see a huge mass of riders rolling down Plano Road. As always, with fresh legs and high spirits, I really enjoy this part of the ride. This good feeling kept up for the first 20 miles of the ride, so much that we skipped the first rest stop. By the time we reached the second rest stop, just past Lake Levon dam (which happened to be the 40 mile loop turnaround) we were still feeling pretty good.
This was the point at which we needed to decide to push on and do the 64 mile loop, or turn back. We pushed on.
Since this was the first time for both of us to venture out this far, we didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, we were greeted with a couple of really nasty rolling hills. We still had some good strength, so they weren’t too bad. Facing them on the return trip was a problem. Beyond that, the extended 24 mile loop took us deep into open country, where there were some amazing views.
We started to get tired.
On those long country roads we were exposed to some nasty wind, paired with the late morning sun. Our baggy shorts were sails and our bikes felt like they were loaded with bricks. The energy level dropped fast. By the time we returned to the rest stop at Lake Lavon dam, our bodies were starting to shut down. Bonk was hitting us hard and we still had 20 miles to go. We drank and ate as much as we could at each remaining rest stop, but recovery was getting harder and harder as we pushed to get back to the start. The last few miles were the worst, but ultimately we made it back.
It wasn’t a fast ride – an average of 14MPH – but we succeeded with our goal (and we weren’t DFL).
To add insult to injury, we had the brilliant idea of riding to the rally, which meant we had to ride back home. That was the worst 2.6 miles of my life.
Would I Do This Again?:
As we were making our way up Shiloh Road, hitting all headwind, we were saying never again. But, since we’ve had a day to recover, our thoughts go back to those riders wearing skin-tight shorts, rolling on ‘proper’ road bikes and had practiced on prior weekends. Perhaps, if we are better prepared, we would do it again.
Here are my pics from the ride. Click here to see the entire set.