Posts Tagged ‘Texas’
Richardson continues to impress me with their network of great bike and pedestrian access routes throughout the city. As part of that, we have some really nice multi-purpose trails. However, over time and through excessive usage, they have’ve gotten covered in litter, animal waste and broken glass. Instead of complaining about the mess, my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, decided to take the maintenance and care of our trail network into our own hands.
We scheduled our first, hopefully of many, Trail Clean Up Days. Given such short notice, and everybody’s busy schedules, our first turnout wasn’t that great. We did get a few volunteers from all around the city, as well as somebody from our neighboring city, Plano. The plan was to try and fill as many trash bags (provided by the city) as possible in two hours.
Overall, we were pretty successful in filling 8-10 bags—not bad for a small group of people. Think about what we could have accomplished with more volunteers. There was still a lot more trash on the trail that we couldn’t get to. Perhaps we’ll get it all the next time.
Our goal is to do this more often than not—hopefully in other parts of the city as well. My only hope is that we’ve inspired other people to get out there and care for the public areas near them. This is our city, and we need to take responsibility for it.
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.
As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite class to teach is helping adults learn to ride. It is by far the most rewarding for me.
One thing that I’ve learned, teaching this class, is that people are different, so some pick it up faster than others. There are times when students need to return for another class to continue their training. This weekend’s class, however, did really well and all were riding to some degree. All were able to leave the class knowing enough of the fundamental skills, so that they can continue their training at home.
I also discovered that switching up coaches during the class, allows the students to get a fresh perspective on their progress.
My hope is that, the more I teach this class, the more I will be able to anticipate and address each student’s individual needs.
My local bike advocacy group, BikeDFW, was asked to share a tent at the Big D Bicycle Village, which was part of the Untapped Festival in Dallas. Although it wasn’t a bicycle event, it would be attended by plenty of like-minded, bike friendly people. We thought it would be a great opportunity to get some good exposure outside of our normal circle of influence. Plus, they let us host the table for free – which allows us to better optimize our resources.
The event was extremely successful with a great crowd of beer and music enthusiasts. Although we didn’t grow our membership, we did a great job of increasing our awareness.
Dallas needs to have more events like this.
Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the set.
Here BikeDFW board member, Alan tests out a Buffalo Bike.
Last weekend, BikeDFW was asked to help out a local Boy Scout troop earn their merit badge in cycling, so we held a Bicycling Skills 123 clinic in Allen, Texas. Not only did we have the opportunity to teach some great kids, but also their parents. We wanted to leave this group with some good bicycle knowledge, so that the whole family can work together to ride safely. I feel that if the parents are safe riders, the kids will pick that up from them.
It was great to see the progress these kids have made, especially since many of them couldn’t even ride a few weeks ago. They were part of our successful learn to ride program.
It was also great to have three new League Cycling Instructors to help teach the class. Two of them came from Fort Worth, which is quite a distance from Allen.
Here are a few pics from the class.
For the past few years, local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, has hosted a month long bike event called Cyclesomatic. One part of that event is the Bike to City Hall ride – which always happens on a work day, early in the morning. I’ve always wanted to participate in this ride, but couldn’t find the time to bike into Dallas from my house in Richardson, then back out to my job in Carrollton.
Finally, on their sixth year, I made the time. I saw a post on Facebook that a local cyclist friend was riding down early that morning to catch the event. I checked my calendar and workload, and for once, my morning was meeting and deadline free. I decided to join him.
We met up at a local shopping center in Richardson at about 6:00 am., when it was still dark and I was still half asleep. Most of the ride through town was before rush hour and traffic was pretty light. The great thing about riding into downtown Dallas from Richardson, is that most of the route is multi-purpose trail. Once we hit the Cottonwood Creek Trail, it was just a matter of jumping onto the White Rock Creek Trail then the Santa Fe Trail – which takes us mostly into downtown Dallas.
Overall, we rode about 25 miles in about an hour and a half – a slow but fun pace. I really enjoyed the view of White Rock Lake, just before the sun came up.
We met up with many other riders at Main Street Park. After hanging out for a bit and taking a few pictures, the whole group – including some Dallas City Council members – headed out for a really slow paced ride to Dallas City Hall. This was obviously a ride to make a statement. As we rolled safely through the morning, rush hour traffic, there were lots of waves to and from our parade of two-wheeled advocates.
When we arrived at Dallas City Hall, the whole group gathered outside to listen to a presentation from the City Council members who rode with us, as well as a few other city officials. Our new, local advocacy group, The Dallas Bicycle Coalition, even go a special recognition certificate for all of their efforts.