Posts Tagged ‘Texas’
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 was heading home down Arapaho Road in Richardson, when a small group of cyclists caught my eye. This wasn’t the typical lycra clad, roadie group that you see running a training ride through my town. Instead, it was a bunch of regularly dressed, casual cyclists making their way to the DART train station.
Since I was so captivated by this, I had to turn around and meet them. These riders were not associated with any bike club or group. They were just a bunch of friends taking the train into Dallas to be part of tonight’s Critical Mass. They were nice enough to let me shoot a pic of them.
I hope to see more of these folks riding around town.
Last weekend, I worked with BikeDFW and proudly participated at the Allen Family Bike Day – helping with a Youth Skills 123 course at the event. Headed by League Cycling Instructor Dorothy Zarbo, I was part of a team of LCIs which also included fellow LCI training graduates, Betsy Veneziano and Francis Schommer. We worked with local elementary and middle school students to run a successful Bike Rodeo for Allen kids.
We had a great time working with the kids, who in turn, helped others learn some basic safety skills. Kids learned how to signal their stops, left & right turns as well as how to yield in traffic. Since helmets were required on the course, some were loaned out by the City of Allen to those who forgot theirs. I’m hoping parents were inspired to remind their kids to continue wearing theirs.
I love doing these types of events, and I hope to do more across the DFW Metroplex.
One of my biggest complaints about my suburban town, Richardson, is that there aren’t enough cool, local destinations. The city is building some amazing trails and bike lanes, but they really don’t lead to many great stops. Sure, we have a quite a few parks, city amenities, chain restaurants, grocery stores, and even a couple of bike shops, but there aren’t very many places to just hang out and relax.
That’s why I’m glad that Pearl Cup Coffee has opened in Richardson. In a town that has at least 5 nearby Starbucks, you’d think another coffee shop would be overkill. Not for me, because it goes beyond the fix of caffeine. It’s about having a nice destination that’s easy to access by bike. Being right off one of the city’s bike lanes, Pearl Cup Coffee could potentially be a great, bike friendly hangout. Unfortunately, they’re not set up with any bike racks. There are a few in the shopping center, but none close to the coffee shop.
Pearl Cup Coffee has a couple other locations in Dallas. Both are very successful destinations that pull in a nice crowds and build stronger communities. I’m hoping the same thing happens in Richardson.
Be sure to politely ask them for some bike racks out front.
We got a notice from our city that more bike lanes were being installed – with more planned for the summer. I’m excited because the ones installed this summer will be in my neighborhood. Click here to see a map of the completed bike lanes in Richardson (so far).
Another 1.1 miles of new bike lanes are being installed this week on both sides of Collins Blvd from Campbell Rd. northward to tie into the existing bike lanes on Collins Blvd at Palisades Creek. This installation will connect the existing bike lane system on Collins Blvd from the Renner Trail all the way down to Campbell Road.
Later this summer there will be three additional bike lane segments installed as part of the Safe Routes to School program grant received from TxDOT.
Collins Blvd (Plano Rd to Jupiter)
Yale Blvd (Arapaho to Campbell)
Owens Blvd (Woodoak to Campbell)
All of these bike lane segments were discussed in the City Council worksession on 10/22/2012 and continue to address the Council Near Term Action Item #29.
I went out to take some pics:
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
Last Saturday was a pretty big day for me. I got to help teach a Traffic Skills 101 class for the first time. Co-instructing with me, was fellow League of American Bicyclists LCI graduate, Jenny. As recent graduates, we both have to co-instruct two classes before we can teach on our own. We were there to assist head instructor-extrodinare Mike and veteran instructor Brad, with 11 students in Garland.
As part of our instructor training, Jenny and I had to scope out locations for our parking lot drills, as well as map out the road course. We took a field trip to the area and decided that a local DART parking lot would work best for the parking lot drills. While out there, we decided to drive the road course that Jenny had plotted using Google maps – addressing any potential issues and altering the course as needed. We wanted to get a wide selection of roads to give us the opportunity to teach the students about a variety of road conditions. Also, since the road course was new to both of us, we returned to ride it the weekend before the class – just to make sure.
On the day of the class, Jenny and I carpooled. With bikes balanced on the bike rack, we rolled into the parking lot of local bike shop, Don Johle’s Bike World. My car was full of gear, forms, certificates and – most important – breakfast. The students were already gathering in front of the shop, ready to learn. So, after getting everybody introduced, registered, fed and ABC Quick Checked, we all rode to the DART parking lot to start the parking lot drills.
Parking Lot Drills:
Since Jenny and I were co-teaching our first class, Mike let us take the lead on giving instructions. Jenny and I tag-teamed this task, each helping the other fill in the gaps of information that the other might have missed. Once each drill was discussed and demonstrated, the group would split into two for practice runs. I worked with Mike and Jenny worked with Brad – who happened to be one of our TS101 instructors, when we took the class.
After lunch at Taco Cabana, it was time to do the road portion of the course. This can be taught a few different ways, as long as you are exposing your students to a variety of road conditions that they will encounter when they are riding on their own. We opted to ride as one group, while giving the students a few small exercises of riding solo. This gave them the opportunity to individually read, process and execute their routes using the information learned with the online course, as well as what we taught them with the parking lot drills.
When finished with the road course, the group returned to the bike shop, where the instructors were able to evaluate each student. Each scored very well and earned their Traffic Skills 101 Certificate.
Both Jenny and I appreciated the chance to co-instruct with great teachers, as well as this group of fantastic students. We couldn’t have ask for a better class to be our first. We hope that as we teach more of these classes, we get more refined and are better prepared to confidently teach on our own.
I like living in north Texas. Sure, it’s hot as hell during the summer and full of endless suburban sprawl with mega-highways to connect it all. But, the people are friendly, the schools are great, and it’s inexpensive to live here.
For me, the only real problem with living in the Dallas area is the lack of visual identity and cultural destinations. What we don’t have is enough signature landmarks or cool places to draw in visitors. When was the last time you heard somebody say their next family vacation will be Dallas, Texas?
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and Alcatraz Island; Chicago has the Sears Tower, Millennium Park and Wrigley Field; and New York City has the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. Yes, Dallas has legendary sports teams, a TV show named after it and even an infamous presidential assassination. But, what about landmarks and destinations? Let’s see, we have Reunion Tower – which is pretty distinctive and cool – but, until recently, not much else to our skyline.
Dallas is improving.
This year more updates have come to Dallas. We’ve gotten 3 new and really distinctive changes that are worth mentioning.
The first, most obvious, is the newest edition to our skyline – The Margaret Hunt Hill suspension bridge. Sure, it’s no Golden Gate, but it’s ours and it’s adding to our city’s visual identity.
Then next is the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science which is located in the trendy Victory Park area. It’s an odd, new building that might be trying too hard to be unique, but I’m starting to like it. My only regret is that the museum is moved from it’s old location in Fair Park - which we seem to be abandoning. Fair Park should be embraced and revitalized.
The last and most exciting change is Klyde Warren Park. What I find amazing about this park is that the city built it above a highway. They’ve taken some space that was only available to speeding cars and turned it into amazing green space that is sure to be a great destination.
I’ve been cycling off and on for almost all my life, more off than on. In early 2008, my car club (I love the irony) started a “Biggest Loser” contest. Since I was the biggest and heaviest that I’ve ever been, I decided to join the challenge, eat healthier and start exercising. I started cycling more often, and really liked it.
I actually won that biggest loser contest (even though I could still lose a few pounds). What I find funny is that you never know how the choices you make – like a silly contest – will effect your life and where it will take you. I’ve become so passionate about cycling that I’ve started commuting by bike. I also advocate cycling, run a couple of bike blogs and now, I’ve decided to teach.
A few weeks ago, I took and successfully completed the League of American Bicyclists‘ League Cycling Instructor Seminar and become a League Cycling Instructor. I am LCI #3760 and I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment. I’ll try to do a writeup about the course later on.
My goal, with the help of some friends, is to bring more education to my area to help elevate my city, Richardson, Texas to a more bike friendly status. To be continued.
Last weekend was the Texas Custom Bicycle Show, held at Club Dada in Deep Ellum. We stopped by for a quick look, but ended up staying a bit longer. After seeing so many beautiful bikes and meeting the really nice community of local builders, I couldn’t help but leave the show wishing I had the means to have one built for myself. Some day.
There are two problems for me if I could ever afford one: Which builder would I uses (they were all so amazing) and what color would I have it painted?
Here are some pics from the show. Click here to see the rest.