Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Texas

Watch Out For Road Hazards

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Watch Out

 

I saw this on Alma Road in Plano, Texas, the city that neighbors mine. I’m not sure if this was painted by the city or by a concerned citizen, but it definitely caught my eye. Unfortunately, with it’s placement right next to the actual hazard, so it’s too late to do anything to avoid it.

Perhaps the city of Plano will fix this road soon, because it’s one of the best routes for cyclists into town.

Written by dickdavid

July 9, 2014 at 5:49 am

New Bike Lanes Along Collins Boulevard – Richardson, Texas

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Collins Bike Lane

Heading East From Alma Road

Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in my city: Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, right into my neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.

I got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:

This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.

As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.

With these new Bike Lanes as well as the recent extension of the DART Central Trail, it’s really great to see the Richardson Bike and Pedestrian Plan actually getting built out.

From a personal perspective, I ride down this part of Collins, almost every time I ride. The traffic is usually very light and having it three lanes in each direction, made it very accessible for me – even without bike lanes. My first thought was that these bike lanes might be overkill for this road. I was completely wrong.

First, having these bike lanes opens this section of Collins Boulevard for many, less confident, cyclists who would never attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail. Also, it wasn’t until I actually rode the bike lanes, before I realized how much more relaxed I am riding down Collins. This has become a great upgrade to my commute.

Collins Bike Lane

Heading West From Plano Road

As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.

RichardsonBikeLanes_early2014

 

Update: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible, now.

Written by dickdavid

June 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

Pics From The 2014 Richardson WildRide!

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Ride Out

This is my fifth year to participate in Methodist Health System’s WildRide! Against Cancer. Unlike last year, when I rode the 64 mile route with my buddy and barely made it, I opted to go easy and just do the 40 mile route (Well, with the new starting point this year, it was only 38 miles). The day was beautiful and the wind a little forgiving, which made this year’s rally one of the better ones for me.

Like with every WildRide, I keep promising myself that I’m going to get a new bike that’s lighter and not so mechanically challenged. Instead, I keep riding the only geared bike that I own – my 21-year old DiamondBack Apex mountain bike that’s been converted to a commuter. It’s heavy, the wheels wobble and the original drivetrain is showing it’s age. But, like the previous 4 WildRides and dozens of commutes to work, it gets me to where I need to go – even if I have to work a little harder.

Pre-Ride

As I stated earlier, this year’s rally started at a new location. It was still close to my house, so I opted to ride my bike the 4 miles to the rally. The new staging area was nice, but didn’t seem as well organized. I’m sure it’s just growing pains and getting used to the new place.

The starting lineup is usually much longer, giving room to all the cyclists who are planning on riding the 64 mile route – which is probably 75 percent, leaving the remaining lineup space for the 40 and 16 mile group. This year, it seemed to be the reverse, which left about 25 percent of the space for the lead group and a lot more for the rest. This forced many cyclists to cram together at the front, some waiting on the sidewalk and on the road median. Quite frankly, the rally always starts out slow for everybody, so it doesn’t really matter where you start.

Lineup

Lineup

Lineup

Other than the awkward, overly-crowded start, the rally was really nice. The 40 (I mean 38) mile route was mostly the same with the typical rest stops, and riding over the Lavon Lake dam is always spectacular. Since I rode solo, this year’s ride was a bit lonely. Also, even though it wasn’t going to be as hard as last year’s 64 mile route, I think I had underestimated this year’s ride. I had forgotten that the 38 mile route was still a challenge for me, and it caught my legs off guard for the last few miles. I completed the route, but that 4 mile ride back to my house was miserable.

Here are a few pics of this year’s rally. Click here to see the entire set.

Pre-Ride

Lineup

Start

Ride Out

Ride Out

Ride Out

Ride Out

Rest Point At The Dam

Ride Back

Written by dickdavid

May 23, 2014 at 5:56 am

My Neighborhood Gets Safe Routes To School

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Lone Mongoose on Bike Rack

A few years back, my city was awarded federal funding through a Safe Routes to School grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for two schools in Richardson: Richland Elementary and Yale Elementary. Yale Elementary happens to be part of my neighborhood.

Safe Routes To School In Richardson

It’s finally getting implemented and is scheduled to be complete next month. According to the SRTS plan (pdf), we will be getting:
• Barrier-free curb ramps
• Sidewalks (repairs and missing links)
• School crosswalk and signage upgrades
• Bike lanes
• Bike routes (I’m not sure what they mean by this)

They are already working on the sidewalks and barrier-free curb ramps in my neighborhood, Yale Park. It’ll also be nice to get the bike lanes, which will help calm the car traffic through the neighborhood streets, create more awareness for bicycling and encourage more people to ride. The new lanes through my neighborhood will start to connect the bike lanes in the Duck Creek neighborhood, just south of us, to the bike lanes on Collins Blvd, a few miles to the west. There will still be a gap on Collins.

ADA Corners

The original information about our Safe Routes To School grant had mentioned bike racks for the schools, but they aren’t on the current proposal (pdf). That either means there wasn’t enough funds or ‘Bike routes’ listed above is a typo, and we are still getting them.

I’m glad that I live in a city that works hard to get grants like this. This is a big win for Richardson and I hope to see more developments that improve safety and encourage more active transportation.

Written by dickdavid

April 4, 2014 at 5:12 am

Riding Bikes On The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge In Dallas

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Closed For The Event

Here is the bridge, right after the running event, but right before were setting up the tents.

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 MartMercy 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.

BikeDFW Tent

Here is Warren at the BikeDFW Tent.

BikeTexas on the MHH Bridge

The BikeTexas Tent

BikeTexas Bike Rodeo

BikeTexas hosted some great activities for the kids.

Under The Bridge Vendors

Some of the best artisans and vendors from north Texas were here.

Ready For A Group Ride

BikeTexas hosted a Beer & Bike Swarm at Four Corners Brewing Company just down the street.

Written by dickdavid

March 18, 2014 at 5:27 am

Thanks For Trying, But This Is A Bike Parking Fail

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Thanks For Trying, But - Bike Parking Fail

Believe me, I am completely grateful when anybody puts up racks for bike parking in front of their business. I appreciate it even more when it’s a major chain that happens to be a gasoline station – primarily catering to car drivers.

However, I think that the people who installed these racks must not ride bikes with handlebars.  Sure, with some careful contorting of your bike, these are somewhat functional. I just feel that pulling them away from the wall, even just a few more inches, would have made much more sense.

It’s a start. I guess I shouldn’t complain. Right?

Written by dickdavid

March 11, 2014 at 5:52 am

Recap – Traffic Skills 101 Class In Allen, Texas

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Last weekend I got to help teach another Traffic Skill 101 class, at the Allen Community Outreach center, in Allen, Texas. It was a good group of about a dozen students, mixed in experience and skill levels. We also had some graduates of the course, visit and observe, in preparation to taking their own LCI class next month.

I hope to see more of these classes open up this year and get more cyclists on the right track to becoming better and safer riders. It’s also great that students are striving to become instructors. Below, are some pics from the class. You can also find the entire set here.

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Warren Providing Some Instructions

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 20144850_sm

Quick Stop Drill

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

More Quick Stop

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Rock Dodge Drill

IMG_4883LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014_sm

Betsy Give Instructions

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Road Course. We got To do one-on-one instruction.

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Lunch

LAB - Traffic Skills 101 - Allen, Texas 2014

Heading Back. Watching Our Door Zones.

Written by dickdavid

January 22, 2014 at 7:07 am

Meet The Clyde: the new truck in Texas!

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Cargo bikes – holding true to the notion that “Everything is Bigger in Texas”. Why not our bikes as well? Here’s a repost of a great blog article from the Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles site.
 
Custom made head badge

Stylized, custom made head badge

Move over Silverado and F-150, there’s a new truck in Texas, and his name is The Clyde!

He’s a work horse with a truck style box to quickly haul heavy cargo anywhere it’s needed. Railings offer a quick and easy way to tightly secure your important items for the journey. Open air conditioning and a comfortable saddle, make any work day seem a breeze! Also, a custom made head badge gives it a great finishing touch.

Furthermore, the bicycle isn’t left hanging without great components under the hood.

Sturmey Archer 8spd internal hub with drum brake on all bicycles

Sturmey Archer 8spd internal hub with drum brake on all models

It’s rear Sturmey Archer, 8 speed, internal gearing engine can take on any hill, and a classic internal drum break helps to slow you down with ease. This steed provides the durability and ease-of-use you want with any front loader.

Furthermore, alloy rims and spokes, along with a strong, durable frame provide the strength to load up your Clyde for a full days work!

The Clyde offers pure hauling ability with the Dutch front loading experience you’re seeking in a great cargo bicycle! To start your new build, submit an order inquiry today!

Written by dickdavid

December 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Wow! I Actually Won Something

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No, it wasn’t a race.

Local bike shop, Richardson Bike Mart, known for it’s connection to the local cycling community, had their first ‘Coffee Crawl‘ last month. Having one of the largest inventories of road, race and mountain bikes in the area, their stores appear to cater to more experience riders, athletes and aspiring racers. However, Richardson Bike Mart hasn’t forgotten the fun side of bicycling and makes efforts to encourage other cyclists to get out and ride. The Richardson Bike Mart Coffee Crawl is the perfect example of that.

The idea was to get us cyclists out on our own schedules and pace, to explore the city - something I totally embrace with Suburban Assault - and visit local coffee shops or breakfast destinations. We had the entire month of November to accomplish as many rides as possible, taking photos at each stop.

Since I love coffee and riding, I fully embraced this challenge – riding and drinking coffee as often as I could. It totally paid off, because I was the winner of the very generous $100 gift certificate from Richardson Bike Mart. Believe me, I’m going to put it to some good use.

Thank you, Richardson Bike Mart!

Here are some of my pics from my coffee crawl rides:

Starbucks - Richardson, TX

Cafe Brazil - Richardson, TX

Panera Bread

Starbucks at Buckingham and Jupiter

Starbucks at Jupiter and Shiloh Roads

Starbucks Campbell at Central

Pearl Cup

DO-NUTS

Einstein Bros

Written by dickdavid

December 17, 2013 at 7:32 am

Black Friday Ride #5 Recap and Pics

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Meeting At The Alamo

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:

Rolling In Richardson

Break Time

Extended Bike Rack

Heading Back

Written by dickdavid

December 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

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