We’ve been doing the Black Friday Ride for 8 years. Each time we learn something new, to try and improve upon the previous years. This year, was one of the best group rides that we’ve done, so far. It was the perfect combination of great weather, great planning, great refreshments and—most of all—great riders.
This year’s route was planned by active BFR member Howard and his wife Rita. It was nice and flat, and stayed on the east side of Richardson. In past years, we tried to accommodate the group by splitting the ride onto both sides of town—crossing Central, a major interstate highway through town. We decided to avoid that and start alternating these rides, doing the east side this year and west side next. This kept the 8.5 mile loop safe and easy for all riders.
We also decided to start and end the ride at Yale Park, one of Richardson’s local public spaces. This allowed us to hang out and visit, brew some coffee and snack on some pizza. A nearby playground was great for the kids of all ages. The park allowed us to mingle without interrupting the traffic and crowds of a local business parking lot, our typical starting point.
The ride took us to fellow BFR member, Jenny’s house, where we enjoyed some nice shade, a warm fire pit and some great refreshments in her back yard. The 5 minute pit stop turned into a 20-30 minute social gathering. It was great to enjoy the company of my fellow riders.
There were a few other surprising highlights from the ride:
– We truly had one of the broadest age range of any group ride – all practicing great ride etiquette.
– Richardson drivers were super friendly, going out of their way to accommodate our larger, relatively not-so-fast, group. It was pleasant to wave a ‘thank you’ and get a genuine smile and wave back.
– Although some of the group fell behind, several folks stepped up to make sure we kept together – waiting at corners and hitting the ‘walk’ button at intersections.
THIS is the stuff that makes riding welcoming for all.
Here are some pics from the ride. Click here to see the whole set.
Well, it happened. I got to 50 years. Although I’m not one for big celebrations, I do recognize that it was a significant milestone. To help me recognize this, I decided to do a 50 mile ride.
My original plan was to take part in Pondero’s Eighth Annual Fall Finale Fifty-ish Mile Country Path Ramble. This would have happened, but my mother came to town to help celebrate my birthday. She doesn’t get up here as much and I’ve come to understand, through a coworker’s unexpected parental loss, I cannot to take these visits for granted.
The all-day Ramble was out.
I still wanted to recognize my milestone with a significant ride, so I decided to just do a quick ride on the same morning. Instead of an all-day tour, my ride took a few hours and I was finished by 10:30am. It wasn’t nearly as fun as the Ramble, but mission accomplished.
I ended up riding through 7 cities—Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Carrollton, Addison, Farmer’s Branch and Dallas—to accomplish my goal. It wasn’t a nice, open-country ride, but it had it’s own significance.
Perhaps, I will ride the Ramble next year.
As my 50th birthday approaches, I’ve been wanting to do some sort of ‘big’ ride. My original plan was to do some sort of solo S24O (Sub-24 hour Overnight) camping trip, but I never got prepared. My backup plan was to just do a 50 mile loop from my house. Somehow, that just seemed like another weekend ride – just longer.
Then I saw this post from some friends on Facebook. It’s the Eighth Annual Fall Finale Fifty-ish Mile Country Path Ramble, which is the perfect distance on the exact day I was going to ride. I’ve followed Chris (aka Pondero) for some time, thinking that I would like to participate in one of his rambles some day. I can’t think of a better time than my 50th.
I’ve been bike commuting for years. Riding to work is particularly challenging because of all the barriers—which include time (or the lack of it), Texas heat and heavy car traffic. The car traffic, especially around my office building at rush hour, is probably the biggest of those obstacles. There are no bike friendly routes in this area, so most folks don’t even bother.
You could imagine my surprise when I saw this bike parked outside of my building, yesterday. Finally, another person in my building is bike commuting. The shift is happening and the momentum—although really, really slow—is starting to move towards bicycling.
This starts to raise another question: why aren’t there any safe and secure bike parking facilities at my building? Even though I’ve always brought my bike inside, I’m upset with myself for not noticing before. Looks like I need to start a campaign to change that. I’ll be reaching out to the owners of IBP Business Park, to see if they can add proper bike parking racks in their existing buildings, and include them on future developments.
Life gets in the way of life.
The irony of my situation is that this blog has led me to be more active in my local bike community. Being more active has led me to be more involved. Being more involved eventually led me to not having enough time to post to this blog.
Basically, 2016 will mostly be a wash with posts. I am making a commitment, to myself, to start posting again.
Let’s start with something fun. A few years ago, I thought it would be funny to ‘Photoshop’ my head/face onto old bicycle images and artifacts, and post them as my Facebook profile pictures. I am currently revisiting them.
I decided to pull them all together and share them here. For reference, I’ve composited them with the original shot. I’m such a tool.
It’s Back! Friday, May 20, 2016 is The League of American Cyclists‘ 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.
Based on our great success in Richardson 4 years ago (which grew to 5 stations around Dallas 3 years ago, and continues to grow every year) BikeDFW, DART and local bike groups have partnered up to host another 8 Bike Commuter Energizer Stations around the Dallas/Fort Worth area:
• ROWLETT – DART Downtown Rowlett Station
• DALLAS – DART St. Paul Station
• OAK CLIFF – DART Oakenwald Street Car Stop
• RICHARDSON – DART Arapaho Center Station
• PLANO – DART Downtown Plano Station
• IRVING – TRE South Irving/Heritage Crossing station
• FARMERS BRANCH – DART Farmers Branch Station
• ADDISON – DART Addison Transfer Station
DATE: Friday, May 20, 2016
TIME: 7:00-9:00 am
We will be providing snacks, beverages and FREE bicycle safety checks at most stations.
Let us know you are coming on our Facebook Event Page.
First let me say, Happy New Year. I hope your 2016 is full of good health, happiness and many good rides.
When your year has been as busy as mine, all you have to do is blink and then it’s all over. Here is a quick recap of some of the highlights. As I’ve posted already, there were some big bike events for me this year, this included going to Cyclists in Suits, taking part in a trail cleanup day, my city was awarded a Bronze Bike Friendly Community Status and we hosted our annual Bike To Work Day Recharge Station. That was all before the summer.
In addition to helping out with Bike To Work Day, my son and I volunteered to help out at one of the stations at the Mesquite charity ride. It was nice to give back, after being supported on many Richardson Wild Rides.
During the summer, we took our first family vacation in 5 years – a much needed break. This time, we went to New Orleans – close enough to drive, but far enough to feel like we went somewhere.
Once we were back much of my free time was spent actually riding and bike commuting. I even managed to get some challenging grocery rides in.
All summer long, we were able to teach a few Adult Learn To Ride classes. Those are always rewarding.
This year’s Black Friday Ride got rained out. I’m still looking for a makeup date. We did have a great time at the Richardson Christmas Parade.
It looks like I rode more this year, than I have in previous years. I reached a new goal of 2,400 miles (riding and walking).
Finally, to cap off my year, my wife talked me into getting a new SUV. Let me introduce you to my Kona Ute, Melba Davis.