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Dero Dream Bike Room Contest: BikeTexas and Green Building Alliance are Both Winners

dero dream room outdoor bike racks biketexasRemember that time BikeTexas won a contest for a new dream bike room, thanks to you? Today, we have an update:

 

Dero is proud to support the dream bike rooms of two nonprofits: BikeTexas opts for an outdoor “bike room” for events around the State of Texas, while Green Building Alliance will renovate its indoor bike room at its Pittsburgh office.

Minneapolis, MN – Dero is proud to support the dream bike rooms of two nonprofits: BikeTexas opts for an outdoor “bike room” for events around the State of Texas, while Green Building Alliance (GBA) will create its indoor bike room at its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office.

Earlier this year, BikeTexas and GBA entered the Dero Dream Bike Room Pinterest contest to win $7,500 in Dero products, plus $1,000 to decorate the winner’s dream bike room. In May 2014, BikeTexas was declared the winner via public online voting. While working on layouts and logistics, Dero and BikeTexas realized that an indoor bike room would not meet this bicycle advocacy organization’s needs. BikeTexas envisioned an outdoor “bike room” that would support its many events. Dero generously donated Dero Event Racks to BikeTexas, which will accommodate temporary bike parking for 400 bicycles.

“This will bring BikeTexas’ event bike parking capacity to 500, helping to welcome the hundreds of people on bikes who attend Texas festivals, like our inaugural Austin BikeFest this October 25,” said Robin Stallings, Executive Director of BikeTexas. “We’re so glad Dero was able to work with us to create our vision of a dream bike room to serve numerous communities around the state.”

As the runner-up to the Dero Dream Bike Room contest, Dero gave Green Building Alliance the opportunity to receive the original prize. Dero is happy to announce that GBA accepted and both will work together to design GBA’s dream bike room at its office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last month, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Green Building Alliance with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business award.

The timing works perfectly with GBA’s plan to expand its office later this year. We strive to continue to become even more bike-friendly and winning the Dero Dream Bike Room contest moves us in that direction,” declared Mike Schiller, CEO of Green Building Alliance.  “Furthermore, GBA hopes to inspire similar commitments to bike-friendliness from our neighbors in the building and across the greater Pittsburgh region,” says Schiller.

Read official Dero Dream Bike Room contest rules at www.dero.com/dreambikeroom

 

Election 2014: Important Dates to Remember

Last Updated on Monday, 03 November 2014 13:51

cyclists in suits 2013 Edit (Nov 3): Election Day is TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 4. Polls in Texas are open 7 AM - 7 PM. Find out what you need to know about your polling place, voter ID, and other questions at votetexas.gov. Make sure you vote-- Texas needs YOUR voice!

If you are already in line when the polls close at 7 PM, do not leave. By law, you WILL be allowed to vote as long as you are in line before the polls close.

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We’ve already seen plenty of action ahead of November’s general election, and the races are sure to get more heated the closer we get to Election Day on November 4. We urge you to be sure you are registered to vote and then cast your ballot for candidates who will support active transportation in your community. Many mayors and city council members, many state legislators, the governor, a U.S. Senate seat, and all U.S. Representative seats are on the ballot this year, along with many local bond initiatives. Stand up and be counted!

  • Monday, October 6: Last Day to Register to Vote
  • Monday, October 20: First Day of Early Voting
  • Friday, October 24: Last Day to Apply for a Ballot By Mail (application must be received by your county clerk on this date)
  • Friday, October 31: Last Day of Early Voting
  • Tuesday, November 4: Election Day. Polls open 7 AM to 7 PM in Texas.

See all these dates, find your polling place, and check out other election information on the Texas Secretary of State’s VoteTexas.gov page here

BikeTexas’ bylaws prohibit us from endorsing specific candidates, but m Many local bicycle advocacy organizations across the state have published or will publish their endorsements in local races. Check with your local advocacy group.

Elections in non-presidential election years (often called midterm elections) have a historically lower turnout than presidential election years. In the last two midterm elections, Texas had among the lowest turnouts in the nation: in 2010, 32.1% of eligible voters cast a ballot, a slight increase from 2006’s 30.9%. (See these numbers and more at the United States Election Project.)

Texas should not be silent: This Election Day, be sure you vote!

Edited October 17, 2014: At the September 2014 Board of Directors meeting, the bylaws were amended to allow BikeTexas to publish endorsements in specific races.

   

What Does That Mean? Dictionary Day for Bike Advocates

bike corral biketexasOctober 16, Noah Webster's birthday, is World Dictionary Day. What better time to kick back and take a look at some of the words that are bandied about by bicycle advocates and people who ride bikes?

 

Bike Corral: a set of bike racks protected by curbs or other barricades. Frequently installed over one on-street car parking spot.

 

Cycletrack: also known as a protected bike lane or a separated bike lane. A bicycle-only lane that has some separation from traffic beyond just a stripe of paint (e.g., bollards, planters, parked cars, a curb, etc.). Can be one-way or two-way.

 

Modal split: also called mode share, mode split, or modal share. The percentage of travelers using a particular mode of transportation. For example, in the 2010 American Community Survey that we used for the BikeTexas 2012 Benchmark Study, Denton had the highest bicycling modal split in Texas at 1.5%. San Angelo had the highest walking modal split: 6.9%.

 

cycletrack biketexasPracticable: Texas state law requires that people on bikes ride as far to the right as "practicable," and also lists exceptions. The dictionary definition is "able to be done or put into practice successfully." Therefore, to allow for road conditions, we recommend allowing about a three-foot cushion between your tires and the edge of the road as the most practicable place to be, so that you can dodge debris, potholes, or other adverse road conditions that may arise.

 

sharrow city workers

Road diet: Changing the lane configuration on a street to allow for bicycle and pedestrian facilities to be installed. A road diet may shrink the size of the lanes, say from 12 feet wide to 10 feet wide, or it may require removing a travel or parking lane. (Travel lanes removed in a road diet are often replaced by a center turn lane to allow traffic to continue to flow.)

 

SAG: Generally considered to mean "support and gear," but there is some disagreement as to the origin of the term. Whatever it means, it's the support vehicle you'll see on a bike ride that may have supplies, carry your gear, help you out if you have a flat, or carry you home if it's just not your day.

 

Sharrows: A combination of "shared lane" and "arrow." Usually represented by a bicycle icon with arrows above it. The sharrow's position in the lane usually indicates where the bicycle should be-- roll right over the top of it.

 

See more definitions at bicycling.com.

 

Photos, top to bottom: A new bike corral installed over one on-street parking space; a one-way cycletrack; city workers installing a sharrow.

See more cycletrack examples at biketexas.org/cycletracks

 
 

Member Spotlight: Lorn MacDougal

lorn macdougal with bike“When I walk, I miss the feeling of the wheels moving me through space.”

Lorn MacDougal—dancer/Pilates instructor, electric bike owner, Austin resident, and BikeTexas member—says she started riding a bike when she was a kid and never stopped. “I hope that parents will instill the skill and bravery in children to ride together as families so children grow up on their bikes.”

Lorn switched to an electric bike about three years ago to make it easier to get to all her teaching jobs. She and her husband share one car so they can save money for more fun things, like vacations. She’s ridden a bike in plenty of cities, including New York, London, and Amsterdam. “Fifty percent of our going to Amsterdam was so we could ride a bike for transportation,” she says.

Lorn supports BikeTexas because “we need all of the help we can get to get the message out to people that it is possible to bike in our car-centric country,” she says. “And BikeTexas working with TxDOT is an important function. We need TxDOT to see transportation as more than highways. If we can get more people on bikes it will make a dent in our traffic, at the same time as making two-wheeled transportation safer in numbers.”

In the ‘80s, Lorn and her husband Alain Le Razer were among the first artists to put film and dance together for the stage, touring internationally. Lorn and Alain continue to produce dance theater and films for Austin audiences.

“You don’t see many old ladies on bikes,” she says—Lorn is 65—“but the electric bike can help older people. It’s wonderful to see an older body that hasn’t exercised much really make progress. Even with an electric bike, you still get a cardio workout because you have to pedal. It’s a delicous way to move!”

Lorn likes the progress that has been made in Austin during her six years here to give people who walk or ride bikes dedicated space in our road network. But she also says there’s more work to do to make everyone be truly safe while riding, both elderly and young alike. “I’d love to see more schools benefit from buffered bike lanes like the ones on Bluebonnet Lane near Zilker Elementary,” she says. “Moms get stuck in cars all day when they could be taking their kids to school, lessons, and activites on bikes.”

 
 

Sponsor Spotlight: Capital Metro

BikeFest-Logo-Horiz

 


Capital Metro Bicycle CollageAustin's own public transportation provider, Capital Metro, is the presenting sponsor for Austin BikeFest 2014. A longtime supporter of active transportation and last-mile connections, Capital Metro was the first pubic transportation system in Texas to provide bicycle accommodation on buses in the mid-90s, leading the way for other systems across Texas to follow suit. When Capital Metro first started planning for the Red Line, they agreed early on for the need for bicycle accommodation on board and at stations.

Capital Metro is a leader in fighting traffic congestion in Austin, especially recommending that visitors and residents alike take the bus during festivals and other major events that pass through Austin year-round.

We're delighted to have Capital Metro on board as Austin BikeFest's presenting sponsor. Consider Capital Metro for your BikeFest transportation needs-- the 350 and the 17 pass right by Govalle Park, while the 300 and the 4 also pass close by. Plan your Capital Metro trip to BikeFest here.

Not sure how to use the bike rack on the bus? Now's your chance to learn! Captial Metro will have a bus handy at BikeFest so you can try it out and get comfortable using it.

 

Photos, clockwise from upper left: Opening the Red Line Trail in 2013, Capital Metro logo, opening the first MetroBike Shelter in 2012, a bus user loading a bike on a Capital Metro bike rack

 
 

Bike Ride at 78th Annual Texas NAACP Convention

NAACP-Framed-Photo-El-Paso2014 marks the fifth year of a bike ride at the Annual Convention of the NAACP Texas State Conference. This year’s conference was in El Paso, so three BikeTexas staff plus 75 bicycles headed out on a Wednesday morning to get to El Paso in plenty of time for the Saturday ride.

The ride is sponsored by Texas NAACP and Walmart, and this year we had the added bonus of having VeloPaso staff and volunteers lending a hand. VeloPaso’s Victor Cordero and Scott White joined BikeTexas for a pre-ride to assess the best route for Saturday.

naacp texas state conference bike ride 2014 biketexas-2

The day of the ride dawned, but we were up long before the sun as BikeTexas, VeloPaso, and Crazy Cat Cyclery were already hard at work getting bikes ready for ride participants. By 7 AM, 60 riders were checked in, equipped with bikes and helmets, and ready to go!

After our usual safety briefing, the group took off for a ride through El Paso and Ft Bliss, including part of the historic officers housing--some of these old homes are on the National Registry of Historic buildings, dating back as far as the late 1800s. 

naacp texas state conference bike ride 2014 biketexas

The route also took us by one of the small parks on base, which houses a replica of the old original Fort Bliss. There were several rooms in the Replica that were outfitted with furnishings from the early 1800s. There was a replica of the wood working shop, the leather shop, and the blacksmith shop. From there, we rode to the historic Parade Ground, and then off base and back to the hotel where the participants were treated to some great coffee and snack bars.

The ride went perfectly smoothly with no problems! All of the participants raved about the route and the great scenery. We’re already looking forward to returning for the sixth NAACP Texas State Conference bike ride in 2015!

 

 
 

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