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Learn and Roll: Back to School 2016

Teachers, students, and parents are already in the swing of a new school year. How's it going so far? Is your bicycle rolling with you to class?

brain slide

Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.

In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."

 

So, time to get everybody ready to roll!

Girls walking to school

1. Learn how to do the ABC Quick Check before every ride.

2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)

3. Get a refresher on the rules of the road with the Texas Bicycle Laws Activity Cards. (PDF download)

4. When's the last time you changed a flat tire? Find step-by-step instructions here. (PDF download)

5. Find more fun ways to learn about biking and walking on the BikeTexas Educational Resources page here.

6. Does your bike need a tuneup? Click here to check out the BikeTexas bike shop members in your area.

 

Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?

  1. bike lightsInternational Walk to School Day is October 5! Check out the interactive map on the Walk to School Day site to find an event near you or to register your event.
  2. Check out the Bike/Walk to School Day chapter in the BikeTexas Event Handbook for tips to make everything run smoothly. Start with the Team Leader Checklist (PDF download) to get you well on your way.
  3. Order activity books and lights from BikePedEd to make sure you have plenty of fun giveaway items on hand. Pass this info on to your school district, too, so that they have plenty of bike and walk safety items to hand out all year long.

 

Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?

Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.

You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.

 

Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!

 

Special Membership Premiums for Hotter'n Hell Weekend!

jersey tshirt hhh 2016 promo

You've already heard the great news-- we're giving away a bike! Many thanks to those who already responded and are making Texas a great place to ride a bike. BikeTexas members are the best!

 

Maybe you haven't entered yet. That's okay--there's no better time than Hotter'n Hell weekend to join BikeTexas and enter to win a 2017 Trek 7.2 FX bike-- Trek's most popular model, generously donated by Trek & Texas Trek dealers.

 

How to enter? Become a member today or renew your annual membership to help make Texas a great state for biking and walking. Sustaining monthly members are automatically entered into the drawing.Questions? See our FAQ here.

 

But that's not all! In honor of the Hotter'n Hell Hundred this weekend, we're offering special premiums to anyone who joins now, renews their annual membership, or upgrades their monthly membership-- and you don't have to be at HH100 to take advantage of these specials! Join or upgrade before 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 28 and get...

 

A free BikeTexas hat with a $5/month membership

A free "I Bike TX" t-shirt with a $10/month membership

Your choice of a t-shirt or jersey PLUS a free hat with a $20/month membership 

 

Don't miss out! The winner of the bike will be drawn at the BikeTexas Annual Membership Meeting on September 25, but these special premiums are available NOW!

 

Come See Us at Hotter'n Hell 2016

biketexas staff hotter-n-hellFor over a decade, BikeTexas staff have made the six-hour trip from our home base in Austin to Wichita Falls to attend the largest cycling event in our great state: the Hotter'N Hell 100. Now in its 35th year, the event routinely draws nearly 15,000 riders. And for nearly as long as we've been going there, HH100 has been a BikeTexas Event Member, making a generous donation to bike advocacy efforts in Texas, as well as providing us with booth space to talk to Texans about getting involved through our bike giveaway and membership drive.

2016 is no different! If you're going to Hotter'N Hell, be sure to stop by our booth and say hello. HH100 is a great time to join BikeTexas or renew your annual membership, because we offer specials that are only available during HH100 weekend. (If you can't make the trip to Wichita Falls, not to worry-- you can take advantage of the specials from home, too.) Plus, joining or renewing during HH100 weekend means you're entered in the 2016 BikeTexas Annual Bike Giveaway-- a 2017 Trek 7.2 FX.

We're excited! See you at HH100 2016!

 

BikeTexas Annual Bike Giveaway 2016

Every year, BikeTexas gives one lucky member a new bike. Is 2016 your year?

BikeTexas is the only statewide organization dedicated to serving pedestrians and people who ride bikes all over the state. Your membership works for better laws, better safety, better education, and better funding for biking and walking at the local, state, and national levels. And we'd love to count you as one of our partners, too.

Trek 7-2 FXTo show our appreciation to the members who make our work possible, we're giving away a 2017 Trek 7.2 FX bike (pictured)-- Trek's most popular model!

How to enter? Become a member today or renew your annual membership to help make Texas a great state for biking and walking. You must join BikeTexas between August 18 to September 23 to enter the drawing. Edit: The deadline to enter is 1 PM, September 23. The winner will be drawn at our Annual Membership Meeting on September 25--all members are eligible to vote at the Annual Membership Meeting! Learn more about the Annual Membership Meeting and register to attend here.

As an extra thank you, Sustaining Monthly Members are automatically entered in the drawing. No need to do anything else; you're already making Texas a great place to bike and walk!

Giveaway bike generously donated by Trek.

 

FAQs about the Annual Bike Giveaway:

What if I am already a member of BikeTexas?
If you are already an annual member, you can renew early and your new year-to-year membership will still start the day after your current yearly membership expires.

What if I am a monthly member of BikeTexas?
BikeTexas monthly members will be entered in the drawing automatically! Your steady monthly contribution is a tremendous commitment that makes planning from year to year much easier and cost-effective for BikeTexas.

What if I am a Life Member?
Life Members are not automatically entered in the membership raffle. Life Members may choose a monthly or annual pledge equivalent to a recurring monthly or annual membership level to participate in the raffle.

Do I have to be present at the drawing to win?
No, although all members will be welcome to join the meeting either in person or online. More details coming soon.

How will I get the bike?
You will go to your favorite Texas Trek dealer to pick up your new bike.

Who is not eligible for the drawing?
BikeTexas staff, board members and immediate family are not eligible to win the bike.

 
 

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (July 1)

Friday, 01 July 2016 00:00

Looking for some weekend reading? Look no further than these links we thought were worth sharing this week: 

 

NewsByBikeFrom BikeTexas:

There's still time! Get your best bike stories in to us for inclusion in BikeTexas' 25th anniversary celebrations. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by Tuesday, June 5.

Elena Studier's Summer by Rail visit to Texas was fantastic! For more coverage of her visit, see The Rivard Report (San Antonio), the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Rambler (Dallas).

Austin's bond package, with $120 million set aside for active transportation, moves one step closer to being on the November ballot.

 

From around Texas:

"The City of El Paso wishes to become the least car-dependent city in the Southwest."

Vision Zero in Texas? Check out presentations from FHWA Texas Division, Austin, and San Antonio.  

A look at Houston's transit equity.

Austin joins Fort Worth as the two major Texas cities with sidewalk plans.

Feedback on San Antonio's Brackenridge Park Master Plan: needs more focus on bike/ped access.

New opposition to high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston.

Take the Texas Sunset Commission survey about TxDOT.

The Houston Bike Plan takes another step forward.

Eastside San Antonio fought back against non-walkable street plans.

 

From elsewhere:

Streetsblog takes on highway builders' tactics.

You've heard of Walk Score and Bike Score-- now check out Opportunity Score.

 

Have a great holiday weekend!

 
 

Summer By Rail Visits Texas as Part of Nationwide Tour

Monday, 27 June 2016 00:00

Summer by Rail CollageElena Studier had a plan for her summer internship: using Amtrak's expanded roll-on bike service, she would travel the US by bike and rail. No cross-country trip can be complete without a stop in the Lone Star State, and we were delighted to show off four of Texas' cities during her quick weekend here: showcasing the great bike and train travel available in our home state, and letting folks know about Amtrak's newly expanded service.

Elena's Texas tour kicked off in San Antonio in the wee hours on July 11. Those joining Elena on the ride through the city met at Sunset Station, where riders had the opportunity to try out electric bikes (with one taker opting for an e-bike rather than his own for this ride). Along for the ride were representatives from the City of San Antonio and Mayor Taylor's office, local advocates, and BikeTexas member Robert Rivard of the Rivard Report. Of course, no visit to San Antonio is complete without seeing the Missions and the Riverwalk, and that was our route, with plenty of other sights the city has to offer along the way.

Then it was on to Austin, with a ride around Lady Bird Lake and then through the entertainment district (taking advantage of the protected bike lanes downtown) en route to Plaza Saltillo station. Robert Borowski of Capital Metro joined us for a trip up the Red Line to grab some lunch and chat with Elena about the future of rail in Austin and the region.

The whirl of a tour continued on Saturday in Fort Worth, where BikeTexas Board Member Doug Black took over ride leader duties to show us around his city. We met Elena and Sean (of the National Association of Railroad Passengers) at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center and rode through Fort Worth's downtown and along the Trinity Trail, including a stop at the Phyllis J. Tilley Bridge, and through the Magnolia Avenue Restaurant Row. 

Our great weekend with Elena came to a close on Sunday in Dallas. We met BikeTexas member and determined ride leader Zac Ford at the Dallas Union Station (Amtrak). Zac didn't let a broken arm stop him from leading Elena and the rest of us through the downtown district and on to the Katy Trail and the White Rock Lake Trail via DART. 

Elena continues her journey through the U.S., and you can see the sights and read about her experiences on her blog.

 
 

BikeTexas Supports Austin's Bond Package

 
Austin City Council Moves Forward with the Largest Transportation Bond Proposal in the City's History
 
BikeTexas is going to work hard to make it happen in November.
 

Austin City Council worked into the wee hours Friday morning before passing, on an 8-3 vote, the largest transportation bond package in the city’s history. $120 million of the proposed $720 million is designated towards active transportation in Austin--urban trails, protected bike lanes, sidewalks, and Safe Routes to School. BikeTexas is proud to stand with Mayor Adler and support this bond proposal.

BikeTexas has been meeting with council members to discuss the November bond election since September 2015. Over the past nine months, we've urged the mayor and city council to pass a balanced package that includes significant resources for active transportation, including Complete Streets.

After compromise from all sides, the inclusive package will now go to City staff for development of bond language. In August, the City Council will determine whether a bond referendum will go before the voters in November. This plan is poised to make a transformational change for active transportation in Austin. 

To pass such an ambitious bond in November's election, it will be crucial for all sides to come together. This bond has inspired vigorous discussion and community input, and we look forward to working shoulder-to shoulder with all segments of Austin’s community to make these bonds a reality in November.

Many folks worked hard on this bond package, and we offer special thanks to Mayor Adler for his strategic thinking on Austin's transportation future. Council Member Ann Kitchen's wisdom and commitment to the best interest of her district and the city of Austin as a whole have been invaluable in getting this bond package passed by the city council. Additionally, the Mayor’s and Council Member’s staffs worked tirelessly to craft as inclusive a package as possible for Austin's current and future transportation needs.

BikeTexas is particularly proud of our work and our supporters’ work in this effort. We’ve seen dramatic improvement in active transportation funding over any previous bond election and over objections raised early in the process by those who are less committed to an Austin that supports and encourages active transportation. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting this bond passed in November.

BikeTexas will be on the lookout for federal or state grant opportunities so the City of Austin can leverage these local active transportation bonds to build out the bicycle and sidewalk master plans.

 
BikeTexas' Leslie Luciano addresses the Austin City Council late Thursday night.
 
 

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