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Events Calendar

Tue, Sep 2 - Tue, Sep 30
8301 Furness Dr, Austin, TX 78753, USA
Bike to Hart Elementary (Austin)

Fri, Sep 19
Dallas, TX
PARK(ing) Day Dallas

Fri, Sep 19 - Sun, Sep 21
Prude Ranch, 209 Texas 118, Fort Davis, TX, United States
Fort Davis Cyclefest

Sun, Sep 21 3:00pm - 6:00pm
1902 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
BikeTexas Annual Membership Meeting

Sat, Sep 27

National Public Lands Day

Safety & Education

SafeCyclist Training

Get certified to teach the SafeCyclist Curriculum 

Educational Resources

 Resources for teachers and community members

SRTS Event Handbook

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News / Blog Front Page News

BikeNews Front Page

Brownsville Wins Culture of Health Prize

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:52

brownsville texas cyclobia nights bicyclesThe City of Brownsville was recently awarded a Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in recognition of the city's hard work to make public health a priority.

Brownsville's work toward better health began when the city received distressing news about the high levels of overweight, obesity, and diabetes in Brownsville. City officials decided it was time to make a change for the better, both for Brownsville's present and for its future.

Today, Brownsville has a Bicycle and Trails Master Plan. It has the Belden Trail. It holds regular CycloBia events, designed to bring people out into a safe, car-free, fun environment for physical activity. And the city is committed to healthy lifestyles for all.

Congratulations on your well-deserved win, Brownsville! Read more about the Culture of Health Prize and Brownsville here.

 

Back to School: 6 Steps to Get Ready to Ride

Friday, 08 August 2014 10:44

Stacks of notebooks, backpacks on display, and pencils waiting to be sharpened can only mean one thing: It's time to head back to school! Whether you're 5 or 25, if you're headed back to the land of learning, it's time to be sure your bike is ready to roll with you. 

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."

 

walk to school biketexas bicycle education

So, time to get everybody ready to roll!

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?

International Walk to School Day is October 8! Go to the Texas page on the Walk to School Day site to find an event near you or to register your event. Planning a bike or walk to school day event? 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.

 

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.

 

And don't forget about the BikeTexas KidsKup!

If your kids love to ride their bikes and are ready for a new challenge, it may be time to try mountain biking! BikeTexas KidsKup events are held in conjunction with TMBRA races in the spring and fall

Check out the KidsKup schedule here for event dates and to pre-register your child(ren) to save time on the day of the event. Be sure to join the BikeTexas mailing list so you get a reminder when KidsKup will be in your area.

 

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

 

Five Bicycle Reads for Book Lovers' Day

bicycle books biketexasAugust 9 is Book Lovers' Day! For your reading enjoyment, we’ve put together a handful of some bicycle-related books for you to kick back with after you’ve finished your weekend ride. (If we left off your favorite, that just means our resident book lover hasn’t read it yet!)

All links are to the book pages on Amazon. If you decided to purchase through Amazon, please log into smile.amazon.com and choose BikeTexas (Texas Bicycle Coalition) as your beneficiary. Get a good book and support bicycle advocacy!

Because I Could Not Stop My Bike and Other Poems, by Karen Jo Shapiro & Matt Faulkner

Definitely for the kids, but if you’re an adult who loves famous poems, it’s good for a giggle or two. Be warned that only one poem is actually about a bike.

 The Bikeable Church, by Sean Benesh

Wish your church were more bike-friendly? Get ideas here.

City Cycling, by John Pucher & Ralph Buehler

More research-oriented, this book is full of key information to take to your city officials. Great reference for advocates. Dr. Pucher was the speaker at our Shifting Gears Lecture Series during the 2013 legislative session.

 Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, by Mia Burk

Ride along with Portland’s former bicycle coordinator as she recounts the journey to make Portland one of the best bicycling cities in the U.S.

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom, by Sue Macy 

A short, easy read about the role the bicycle played in the women’s suffrage movement. This book is a good one for kids, too. Update on Aug 19: August 18 was the 94th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. This book is especially appropriate this week!

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but we hope it’s enough to get you reading and rolling through the weekend!

 

BikeTexas Annual Bike Giveaway: 2014

2015 trek fx biketexas bike giveawayEvery year, BikeTexas gives one lucky member a new bike. Is 2014 your lucky year?

You love riding your bike in Texas. So do we.

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.

To show our appreciation to the members who make our work possible, we're giving away a 2015 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 1 and September 20 to enter the drawing. The winner will be drawn at our Annual Membership Meeting on September 21.

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.

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.

 
 

CycloBia Nights: Lighting Up Downtown Brownsville

Brownsville lit up the night once again on June 6 with the most recent CycloBia Nights event, an Open Streets initiative that draws residents in Brownsville and the surrounding communities downtown for an evening to play in the streets that are temporarily closed to motor vehicles. CycloBia Brownsville began in November of 2012 and has hosted several successful events in the past 18 months.

biketexas cyclobia nights brownsville texasBikeTexas provided free bike rentals once again to attendees without their own bikes. As usual, the bike rentals were wildly popular, so much so that we had to put a time limit on the rentals to be sure everyone got a chance to ride a bike! We rented our bikes out to over 300 of the hundreds of people who attended CycloBia Nights.

The Brownsville Herald reports that in addition to CycloBia being good for exercise and a fun family night out, it's also a boon for local businesses-- all great reasons for Brownsville to continue their excellent initiative in getting residents out and enjoying their city.

The next CycloBia event is scheduled for August 22.

 
 

Support Bicycle Education in Texas with Amazon Smile!

Online shopping just got a lot more interesting: for every purchase you make on Amazon Smile, you can support bicycle education in Texas!

biketexas amazon smileIt's simple: Just go to smile.amazon.com and choose your charity. We're listed under "Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund," and that's what will pop up if you search for BikeTexas. Fill up your shopping cart, and once you check out, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to bicycle education. Just by ordering at smile.amazon.com, you can make sure more Texas kids learn how to use hand signals, follow traffic laws, and ride their bikes safely in their communities.

Good news for those who use Chrome as their browser-- you can even install an Amazon Smile button so you never forget what page to go to when you place an order. Start shopping today to make sure the next generation of Texans are skilled at riding a bike!

 
 

Tour de Cure at the Texas Motor Speedway

biketexas booth tour de cureBikeTexas’ first trip to Texas Motor Speedway and the North Texas Tour de Cure would not be a disappointment! The arrival to the speedway was somewhat intimidating, as there is what seemed like a thousand acres of parking lots and not much signage to direct you to the infield where we would set up our booth. But with a little determined driving we located the entrance to the infield and found where we would have our booth. When told where it would be our first thought was “Oh no, right at the back,” but this turned out to be the starting point for all of the rides plus the announcers stage was next to our booth--perfect spot to be in. The area was open to vendor and booth set up the afternoon before the ride, so the booth was set up and ready to go early the next morning. The ride was well attended and the goal of the Tour de Cure is fund raising. It seemed they were successful in number of participants and amount of money raised.

The ride was kicked off by the singing of the National Anthem by a middle school young lady, who is also living with diabetes. After the National Anthem one of the youngest attendees was asked a few questions about her life with diabetes and then the first wave of riders was off. This was the 100 mile ride, the remaining groups would start at intervals according to their distance to ride. At the start of each wave of riders the young lady would again sing the National Anthem and the riders would start off. This continued throughout the morning until the last riders were called to the start line.

biketexas tour de cure texas motor speedwayThe last group, the one we were in, rode around the Race Track at Texas Motor Speedway, and no, we weren't as fast as the race cars that normally race around the track. But it was exciting to know we were riding where just a short time before cars were circling the track at almost 200 mph. So our 15 to 20 mph seemed very slow in comparison. But the enthusiasm of the riders was just as high as if they were traveling along at the speed of a race car. To be able to ride along beside the youngest rider there and hear her almost begging her mom to let her ride up on the high banks of the corners. Then at the end of the ride to see her and the oldest rider standing hand in hand talking about the ride and the challenge of living with diabetes. When asked what this ride stood for in her mind she was quick to answer, “That all of these people riding today want a cure for diabetes as bad as I do!" The ride raised in the neighborhood of $500,000 to go toward research for a cure for diabetes.

This was a well ran ride for a great cause and BikeTexas was glad to be a small part of it and to be able to contact as many people as we did to give each one just a little bit of information as to how to make cycling better all across Texas for everyone.

 
 

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