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Register Now! Cyclists in Suits is March 30

The day we've been waiting for since 2013 is coming up fast-- Texas' Bike Lobby Day, Cyclists in Suits, will be Monday, March 30! Sign up here.

cyclists in suits 2013 biketexas

What's Cyclists in Suits about? We'll start the day talking about the bills in the lege that are important to people who ride bikes, with some coaching on how to talk to legislators and their staffs. Everybody gets bike pins and literature to hand out. Next, we'll break into teams to visit each legislative office. Everyone will have a chance to visit their own legislators and let them know that cycling issues matter in your district!

Why suits? We found out pretty early on in our work with the lege that elected officials respond better when we show up in their offices in professional attire, instead of wearing whatever their mental picture of a "cyclist" is. Wear comfortable shoes, though-- we'll be doing lots of walking through the day at the Capitol and your feet will thank you if you take good care of them!

Does a visit from a constituent matter? Yes! Check out this article about Iris Stagner's visit to the Capitol in 2009, which ultimately ended in her senator changing his stance on the Safe Passing bill. When elected officials hear from their constituents, especially an in-person visit, it makes a huge impact.

At the end of the day, we'll gather at the BikeTexas office for happy hour and to celebrate a day of great work. Still not sure? After the 2013 Cyclists in Suits, Paul Harris of Bedford said,

"You should come to Cyclists in Suits because it is a fulfilling experience to work with the legislators to improve safety in cycling and access to help provide more and better places to cycle. My wife, Lynne, and I brought our 16-year-old grandson with us for the second year. He had a real blast and is already talking about going back next time. If you have kids or grandkids who are mature enough to grasp what we are doing, you should bring them along to see the legislative process in action and help raise awareness of what we are doing with their peers."

Learn more and register to attend Cyclists in Suits 2015 here.

 

Photo: Cyclists in Suits attendees at the end of the day in 2013. What's missing from this picture? YOU!

See more photos from past Cyclists in Suits events:

2013 photos

2011 photos

2007 photos

 

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Jan 16)

Friday, 16 January 2015 00:00

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

 

Doss Elementary Bike Rodeo bicycle education biketexas

From around Texas:

A stat it's time for Texas to lose: We lead the nation in drunk driving deaths.  

They've been stealing bikes around Texas, but they finally got caught. And speaking of bike thieves, Bicycling Magazine has some steps for you to take to increase the chances of your bike coming home if it is stolen.

Houstonites are concerned about the low number of Safe Passing citations that have been issued since the law went into effect.

A man has been arrested following a hit-and-run in Texas City last week.

Sugar Land and Missouri City have plans to add hike & bike trails.

A boy in Fort Worth learned the hard way how important it is to always lock your bike-- but Fort Worth police got the bike back.

 

From elsewhere:

Monday, January 19, is a fee-free day at all National Parks.

Some cities are designing their streets for people.

This pair of studies are a bit old, but still worth sharing: Despite perception to the contrary, an Australian study found that 7% of people on bikes ran red lights while the rest did not. Meanwhile, a survey of drivers found that two-thirds reported regularly driving faster than the posted speed limit. h/t Moz Le on Google+.

Cargo bikes are catching on worldwide, including at UPS.

One Oregon mom lost her bike to theft, and used that moment to propel her children's school to an even bigger bicycling program.

A Portland startup is working on an affordable way for cities to get accurate bicycle counts.

A city in Florida is removing a road diet, but it's not all bad news.

Londoners who live near more greenery are prescribed fewer antidepressants.

 

Photo: Texas elementary school students learning about bike safety.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Throwback Thursday: January is here, with eyes that keenly glow

Join us on a look back at January at BikeTexas. Article title is a quote from American novelist Edgar Fawcett. (And also a teeny tiny shoutout to the BikeTexas logo, which has eyes in the bike wheels.)

 

advocate tbc newsletter 1995 biketexas

In 2006, BikeTexas celebrated with the Girl Scouts of Amarillo when they bought property for Scouts' use that included bicycle facilities.

Also in '06, we teamed up with four other local groups to encourage Austin City Council to put bonds on the city ballot for bicycle facilities.

TxDOT's San Antonio district asked people who ride bikes for their input on different kinds of pavement in 2006.

PE teachers in Amarillo took a staff development day to learn more about Safe Routes to School in 2007.

In 2008, BikeTexas staff went to the Texas Trails Network Conference (the precursor to the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference we now co-sponsor). 

A report came out in 2011, taking on the myth that roads pay for themselves.

The city of Beaumont became the sixth Texas Safe Passing city in 2011.

The Shifting Gears Policy Luncheon in 2011 featured former mayor of Bogatá, Enrique Peñalosa.

Doss Elementary kicked off their Boltage program in October 2011, and in January 2012 we checked in to see how it was going.

In 2013, we took the legislative interns on a bike ride before the session began.

Also in 2013, we introduced a popular guide about what all people who ride bikes can do to help bike-friendly legislation move right along. We'll be updating that for 2015 soon, so stay tuned!

 

Photo: From 20 years ago-- Texas Bicycle Coalition's bimonthly newsletter, The Advocate, from December '94/January '95. Some of our staff were still in high school. (Others... not so much.) Check out the bikes on the bus rack-- that was still a rarity in Texas then!

 

News By Bike: Links for You to Read (Jan 9)

Friday, 09 January 2015 11:45

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

 

protected bike lane pittsburgh biketexasNew Year Motivation:

More like inspiration: John Estrada's (of Brownsville) journey to health began with a bike.

And another for good measure: Exercise may well be the fountain of youth.

 

From around Texas:

Bad news in Donna-- two teens on bikes were hit by an SUV earlier this week.

A&M researchers determine walkable communities are good.

It's been quite a week for bicycle-related editorials, as the Houston Chronicle calls for good street design to facilitate active transportation, and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal says the city being more bike-friendly would be a good thing.

Meanwhile, in North Texas: Denton hired a new bike and pedestrian coordinator! Welcome to Texas, Ms. Anderson!

A woman in Brownsville has been arrested for a December 23 hit-and-run involving a bicycle.

And a quick roundup of good news from Houston:

 

From elsewhere: 

Oklahoma City is considering a three-foot passing law-- but for people on bikes, not people in cars. 

Other cities, on the other hand, are increasing the amount of money they spend on bike/ped infrastructure.

An urban designer in Baltimore writes about 21 measures for pedestrian safety.

One insurance company has decided to offer rebates for exercise.

WashCycle takes on some of the common accusations people who ride bikes hear.

People for Bikes declares 2014 "The Year of the Protected Bike Lane"...

And Edinburgh Cycle Chic asks for 2015 to be the year of "Travel by Bicycle in Normal Clothes."

 

Have a great weekend!

Photo: Protected bike lane in Pittsburgh

 
 

News By Bike: Links You May Have Missed (Jan 2)

Friday, 02 January 2015 00:00

In case you missed it: some links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading!

 

durwoodFrom BikeTexas:

Thanks for making 2014 a great year to ride a bike, y'all. Here's to a great 2015.

 

From around Texas:

Riding in the (Texas version of) winter: Some great cold-weather riding tips from Bikeable Dallas.

Two people who ride bikes in Dallas are looking for witnesses of their altercation with a motorist, to make sure he's charged with attacking them.

Fort Worth announced plans for the Trinity River Promenade, which looks great. Can't wait to ride it!

McAllen has announced plans for bikeshare (B-cycle, matching with the other four Texas bikeshare cities).

A new paved trail in San Angelo (set to open this year) has been a long time in coming, but a local columnist says it's worth waiting for.

Some leftover holiday cheer to warm the cockles of your heart: some Cypress-Fairbanks ISD students got new bikes a couple weeks ago.

Another bike/ped crossing over the Trinity River is coming to Dallas.

Brownsville is becoming more liveable for all ages-- including senior citizens.

And the Houston Chronicle calls for safer, walkable neighborhoods for all, too.

Abilene is growing, and so is its need to provide options for active transportation.

Brownsville police are looking for the driver in a hit-and-run involving a person on a bike.

A woman on a bike in Waco was hit by an SUV on Monday.

TxDOT is studying pedestrian safety (or rather, the lack of it) on a busy street in El Paso.

A greenway is coming soon to a bayou near you-- if you live in Houston, that is. But first, here's a fascinating look back at how people came to live near the Brays Bayou.

 

From elsewhere:

So far, Vision Zero is working for NYC.

We have a handful of languages among us on staff, but Dutch isn't one of them. As we understand it, this article is announcing that the heated bike path in Wageningen, Netherlands is doing well in its first winter, but they'll be making some tweaks to be sure the heat is distributed evenly.

Not just good for your health-- walking benefits your creative side, too.

Looking at data from exercise apps reveals some interesting patterns.

The AARP looks at safer streets for older Americans.

In case you missed all the previous memos: Walking is good for humans and good for cities, too.

People for Bikes takes on some common bike myths.

And BikePGH takes it one step further, with a guide to dealing with those myths at holiday dinners.

 

Have a great weekend!

Photo: Today's photo is for fun and has nothing to do with any of the links. It's our own Durwood Mayfield doing... something.

 
 

This Week in Bicycling (Dec 26)

Friday, 26 December 2014 00:00

In case you missed it: Links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading!

 

bat bike racks atx convention center biketexas

From BikeTexas:

Today is the last Friday of 2014, which means it's also your last chance to get a free gift when you donate to BikeTexas or join at any membership level. Don't miss out!

Didn't get that jersey you wanted for Christmas? Check out the BikeTexas store. Need something special for your bike? Shop with our business members who support bicycle advocacy.

 

From around Texas:

Last Saturday, a road rage incident went very badly for two people on bikes in Dallas. We call on the justice system to make this right.

The Houston Chronicle published a spot-on editorial about Texas' need for better laws and better enforcement to protect all road users.

Meanwhile, the Rivard Report published Dr. Bill Shea's remarks to the Texas Transportation Commission regarding Transportation Alternatives Program funding from last Thursday. We're not backing down from the TTC on TAP funding.

And for some good news this week: Austin B-cycle celebrated its first birthday.

 

From elsewhere:

Streets may be safer for drivers now than they've ever been, but not so much for pedestrians...

... but smart cities are working to change that and make streets safe for all.

Meanwhile, Bicycling Mag reports that hit-and-run collisions involving people on bikes are on the rise in California.

Bike trains are a great choice for the school trip, for more reasons than one.

And a couple just for fun:

How Santa's hometown ended up in Finland, and

Why Game of Thrones needs public transit (complete with allusions to other fantasy series, natch)

 

Have a great weekend!

Photo: Newly installed bat-shaped bike racks, spotted this week outside Austin's convention center

 
 

Friday Reading: Links You May Have Missed (Dec 19)

Friday, 19 December 2014 00:00

In case you missed it: Some links we thought were worth sharing this week. Happy reading!

 

brenda classic bicycle1

From BikeTexas:

Our December newsletter is out! Want to read it in your inbox instead of online? Sign up for our emails here.

 

From around Texas: 

After a bicyclist death last week in Lubbock, people who ride bikes are calling for greater safety.

Meanwhile, Abilene just installed its first bike lane-- may it be the first of many, many more to come.

And Waco is looking to expand its bicycle network.

Here's hoping all this new infrastructure will put more Texas cities at the top of lists like this one and fewer at the bottom.

We think it should go without saying that throwing salsa at people is not acceptable, especially a full jar of salsa from a moving car, but it happened.

And let's make Texas safe for active lifestyles soon, to avoid any more of our schoolkids being hit by cars in crosswalks, like Paola in El Paso. Best wishes to Paola for a speedy recovery.

Of course, sometimes kids cross the street near school not in a crosswalk, and they should be safe from getting hit, too. Fingers crossed that this little guy in Lubbock bounces back to enjoy his winter break.

  

From elsewhere:

Lest you think it's just Texas drivers who run into kids in crosswalks-- twins in Las Cruces, NM were injured by a hit-and-run driver this week. 

War on cars? Not so much, says politics.co.uk.

On the other side of the Channel, Paris is looking to double the bike lanes in the city by 2020.

And back in the UK again, the Near Miss Project explains why near misses should matter for city planners.

A bit closer to home, the Close Call Database has just been released.

Onto happier news, cycling is creating jobs in Europe. Lots and lots of jobs.

And bicycling is contributing to New Zealand's economy, too.

Dutch scientists are working on a electric bike that warns you of hazards around you.

No Christmas tree yet? Here's a step-by-step guide to getting one home by bike.

A fun post on what it's like riding in different types of rain. (Pretty sure that we call all kinds "great" here in Texas.)

Public transportation use is on the rise. Good news for people who ride bikes and who can use a lift-- most public buses in Texas can accommodate bikes!

And finally... Mary Lauran Hall, the communications director for the Alliance for Biking and Walking (and whose weekly biking & walking roundup inspired this very Friday feature), is moving on to another great adventure. We'll miss Mary Lauran, but wish her all the best!

 

Have a great weekend!

Photo: BikeTexas staffer Brenda Chuleewah with her first bike, which she says was "probably for Christmas." 

 
 

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