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It's almost hard to belive that only a week ago, some Texans were gearing up for the Hotter'N Hell Hundred while others were bracing themselves for Harvey to make landfall. We've always known our state is big enough to hold the biggest triumphs and the deepest heartbreaks, and that Texans are strong enough in mind, body, and spirit to face whatever comes without backing down.
Gulf Coast friends, Texas has your back and won't let you get through this alone.
The rest of the state is back in school this week. We hope everyone had a great first week back! Check out our back-to-school resources here.
We're honored to announce an exciting partnership with Trek Bikes-- for every Trek sold in Texas in September, Trek will donate $10 to BikeTexas to support bicycle advocacy and education across the state! Need to upgrade or add to your N+1? Now's the time!
We're giving away a bike! Entry period continues until September 20.
From around Texas:
Before the storm hit last week, Houston's city council approved the fiscal year allocation of the Bayou Greenways Projects bond money. Whatever the future holds for Houston's parks, we hope these greenways are able to continue to grow and offer great spaces for Houstonites to relax and enjoy their city.
Velo Paso takes a look at pedestrian accommodation during local construction projects. It isn't pretty.
Baby Boomers aren't getting any faster at crossing the street as they age. So it's time to design all-ages friendly streets.
The National Traffic Safety Board has finally addressed speed as an issue in traffic fatalities.
Winnipeg, Canada, is experimenting with temporary protected bike lane infrastructure in a nine-month pilot program.
Bernice Dapaah is making her community better, one bamboo bike at a time.
Great explanation of level of traffic stress for people who ride bikes.
Have a safe holiday weekend.
The ink was barely dry on the Distracted Driving bill, passed into law in the regular session, before the legislature went after the cities that pushed them to adopt a statewide texting ban in the first place.
SB 15 sought to void local hands-free and no-texting ordinances around the state, wresting local control away from the people of Texas and erasing the many laws that are stronger than the statewide texting ban. BikeTexas testified before the Business and Commerce Committee, reminding them local ordinances can be vital to testing the effectiveness of traffic safety laws. It is well established that distracted driving costs many lives every year, but SB 15 would not have increased road safety and in fact would likely have done the opposite.
At the same time, BikeTexas testified against SB 14, which would have voided local tree ordinances. Trees and their management can be vital to a city's brand, affecting its ability to attract employers and residents. Trees provide many benefits, including mitigating the heat island effect. Especially with our long, hot summers, trees ultimately make biking and walking better and improve quality of life. Tree ordinances should be decided at the local level and not the legislature.
We're happy to report that neither bill was able to gain traction and the special session ended with the lege's attack on local control being unsuccessful.
Friday, August 25 2017 20:54
Hotter'N Hell weekend is always a special time for us at BikeTexas. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. This year, one face is missing even more than usual, the one friend who I saw for the last time at Hotter'N Hell five years ago.
Iris Stagner poured her passion and zest for life into all that she did. Whether as a wife, a mother, a civil servant, an advocate, a friend, a cyclist, or a runner, Iris brought her whole heart to the table. Her work to bring "Share the Road" signs to Palo Pinto county is but one of many legacies she left behind.
I first came to know Iris as an advocate and in those early days provided some coaching on bicycle advocacy at the city, county, and state levels. Iris took to bicycle advocacy as she did everything else: with gusto and enthusiasm, so much so that she joined the board of BikeTexas to help provide leadership for bicycle advocacy across the state. Just as she worked at her running and bicycling, she also worked to make Texas the best and safest that it could be for road users of all ages and abilities.
Although it seems like such a short time since Iris was taken from us, it’s been every bit of five years since I saw her at her final Hotter’N Hell. She was excited and ready for another century, but at the same time always looking for ways she could help other people. As she prepared and trained, whether for the Boston Marathon (which her daughter Felicia would ultimately run in her place) or the HHH century, she always did it with safety in mind and with consideration for other road users. I don’t know that any of us who were blessed enough to know her will ever recover from losing Iris so tragically just as she was poised to retire and enter in to her next great adventure.
Bicycle advocacy is just as challenging in Texas today as it was that day Iris walked through the Capitol doors. During this year’s legislative session, I thought about Iris every day as we worked to pass the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act. The three-foot passing law was particularly important to Iris, who travelled to Austin to meet with her senator and representative and convince them to support the bill. In fact, her state representative became a co-author of the Safe Passing Bill after Iris’ visit. This bill is named for Iris not only because she was so committed to its passage, but also because had the motorist who took Iris’ life given her three feet of clearance when passing, she’d still be riding with us this weekend at Hotter’N Hell, running marathons, and doing her best to make the world a better place for all of us.
Although we still haven’t passed Safe Passing at the state level, it is law in 25 Texas cities. I believe Iris would be proud to see how far we’ve come, as well as determined to continue the fight for the work left to do. We continue this fight for Iris and the countless others who have been needlessly killed while riding. In the meantime, friends of Iris also continue her work though the Iris Stagner Memorial Fund, which supports bicycle education across the state.
This weekend at Hotter’N Hell, it’s been wonderful to see so many of Iris’ friends and family, including her daughter and granddaughter. Many of us will ride this year, as we have every year since 2012, with Iris in our hearts. BikeTexas looks forward to continuing Iris’ hard work at the city and state levels to make three-foot passing ordinances, and the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act, a law that works for all Texans who walk or ride bikes.
Robin Stallings, Executive Director
Photos, top to bottom: Signs being installed in Palo Pinto County; at Hotter'N Hell 2012 with (l to r) Robin, Fernando Martinez, Iris, and Butch Stagner; Iris at the Capitol with BikeTexas' Mark Stine and Robin Stallings; Butch Stagner talking to riders who gathered for Iris' funeral ride
Rolling to Class: Back to School 2017
Thursday, August 24 2017 05:33
Ready or not, the new school year is here! We send our best wishes to students, teachers, and parents as they set out on this new learning adventure. Now's also the best time to think about the trip to school every morning.
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!
Headed to college and not sure about your transportation options?
Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?
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!
Dallas Bike Ride Early Registration Now Open
UPDATE: Early registration for Dallas Bike Ride is EXTENDED to September 8. Don't miss out on the special lower rate!
BikeTexas is delighted to be partnering with a new, 20-mile, closed-course, recreational bike ride coming this fall!
This family-friendly day out is much more than a bike ride: 20 miles of car-free fun, free bike mechanic support, music along the course, rest stops with snacks, and a party at the Finish Festival that will will include entertainment, a Kids Zone, food trucks, and activities for all ages.
Dallas Bike Ride is for all ages and abilities! It's not a race; it's all about celebrating life on two wheels. The ride starts at 8 AM on Saturday, November 4th at City Hall Plaza in Dallas. Live a little farther away? No worries--it's a big state, so travel packages and special ride-participant hotel rates will be available soon.
Since BikeTexas is a non-profit beneficiary, your ride registration supports our education programs that benefit young riders across Dallas.
Don't miss out on the early bird rate! Register today and we'll see you on November 4 at Dallas Bike Ride!
News By Bike: August 19
Saturday, August 19 2017 00:00
It's a slightly belated News By Bike this week, so here's hoping you still have plenty of time this weekend to kick back with a little bike reading.
Our annual bike giveaway is underway! Winner to be drawn at our Annual Membership Meeting on September 24. Don't miss out!
Hotter'n Hell Hundred is just a week away. We can't wait to see you there, so plan to stop by the BikeTexas booth and say hello! We'll have our jerseys, t-shirts, and bike lights available for purchase, and maybe one or two fun extras for HHH attendees.
Back to School is coming, and our BikePedEd materials are perfect for your budding active transportation enthusiast, her teacher, and her whole school. Find out more and ask your child's school to check out our safe biking & walking materials.
From around Texas:
A man riding a bike was struck and killed by an unknown driver in San Antonio early this morning. Our thoughts are with the man's family and friends.
As is the new bicycle grid in Edmonton. Good job, Canada!
Hear from the nation's oldest female BMX rider--a 67-year-old Iowan named Kittie Weston-Knauer.
Have a great weekend!
BikeTexas Annual Bike Giveaway 2017
Every year, BikeTexas gives one lucky member a new bike. Is 2017 your year?
BikeTexas is the only statewide organization dedicated to serving Texans who walk and ride bikes. 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 2018 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 14 to September 20 to enter the drawing. The winner will be drawn at our Annual Membership Meeting on September 24--all members are eligible to vote at the Annual Membership Meeting!
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!
FAQs about the Annual Bike Giveaway:
What if I am already a member of BikeTexas?
What if I am a monthly member of BikeTexas?
What if I am a Life Member?
Do I have to be present at the drawing to win?
How will I get the bike?
Who is not eligible for the drawing?
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