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We know that for BikeTexas members, every month is bike month, and so May is nothing unusual for us. However, for many Texans, Bike to Work Day or similar events may be the only time they ever think of getting on a bike. And that's when Bike Month gets exciting!
Ask your coworkers, neighbors, or friends to join you for a bike ride this month. Plan out a safe route and ride with your child to school. Join a challenge to push yourself to ride more than usual. Get pictures for your social media accounts from the League of American Bicyclists.
Events are happening across Texas and across the nation this month. Here are some highlights that we've heard about:
National Bike Challenge: Starting on May 1 and lasting until September 30, NBC is a fun way to challenge yourself and have a friendly competition with those around you to rack up the most miles. The leaderboard on the site is updated daily for the sake of bragging rights and extra motivation! Texas managed to break into the top 30 before the end of last year's challenge, which is extra-remarkable since we have a large population but not as many cyclists as some smaller states. Join today and let's show America that nobody messes with Texas!
Global Women's Cycling Day: Sponsored by CycloFemme, this worldwide event on May 12 includes three Texas rides (so far): Austin, Houston, and Richardson. Join up with your bike-loving sisters for a fun ride!
Whether you join in the Bike Month festivities or May is just another month of riding for you, get out and enjoy May on two wheels in the Lone Star State!
Bike Month is nearly upon us! Cities, schools, and bike clubs across Texas are gearing up for a great month of riding. Is your city ready?
Below is a sample proclamation you can customize to declare that May is Bike Month in your city and across Texas. Let’s make Texas a great place to bike and walk!
The City/County of ____
Whereas, the bicycle is an economical, healthy, convenient, and environmentally sound form of transportation and an excellent tool for recreation and enjoyment of [insert city/county]’s scenic beauty; and
Whereas, throughout the month of May, the residents of [insert city/county] and its visitors will experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, commuting events, charity events, or by simply getting out and going for a ride; and
Whereas, [insert city/county]’s road and trail system attracts bicyclists each year, providing economic health, transportation, tourism, and scenic benefits; and
Whereas, creating a bicycling-friendly community has been shown to improve citizens’ health, well-being, and quality of life, growing the economy of [insert city/county], attracting tourism dollars, improving traffic safety, supporting student learning outcomes, and reducing pollution, congestion, and wear and tear on our streets and roads; and
Whereas, BikeTexas, [insert local bicycle club/ organization/chamber/tourism bureau/regional planning organization], the League of American Bicyclists, schools, parks and recreation departments, police departments, public health districts, hospitals, companies and civic groups will be promoting bicycling during the month of May 2013; and
Whereas, these groups are also promoting bicycle tourism year round to attract more visitors to enjoy our local restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, and cultural and scenic attractions; and
Whereas, these groups are also promoting greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce collisions, injuries, and fatalities and improve health and safety for everyone on the road; and
Now therefore, I, _____, Mayor/Executive of [insert city/county], do hereby proclaim May 2013 as
in [insert city/county], and I urge all residents to join me in this special observance
Signed this ___ day of May, 2013
Many thanks to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington for making the sample text available on their website!
We need your help! Complete Streets (SB 565) and Safe Passing (SB 1515) have not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee. Time is running out for these bills in the legislative session.
Senator Robert Nichols of District 3 is the Transportation Committee Chair. If you live in Sen. Nichols' district, you have influence that advocates in the rest of the state do not. If you do not live in District 3, please do not contact the Senator. Everyone will have a chance to contact his/her Senator as soon as this bill passes from the Committee to the full Senate. Until then, hold tight! Not sure what district you're in? Find your senator here.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. My name is _____ and I live in District 3.
2. My occupation is _____.
3. I (or my spouse/child/parent) ride a bicycle.
4. Will Senator Nichols grant a hearing on SB 565 and SB 1515?
ACT NOW so Complete Streets and Safe Passing can progress before time runs out on the session. Thank you for making Texas a great place to bike and walk!
Complete Streets (HB 1102) and Safe Passing (HB 2225) have both had their initial hearing in the House Transportation Committee. We're hoping these bills will come up for a vote in the House Transportation Committee tomorrow, April 23. We need your help!
Listed below are those representatives who have not yet confirmed a YES vote for Complete Streets and Safe Passing. If any of these committee members represent you, please contact him or her TODAY to ask for his/her vote on Complete Streets and Safe Passing.
Not sure who represents you? Go here to find your representative.
If your representative isn't listed, hold tight! There will be time for everyone to act as soon as we get these bills out of committee.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
1. My name is _____ and I live in District _____.
2. My occupation is _____.
3. I (or my spouse/child/parent) ride a bicycle.
4. Will Rep. _____ vote Yes on Complete Streets and Safe Passing?
If none of these are your representative, please do not contact them! Elected officials respond to their own constituents. Don't worry; there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone in Texas to contact their representatives and senators soon!
Thank you for making Texas a great place to bike and walk!
May 8 is National Bike and Walk to School Day! But you don't have to follow the crowd: any day that is convenient for your school will be beneficial. Start planning now to have a Bike and Walk to School Day before the end of the school year!
Not sure where to start? We have you covered! Download the BikeTexas Safe Routes to School Event Manual, which gives parents, teachers, and youth community workers the tools and resources to organize several types of bike and walking events for their school, neighborhood or community.
The handbook provides step by step instructions to guide you in planning a successful day! In addition to Bike and Walk to School Day, there are how-tos for other bike and walk events: Bike/Walk Rodeo, Kids Fun Race, Neighborhood Walk and Roll, and making a Bike/Walk event into a fund raiser.
Walking or riding to school can help children reach the recommended level of sixty minutes of physical activity per day. Research also shows that physical activity contributes to a child's academic achievement and mental health (picture at right is from this research article).
A school's first Bike and Walk to School Day could be the jump start that students and their parents need when they realize that walking or biking is a great way to start the day. If more students walk or bike, there can also be a reduction in traffic congestion at the school, resulting in calmer drop-off and pickup times and increased safety for all students, teachers, and parents who travel to and from school.
Mapping out routes for the day can be beneficial for all students for Bike and Walk day and for the days after the event. City planning officials can identify locations that need some attention with crossing guards, marking crosswalks, sidewalk improvements, or crossing lights.
The Event Handbook was designed to share with your PTA leaders so they can assist a school in putting on fun and active events. The section on how to have events be a way to raise funds will be helpful in many ways. Download your Event Handbook today and have a GREAT Bike and Walk to School Day!
By Anne Gorman
Liam Musgrove, a 27 year-old Houstonian, expresses his love of cycling by offering a whole new level of convenience and luxury to Houston’s most dense urban neighborhoods.
Clutch Delivery, the city’s first full-service bicycle delivery company, rides around the clock to provide the most time-savvy individuals with what they’d like to have, be it to-go food, groceries, farmers’ market items, prescriptions or normal courier packages. Clutch Delivery was built out of Liam’s commitment to pedal power as a way to reduce the carbon footprint that the delivery industry tends to create. He sees cycling as the best option for deliveries, making the erasure of miles driven a reality in a town so closely linked to the perpetuation of car culture. His business model provides affordable delivery options to locally owned restaurants and other small businesses. Since his list of spots to pick up from is flexible, he offers local workers and residents a larger variety of options for lunch and dinner. As his goals are fulfilled, he hopes to have built a utopian cycling life, which will support him and four to eight individuals.
Through high school, Liam rode the MS150 with members of the school swim team. Since then, he decided to give up driving an automobile and has developed and maintained a car(e)-free urban lifestyle. He enjoys bike polo and has a knack for masterminding bike scavenger hunts.
These days his bicycle sports a cargo rack and, occasionally, a trailer with a maximum load ability of 150 pounds. His business is growing, but is only a fraction of what it could be a decade from now.
See www.clutchdelivery.com for more details.
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