On a unusually cold spring morning, dozens of college students gathered with city leaders in downtown Brownsville for a bike ride hosted by BikeTexas, on Friday, March 9, 2012.
Students from UT Brownsville studying architecture with Prof. Erick Diaz and students studying kinesiology with Dr. Susan Hart, SafeCyclist Certified Instructor and long-time BIkeTexas supporter, came out early to get fitted with bikes and helmets. At the same time, Brownsville city leaders began arriving, including City Commissioner Dr. Rose Gowen and her husband Jeff Gowen.
The ride circled downtown and showed off a nearby resaca, slated for dredging later this year to improve water quality. Dr. Gowen and others are leading the charge to get bike paths built along these beautiful urban waterways.
Next we stopped at a dead end – part of the route blocked by stopped freight train traffic – that in future years will be solved by projects that have come in part from Prof. Diaz’s students.
Cyclists next climbed one of the few hills in the city, facing a brutal headwind, up to the International Campus of UT Brownsville, housed in a former shopping mall. There an exhibit of some of the bike infrastructure envisioned by the architecture students was on display.
The route next wound through the main downtown campus before heading back to the park in front of the courthouse, which is also where the city’s great rail-trail starts before heading north.
Executive Director Robin Stallings, SRTS Program Managers Brenda Chuleewah and Fernando Martinez, Membership Coordinator Jack Sanford, CATS Program Manager Donna Hoffman, and Administrative Assistant Ann Harkness all attended from BikeTexas.