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News / Blog

BikeTexas BikeNews

Brownsville Wins Culture of Health Prize

BikeNews; Community

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.


Updated: BikeTexas Annual Membership Meeting 2014: Register Now!

BikeNews; Member News

trek giveaway bike biketexas annual membership driveUpdated Sept 20: Registration to attend online is now closed; in-person registrations still available at the link below. Plan to stay after the meeting for happy hour!


Updated Sept 15: Meeting times for Sunday have been clarified-- the BikeTexas Board of Directors will meet at 3 PM, and the annual membership meeting will begin at 4:15. Both meetings are open to the public, but the fun stuff starts at 4:15! See you Sunday!


Every September, BikeTexas members come together for the Annual Membership Meeting. We hear from board members and staff about where we are and where we'd like to be in the next year. We share successes and setbacks.

2014 is no exception. We want you to join us on Sunday, September 21, from 3 to 6 PM as we celebrate the work of another year together.

If you're in Austin, we'd love to have you here at the office with us! If you can't make the trip to Austin that day, not to worry-- we'll have plenty of space on our teleconference for you to listen in from home, a coffee shop, public library, or wherever you may be. The Annual Membership Meeting is open to the public, but you must be a BikeTexas member to vote.

The Annual Membership Meeting is also when we'll have our annual drawing for a new bike! One lucky member will roll away with a 2015 Trek 7.2 FX bike in the color and size of your choice, which you'll be able to pick up from your local Trek dealer. Trek has generously donated this giveaway bike just for BikeTexas members. Not a member yet? Join here.

Register here to attend either in person or online, and we'll see (or hear!) you on September 21!


Back to School: 6 Steps to Get Ready to Ride

BikeNews; Education Fund

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

BikeNews; Community

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 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!


Action Alert: Biking in Texas Could Lose $70 Million

BikeNews; Action Alerts

Thursday, 07 August 2014 08:37

TxDOT has written rules that allow them to transfer targeted biking and walking money to highways and rest stops instead. ACT NOW to save these funds for trails and connected bicycle networks in your community-- your voice will make a difference! Please email comments to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with subject line "TAP" by 5 PM, August 11.

bike bridge san antonio texasUnder federal rules, TxDOT can move up to half the funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) into a general fund, moving away $70 million every two years that is targeted by Congress for biking and walking. It may seem like a good idea to put more money toward our highway system, but $70 million over two years would only buy a few miles of highway at best. That same amount could build amazing biking and walking facilities, because a biking and walking network is only a fraction of the cost of building or rebuilding a highway.

See the proposed new rules here. In addition, there are changes to the rules for funding apportionment in Category 9, which covers TAP (and formerly covered Transportation Enhancements).


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Feel free to pick and choose among them-- the important thing is for you to let TxDOT know that Texans care about bike/ped funding.

  • I live in [Your City] and my occupation is _____. I walk/ride a bike. I am a member/supporter of BikeTexas.
        • Use personal stories as applicable-- do your family members ride bikes? Do your parents prefer to walk? Would you ride more if it were safer? Make it personal.
        • We've found that public officials are more responsive when people state their occupation.
  • TAP funding is important to me because ______. Please do not transfer any funds out of TAP. Texas should use TAP funds for projects like Safe Routes to School, protected bike networks, and regional trail systems.
        • Tell your story, like "My child wants to ride a bike to school" or "I walk to work so my family can use the car during the day." Personal stories will get TxDOT's attention and let them know that Texans have diverse reasons for walking and biking.
  • Do not cancel Texas' Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. SRTS should receive at least 20% of TAP funds so we can continue to be a national leader in this significant program.
  • Allow non-infrastructure SRTS programs to be funded through TAP.
  • Allow TAP funds to be used for preliminary planning and engineering for bike/ped projects.
  • Allow up to 15% of the local match for TAP funds to be in-kind.
  • Allow projects from MPO areas with 200K+ populations to submit to the statewide call for projects
  • When there is local debate over a project, one letter of opposition from a local authority should not be enough to disqualify a project from TAP funding. Commit to an equitable process for TAP projects.
  • With Texas growing so rapidly, the funding provided in TAP can fill this gap in our transportation network.


It's well documented that giving people protected networks for biking and walking is good for public health, the economy, and the overall livability of a community. Texas needs these TAP funds to be spent where they are intended and where they can do the most good: building an active transportation network across our great state. Texas should be setting an example for the rest of the nation in how to do transportation right, instead of falling behind.

Thank you for speaking out to make Texas a great place to bike and walk.


BikeTexas Annual Bike Giveaway: 2014

BikeNews; Member News

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?


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.


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