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Tuesday, 18 August 2015 00:00
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."
So, time to get everybody ready to roll!
2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)
Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?
International Walk to School Day is October 7! 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.
Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!
We're a bit late for Book Lovers Day, which was August 9, but we didn't want to let the occasion go by without updating our list of our favorite books about bicycles. All links are to the respective Amazon pages, so if you decide to buy, please go to smile.amazon.com and set Texas Bicycle Coalition (that's us!) as your beneficiary first! You'll get a great read and BikeTexas will get a portion of the profits from the sale.
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. Also by Sean Benesh: The Bohemian Guide to Urban Cycling.
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.
Roads Were Not Built for Cars, by Carlton Reid
A great look at the history of how people who rode bikes were the ones who first got the roads built.
The Urban Cycling Survival Guide, by Yvonne Bambrick
Our own Robin Stallings provided the cover quote for this excellent book that covers all the basics!
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.
Support bicycle advocacy in Texas with Reliant Energy's EcoShare Program!
BikeTexas is a nonprofit partner of Earthshare, who works with Reliant Energy to support nonprofits across Texas every time a Texas customer purchases a carbon offset. BikeTexas receives a portion of those donations. Learn more about the carbon offset program and sign up here!
BikeTexas is proud to partner with organizations who are making a difference across Texas. Thank you for supporting EarthShare of Texas!
Friday, 07 August 2015 00:00
After a two-week absence, your weekend reading is back!
The time is now! BikeTexas' Annual Membership Drive and Bicycle Giveaway is underway right now, and you don't want to miss out! If you're a monthly sustaining member, you're already entered to win a new bike. Join BikeTexas or renew your annual membership this month to be entered to win!
As a special bonus, if you join, renew, or donate on any Friday in August, you'll get a free gift! Use the hashtag #FundraisingFriday on all your favorite social media sites to tell people why you support bicycle advocacy.
From around Texas:
Have a great weekend!
BikeTexas participates in Fundraising Friday, a fun way for nonprofits to raise money on Fridays-- people give to their favorite nonprofit on Friday, then talk about it on social media using the #FundraisingFriday hashtag. Nonprofits use the hashtag to share news about their work and give everyone easy access to their donation page.
For our Annual Membership Drive that ends with our annual bicycle giveaway, we're stepping up our #FundraisingFriday game. On Fridays during August, join BikeTexas at any membership level, renew your annual membership, or donate to BikeTexas. In addition to getting your name in the bicycle giveaway, we'll send you a free gift!
How can you help? Here are some ways:
Thursday, 06 August 2015 12:43
BikeTexas' Annual Membership Drive has begun! Join BikeTexas or renew your annual membership during August and you'll be entered to win a new bike, generously donated by Trek! (Details on the bike coming soon.)
Current BikeTexas monthly members are automatically entered to win. Annual members who renew early to enter the drawing will have their membership extended for a year from their current renewal date-- you won't lose any time off your current membership. BikeTexas members are the ones keeping pressure on TxDOT to plan for all road users, encouraging cities to adopt bike-friendly policies, and getting bike plans put into place all over the state. When you join BikeTexas, you join in making Texas a great place to ride a bike!
As an extra bonus, anyone who donates or joins BikeTexas on Fridays in August will receive a free gift.
Don't wait-- enter the BikeTexas Annual Membership Bike Giveaway today!
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?
No. We'll contact you!
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.
Photo: 2011 bike giveaway winner John Olin from Pearland
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