Bike Friendly Richardson

A Blog Promoting Two Wheel Love in Richardson

Pics And Recap Of Participating In Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade

Christmas Parade Cruiser

This past weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson, participated in the City of Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade Of all the rides we do, this is one of our favorites. It’s not because of the great speeds or distance, but rather the opposite. Since this is a parade, the route is extremely short and equally as slow, which opens it up for people we don’t normally get to ride with, families.

Many folks decorated their bikes and brought candy to hand out to spectators. Local rider, Howard, even brought his goat on a trailer, pulled by a tandem. BFR’s Jenny brought her young baby for his first parade. Both the goat and the baby were big hits with the crowd.

Riding with families in a parade accomplishes many goals – two of which are important to us. First, it allows families with kids (and goats) to be part of the bike culture, which hopefully builds a stronger bike community. Also, it allows the other folks, who weren’t riding, to see that cycling is something that’s fun and can be shared by all.

Participating in the parade definitely requires a lot of patience. Since you have to get there early, there is a more waiting than there is riding. We suggest that if you want to be part of a Christmas parade, folks with families, should try to arrive a bit later or have ways to entertain the kids until the start. Also, bring plenty of candy to hand out. We always seem to run out in the first 200 feet.

Here are a few pics from the parade. Click here to see the full set.

Marshall

Family Riders

Family Riders

Getting Billy Ready To Roll

In The Parade

Group Shot

Filed under: Bicycle Events, City Stuff, , , , ,

I Bike Richardson – Ken Cohen

It’s time for another installment of the I Bike Richardson series, where we put a face on Richardson cyclists. We’d like to introduce Ken Cohen. He took the time to answer a few questions about biking. Enjoy:

Ken Cohen_sm

Name:
Ken Cohen

How long have you been riding?
I just started bicycling again in April of 2014. Prior to that, I hadn’t bicycled in 30 years.

How often do you ride?
I bicycle 3-4 times a week, weather permitting, usually in the morning. I’m looking for people to ride with during the week, in the morning.

What’s your favorite route?
I live near Campbell & Shiloh in Garland, very close to the edge of Richardson. Whenever possible, I try to ride only on “bike trails”.

Here’s my usual route. I take SpringPark Way to Sherrill Park Golf Course. I take the golf cart path that leads into the woods and goes up the hill to Lookout Park. At that point, I continue straight, getting onto Lookout Drive. I go a couple of hundred yards to Plano Road. Then right on Plano Road, down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, I take a U turn (right), and get on Spring Creek Trail that takes me under Plano Road and through Spring Creek Nature Area. Once I’m in the Nature Area I “hug right” whenever there is a fork in the road. I come out just this side of Central Expwy. I veer left, which will take me underneath Central Expwy and back up onto Renner Trail. I take Renner Trail to its end (Synergy Park Blvd) and then go left onto University Trail. At the top of the Hill (Floyd Road), the trail goes left. Then right on Campbell and the trail ends at Campbell and Coit, where I turn around. I go home the same way, with some exceptions. When I’m heading east on Renner Road, I stop at Alma Road (light). I go down Alma (North) for around ¼ mile, just about to George Bush Freeway, where I take a right onto Spring Creek Trail, which takes me back to the Spring Creek Nature Area entrance. I like this diversion for a change in scenery. I go left into the Nature Area. When I come to an open and curvy area where the light rail tracks are overhead, there is a circular wooden ramp which I take up to Routh Creek Parkway. At the end of the ramp, I go left on Routh Creek, then left on Glenville, and left on Lookout, which will take me to my path home. I like this diversion because it nicely avoids having to ride up the steep hill on Plano Road. I like this route because there’s lots of diverse scenery, some hills, but mostly flat areas. I usually see a lot of people in the Spring Creek Nature Area, which is nice.

My favorite “trail” is the Chisolm Trail in Plano. The starting point is on the north side of Colin Creek Mall and is 6 miles from my house. I take the same route to Central Expwy, going through Spring Creek Nature Area. Instead of veering left to go under Central Expwy, I veer right. This section of Spring Creek Trail will take me up to Alma Road, just south of George Bush Freeway. I follow the sidewalk (right) a short distance to Plano Parkway (southwest) corner of Colin Creek Mall. Warning—when crossing Plano Parkway, do not have your shoes clipped in because the sidewalk on the other side is extremely uneven and the space is tight. I continue north on Alma (sidewalk) and take the first entrance to the mall. At this point, I’m looking at a strip of stores that are outside the mall. I ride around them and get on the Colin Creek Mall Drive, the wide drive that goes around the mall. Riding around the mall is actually very pleasant. I rarely run into any cars on Colin Creek Mall Drive. I go around 1/3 of the way around the mall and take a left on Center Drive, which will take me to 15th Street. I cross 15th Street and go right a short distance. The entrance to the Chisolm Trail is on the left just before “On The Border”. I recommend that you take this “2nd entrance”. Chisolm Trail is around 5 ½ miles, each way. It follows a creek, Spring Creek, and is very nice, particularly when compared to trails that follow power lines. No major cross roads that you have to deal with. Here are my detailed notes on Chisolm Trail.

My Chisolm Trail notes…

Be alert for patches that are real muddy. Go around them. The underpass just after you go under Custer Road is the worst place for this mud problem. If there is a mud problem, they’ll probably have the gate down. You can easily ride around the area that is gated off.

When you take a sharp left for the Dog Park, you are now on Blue Bonnet Trail and you’ll be on Blue Bonnet for a short distance. It’s obvious because you’re obviously in the middle of a big path of power lines. You’ll be going around an athletic field and there will be a bridge on the right. Go over bridge. Notice that the trail is adjacent to Spring Creek (and not the power lines). You’ll now be on the west side of Spring Creek. When you started on the trail, you were on the east side of Spring Creek. You’ll see a bridge on your right that will cross over Spring Creek. Don’t take it. You’ll go a mile or two more until you hit Legacy, which is the end. Come back on this same trail (west side of the creek). I’ve tried coming back on the other side and lost the trail.

To prevent “losing the trail”, it’s best to start on the east side, then switch to the west side once you go past Blue Bonnet Trail.

Although the Chisolm Trail is my favorite trail, it’s not always my favorite route. If I’m short on time or if there are heavy “south to north” winds, I won’t take this route. I don’t like the idea of being 12 miles from home and having to ride home into heavy winds.

I have a 3rd route available to me, which I rarely use. At Lookout Park, I can go left onto Owens Trail, which runs into Duck Creek Trail and Glenville Trail. Owens Trail follows a power line and requires that you stop frequently at major cross streets and the crossings require you to wiggle through a maze in the center of the road. The maze appears to be there for the purpose of making sure people are super careful when crossing these busy streets. Owens Trail is my least favorite of the trails near me. Duck Creek Trail is very nice, with all the ducks and expanded riverbed, but it’s very short. Glenville Trail is nice in the small section that is between Duck Creek and Huffines Park, but the rest of it involves too much stopping at cross streets. I believe that Glenville Trail is only there for the purpose of providing a connecting bike path to Huffines Park. It does appear that Richardson is attempting to connect all its parks with trails.

Why do you cycle?
Exercise and fun.

What is your perspective on riding – in general or in Richardson?
I’m retired and I find it great being able to get out and see what the rest of human race is doing. It makes me feel more connected to the real world. I think that Richardson has done a fabulous job with all the bike trails. They’ve also done a great job in finding perfect streets that area quiet and ideal for “bike lanes”.

Tell us about your bikes.
I have 1 bike, a hybrid. I feel safer with the bigger tires. I like being more upright with the straight handle bars (easier on the upper back). I use clipless pedals/shoes.

We want to thank Ken, for sharing his perspective on Richardson cyling.

We’d also like to extend an invitation to any cyclist who lives and/or rides in Richardson to share their story as well. You can either answer the questions (above) or send in a story – along with some pics to bikefriendlyrichardson(at)gmail.com.

Filed under: I Bike Richardson, , , , ,

Pics And Recap Of The 6th Annual Black Friday Ride

Group Shot At Spring Creek Park

For the 6th year, bike riders from all over the north Dallas area gathered for Bike Friendly Richardson‘s annual Black Friday Ride. Each year, to celebrate the anniversary of our bike group, we launch the holiday season with what matters the most: having a nice, casual ride around town. No pressure. No shopping malls. No discount stores. No long lines. No angry people. Just a bunch of folks, enjoying the fresh air and a beautiful day.

Today, over 20 people gathered in front of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson. We took a slow, mostly flat, ride around some of the more scenic roads and trails of Richardson. Here, we enjoyed some of the colorful fall foliage that doesn’t last very long in north Texas. Overall, the short route of about 12 miles gave us the perfect amount of riding – especially after a day of heavy feasting.

Each year, I am thankful to do this ride with so many great cycling friends.

Here are a few pics. Click here to see the full set.

Gathering at the Alamo

Stop Sign

Tandem

Rigel

Bill and Jenny

Filed under: Bicycle Events, , ,

Congratulations To The 2014 Scavenger Hunt Raffle Winners

BFR_ScavHunt2014_Winners

Before we announce the winners of this year’s Ride and Seek Scavenger Hunt, we would like to thank a few people. First, our partners: Richardson Bike MartAlamo DrafthouseTen50 BBQ for donating the prizes. If you happen to visit one of these places, thank them for supporting Richardson cyclists.

Next, we’d love to thank YOU, the awesome bike riders of Richardson, for participating in our little fun ride event and submitting such amazing photos. We hope to use the information that you’ve gathered to help us build a better, more bike friendly community.

After collecting over 150 photos, from over 20 riders, we had a drawing of a couple hundred raffle tickets (many of the submissions earned double tickets). Here are the winners:


• Richardson Bike Mart Prize Pack (a pair of bike socks, water bottle and a $25 gift certificate) – Jason Mechler
• Richardson Bike Mart Prize Pack (a pair of bike socks, water bottle and a $25 gift certificate) – Matthew Wright
• Ten50 BBQ Gift Certificate ($25) – Bill Johnson
• Alamo Drafthouse Prize Pack (an Alamo Drafthouse pint glass, $20 food voucher, 2 movie passes) – Bryan Lindsey


Thanks again to everybody for participating in our second annual scavenger hunt. We hope to do this again!

Filed under: Bicycle Events, , , , , , , , ,

Bike Friendly Richardson Presents: Black Friday Ride #6

Print

It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to AVOID all the big crowds at the shopping mall, work off that Thanksgiving dinner and have a fun ride around town.

You are invited to attend Bike Friendly Richardson‘s SIXTH (that’s right, 6th) annual Black Friday Ride. Started six years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson (which makes us 5 years old), the Black Friday Ride gives folks an alternative way to kick off the holiday season. This is a casual paced ride that will explore many of the different route options available to Richardson cyclists. We will ride on back-roads, side-streets, multi-purpose trails and available bike lanes.

Come on out to the Richardson Heights Shopping Center, enjoy a tasty lunch at Haystack Burgers, The Taco Joint or one of the many fine restaurants in the area. We’ll meet in front of the Alamo Drafthouse around 1:00 pm.

More details to come.

DATE: Friday, November 28, 2014
TIME: Arrive: 1:00 pm, Ride: 1:30 pm
START/FINISH: Alamo Drafthouse (100 S. Central Expy @ Belt Line)
PACE: Casual
RSVP: Via Facebook
ROUTE: to come

Filed under: Bicycle Events, , , , ,

Bicycle Ride And Seek – Photo Scavenger Hunt 2014

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You are invited to participate in Richardson’s 2nd Annual Ride And Seek, Photo Scavenger Hunt. From mid-October to mid-November, we are inviting and motivating folks to get out and ride their bikes, explore their neighborhoods and win prizes!

This year’s theme will be “The Bike Racks of Richardson”.

Bike Friendly Richardson is working with the City of Richardson to gather data on the current inventory of available bicycle parking throughout the city. We thought this would be a fun way to involve the bike community and collect valuable information that will help make our city more bike friendly.

DETAILS:
Date: October 15- November 16 (a whole month)
Place: Various Richardson Locations. We need cyclists to explore every corner of our city.
Prizes: A few partners have donated prizes that we will give away to participants via raffle
Sponsors: Richardson Bike Mart, Alamo Drafthouse, Ten50 BBQ

HOW TO PLAY:
– Self-paced ride and hunt around Richardson
– You must capture images of your bike next to any bike rack (in the city limits)
– All images must be taken between October 15 – November 16, 2014
– Each image submitted will equal 1 raffle ticket for prizes; more tickets = better chances to win a prize
– Each rack can only be submitted once per person. However, each rack can be submitted by multiple people.
– All images must be submitted (see below) by Thursday, November 17, 2014

BONUS:
– A Bonus tickets will be given to each ‘First Arrival’ shot:
Multiple people can shoot and share the same rack, but if you are the FIRST to submit a shot of that rack, you get a bonus ticket. This is to encourage more folks to seek out more unique racks around town.

IMAGE SUBMISSIONS (choose one of the following):
– email (images or links) bikefriendlyrichardson@gmail.com
– BFR Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BikeFriendlyRichardson/
– Instagram #bfrhunt2014
– Twitter #bfrhunt2014
– Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/groups/bikeracksrichardson/ (you must join this group to submit)

EACH IMAGE SUBMISSION MUST INCLUDE:
– Your full name
– Your email address
– Your phone# (optional) (flickr, twitter and instagram users can email us this info to match up with your alias)
– VERY IMPORTANT – The location of the bike rack that you are submitting

RULES:
– Bike rack must be installed for the purpose of being a bike rack. No sign poles, fences, railings, etc.
– Bike rack must be installed on property within the city limits of Richardson. Sorry, any others won’t be counted.
– Bike racks on cars do not count.
– Any bike rack can be submitted multiple times by multiple people, but that bike rack can only be submitted once per person. Remember, the first person to submit for each rack gets a bonus ticket.

PRIZE SPONSORS:
RBM_300

Alamo_300

jjj

 

Filed under: Bicycle Events, , , , , , , , ,

New Bike Lanes Along Collins Boulevard – East Richardson

Collins Bike Lane

Heading East From Alma Road

Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, into the Yale Park neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled for Yale Boulevard. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.

We got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:

This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.

As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.

With these new Bike Lanes as well as the recent extension of the DART Central Trail, it’s really great to see the Richardson Bike and Pedestrian Plan actually getting built out.

Having these bike lanes opens this part of Collins Boulevard for many cyclists who wouldn’t usually attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail – as well as many other parts of Richardson.

Collins Bike Lane

Heading West From Plano Road

As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.

RichardsonBikeLanes_early2014

 

UPDATE: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible to all now.

Filed under: Bike Change, Bike Friendly, City Stuff, , , , ,

Bike Parking Workshop – WE NEED YOUR INPUT

BCBS Richardson Bike Parking

 

Because of some of the success cyclists are getting with local businesses to get bike parking, we are getting some attention from the Richardson City Council. Currently, we are working on a proposal to promote more bike parking throughout Richardson and we would love to get your input.

If you are free this Friday evening, please stop by and let us know what you think about bike parking around town, where you think we need it, where businesses would benefit and how the city can help facilitate this.

Date: Friday, May 30
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Freebirds – 238 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

We hope to see you there.

Filed under: Advocacy, Bike Change, City Stuff, , ,

Richardson Gets Safe Routes To School

Lone Huffy on Bike Rack

A few years back, Ricahardson was awarded federal funding through a Safe Routes to School grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for two schools in Richardson: Richland Elementary and Yale Elementary.

Safe Routes To School In Richardson

It’s finally getting implemented and is scheduled to be complete next month. According to the SRTS plan (pdf), we will be getting:
• Barrier-free curb ramps
• Sidewalks (repairs and missing links)
• School crosswalk and signage upgrades
• Bike lanes
• Bike routes (I’m not sure what they mean by this)

They are already working on the sidewalks and barrier-free curb ramps in Yale Park. It’ll also be nice to get the bike lanes, which will help calm the car traffic through the neighborhood streets, create more awareness for bicycling and encourage more people to ride.

ADA Corners

The original information about our Safe Routes To School grant had mentioned bike racks for the schools, but they aren’t on the current proposal (pdf). That either means there wasn’t enough funds or ‘Bike routes’ listed above is a typo, and we are still getting them.

We are glad that we live in a city that works hard to get grants like this. This is a big win for Richardson and we hope to see more developments that improve safety and encourage more active transportation.

Filed under: Bike Change, Bike Friendly, City Stuff, , , , , ,

Black Friday Ride #5 Recap and Pics

I also shared this on Suburban Assault.

Meeting At The Alamo

Last Friday, Bike Friendly Richardson, hosted our 5th annual Black Friday Bike Ride. The event isn’t a race, a charity ride or even an advocacy statement. The Black Friday Ride is just a nice, alternative way to spend the country’s busiest shopping day by riding a bike, instead of dealing with mad rush of crowds fighting over flat screen TVs. Unlike shopping, the ride is a relaxed, low paced, no-drop cruise around town.

This year’s group was amazing as always. On bikes ranging from mountain to road, a little over a dozen riders gathered at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson. As a group ride leader, this is a good amount. Fewer is ok, but once the group gets over 30 riders, it becomes difficult to manage.

The cruise took us through some remarkable neighborhoods in Richardson. I always hear comments from folks that didn’t know these areas existed. As we rolled into the north part of town, past the University of Texas, Dallas campus, we stopped at the Pearl Cup for a nice little break.

On the ride back, we had to make a small emergency stop. One of our riders got a flat. The group waited patiently as the repair was made, which gave us a chance to visit with each other a little more – something you don’t get waiting in the long lines at Wal-mart.

At the end of the ride, which totaled a little under eleven miles, a few of us grabbed a beer at the Glass Half Full Taproom, which is connected to the Alamo Drafthouse. They had an amazing selection of brews on tap that would impress any craft beer aficionado. It’s great to have places like this and the Pearl Cup in Richardson.

Overall, the ride was great and the riders were happy. We hope to continue the tradition of the Black Friday Ride for years to come. Here are some pics:

Rolling In Richardson

Break Time

Extended Bike Rack

Heading Back

Filed under: Bicycle Events, , , ,

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