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 SEVENTH (that’s right, 7th) annual Black Friday Ride. Started seven years ago as the inaugural ride that launched Bike Friendly Richardson (which makes us 6 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.
The route will be similar to last years, with the addition of a fun rest stop. More details to come.
It was one thing to be honored with becoming the 5th city in Texas, and the first city in north Texas, to be recognized as a Bike Friendly Community. It was even better to actually have a League of American Bicyclists Board Member present us our certification, in person.
Gail Spann, one of the most active and influential board members of the League, also happens to live in north Texas. Instead of sending a League staff member from Washington D.C., Gail came out to personally congratulate Richardson residents and the Richardson City Council for a very difficult accomplishment. We are privileged to to get such a personal visit to welcome us into a growing community of exceptional bike friendly cities.
There is now a sign that marks our designation, that is installed in front the west entrance to City Hall. I would love to see these pop up at every road leading into the city.
With the announcement of 42 new and renewing BFCs today, Richardson joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming our neighborhoods.
“We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The growing number of leaders taking up bicycling as a way of solving many complex community problems is encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”
The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 350 BFCs in all 50 states. The Bronze BFC award recognizes Richardson’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
This is a big deal in north Texas. Even though many cities in the area – including Fort Worth, Plano and Frisco – have received an Honorable Mention, Richardson is the first north Texas city to be recognized as a Bike Friendly Community. With it’s many bike lanes, growing trail network and interconnecting neighborhoods, this is a well deserved recognition.
There were many other variables involved in earning this status, including a great city management team – encouraged by a city council with a vision to create a great city. Richardson is also growing a strong bike community – supported by local and regional advocates like Bike Friendly Richardson and BikeDFW.
Richardson is just getting started. They’re hoping that Bronze is just a stepping stone to an even better, more robust bike community. They also hope to see that the many great efforts of their neighboring cities get recognized by the League as well.
We hope that this recognition becomes a way to motivate other north Texas cities to work harder to become bike friendly as well. Let’s keep this momentum going.
On Monday, April 20, 2015 Richardson City Staff presented their Bike Plan to Richardson City Council. The presentation was a combination recap of what they’ve done, as well as their next steps.
It was nice to see how important bicycling is to our city officials and how they continue to see the value of what it brings to our community. It was also nice to see that our little grassroots, advocacy group has been recognized—not only for what we’ve done, but also as a partner moving forward.
You can catch the presentation, online. Click the link below and go to Item D in the list:
The video shows Michael Spicer, Director of Development Services and Lori Smeby, Director of Parks and Recreation. Dave Carter, Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic – who helped put it together – was there as well.
The were lots of people who were engaged in the conversation, but we really appreciate our City Council’s positive reception of the Bike Plan and their enthusiastic support of cycling in Richardson. Thank you Laura Gibbs Maczka, Bob Townsend, Mark Solomon, Scott Dunn, Kendal Hartley, Paul Voelker and Steve Mitchell.
This is a great opportunity to have a voice for all people who ride bikes. We should work to build our community as a diverse group with a broad perspective. If you have any friends or neighbors who are interested but concerned about cycling, please invite them to join our Facebook page, engage our City and be part of the conversation.
This is an exciting time to live in our city and we look forward to the next steps.
Last weekend, the City of Richardson held their annual Trash Bash event, recruiting volunteers and organizations, from all over the city, to help pick up trash and get the city clean. Motivated by the success of our own trail cleanup day, Bike Friendly Richardson stepped up to participate.
We took on the Spring Creak Nature Preserve area, located on the southeast side of Renner Road and Central Expressway. The Preserve, with it’s scenic trails, is frequently visited area by cyclists – which made it the obvious location to focus our efforts.
Overall, we had 11 adults and 4 kids show up to help, and we filled about 8-10 bags. It was nice to give back to the city and care for the amenities that make this community so great.
Here are some pics of our volunteers:
This was an idea inspired on our Facebook page. Some riders have been noticing some issues with trash, animal waste and broken glass on some of our trails. Instead of complaining, we are going to take action by organizing our first trail cleanup day.
Date: Saturday, February 21. 2015
Time: 9:00 am (earlier if you choose) – 11:00 am (later if you choose)
Location: Spring Creek Trail parking lot (southeast corner of Renner Road and Central)
Who: All volunteers who care about our trails
Since this is our first attempt at this, we’re going to keep it simple, starting at one location. Everybody is welcome to jump in and feel free to help out as long as they can. We’re working with the City of Richardson to get some supplies, so stay tuned for details on that. For now, here are some suggestions of things you can bring:
– Dustpans (for broken glass)
– Trash Bags (in case we can’t get any from the city)
I’ll be riding my bike out, so it’ll be interesting to see how I get my tools strapped on. Obviously, if it rains, we’ll postpone to another date – so keep an eye out here and on our Facebook page for updates.
If this is a successful event, we will schedule more cleanup days throughout other parts of the city.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 Mart, Alamo Drafthouse, Ten50 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!