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Article « PedalHouston
Jan 2013 09

Mayor Annise Parker today announced Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has committed $750,000 to expand Houston B-cycle, sharing the City’s commitment to provide healthy transportation alternatives to residents.

“We are excited and proud of our new partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “Bike Share is a great new transportation program for Houston and with the support of BCBSTX we are able to expand our pilot into a thriving program, providing a real commuter and recreational transportation option for workers, residents and visitors, improving health and quality of life.”

Part of the BCBSTX mission is to promote the health and wellness of Texas communities. The Houston Bike Share program is a perfect opportunity for Houstonians and visitors to Houston to have fun and take care of their families’ health at the same time.

“We are excited to partner with the Mayor and Houston Bike Share to continue transforming Houston into a healthier, more active and innovative city of the future,” says Bert Marshall, President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. “Supporting Houston’s Bike Share Program is part of our commitment to the Texas cities where we live, play and work. We hope this investment will help Houston children and families, not only find more convenient transportation, but get healthy and stay healthy through increased, fun physical activity.”

Houston Bike Share is an active transportation alternative for the City. Houston’s initial phase has been successful, and, thanks to funding support from BCBSTX and the US Department of Energy, will now grow to 200 bikes in downtown and other Houston neighborhoods, with a third phase in the planning stage.  Pollution, traffic, and rising oil costs are just a few of the reasons why Houstonians need options for getting around.

Houston B-cycle, now available at City Hall, Market Square Park, and the George R. Brown Convention Center, will be expanded from 3 to 24 stations and from 18 to 200 bicycles. This Phase II expansion will create a presence not only in Downtown (with 16 stations), but also in Midtown, Montrose and the Museum District with four of the stations located at key METRORail stops. The self-service B-cycle stations will be available from 6 am to 11 pm every day. Bikes can be checked out during these hours and dropped back at the same location or any other B-cycle station.

Phase III expansion discussions and planning include the Texas Medical Center and local universities, as well as additional neighborhoods.

Houston B-cycle is a membership driven bike share system.  Memberships are available by day, week or year.  All members have unlimited access to the bikes. The grey and red B-cycles are specially designed for all riders – short or tall, thanks to an easy-to-use adjustable seat post. Fenders, skirt guards and chain guards keep clothes clean. Automatic lights help keep riders visible and safe. All bikes are equipped with a lock and basket. Riders can take the bike anywhere and lock it up, even if no kiosk is available.

All are equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and GPS technology, the most advanced bike share system available in the U.S. Annual and weekly members can track their mileage, calories burned and fuel savings through the website www.houston.bcycle.com.

Houston’s program is managed and operated by Houston Bike Share, a non-profit whose mission is to implement, expand and operate a Houston-based bike share program that will be environmentally friendly, financially sustainable and affordable. Bike Barn will assist with maintenance for the B-cycle stations and bikes. The Houston B-cycle Phase I program is being funded through the US EPA’s Climate Showcase grant. Phase II and III expansion will be funded through the generous sponsorship of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and the US DOE’s ARRA stimulus dollars. Additional support comes from Bike Houston; Bike Barn; Downtown District; Houston First; the City of Houston Office of Sustainability and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, memberships and maps, visit www.houston.bcycle.com or call 713-865-3662.

Sep 2012 08

Because you don’t have enough to follow in your own life, we’ve got you covered in every aspect of social media.  All of them with their own special purposes.

Google+ – A loose laid back version of local news, events, random bike links.

Strava – Got the Strava app on your phone? Add your rides here.

Foursquare – Find great check-ins for riding.

Facebook – The default social media connection in addition to Twitter.

Twitter – Hi, I’m Twitter.  Read my tweetables.

Dec 2011 24

Claudia Zarazua, right, and Ruben Mancha grab bikes from a kiosk in San Antonio. The couple got rid of their car two years ago and regularly use the bikes. Photo: KIN MAN HUI / San Antonio Express-News

Claudia Zarazua, right, and Ruben Mancha grab bikes from a kiosk in San Antonio. The couple got rid of their car two years ago and regularly use the bikes.
Photo: KIN MAN HUI / San Antonio Express-News

Great news for Houston from the Houston City Hall, Bike Barn and the Non-profit organization Bike Houston for putting this together for the city.  It’s really important to show other means of transportation around the city.  It’ll make it feel more accessible and it’s just important for people to know that the more people you see on the streets that it tends to make them feel safer meaning more foot traffic and business around the city as well.  San Antonio has already started their bike-sharing program and now it’s Houston’s turn to shine and become a more bike-friendly city.  It’ll be fun for people wanting to do something different on the weekends, help commuters get from one spot to another quicker and it helps beat trying to find parking in certain areas.  So it’ll be great to see this program flourish.

Check out the article here in the Chronicle:  http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Bicycle-sharing-program-will-start-in-downtown-2422925.php

It’s great to see this make the local newspaper.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday day.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!

Sep 2011 01

Ah, the world of social media.  Do you know about foursquare?  Do you check-in when you go places?  PedalHouston has left you some handy little tips for when you check in around town at certain venues/parks/bike-friendly establishments/etc.  Hopefully they can be helpful and make sure you get everyone to check-in!

What’s the purpose?  You just found out new places to check out and also might find out who else may be there as well.  It’s a game, have fun with it.  We just made your day a little more recreational.  So hop onto it and find the PedalHouston page on Foursquare and start following!

Aug 2011 25

Just in case you haven’t noticed on the sidebar, Strava has incorporated an awesome little widget for their app.  For anyone who rides around the city, if you have a smartphone (currently only Android phones and the iPhone have the app) or your Garmin, you can log your rides and share with the community.  They used to have a 5 ride upload limit every month but fortunately, they have made it unlimited uploading for free users!  A defnitely plus.  The app on the phone is straight-forward.  Press play to start logging and pause to obviously pause, end or discard your ride details.

Why it’s great for PedalHouston and why should you join?  It’s simple, it’s meant to show the various routes around town and the possibilities for people who didn’t realize they could ride a certain route or even that they could log that many miles inside of the city.  It’s a simple and great tool.  If you have a Garmin for your bike, you’re all set and for those who don’t have one and can’t necessarily budget a tracker, you have one on your trusty little phone already.  Try it out, join the Strava PedalHouston club online and put in some miles!

If you ride an event route, definitely put it up on the site.  Enough reading, go ride.   It’ll work out great for the up-coming Labor Day weekend also!

Apr 2011 29

National Bike Month starts this Sunday!  And in Houston, what better way to start it than a Ride to the Ballpark for an Astros game on a Sunday morning for the afternoon ball game.  Make sure you also try and hit up the Critical Mass this evening at 7:20ish by Tranquility Park.  What better way to start the weekend and before the weather becomes unbearably hot and humid.

There will be a lot of events going on this month for commuters, causal riders and those getting started out.  The whole point is to make use of your bikes that might just be sitting in the garage.  It’s more than exercise, it’s a pretty fun lifestyle if you welcome it.

Look forward to details on Bike-to-Work week and an official Bike-to-Work day as well.

Not to mention there will be details of the Houston Ride of Silence to honor the riders who lost their lives while riding.  It’s an important message and more importantly an important ride to honor your fellow riders.  It’s not a shabby route either.   Details to follow!

So get out there and stay tuned for more info.  Who knows, maybe some new PedalHouston merch as well!

Feb 2011 22

Thanks to a reader for the story.  Stay safe out there and cautious of your surroundings.

Link to original post:
Posts in Memorial Park may be danger to bicyclists

A bicyclist riding in Memorial Park last Wednesday is hospitalized and possibly paralyzed after he fell during his ride and hit a wooden post along the bike trail, reports KRIV-TV (Channel 26):

Memorial Hermann Hospital confirms (Berk) Clare is still hospitalized in critical condition. Friends say Clare, who is a member of the Woodlands Cycling Club, suffered a broken neck and a spinal cord injury. …

The wooden posts there in what’s called the picnic loop at Memorial Park are cemented into the ground. They are there to prevent cars from driving onto the grass to the picnic areas.

KRIV also talked to another bicyclist who had broken his neck after hitting one of the wooden posts in 2009.


Jan 2011 03

So we’ve moved on another year and 2011 is upon us.  Time to start fresh, get on a new agenda, continue their successes and conquer their failures in the new year.  It’s all a great beginning.

Just a quick note:  On New Year’s Eve, my laptop was stolen as well as a backpack full of other fun electronic goodies that has left me upset and confused.  There were a lot of pictures to be shared on the site and PedalHouston’s other social media outlets but now are in someone else’s dirty possession.  There will be updates made but I’ve lost a lot of my tools for now until I can get back to being fully operational.  Whoever you are, I hope it was worth it.  If anyone sees a black MacBook with a PedalHouston decal making it’s way around town, please let me know.  Benefits of password protecting your belongings is officially being utilized.  If anyone has ideas on how to track stuff like that, I’d be open to suggestions.

In the meantime,

Happy 2011!!!

Oct 2010 13

Thanks to BikeHouston for this drop.

The number of people getting around by bicycle is growing steadily. According to American Community Survey, conducted annually by the Census Bureau, the number of bike commuters grew 0.3 percent between 2005 and 2009.

You’re right. That’s almost nothing. But bear in mind that’s the median for the entire country, which includes a whole lot of rural and exurban areas where bike commuting isn’t viable. Bike commuting is still an infinitesimally small percentage of all commutes, accounting for just 0.55 percent of commutes last year, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

But if you look only at urban areas — where bike commuting makes far more sense — the gains are huge. Given the Obama Administration’s emphasis on bike-friendlier transportation policies, the growth almost certainly will continue.

Continue article here on Wired.com.

Oct 2010 11

What are the top 5 parks to take your bike out for a spin?


Here are PedalHouston’s picks…