What started with a community survey and one Bike Hutto member stepping up earlier this summer has become a full-fledged Group Ride program here in Hutto, Texas – one that attracts both Hutto residents, as well as bicyclists from surrounding communities.
On June 20th, 2015, Bike Hutto had its first Hutto Group Ride which was led by Ride Leader James Jumonville. Jumonville had approached Bike Hutto with an interest in leading a group ride in Hutto the beginning of June. Coincidentally, the local bicycling advocacy organization was in the process of conducting a community survey to get a pulse on what types of future biking activities would be of interest. Group Rides had already surfaced as being a number one need for Hutto.
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect!” says Bike Hutto founder, Jessica Romigh. “James is a very accomplished rider and really knows the country roads around here. We were so happy when he volunteered to start leading rides!”
After that initial ride in June, the program slowly gained momentum with a couple more rides being added each month over the summer. More and more community members started attending rides. And it wasn’t just Hutto residents joining in the fun. Bicyclists started to come from surrounding towns to enjoy Hutto’s trails and easy access to scenic country roads through the group ride program.
In September, Bike Hutto expands the program to include 5 Group Ride Leaders: James Jumonville, Camille Baptiste, Amber Townsley, Kimberleigh Kimball, and Gina Auditore. Rides vary in length and intent giving the opportunity for a wide variety of bicyclists to get involved. The goal is to reach as many different types of cyclists as possible –ranging from beginners to experienced. Scheduled rides in September include Gearing Down For Yoga (a group ride centered around a stop at the launch party of The Hutto Yoga Room to participate in a yoga class) and Bike & Brunch (a 40 mile ride that ends with the riders having brunch at Baked N Sconed, a favorite local spot in Hutto.)
Hutto Group Rides are open to all individuals wishing to ride. There is no requirement to have a Bike Hutto membership or any fees involved. All rides are no drop (no one gets left behind). For more information on upcoming rides, please visit: https://bikehutto.org/programs/hutto-group-rides/
Bike Hutto will be leading a family-friendly bike ride on August 8th to kick off Vida Fest. The ride, which is open to anyone who has a bicycle and would like to participate, will start at the Hutto High School parking lot and will follow Carl Stern the two blocks to the Nadine Johnson Elementary School where Vida Fest is taking place. Bicyclists of all ages will be meeting at the high school at 8am and will time the ride to arrive at Vida Fest right at 8:30am.
Vida Fest is an outreach program, whose mission is to serve and help the community by meeting the needs of our city; one child, one family at a time. This program has worked to provide for children from the City of Hutto, and its surrounding areas to ensure they are equipped with school supplies to succeed in the new school year. This festival, now in its fifth year, provides free school supplies and back packs as well as free haircuts and immunizations. http://www.vidafest.org/
Bike Hutto will also have a booth at Vida Fest and will be providing free basic tune-ups for kids bikes, as well as bike safety materials generously provided by Texas Department of Transportation and Please Be KIND To Cyclists. Children storybooks emphasizing the importance of safety will be available free in both English and Spanish.
Physical activity is associated with improved academic performance in children and adolescents. The kick off bike ride is a great way to symbolize kids and families starting off the school year in an active living/wellness frame of mind!
Vida Fest will be held at Nadine Johnson Elementary School located at 480 Carl Stern Blvd, Hutto, TX 78634. The Bike Hutto bike ride will start at Hutto High School located at 101 Farm to Market 685, Hutto, TX 78634.
RSVP for the Ride: https://www.facebook.com/events/701571593280048/
In January, Bike Hutto became one of the first Hutto organizations to get involved with the Adopt-A-Spot program. This City of Hutto program is a way for residents to get involved in taking care of the community. Groups can “adopt” different city roadways, parks, and other areas around town by organizing trash clean ups, landscaping, and other ways to ‘Keep Hutto Beautiful’. The organization makes a two-year time commitment with a minimum of four clean-up and/or beautification projects per year.
“We were very pleased to receive Creekside Park as our “spot” in the program. So many of us ride the Cottonwood Creek Trail that passes through the park. This was a way for us to help make the area even more beautiful and make an impact in the community. Creekside Park now feels like home and there is a real sense of pride.” says Bike Hutto founder, Jessica Romigh.
The bicycling organization has had three Adopt-A-Spot events at Creekside so far this year. In March, they had one of their events in conjunction with the City of Hutto Arbor Day and were one of the volunteer groups that helped in the planting of 24 trees along the trail. In April, Bike Hutto did a trash clean up in the park as part of Hutto’s Big Event. Following the severe Memorial Day floods, a clean-up day was scheduled in June to help with all the debris that had floated into the park when it was underwater. In addition to liter and debris clean up, there are plans to do some native Texas landscaping surrounding picnic areas in the future.
On Saturday, July 25 at 9am, Bike Hutto will be doing a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the new sign that officially designates Creekside Park as being adopted by Bike Hutto. Following the ribbon cutting, volunteers will participate in liter pickup throughout the park and then bike to downtown Hutto for lunch.
Creekside Park is located at 305 Orchard Way, along the Cottonwood Creek Trail. The park contains two playscapes, as well as practice fields, picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms.
Let us know you can make it by going to the facebook event listing: https://www.facebook.com/events/689440817855345/
At the April 16th City Council Meeting, the chambers dias was lined with bicycles as Mayor Deborah Holland read a Mayoral Proclamation declaring that May is National Bike Month in Hutto, Texas. This was the first Bike Month proclamation for Hutto, Texas and the first time the city has celebrated the month of May as National Bike Month. Established in 1956 and sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to give biking a try.
The official kick off of Bike Month was held at the Hutto Public Library on May 2nd. Bike Hutto, Library Staff, and the Friends of the Hutto Public Library coordinated a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the newly installed bike rack. This is the first bike rack for the Hutto Public Library. Mayor Holland and Library Manager, Paula Waak each said a few words before Bike Hutto founder, Jessica Romigh officially cut the ribbon. The event, attended by bicycle riders, library patrons, and city council members, also included a free Bike Maintenance Workshop taught by Ben Block and kids activities centered on bike safety. The Hutto Public Library continued the fun by hosting a display of bicycle-related books throughout the month of May.
National Bike to School Day was May 6th. Bike Hutto and the Hutto ISD worked together to spread the word through emails and social media to families, encouraging students to ride their bikes to school.
City of Hutto Staff and the Hutto Police Department celebrated National Bike to Work Day on May 15th with a late morning social ride. The ride, which also included some members of Bike Hutto, was also the inaugural ride of the newly formed Hutto Police Department bike patrol. Per Sgt. Chris Kelley, “The bike unit will, for the remainder of this year, be used for special events requiring security or a police presence. This is great exposure for the unit and for the officers who wish to be a part of it. Once our staffing level increases the plan is to have patrol officers (who are certified bike officers) carry the bikes on their patrol cars. Once in an area where bike patrol would be beneficial they will deploy the bike in a patrol fashion. This way they will be near their patrol car if a call comes out that is too far for them to respond on the bike.”
Bike Hutto launched its new free membership program the beginning of the month. They also had an information and bicycle tune up booth at the Central Texas Home and Garden Show and the weekly CO-OP Market Nights.
Bike Hutto’s mission is to encourage and foster a community environment within Hutto in which bicyclists of all ages can socialize, receive safety education, and voice their needs for building better bicycle friendly infrastructure. Bike Hutto was formed by Jessica Romigh in October 2014 after she attended the City of Hutto’s Setting the Table Workshop and saw a need within the Hutto community to create a fun and informative group for local bicyclists.