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Bike Hutto Rolls Into National Bike Month With A Lot To Celebrate

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May 2016 not only marks the second year of Hutto, Texas celebrating National Bike Month, but the one year anniversary of Bike Hutto’s official launch. Formed out of a need for bicyclists in the Hutto area to have social opportunities, bike safety education, and an advocacy voice for future infrastructure – Bike Hutto became the first bicycling advocacy organization to be formed in Williamson County.

At the April 21st City Council Meeting, Mayor Deborah Holland will read a Mayoral Proclamation declaring that Hutto will be celebrating 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.

bike_month_1500x500_2Throughout the month of May there will be multiple bicycle-related events going on throughout Hutto, some of which tie into National dates and celebrations. May 4th is National Bike to School Day. The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school. In 2015, more than 2,600 schools participated. May 16th-20th is National Bike to Work Week, with May 20th being National Bike to Work Day. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.

In additional to calling attention to these National events within Bike Month, Bike Hutto will be having a variety of special events, as well as regular rides as part FritzParkBikeRackRibbonCutting_2016of their group ride program. On May 1st, the bicycling organization will begin the month’s festivities with a kick-off event at Hutto Lake Park that will include a ribbon cutting ceremony for the park’s first bike rack and a family ride around the lake. This will also be a chance for people to sign up for the National Bike Challenge, pick up their Bike Month Bingo Cards, and socialize with others.

Other special events going on during bike month includes a bike safety preschool story time at the Hutto Public Library and a garden bike tour in Old Town as part of the Hutto Home and Garden Show. Bike Hutto will also be launching a Bike Parking Needs Assessment in May to determine areas within Hutto, Texas in which bike racks would be beneficial. The assessment will consider potential locations for future bike racks, as well as the quantity and type of bike parking needed. Each potential location will then be prioritized based on current and future bike traffic, cost, and overall feasibility.

For a full listing of happenings during Bike Month in Hutto, TX CLICK HERE!

Bike Hutto is a non-profit bicycling advocacy organization located in Hutto, Texas. Their 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 values the importance of creating a bicycle friendly community within the City of Hutto focusing on the benefits (Transportation, Health, Economics, Recreation, and Environment) that bicycling provides.

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Bike Hutto Director to Speak at Health Education Summit

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On Thursday, September 24th, Bike Hutto director, Jessica Romigh will be a panel speaker at the Health Education Summit hosted by the Williamson County and Cities Health District. The panel (entitled “Advancing Health Promotion Through Collaboration”) consists of four speakers. Ms. Romigh is joined by Faith Unger, CareGiverU Program Director at AGE of Central Texas, Mary McKenna, the Director of Health and Wellness for the Georgetown Independent School District, and Dinorah Martinez-Anderson who is a Clinical Assistant Professor/Ph.D. Student at Texas State University- St. David’s School of Nursing.

Jessica Romigh’s presentation, “Activating The Ripple: Making A Healthy Difference In Your Community”, will show how anyone has the capacity to create change. Through the formation of Bike Hutto, an impact has been made on Hutto with strives to make it a more healthy community.  What has now grown to be an 80 plus member organization in a matter of months, was done so out of one individuals desire to create a fun and informative group for local bicyclists.  Through connecting with not only those interested in cycling, but with the community at large, a wider impact has been able to be made. An impact that continues to grow throughout the county, state, and nation.

The Health Education Summit seeks to:

  • Increase capacity of local professionals to engage in effective health education and promotion activities;
  • Strengthen multi-sector collaboration for evidence-based improvements in health policies, programs and environments; and
  • Explore innovative practices aimed at improving health behaviors, health equity, and health policies in Williamson County.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District, in partnership with communities, protects and promotes the health of the people of Williamson County.  The Williamson County and Cities Health District has provided public health services to Williamson County since 1943. Our Public Health Centers and offices are located in Cedar Park, Georgetown, Round Rock, and Taylor.

Jessica Romigh is the founder and director of Bike Hutto, a bicycling organization focusing on community building, bike safety education, and infrastructure advocacy in Hutto, Texas.  She serve as the Co-Chair of the Wilco Wellness Alliance Active Living Work Group which “encourages the utilization of existing active living resources, creates awareness of new opportunities, and serves as a forum for collaborative efforts and information sharing around physical activity and built environment.”  In addition Jessica Romigh is a commissioner for the City of Hutto Planning and Zoning Commission, an active member of the Healthy Hutto coalition, an Ambassador for It’s Time Texas, and currently going through the Hutto Citizen’s University program.

Hutto To Pursue Bike Friendly Community Designation

On Thursday September 17th, the Hutto City Council voted and approved the Strategic Guide 2035. The Strategic Guide serves as a long-range, comprehensive planning document aimed at guiding the growth and development of the City to the year 2035. There are Policies, Goals, and Activities that are outlined to make this planning a reality. Under the Mobility Policy is the goal to “Maintain and Follow Pedestrian Mobility Plan”. For FY16 one of the activities to reach that goal is as follows:

“Pursue Bike Friendly Community Designation”

With the approval of the Strategic Guide 2035 document, Hutto can officially pursue a Bike Friendly Community Designation from the League of American Bicyclists! This has been an important goal for Bike Hutto and we are very excited to be able to move forward on this!

So what is a “Bike Friendly Community Designation”?  Per the League of American Bicyclists,

TheLEAGUE-BFA“The Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC℠) program provides a roadmap to improve conditions for bicycling and the guidance to make your distinct vision for a better, bikeable community a reality.  A BFC welcomes bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation. Making bicycling safe and convenient are keys to improving public health, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improving quality of life.”

This is done by targeting the 5 E’s — Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation/Planning.  There are levels of designation within the program that include Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  In Texas there are currently five communities that are certified. Austin has Silver status.  Houston, Richardson, San Antonio, and The Woodlands Township have Bronze status.  The following Texas communities have received Honorable Mention through their applications: El Paso, Frisco, Hollywood Park, and Plano.

What happens now? 

The City will be creating an employee team to help pursue the designation. Bike Hutto will continue to be involved in the process and will work with the City of Hutto on helping to make this designation a reality. There are two application cycles each year.  There is one in February and one in August. Once there is a team put in place and planning has begun, it will be determined which cycle the application will be submitted to.

Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly Community Program through the League of American Bicyclists by visiting: http://bikeleague.org/community

Taking this Town on Two Wheels: Bike Hutto’s First Bike Month Deemed a Great Success

Bike_Hutto_Texas_Bike_Month_2015At 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.

May is National Bike Month

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Bike Hutto is excited to announce 2015 as the first year that Hutto, Texas is celebrating 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.

At the April 16th City Council Meeting, Mayor Deborah Holland will be reading a Mayoral Proclamation declaring that Hutto will be celebrating May as National Bike Month.  Throughout the month of May there will be multiple bicycle related events going on throughout Hutto, some of which tie into National dates and celebrations.  May 6th is National Bike to School Day.  The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month.  Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.  In 2014, more than 2,200 schools participated.  May 11th-15th is National Bike to Work Week, with May 15th being National Bike to Work Day.  With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.

In additional to calling attention to these National events within Bike Month, Bike Hutto will be having a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Hutto Public Library on May 2nd to celebrate their newly installed bike rack.  The library event, which starts at 10am, will also include a free Bike Maintenance 101 workshop taught by Ben Block.  There will be opportunities to sign up for free membership to Bike Hutto and to be part of the National Bike Challenge by visiting the Bike Hutto booth at the Central Texas Home and Garden Show on May 9th, as well as the May 14th and May 21st CO-OP Market Nights.  On May 16th, there will be a social ride and picnic event at Hutto Lake Park.   More information on individual events will follow in the coming weeks.

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.

Welcome to Bike Hutto!

My husband and I having fun with Henrietta the Hippo!

My husband and I having fun with Henrietta the Hippo!

Hi!  I’m Jessica Romigh, a cyclist and proud resident of Hutto, TX!  Hutto is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas going from a population of 1,250 in 2000 to over 22,000 in 2014.  With growth comes opportunity!  We have an opportunity to have bicyclists come together and help shape a city that will be friendly, safe, and accommodating to bike riders, whether they ride for recreation, transportation, or both.

Bike Hutto will have three areas of focus! 

1. Social:  There will be planned rides and events throughout the year! Spoiler Alert: We are already working on a Painted Hippo Scavenger Hunt Ride for 2015!  We will also share rides and events going on throughout the Central Texas area.

2. Education: Bicycling Safety is important for both children and adults. Tips on helmets, signaling, and more will be shared.

3. Advocacy: We hope to encourage dialogue between cyclists and the city, sharing what is needed to grow a vibrant and active biking community in Hutto.  Information about advocacy going on at state and national levels will also be conveyed.

Membership at this time is free!  The important thing is to come together as a community and get involved!!

Looking forward to the ride ahead!

Jessica  #bikehutto

Brushy Creek Bridge

Brushy Creek Bridge