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The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders. In its simplest form it is a logging center for users to record miles ridden and be part of the national community of bicyclists. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues and the greater community to ride more. Users compete on a local, state and national level. This program is a successful partnership between People For Bikes and Kimberly-Clark’s Scott Natural Brand. The Challenge, which ran from May 1 to September 30th, united 92,352 riders pedaling over 37 million miles in the five month period.
Within the National Bike Challenge individuals compete and there is also the opportunity to form teams and have local challenges as well. Bike Hutto participated as a team for the first time ever in 2015. It had 23 active bicyclists and was part of the Bike Austin Local Challenge. The Bike Austin Local Challenge encompassed 16 communities and 26 teams throughout the Central Texas region. The Bike Hutto Team ranked number one within Central Teas. Hutto was second only to Austin amongst those 16 communities. Bike Hutto also faired very well within the state of Texas. The team ranked 9th out of 104 teams participating in Texas.
Individuals are awarded at different levels of the challenge based on points and mileage. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels can be achieved. Four Bike Hutto riders (Leigh Ann Ganzar, James Jumonville, Brian Grubbs, and Camille Baptiste) were awarded Platinum Status based on having over 2,500 points. Eighteen of the participating riders reached at least one award level during the challenge.
“We are very proud of what Bike Hutto accomplished its first year competing in the Bike Challenge,” says Bike Hutto Director, Jessica Romigh. “With that, we are already looking at ways to do even better next year! No reason we can’t go from the top ten to the top five in Texas!”
In addition to the National Bike Challenge being a fun way to encourage bicycling throughout the summer months, there is also an opportunity to gather data such as recreation verses transportation miles. Bike Hutto will be utilizing this data in the coming months as it addresses infrastructure and programming needs for bicyclists in the Hutto, Texas area.
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 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.
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/
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/
Bike Hutto is excited to announce that it will now be offering membership! We are pleased to be kicking this new program off at the start of National Bike Month –what better time to show your support for bicycling in Hutto!
Membership provides a sense of belonging and a feeling of being part of something. Your 2015 Bike Hutto membership will provide the following benefits:
- Discounts on future Bike Hutto events that have admission
- Monthly E-Newsletter that provides updates on Hutto events, bicycling infrastructure, as well as State-wide bicycling advocacy
- Founding Membership Status
- Membership Card
Membership is FREE this first year!! After signing up, you will receive a membership card in the mail which will expire one year after the month you joined.
During the month of May, every person who becomes a Bike Hutto member will be entered into a drawing to win this bicycle yard art! Drawing will be done on June 1st and the winner will be notified by email.
At this time, membership forms are only available in paper format. We are working on getting an online format available as soon as possible. However, in the meantime there will be multiple opportunities to find us throughout the month of May to become a member at any of our #BikeMonthHutto events!
May 2 – 10am-11:30am Hutto Public Library for the Bike Rack Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Bike Month Kick Off
May 9 – 9am-12pm Central Texas Home and Garden Show, we will be having a booth in the CO-OP Market section on the corner of Farley and Main St.
May 14 – 5pm-7pm Booth at CO-OP Market Nights
May 16 – 11am-1pm Hutto Lake Park Social Ride and Picnic
May 21 – 5pm-7pm Booth at CO-OP Market Nights
Bike Hutto, in partnership with the Hutto Food Pantry and the Hutto Lutheran Church, presents:
Pedal For Plenty originated in Fort Worth, Texas and is a bicycle-powered food drive hosted by cyclists to inspire communities to support their area food banks in the fight to eliminate hunger. In 2013, the first annual Pedal For Plenty in Fort Worth collected 825 lbs of non-perishable foods for Tarrant Area Food Bank. In 2014, their efforts gained momentum in the amount of 5500 lbs of food. They are proud to take the Pedal for Plenty initiative nationally starting in 2015.
Bike Hutto is adopting the Pedal For Plenty program to fit the needs of Hutto, Texas. The program will kick off on April 11, 2015. Participating local businesses, schools, and churches will have donation boxes available for individuals to drop off non-perishable food. Donations will be collected until May 15, 2015.
On May 16th, bicyclists from the Hutto Community will load the collected donations onto bike racks and baskets for a short, family-friendly ride to the Hutto Food Pantry. The ride will start at 10am. As a group, we will ride the donations to the Hutto Food Pantry located at 206 E. Live Oak Street. Next door at the Hutto Lutheran Church fellowship hall, there will be a Collection Celebration which will include lunch, final weight totals from the food drive, plus some surprise speakers. The celebration will conclude at 1pm.
Bike Hutto is excited to be working with the City of Hutto on finalizing a location for our participation in the ‘Adopt-A-Spot’ Program! This will be the first step in our Circle of Giving initiative and we can’t wait to help beautify an area of Hutto!
For those who may not be familiar with this new City of Hutto program….
“The Adopt-A-Spot program is a new way for residents to take care of Hutto. Groups can “adopt” different city roadways, parks, and other areas around town by organizing trash clean ups, landscaping, and other ways to keep Hutto looking good.”
We look forward to announcing the location and a date for the first clean-up! In the meantime, please let us know if you would be interested in volunteering with the program by emailing us at email@example.com or sending us a facebook message (https://www.facebook.com/bikehutto)
Bike Hutto is launching the ‘Community of Cyclists Campaign’ in January 2015. The campaign was inspired by similar campaigns launched by People For Bikes and Bike Pittsburgh, which emphasize the humanization of bicyclists to promote bike safety.
The Community of Cyclists Campaign is an effort by Bike Hutto to show the wide variety of people in Hutto that bike. The term, “Cyclist” can sometimes give off a certain type of image. The campaign will promote the fact that there is no one “type” of person who rides a bicycle. They are our friends, our neighbors, our students, and our colleagues.
Profiles will be done on a variety of Hutto bicyclists. Each profile will include the “Hello My Name Is….And I Ride” logo, a picture of the cyclist, 3 descriptive words that the person being profiled feels represents them, and answers to a brief interview. The process will take part via email and will not take up much of the individual’s time. The Community of Cyclists profiles will be promoted both on the Bike Hutto website, as well as on all social media channels.
It is always best to put a face to the name, whether you’re talking about bike safety, future bike infrastructure, or social events. Hutto is about community. If you are a bicyclist, it is important to know your fellow riders. If you don’t ride, it is an important to remember that the needs and safety of the person you see bicycling could be your neighbor.