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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.
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 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 of 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.
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.