Tom Murray, 31, Shares His Experience Commuting To MD Anderson

Tom Murray, 31, Shares His Experience Commuting To MD Anderson

MD Anderson won our Bike-Friendly Business award at the Houston Bike Summit. It was a perfect time to sit down with one of their employees who is a daily bike commuter. Tom Murray, 31, is a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson’s Department of Biostatistics. Tom commutes to work by bike every day. He says he feels comfortable on his bike most of the time. “I ride on Caroline and through Hermann Park to get to the medical center. I am usually on my bike to get somewhere, but I do occasionally join some of Houston’s many social and exercise rides as well.  Once I was involved in a crash on Caroline when a driver blew a stop sign at a cross street and I hit the back end of their car. I rolled away okay; my front tire, not so much. ” “What is failing in Houston is the aggressive driving that is pervasive here. Enforcement of existing laws would help, but so would structural changes on street, which can get people to slow down. I hope the Bike Plan will bring more attention to the latter as a way to make the streets safer for everyone. The Houston Bike Plan will bring critical connections, provide better signage and more clarification about where drivers should expect people on bikes. To put it another way, I think and hope the Bike Plan will clarify for everyone (drivers and bikers) where the bike routes are in the city, and ensure these are connected and as comfortable as practical for people on bikes.” “The first thing the city should do is clearly mark low and slow...
Ever Get Buzzed by a Car While Riding Your Bike?

Ever Get Buzzed by a Car While Riding Your Bike?

Ever get buzzed by a car while riding your bike? Want to do something about it? Kinder Institute needs cyclists to record these near-misses. We want to see what routes are safer and which places are more dangerous. This information can be used to make Houston streets safer for all people riding bikes. We need bike riders to report their daily trips for one week between March 4 and 10. The trips — and near-misses — will be reported through an online travel diary (for iPhone users) or via a Safe Activity app (for Android users). Participants will also be asked to use the Love to Ride tracker app to record trips via GPS. Participation is simple. It will take 15 minutes per day. And to sweeten the deal, you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card — and will help Houston make its streets safer for all users. Interested? Here’s how you can learn more: Visit our homepage for more information. (Sign Up Here) Meet us at the Houston Bike Summit on February 27th Join us at a training event on March 2nd. The event will take place upstairs at Rudyard’s (2010 Waugh Dr.) between 5-7 pm. We need your help to make cycling better in Houston. Kyle Shelton Kinder Institute Rice...
Brian Barr, 21, Chemical Engineer Student

Brian Barr, 21, Chemical Engineer Student

Brian Barr, 21, chemical engineer student, works at Rice Bikes, the student-run bike shop at Rice University Brian moved to Houston three years ago to start his freshman year at Rice University. He came from Atlanta where he was not able to ride his bike that often because his neighborhood there was not very bike friendly. Luckily he could sometimes borrow the family car. Now a student at Rice, Brian has lost access to the car and finds his way on his bike or by taking public transit like buses and the metro rail. Houston is a 6: “I cannot afford a car, being a student at Rice is expensive enough, so having a bicycle is an essential part of my means of transportation. I am glad that I can use my bike around campus and that the lightrail is close by. Houston has a lot of potential as a bike friendly city because it is so flat and it stays warm throughout the year. Some neighborhoods are already very bike friendly and have easy access to off-street facilities such as the bayou trails, but other parts of the city still have a ways to go. For example if I need to go to the Galleria area or Greenway Plaza, although it is not far, I never take my bike. I do consider myself a strong and fearless cyclist. You have to be if you depend heavily on riding your bike for transportation. Overall right now I would give the city a 6 out of 10 but with the potential to be an 8 or a 9.” Houston Bike...
Meet Our New Communications Manager

Meet Our New Communications Manager

Name: Ivan Fuentes Age: 32 Title: Communications Manager Ivan Fuentes joined BikeHouston in October as our communications manager. We talked to Ivan about his new job and what he wants you to know about cycling in Houston. After a 10-year career in finance, what prompted you to take a job with a nonprofit? I was always curious about BikeHouston. When this position came available, I saw an opportunity to bring some new ideas and help Houston grow into a more bike-centric city. I have been in the social cycling community for some time now. I am so excited to have the opportunity to help all those people we got on bikes to now get the biking infrastructure they deserve. What are you going to be doing for BikeHouston? My job is to connect BikeHouston with the community. I’m here to make sure our members, supporters, volunteers and all transportation stakeholders know what we are doing to make Houston a cycling utopia. As part of that, I’ll be creating, coordinating and promoting fun outreach events that get more people on bikes. What is your first memory of cycling? My first memory of cycling was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was riding with my brother down our street when I hit a rock and lost control of my bike. It was an old bike so the grips were torn and the metal exposed. The handlebars turned and hit me right on my chin, causing a big cut that required stitches. The doctor said that if it had been an inch or so lower by my throat,...
How To Fix A Flat Tire

How To Fix A Flat Tire

Flat tires happen to everyone, usually at the most inopportune times. So we wanted to make sure that you have an idea of what to do next time you find yourself with a punctured tire out on the road (we encourage you to practice these simple steps at home). Here are the steps: Remove the tube. (While it is technically possible to repair a tube without removing the wheel, it is much easier to work with the wheel off the bike.) Make sure to inspect your tube for any debris. Locate puncture. Grab your pump and start re-inflating the tube—big holes will be obvious. If the hole proves elusive, hold the tube up near your cheek and ear. You should be able to feel and/or hear most small leaks. For really hard-to-locate holes, immerse the tube in water a section at a time and look for a tiny stream of bubbles. Some flats are caused by pinching the tube against the rim. This usually creates a pair of punctures, or a “snakebite”—make sure you find and patch both. Prep the surface. Most patch kits come with sandpaper, use this to rough up an area around the hole a few millimeters larger than the patch you are using. If you have a choice, select the smallest patch that covers the hole. If sandpaper isn’t available, a rock or any other rough surface can be used, just make sure there isn’t any debris left on the tube. Apply the glue. Apply a thin layer of vulcanizing fluid to the tube, enough to cover a spot a few millimeters larger than the...
#OptOutside More Than Just A Hashtag

#OptOutside More Than Just A Hashtag

Every year millions of people line up outside of the nearest big box stores the day after Thanksgiving as part of Black Friday. This year, join BikeHouston for something different by going for a bike ride. #OptOutside is a campaign by our friend and sponsor, REI, to encourage people to skip the lines on Black Friday and get outside. BikeHouston is opting outside by leading a ride for our members. We are heading to Sam Houston National Forest for the #OptOutside Adventure Ride. Although registration for this ride is already full, you can still burn off the turkey and go pedal with your friends. Go for a ride instead of waiting in line at Walmart. Even if you can’t make our ride, take the family to the park, go for a ride or walk. IF you absolutely MUST shop, take your bike there! You can get more information on our ride...

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