Today is National Bike to Work Day, and the folks at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff promised a huge surprise this morning at the group’s “energizer station” at the Jefferson Viaduct. And, boy, did they deliver. In addition to KIND and Cliff bars and a swag assortment from DART, a mariachi trio was among the surprises today.
“I love the idea of just tapping into the different aspects of Oak Cliff culture,” said Jonathan Braddick, a board member of BFOC. “It was worth the money we spent to get them out there.”
After setting up camp at 6:30 a.m, the bike traffic was off to a slow start. “We realized people don’t ride to work that early,” Braddick said. But almost 50 bicyclists passed through the station before 9 a.m.
“It was awesome. More people did the bike to work than ever,” Braddick said. “Some of them didn’t even stop. They went right through our tent. But most people came and hung out for a bit.”
So, how does BFOC top this morning’s act? Braddick’s already thinking. ”Next year, we might do a marching band or something,” he said.
Friday is National Bike to Work Day — which is every day for some serious cyclists in Oak Cliff.
This year, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff is teaming up with BikeDFW and DART to create an “energizer station” at the Jefferson Viaduct’s new bike lanes.
From 6:30 an 9 a.m., the group will offer safety checks and free beverages and snacks.
“This is the first time BFOC has done a station,” said Jonathan Braddick, a board member of the group. The station idea “started in Richardson last year. I heard their turnout was really good. Hopefully, we’ll see quite a few folks showing up”
While the group plans to present bagels, doughnuts, and KIND snacks, they’ve also got a secret up their sleeve. They plan to put a south-of-the-Trinity spin on their site, which is among five planned for that day (there’s another station not too far on Akard Street).
“We’ll give you a hint. Think loud and fun, with a bit of Oak Cliff culture,” clues the invitation to Friday’s event.
The Kessler Theater will hold a benefit concert on May 25 for Oak Cliff activist Jason Roberts. The Better Block and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff pioneer has been battling testicular cancer since June, and his treatments come with a hefty price tag. The show will help raise money to assist with said medical bills.
Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. at Eno’s before moving to the Kessler. The itinerary includes a bike ride, live music, and an art auction.
Click here for tickets.
Oak Cliff can be quite an obstacle course for cyclists. There’s construction detours, narrow lanes, and heavy pedestrian traffic competing for your attention during what should be a leisurely ride. What cyclist couldn’t use a little more wisdom?
At 7:45 a.m. this Saturday, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and the League of American Bicyclists are hosting “Traffic Skills 101″ at El Jordan, 416 N. Bishop Ave. The half-day course “is designed to teach basic cycling skills to riders of all ages and abilities. Bicyclists will learn to ride effectively and with confidence in an urban environment,” according to a news release from the group.
The class is $30, and requires the completion of an online course before Saturday’s meeting. More details here.
If you cross the Houston Street Viaduct to commute from Oak Cliff to downtown — whether by bike or car — you should know there are some changes coming this week. The roadway will be closed entirely Sunday for construction of the streetcar that will eventually link the Bishop Arts District to the other side of the Trinity River. The viaduct won’t reopen until the summer of 2014.
The picture might look discouraging for some the neighborhood’s bicyclists — especially when some of them already consider the current bike paths a tight squeeze. The Jefferson Viaduct — currently a four-lane roadway – will convert to two-way traffic but include barricaded bike lanes, city and DART officials said.
Some bicyclists, such as Gerardo Vargas, don’t seem fazed. “The construction won’t stop me from riding on it,” he said. “If I don’t feel safe, I’ll have to find an alternate route to downtown. The Continental bridge would be my other choice.”
You can read more in this week’s newspaper. Leave us a comment to let us know if you’re contemplating a new route downtown or undaunted by the detour.
Just in case you were looking for a reason to peel yourself out of bed on Saturday morning, the City of Dallas is hosting a discussion about developing a safe pedestrian plaza at the intersection of W. Seventh Street and N. Rosemont Avenue.
The meeting will take place this Saturday from 9-10:30 a.m. at Alta West Davis Apartments.
Hopefully there will be coffee or donuts to reward you for the early morning wake-up call.
The folks at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff have called off the Tweed Ride scheduled for Feb. 9. It has been pushed back until November due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Perhaps those circumstances have to do with beneficiary Jason Roberts’ illness. Or maybe the BFOC guys realized they were competing with lots of other activities scheduled for Feb. 9 in Oak Cliff:
Kidd Springs Park: Dash For The Beads, 9 a.m.
Hampton-Illinois Library: Blanca Reyna presents “Meso-American Folktales, Music, and Movement,” 11 a.m.; Oak Cliff Ball & Chain Crocheters Guild meeting, noon
North Oak Cliff Library: Peter Coyl discusses Stonewall Book Awards, 5 p.m.
Texas Theatre: Phantasm, TBA; John Dies at the End, 5 and 7:15 p.m.; “Ladies Stay Crazy” dance party, 10 p.m.
Kessler Theater: OCarnivale Masquerade Ball, 7 p.m.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center: David Benoit and Paul Taylor, 7 and 9:45 p.m.
This year’s Tweed Ride will be more than a just a good time. It will also be a good cause.
Bike Friendly Oak Cliff is dedicating the Feb. 9 event to co-founder Jason Roberts, who has been battling testicular cancer since June. Organizers hope to raise money to help Roberts cover his medical bills.
“The Tweed Ride, like all of our rides, is free,” BFOC’s Jonathan Braddick said. “However, we’ll have beer glasses for sale, with free beer inside the glass, and photo opportunities at the end of the ride at Dallas Heritage Village.”
Roberts’ insurance covers 80 percent of the costs of his treatment, which has included four weeklong hospital stays.
“But 20 percent is pretty hefty at the end of the day,” he said Tuesday during his latest hospital visit. “It adds up pretty fast.”
Fortunately, Roberts’ oncologist told him two weeks ago that he is cancer free. His latest treatment is to drain excess fluids, which were a side effect of major abdominal surgery to remove a tumor.
Answer the trivia question correctly, and you could win free registration to the Dash for the Beads 5K on Feb. 9 benefitting FIDO Oak Cliff. Questions will be posted every Monday and Friday until the weekend of the event. Winners will be selected from the participants who answered correctly. Bon chance!
1. True or False: Mardis Gras in America began in New Orleans.
Maybe this has already been reported elsewhere (I’ve spent the past few days at home, running a makeshift flu ward), but I just noticed that the Trinity Trust Foundation is donating $5 million for pedestrian and bicycle lanes on Interstate 30. So says the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the City Council’s Trinity River Corridor Project Committee.
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