Biking around Dallas and living to tell the tale is no small feat. Bumper-to-bumper traffic, distracted drivers, constant construction and general inaccessibility create a perfect storm only few can brave.
But efforts to promote biking among the masses haven’t gone unnoticed.
Just this summer, Dallas’ bike-sharing options multiplied threefold, thanks to private endeavors. And on Saturday, the city will close 20 miles of some of its busiest streets for cyclists as young as 3 to ride safely. Granted, it's just for one day.
The first-ever Dallas Bike Ride starts and finishes at City Hall Plaza. The course hits several different neighborhoods and landmarks in Dallas.
"This event gives the average person, the interested but concerned bicyclist, the opportunity to get out there, to see their city in a way they never have before and to give bicycling a try and see what fun it is again and see if that's something that they would be interested in doing on a regular basis or even for commuting or transportation opportunities," said Michelle Cleveland, marketing director for Capital Sports Ventures.
If you don't have a bike of your own, you can rent one in advance from Richardson Bike Mart. Road bikes, bike-share bikes, tandems, etc. are acceptable to ride in the event. Electric bikes are not.
You can’t access the course after the start, so get there before 7:45 a.m. And if you don’t want to ride, you can still attend the free party at the end.
Cleveland says organizers expect about 3,000 people for this first year’s turnout.
There will be a shorter route (around the 10.5 miles), so you can cut back early to the festival at the finish line that lasts until 1 p.m.
Registration is open until Nov. 1.
- Ages 3-7: Free. Kids must ride on a child bike seat, tagalong bike, tandem bike, in a bike trailer or in a bike cargo.
- Ages 8-15: $30. There must be one adult riding along for every kid in this age group.
- Ages 16 and up: $70
- VIP: $175. This includes a priority start, half-zip pullover, water bottle and a post-ride lunch.
Incarnation House will use the funds to set up new after-school programs for high school students to learn how to ride a bike and practice bike safety.
Bike Texas will use the money to teach 400 Dallas kids to ride at Earth Day Texas next year.
The next steps
Participants can pick up their packets at The Rustic, located at 3656 Howell St. in Dallas, from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Parking will be made available to reserve and purchase ahead of Saturday.
If you want to volunteer instead, register here.