Now we bring you part 2 of our “Bike Friendly Oak Cliff Best of 2011” list. Special thanks to our judges, who were selected from throughout the region, for providing us their selections and write-ups. Congrats again to everyone who made the list!
Most Bike Friendly Neighborhood: Richardson
Who knew that our suburb to the North would be leading the pack in regards to bicycling advocacy, and infrastructure? In a relatively short period of time, Richardson has become one of the best places for an active cyclist to live. The city neighborhoods interconnect – providing great side-street routes throughout town. There is also a great start to a network of multi-purpose trails and bike lanes that provide a crucial connection between Dallas and the surrounding neighborhoods. The 11 miles of bike lanes have a dual purpose, providing access to cyclist while calming car traffic through residential streets. The city trails have been updated as well. The new Glenville Trail provides safe access to the new Huffhines Recreation Center, while the new additions to the Spring Creek Trail provide two east/west connections under Central Expressway. There is also a new trail that closes the gap between the Preston Ridge and the Cottonwood trails. Recently, Richardson has been awarded a “Safe Routes To School” grant, allowing them to allocate more funds for the installation of barrier-free ramps, sidewalks, bike routes, bike lanes and bike racks. To date, the city boasts 24 miles of multi-use trails, and that figure is rapidly changing with several more miles on the drawing board (and funded) to be completed. The ultimate build out has 40+ miles of multi-use trails serving Richardson, with regional ties to other cities trail networks. – Richard Wezensky, Bike Friendly Richardson
Best Bike Friendly Restaurant: Lily Pad Cafe
Since Main Street GardenPark opened, it’s been an idyllic starting and ending point to almost everygroup ride from all parts of the city. That deal was sealed with the opening of the well-shaded and beloved Lily Pad Cafe—an outdoor-seating only breakfast ,lunch, and dinner spot. The main attraction? There’s many. There’s a pretty solid variety of microbrewed beers (happy hour starts at 11 a.m. during the week!) and wine/sangria by the glass. A menu designed by the Beyond the Box chef that features a surprisingly diverse menu selection given their relatively small kitchen. Plus, it’s an optimal stage for people watching; bike messengers taking breaks between deliveries, locals walking dogs, kids playing in the fountain. All that plus a staff that loves supporting the cycling community? Right on! – Holly Jefferson
Best Group Ride: Dallas Tweed Ride
2011 Dallas Tweed Ride There were numerous and remarkable group rides in 2011 yet if cycling events were holidays the 3rd annual Dallas Tweed Ride would be Thanksgiving. This was the ride where cyclist of all stripes and colors come together, decked out in their finest tweed and vintage outfits, to celebrate life on two wheels.
The excitement was electric as we waited for everyone to show up at Dealey Plaza. Just idling around admiring each others choice in attire was a story in itself, and a photographers dream. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say what a proud moment it was to ride through downtown Dallas as we made our way to the Turner House for refreshments where we spent time with old friends and made new ones. After games of tug-of-war (and the beer running out) we meandered to the Bishop Arts District as we waved to all the folks in their yards and doorsteps who cheered us on our journey.
It makes sense that this ride ends At Eno’s, which has always been a strong supporter of our cause. Yes, this ride was our Thanksgiving and thanks to all of the Bike Friendly Oak Cliff team who hosted it and gave us the opportunity to celebrate life on two wheels. – Chris Curnutt, Biking in Dallas
Bike Friendly Artist: ReGeared
Looking for that perfect, unique gift for the cycling fanatic in your life? Look no further than Dallas’s own, Rachel Spire who heads up the Etsy shop ReGEARED. Rachel merged her passion for art, furniture, and cycling to create amazing gifts made from reclaimed bicycle parts. You’ll find everything from gear-fused clocks to bike-chain photo frames for great prices and all handmade by Rachel herself. Most local bike shops carry her products, so that gives you two days to pick up some ReGEARED goodies before Christmas! – Jason Roberts
Best Bicycle Advocacy Group: BikeDFW
Representing nearly 2,000 cyclists in North Texas, BikeDFW has been the chief advocacy organization for our region for many years. President, Marc Mumby, has been passionate about leading the organization while championing bicycle safety, education, and events that focus on everything from the beginning cyclist, to promoting progressive bicycle policies within local government. During the Build a Better Boulevard event on Ross Avenue in Downtown Dallas, the team could be found in 100+ degree heat promoting bicycle initiatives while passerby’s had the opportunity to pedal a bike-powered smoothie maker. Our city is lucky to have such a strong and passionate group championing our shared cause. – Jason Roberts