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Old 05-21-2008, 08:09 PM
 
134 posts, read 212,940 times
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Default Cycling Question

Alright...I think I have found a place to live in Houston (Midtown). I have another question for the board.

I am looking into getting a new road bike so I can do a bit of cycling. I was wondering if I am going to be putting my life in danger if I decide to cycle around town every once and awhile. I was thinking about even cycling to work. Anyway, I know that Houston is not as cycle-friendly as California but is it still possible? Do you see people around? Are there bike lanes? I just don't want to end up as a hood ornament on the front of bubba's big truck!
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:36 AM
 
Location: where nothin ever grows. no rain or rivers flow, TX
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buses here have a bike rack up front. in my building 6 people come in bicycles, we do have a small bike parking area tho
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:02 AM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
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I've seen more and more people cycling in my area over the past couple of years. Houston has almost 350 miles of bike trails, excluding the parks, according to this City of Houston -- Department of Public Works and Engineering (http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/bikeways/index.htm - broken link). I know a lot of people ride the trails along the bayous. There are definitely areas and times I'd avoid riding on the surface streets if I were you. Weekends seem much safer and smoother. There aren't as many cars on the roads.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:03 AM
 
134 posts, read 212,940 times
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Thanks for the advice. I have a mountain bike right now and will probably use it to ride along the trails. I was more interested in getting a road bike for actual transportation. Great way to get a little exercise and, since I really don't like driving very much, it gives me another option.

Anyway, I guess I will wait on the road bike until I get out there and get a better sense for the place and any safety issues.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
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I meant that some people I know who ride commute to work and back via the trails along the bayous, so they do use it for actual transportation. Of course, this depends on where you live and work and where you're going obviously. Besides them, where I live I see a lot of recreational cyclists (judging by their gear) on surface streets and not so many commuters.

Have you checked out BikeHouston - Home Your questions would probably be better answered there.

Where's Bike4Life when you need him?
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:59 AM
 
134 posts, read 212,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houstoner View Post
I meant that some people I know who ride commute to work and back via the trails along the bayous, so they do use it for actual transportation. Of course, this depends on where you live and work and where you're going obviously. Besides them, where I live I see a lot of recreational cyclists (judging by their gear) on surface streets and not so many commuters.

Have you checked out BikeHouston - Home Your questions would probably be better answered there.

Where's Bike4Life when you need him?

Thanks for the website. Will definitely take a look.

Another thing we used to do on a Saturday or Sunday was get about 20 or so people together and do a pub crawl/cruise. Have you heard of these in Houston?

It was really fun and you don't have to worry about driving, which was a plus. You would see a lot of people out in beach cruisers with the whitewall tires and chrome fenders.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:13 AM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
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Yes, various informal roaming gangs of cyclists can be seen on weekends. Try the following. They should be able to direct you toward some of these roaming gangs.

MySpace.com - Houston Critical Mass - 27 - Male - HOUSTON, Texas - www.myspace.com/criticalmasshouston

MySpace.com - THIRD WARD THURSDAYS - 52 - Male - HOUSTON, Texas - www.myspace.com/thirdwardthursday

MySpace.com - Haute Asphalt - 34 - Female - HOUSTON, Texas - www.myspace.com/hauteasphalt
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Houston
686 posts, read 1,322,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd2008 View Post
Are there bike lanes?
Any of the bike stores will have maps of bike lanes throughout Houston. You can map out the best route to get to where you want to go. I like Planetary Cycles on Braeswood @ Stella Link.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Detroit
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Thanks for the links.
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:54 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
283 posts, read 874,068 times
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Quote:
I was thinking about even cycling to work.
jd2008, that's a decision you will need to make after you familiarize yourself with the route you take from home to work and back. Use your common sense to decide for yourself same as we use deciding where to safely ride our bikes here in town.

While still working, I lived only a couple of blocks away from a major Houston street that had "on-street bike lanes". My place of employment was located a few miles away, across Hwy 290, on the same street as those bike lanes. Theoretically, I should have been to pedal a couple of blocks, get on that street with those bike lanes and be at work within a short time. But, because that street was full of people driving to and from work, at a very high rate of speed, only a drunk idiot would be fool enough to use those bike lanes ANY time, especially during rush hour. Those on-street lanes are narrow, full of rough spots and simply dangerous. Maybe, along stretches of Washington Ave. and some other streets, those lanes are relatively safe. Still, I would not use those for any reason except as a last resort.

As for cycling around town, same deal. Familiarize yourself with the area and proceed with caution. Weekends especially are good times to ride where you normally can't safely ride during the week. I ride downtown, the Museum District, the Heights and lots of places and feel perfectly safe. There are a lot of groups that drive their bikes out to the countryside around Houston and have rides of different lengths. With those links from the other posts and information from the bike shop people you should be up and going real fast. I Have 2 bikes, one road and one hybrid so ride quiet often.

Once you're here, locate a bike shop or 2 and I'm sure those guys can answer most, if not all, of your questions. There are a lot of bike riders here and things are improving but there are still a lot of Bubbas out there whose age is double their IQ and simply don't like sharing the roads with people smarter than themselves, meaning anybody who drives, bikes, or walks.

Good Luck. Maybe you'll be fit and ready for the MS-150 in Spring 2009.
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