Mayor Parker rode with a group starting at Memorial Park.
“Ride was great today! The weather was fantastic, you know, sunny and crisp. It’s always a little challenging when you’re riding into the sun coming in from the west, but great day.”
She says more and more Houstonians commute by bicycle and one of the goals of the Bike to Work Day is to remind drivers that bikes have a right to the road too.
Sarah Rhodes doesn’t have a car and rides her bike to work every day. She lives on Washington Avenue and commutes about four miles to the Greenway Plaza area. She says the more people ride bikes, the more aware drivers become of them.
“Some drivers are really nice and they’re good at, like, let you go or they’ll give you room or they’ll slow down but some people are just kind of rude and they’ll kind of go by you really fast or they’ll kind of come too close for comfort.”
Alex Luster lives in Eastwood in the East End and works in the West University area. He tries to go on the seven- to 10-mile bike ride to work several times per month.
Even in the hot Houston summer?
Luster: “Oh yeah, I love it in the summer. It’s the best way to cool off.”
Martin: “Cool off?”
Luster: “Yeah. You just, you go out and ride and you got wind, you know, just natural wind coming at you. It’s like an air conditioner.”
Not surprisingly, he still arrives at his office sweating but fortunately there are showers at his workplace.
Biking to work is not an option for everyone, for example the thousands of Houstonians who live in the suburbs but work downtown.
Sally Wood lives in the Heights and is an avid cyclist. She would love riding her bike to work but the commute out to the Beltway at I-10 is not only long but not exactly bike-friendly.
“No, because I would have to go on the interstate. That might be kind of difficult.”
But while riding a bike to work might not work for everybody, biking at least somewhere is becoming easier in the Houston area.
Again, Mayor Parker.
“We have trail work going on everywhere. Thanks to the voters of Houston last November, we will be putting $200 million of new bike trails in over the next five years. We’re concentrating first on the short connecting pieces but we will also be adding big segments of trail in the future.”
And, she says, if people support it, the city’s bike-sharing program will be further expanded to cover the more outlying areas of Houston.