Bicycles are an excellent source of transportation – whether you use them to stay in shape or to cut down on your gas expenses and carbon footprint – bicycles are ubiquitous in Austin. The Austin Yellow Bike Project is an all-volunteer initiative that began in 1997. It is run solely on donations from the local community. These donations include cash, volunteering time or simply donating bike parts.
The Yellow Bike Project Logo
One of the most remarkable things about this community project is that it is a hub for serious bike lovers and bike newbies alike. People go there not to get their bike fixed, but to learn how to fix it themselves. The coordinators are very friendly and helpful. One of the ways that the YBP gives back to the community is by running a program called Earn-A-Bike, which basically lets anyone build his/her own bike for free after having volunteered their time and learned about the basics of how bikes work. I personally came to the YBP without knowing anything about bikes. After taking a part in this amazing community initiative, and having a lot of fun in the process, I successfully built my own bike from spare parts in the shop.
A taste of what the facility has to offer
The YBP also acts as a local bike advocacy group – it strives to make bikes a safer mode of transportation in Austin and Central Texas. It does so by having members sign petitions that will engage local legislators to create separate bike lanes throughout Austin. This facility has been in the news on multiple occasions, and even had a short documentary done about it.
A loyal volunteer moves bike parts to the new YBP facility
I urge you to consider volunteering in the Yellow Bike Project. It will not only give you an opportunity to learn more about bicycles, but will allow you to give back to the community through a more refreshing hands-on approach.
Written by Yuval Edrey
National Plug-In Day was an awesome experience! If you missed it, after you read this I doubt you miss the next one because it was AWESOME! Ok ok, I know you are thinking, “Icye, can you just tell me about it already ?”
On September 23rd, in our beautiful city, supporters and proud owners of plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars gathered to mark the progress and draw new fans to more energy efficient technology. National Plug-In Day featured vehicle test drives, opportunities to get involved with environmental justice movements and a chance just to have a flat out great time. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, great for family and mingling with new people. The bonus was that it just happen to have cleaner energy cars, scooters, motorcycles, bikes and even a converted Jeep Wrangler! That was the best part!
So why am I so excited about plugging it in? Because you save money! Granted, I am a college student, still I know my first purchased car will be a hybrid or EV. Plug in America says, “A plug-in car uses clean, affordable, domestic electricity for some or all of its energy. An all-electric vehicle (EV) stores all its energy in batteries. Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) store some energy in batteries, and have a gas engine to extend range. Conventional hybrids have batteries, but all their energy comes from gasoline. They cannot plug in to cleaner, cheaper, domestic power!”
Jealous yet?! Being able to see all the new technology and hearing about the new developments for future transportation was almost surreal. I enjoyed so much of my time there and it gave me so much joy in knowing that I was helping out in the growth of clean cars, as well as clean air. So now that you know the scoop, where will you be on National Plug-In Day next year?
- Icye Walker
Sierra Club Intern
Posted in Austin, Bikes, Clean Air, Electric Vehicles, Energy, Fuel Economy, In the News, Pollution, Transportation, Trucks
Tagged Austin, bikes, clean energy, fuel efficiency, Green Transportation, pollution
Has it been so long since you’ve used your bike that it’s part of the fence? Don’t worry, the Sierra Club has teamed up with the League of American Bicyclists to make riding safe and easy.
During May, try to ride your bike to work, school, or for running errands.
All you need to start are a bike, a helmet, and some patience. Set yourself up to succeed! The National League of Bicyclists has Five Steps to Riding Better that will make you feel more confident and safe on the road.
There are a number of events throughout the month to encourage you to give it a try. This link shows everything in Texas (Austin, San Antonio and Odessa have events so far).
This link shows all of the bike shops, bike clubs and riding instructors in the state. If you still have questions, this link has lots of answers.
Still don’t think you can do it? Here are nine reasons you shouldn’t ride to work (good points with a heap of sarcasm).
Folks from across the Lower Rio Grande Valley gathered at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Saturday for a morning bike ride. This was more than just your usual Sierra Club outing, but a call on local, state and national leaders to address climate change and move beyond fossil fuels. The numerous renewable energy projects around TSTC were showcased during this ride, and participants learned ways that they can help move beyond fossil fuels. We are able to have a clean energy future, and now we want our decision makers to join us in pledging to do so to keep our air and water clean.
The Moving Planet bike ride was a great success with around 50 people in attendance, and media coverage from The Monitor, The Valley Morning Star, and the Brownsfield Herald. Many thanks to Mark Peña, Sally Merrill, Stefanie Herweck, and the other organizers for hosting such a wonderful event!