Category Archives: Bikes

Celebrate Earth Day


Texas constitutes 0.004% of the Earth’s surface

Earth Day events happening around Texas…

Austin Earth Day Festival
Saturday, April 20th, 12pm-7pm
Browning Hangar at Mueller Park
4550 Mueller Central Dr., Austin, TX 78723

Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange
2013 Trail Between the Lakes Hike
April 19th , 20th, & 21st
Phil Rogers – – 409-543-4616
Bruce Walker – – 409-782-3486

Earth Day Festival Belton
April 13, 9 am – 5 pm
Organized by AWARE Central Texas and
Belton Chamber of Commerce
Contact: Linda Griffith or Richard Paul Thomas at (254) 947-4717 or via email to

Brazos Valley
Brazos Valley Earth Day
April 20, 2013
11 am – 7 pm
Wolf Pen Creek
Organized by The Brazos Valley Earth Day Committee

Corpus Christi
Earth Day Bay Day
Saturday, April 13th, 10am to 5pm
Heritage Park
1581 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Sierra Club Contact:
Lois Huff,, 361-774-1500

Earth Day Dallas
April 20-21, 10 am – 6 pm
Fair Park
Organized by Earth Day Dallas (EDD)

The City of Edinburg Earth/Arbor Day Festival
Saturday, April 27th, 9am to 1pm
Edinburg World Birding Center
Includes a 1 mile family walk and a ‘Bicycle Rodeo’

El Paso
El Paso’s Earth Day
Saturday, April 20, 9 am – 1 pm
Union Plaza District
Organized by City of El Paso
Environmental Services Department

Earth Day Houston
April 14, 11 am – 5 pm
Discovery Green
Organized by Air Alliance Houston

Vida Verde Earth Day Festival
April 20, 9 am – 4 pm
Quinta Mazatlan
Organized by City of McAllen

San Antonio
April 18: “Earth Day” NW Vista College (9 A.M. – 1 P.M.)
April 22: “Earth Day” San Antonio College (10 A.M. – 2 P.M.)
April 23: “EarthFest” UTSA 1604 (11 A.M. – 2 P.M.)
Contact Gay Wright at or(210) 362-1984.

Earth Day San Antonio
April 20, 2013
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Woodlawn Lake
Organized by Build San Antonio Green

Texoma Earth Day Festival
April 20, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Municipal Ballroom and Grounds
Sherman, TX


Austin Yellow Bike Project – Austin’s Community Bike Shop

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

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

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

You Look Bike-alicious!!!

My experience as a novice Austin biker:

I recently took a 3- hr seminar on lawfully riding a bike in Austin and it was very informative. Our instructor went over subjects like: proper signaling, traffic maneuvering and Austin biking statistics. I was shocked at all the things I did not know about biking and how there were so many rules for the people I seen carrying on daily life.

After the class session the question was asked did I feel safer if I were to ride a bike, the answer is definitely, “No!”. I say that only because when I was a kid, biking meant fun and carefree days and now as a “novice city biker”, there are so many things to be weary of, like, buses and drivers not seeing you.
The next portion of training was actually taking a bike out to cycle. It was a ton of fun! We rode around for about an hour and then hauled it in with some constructive criticism from our instructor. It was a great ride, even though, there are a ton of reasons why I am afraid, I still can’t ignore the reasons why I would ride a bike. There are a ton of (1) healthy obvious reasons why bike riding is beneficial- avid bike riders usually eat healthier and are more physically fit. (2)It is feasible- I am rolling the numbers in my head on how much I would save on gas, if I simply biked short distances. (3) Lastly, I would cut down on my carbon-foot print if I simply didn’t drive so much!

Even though, I started off afraid of riding a bike in the streets of Austin, I was easily persuaded after a 1-hour ride around the neighborhood.  There are many programs in Austin to get you “bike ready” for the streets. All you need to do is a little research and you will find yourself enjoying all the benefits of pushing two pedals and you will look “Bike-alicious” doing it!

Icye Walker, Sierra Club Intern

Plug it in and Grin!

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!


Juicing Up!

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

Completing Streets, Giving Choices

Transportation choices: it’s the slogan of the Green Transportation campaign but it’s also at the heart of what we do. Complete Streets give choices: the roads and streets safely serve the needs of all users–cars (of course), but also cyclists, pedestrians of all ages, and transit users.

Common ways of completing streets are adding crosswalks, improving sidewalks, providing bus shelters, and narrowing traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes on the road. Simple, often inexpensive interventions can make an incredible difference.

Our Transportation Associate, Kari Banta, moderated a panel on Complete Streets at the SXSW Eco conference on October 3. Joshua Houdek of the North Star Chapter and David Jurca from the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative to talk about Complete Streets– how they work, making them happen, and testing them out with  a “pop up” temporary demonstration project.

The Sierra Club North Star Chapter helped get complete streets legislation adopted in Minnesota–a tremendous accomplishment–so now activists can direct attention toward getting them implemented. Minneapolis is truly transforming the way people think about getting around, as you can see in this presentation.

Making a complete street depends on who is using it. A rural highway might not need sidewalks or bus shelters, for example. The community needs to be involved in the planning process to decide what they need from their streets, working with the city planners and engineers to phase the improvements into the regular maintenance schedule. If the changes are low cost, there’s a possibility they could be done much sooner. As with many things the Sierra Club does, it takes volunteers working together to get people together and keep pushing the project forward.

Part of getting people comfortable with Complete Streets is giving them a chance to try it out for themselves. David Jurca explained Pop Up Rockwell, the project he did with graduate students to convert four blocks of Rockwall Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio to a pedestrian and biking oasis. Using paint, temporary planters, outdoor furniture, and some very clever inflatable art pieces he turned a disused and barren street into a real place.

Here’s the film they produced to explain the project–please set aside nine minutes to see how an amazing transformation is possible!

Pop Up Rockwell from KSU CUDC on Vimeo.

You can listen to the full SXSW Eco presentation, titled Life in the Streets: Reclaiming Public Space, here.

Kari Banta
Transportation Associate

SAVE THE DATE: September 29th-30th The 12th Annual Renewable Roundup is Back!

Renewable Roundup 2012!

At a Glance…

WHAT?!?!: The 12th Annual Renewable Roundup is a sustainability symposium centered around green living, alternative energy education, family festivities, and sustainable lifestyle practices for our future. This event wouldn’t be complete without it’s A-list of Guest Speakers, Hands-on Workshops, Eco-friendly Vendors, Progressive Exhibitors, Tasty Food Demonstrators, and Supportive Sponsors.

WHERE?!?!: Fredricksburg, Texas

WHEN?!?!: The last weekend in September. Saturday September 29th 9:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday September 30th 9:00am- 5:00pm

HOW?!?!: For more information on how to get involved with the Roundup as a either a participant or patron, visit

WHO?!?!: Everyone and anyone is invited! We encourage all individuals and families to come out to this great event looking to learn about sustainable living practices. This event is proudly brought to you by a joint effort from TREIA, Texas Center for Policy Studies, and The Texas Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter.

Learn How, Here!

In Depth…


Great News!  The annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair will be taking place again this year in the beautiful and historical town Fredericksburg, Texas! Organized by the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association, in collaboration with the Texas Center for Policy Studies and the Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club, Renewable Roundup is a collaborative event centered around individuals, organizations, and companies passionate about sustainable living.  The event planning committee is working hard on making this year’s show the best ever. The underlining theme of this weekend event strives to promote cleaner and smarter ways of using our resources while educating the public about “Greener” lifestyles and options. This event serves as both a conference and festival, as it enlightens, entertains, and publicizes those interested in a brighter greener future. We would love to have you at this extraordinary event the 4th weekend in September (Sept. 29 &30). Please check out our website to find out more or contact Event Coordinator Laura Rice at


  • Attend!
  • Apply to be a Guest Speaker
  • Host a workshop the Friday before the gates open on Saturday morning
  • Reserve a booth or exhibit space to advertise and or promote a sustainable idea or product
  • Advertise
  • Sponsor the event
  • Volunteer at the event
  • Come to the VIP kick-off party Friday evening

Can’t Wait to See Everyone There! 🙂

-Danya Gorel Sierra Club Intern

~Special Thanks to Mentor and Conservation Director Cyrus Reed~


Austin’s Full of Love for Walking, Biking and Skating

This gallery contains 12 photos.

This past Saturday, the City of Austin closed a two mile stretch of Sixth Street for Viva Streets, a day long festival of active transportation and, well, fun! The Lone Star Chapter set up a table and asked people to … Continue reading