Cowtown’s cycling scene


“They say 60 is the new 40; this is one way to make sure of it.”
— Fort Worth cyclist Betsy Price

Fort Worth’s quickly evolving bicycle culture gets a nice bit of recognition in 360West, a slick, upscale magazine that focuses on Tarrant County.
The April issue of the magazine — which covers the half of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex west of Texas 360 — has three pieces on cycling in and around Fort Worth under the label “Passions.”
One, headlined “The Builder,” is about Jeremy Shlachter, a friend and neighbor who founded Gallus Cycles in January 2009 and makes custom bikes in his small workshop on Fort Worth’s south side. (I’ve written several times in this blog about Jeremy: “The debut of the Gallus,” May 12; “Debut of the Gallus: Part II,” May 14; and “Debut of the Gallus: Part III, June 4.)

Jeremy Shlachter on one of his hand-built bikes

Another piece, headlined “The Believers,” focuses on cycling advocate and bike shop owner Bernie Scheffler, who will soon open a shop just south of downtown to cater to bicycle commuters. (This will be the subject of a future post.)
The third story, “The Roll Model,” is about one of the city’s most prominent cyclists, Betsy Price, who is tax assessor-collector for Tarrant County.
Price, who commutes to work by bicycle, has been a high-profile advocate of an ambitious plan to make Fort Worth one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation within the next five years. (See Feb. 10 post, From Cowtown to BikeTown?)
The city’s “comprehensive bicycle transportation plan,” approved by the City Council Feb. 9, aims to “attain official designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community through the League of American Cyclists” by 2015.

Bernie Scheffler

Called “Bike Fort Worth,” the plan also calls for expansion of the bike transportation network to nearly 1,000 miles, including off-street trails, dedicated on-street bike lanes and shared-roadway bike routes.
“The city is stepping up and has realized that to encourage growth they need to support different kinds of transportation,” 360West quoted Shlachter as saying.
“Fort Worth has always had kind of a strong racing scene, but the commute bike scene is kind of a new thing. I still don’t think it’s where it should be, but it’s definitely a lot better than it’s been.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Cool stuff, Texana, Urban cycling

2 responses to “Cowtown’s cycling scene

  1. Pingback: Gallus bikes in San Diego « Jim’s Bike Blog

  2. To Jim Peipert, author of this blog:
    While looking for information regarding the best mayoral candidate who will accelerate work to make the recently endorsed the Fort Worth Comprehensive Bicycle Transportation Plan (FWCBTP) become a reality for bicycle commuters I read your blog, and I take issue with your position that Fort Worth has a “quickly evolving bicycle culture”. I realized that Fort Worth city council unanimously voted for the plan, but its implementation is as slow. I’ve seen cows move faster than city council’s effort to make this become a reality.
    Another component to the FWCBTP is the Three – Foot Law. While I recently spoke to Bike Fort Worth Transportation Planner Julie McCleary regarding the Law, and she agreed that the general public must be educated in order for the Law to be effective, she apparently has done nothing to accelerate the education of Fort Worth citizen who drive automobiles, and how they must share the road with bicycle commuters. I told her that local television stations can run free PSAs (Public Service Announcements) that will alert people to the Law. She had no idea that PSAs could be broadcast for free. I told her that television, and radio stations are required, according to FCC rules and regulations, to broadcast so many hours of PSAs in order to maintain their license. I even called her, and gave her a name of an official with the local CBS affiliate who can help her, and I asked her to contact me so we can discuss this issue. I went as far as to suggest that I will offer myself as a consultant as no cost to her, or the city of Fort Worth. She has never called me.
    There might be a quickly evolving bicycle culture in Fort Worth in the downtown area, but considering the ulta – conservation nature of city council, it is difficult for me to agree that that evolution has grown beyond the downtown area.
    Think about it.

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