I wouldn’t describe myself as an environmentalist. Come on, I am from Texas. We drill oil wells, and turn cotton fields into suburbs just for fun. And all of us drive giant SUV’s or pick up trucks. I have picked up bicycling to get into shape and loose weight over the last year. I even joined a cycling club. So today I was on the club’s website and saw this link to an article on the local newspaper. See I live near (not in) Denton, TX a small college town with North Texas University and Texas Women’s University. North Texas is the Mean Green, so lot’s of green in town. Well this article below is really cool brings together the green of North Texas, Bicycling, Community, and ways to protect the environment. Just cool. Oh My god I might be coming an Green Environmentalist? NOT! I still use my SUV to take my bicycle to some rides!
This is from the Denton Record Chronicle
Lowell Brown / Staff Writer
Starting Sunday, if you see a neon green bicycle in Denton, feel free to take it for a ride — just don’t take it home for keeps.
That’s the message from a group of Denton residents who plan to release about two dozen bicycles throughout the city Sunday for community use, in an effort to get people out of their gas-guzzling vehicles.
“It’s a way to introduce our group and the idea of a community-owned, community-run bike shop in Denton,” said Taylor Jones, a founding director of Querencia Community Bike Shop. “The purpose of our organization is to make biking more accessible to the public by teaching people how to maintain, fix and restore bikes. The larger goal is to create a human-powered, sustainable transportation system within our community.”
The year-old organization, which boasts about 50 volunteers, will lead a parade Sunday afternoon from Emily Fowler Central Library to the downtown Square to highlight its first community bicycle release.
The event will follow a benefit concert tonight at J&J’s Pizza in downtown Denton. Proceeds will help the group apply for tax-exempt nonprofit status, find permanent shop space and fund other needs.
Querencia is based on similar community bike projects in cities worldwide. Since January, local volunteers have been working to recover and restore discarded bikes, said Jones, a junior at the University of North Texas.
“They’re all usually in pretty bad shape,” she said. “A lot of them are things we just found on the street or were in people’s garages for several years. We just paint them up and get them into working condition.”
What: Querencia Community Bike Shop benefit concert
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: J&J’s Pizza, 118 W. Oak St.
Acts include: Boxcar Bandits, the Pumpers, Emil Rapstine (of the Angelus), Current Leaves and Chris Flemmons (of the Baptist Generals)
Admission: $5, or free with donation of a working adult-size bicycle
What: Querencia Community Bike Shop parade
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Starts at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St.; ends at the downtown Square
Details: Participants will drop off bikes for community use along the parade route, including at the library and several businesses on the Square. For more information, call Taylor Jones at 940-395-8353 .
The paint job, in “obvious, crazy-green colors,” makes the community bikes easy to identify, Jones said.
Those who spot a bike can use it free of charge for inner-city trips. When they’re done, they can simply leave it in a visible location — preferably a bike rack — for the next person to use, Jones said.
Denton’s Emily Fowler Central Library has offered the use of its bike rack to support the project, library manager Martha Edmundson said.
“We know the programs have been successful in other places like Austin and Portland [Ore.], and it sounds like a good thing,” she said. “We just wanted to be involved and have a centrally located place where people could pick up a bike or leave one.”
The system works — or doesn’t — on the honor system. Community bike projects in some cities have reported problems with theft and vandalism.
Jones said private ownership of the bikes “is not the goal of the project.” But even if it happened, she said, the project would have succeeded in getting people to ride bikes instead of drive cars, she said.
“These are bikes that were headed for the landfill anyway,” she said.
LOWELL BROWN can be reached at 940-566-6882 . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org