This last week it was my pleasure to cruise around town and experience our fine city’s bike shops and bike friendly businesses with a few of our Amazing Bike Austin Ambassadors. Places where a hungry cyclist can bring their bike on to the patio after a 60 mile ride with 5 more miles to go to get home (Thank you, Mongers, you swanky joint you). Places where a thirsty person can bring their bike inside if necessary or at least inside the fence (Thank you, Blue Owl Brewing!). Ed, Cy and Javi – You are rockstars and super Ambassadors – Thank you! (And thanks to JC over at Performance for all the bikes we donated to Yellow Bike – I think that makes 12 or so Cyrus and I have hauled away from your place 🙂

My feeling is that even though small businesses don’t have a lot of room, they have a lot of understanding. And it is those little kindnesses that make all the differences in the world. Will I want to go back to that business? Did I feel welcome despite my sweaty brow and messy hair? Will I talk about who was nice to me and who was a little cranky or maybe where I will not go back to? Probably. Some places just might need some help because they just don’t know (City Hall has a great buried bike rack in front, but those ones with the bolts? smh …. )

SO, we can make suggestions! I was speaking with someone from Halal Bros today who said he realized the bolted bike racks were just no good – so despite the new rack getting hit by a car… twice… he tried to put in a big ol’ old fashioned bike rack. (well, he is trying! Stay tuned 🙂

That’s the power of suggestion and also an understanding heart. (Let’s see if we can get some big businesses on board with this too!)

Also, this past week we visited and worked with CapMetro and APD to film an instructional video for bus drivers so they have a better understanding of what a safe pass is. A double long bus passed at six feet, 3-4 feet and again as close as 17 inches as four of us rode single file down a road. The quality insurance representative for CapMetro was there and is very enthusiastic about cyclists and motorists finding ways to get along and support one another and create safe riding passage for vulnerable roadway users such as cyclists. CapMetro is trying to working really hard to be recognized as a (quasi governmental) Bike Friendly Business! The bus drivers have something similar to a 311 system called a ‘near miss’ system so the bus driver can report incidents as they occur and document unsafe areas. Huge thanks to Doug, our super volunteer, Rheannon from APD and the CapMetro staff for having us!

If you are a bike friendly business, we want to promote you. We want to talk about you. We want to recognize how amazingly awesome you are! Maybe you don’t want to be a Bike League bike friendly business, be a Bike Austin bike friendly business! Or maybe you want to be both! Talk to us!

In the meanwhile, Thank you, all you great places that welcomed us in regardless of our clicking cleats and dirty bikes. Please let me know if you want to recognize a bike friendly business – or if you are one, you can host a mechanics night, or cycling education gathering; or if you have a fleet of delivery trucks and want a motorist/cyclist class for them; or if you want to get a Fixit Stand, a bike rack or anything else we can help you with to help you with to make your business more bike friendly! Thank you! We want to know. Happy Cycling, all.