Although the city of Houston held a Bike to Work Day back in early April, their event not only ignored those who don’t work downtown, city officials also jumped the gun on National Bike to Work Week by a full month. Houston’s westside Energy Corridor District (ECD), however, plans to do it right: the District has set its own celebration to fall within with the official League of American Bicyclists Bike to Work Week, on Thursday, May 16. It’s the ninth year the District’s run the event, when area employees get a chance to try out two-wheel commuting.
The district’s hardcore cycle commuters and first-timers alike are invited to join in the festivities by showing up (on two wheels, of course) at the Terry Hershey Park Gazebo between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. The Gazebo is located at 15200 Memorial between Highway 6 and Eldridge Parkway, just west of the Langham Creek bridge. There will be prizes, music, giveaways, and complimentary continental breakfast for participants. Anyone needing additional information may contact the District’s Community Relations Coordinator, Rachael Weaver, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual riders and corporate teams are encouraged to participate. Team captains will receive a complimentary, official Bike to Work jersey in bright green and emblazoned with the ECD logo.
Terry Hershey Park is centrally located in the District, which reaches from Kirkwood on the east to Barker-Cypress on the west along I-10 (Katy Freeway). The park is on a loop branching from the Buffalo Bayou bike trail, which provides off-road access reaching east to Beltway 8 and connecting on the west with George Bush Park and trails into Katy and Cinco Ranch. A designated bike lane on Enclave Parkway offers access to cyclists coming from the south. Harris County’s development of the Terry Hershey Extension to the north is, unfortunately, not yet finished. That trail will extend to the Park & Ride at Park Row and Highway 6 when completed.
ECD General Manager Clark Martinson, a frequent visitor to district trails himself, calls bicycle commuting a “refreshing [way] to shake up your routine and escape the stress of driving in Houston traffic.” For instance, though most car commuters never realize it, cyclists can see (and smell) cattle grazing in the District across I-10 from BP’s Westpark campus.
If you’re not certain about routes, Martinson assembled a set of suggested route maps for the 2012 event that can be used this year as well. Be certain to contact the ECD to confirm scheduling, leaders and locations of group rides this year.