Did you make it out to Big Bend for the 2018 Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest? Hopefully so, because this year’s event drew so many bicyclists that organizers have decided to cancel next year’s event.
A notice sent to past attendees from Desert Sports in Terlingua said this: “Alas, more riders attended then our allotted cap of 500. Area resources, from venues to delicate trail environments to emergency services, were overwhelmed by the attendance.”
The festival first took place in 2011, and was designed to encourage cyclists to enjoy the array of trails at Big Bend Ranch State Park. It also included a few guided rides behind the Lajitas Resort and in Big Bend National Park.
“We have been successful beyond our wildest hopes and dreams,” the notice said, adding that cyclists are still encouraged to visit the area to ride between October and April – just not all on one weekend.
“The Big Bend Trails Alliance will continue to maintain, build and advocate our beloved trails through your generous donations,” the letter said.
I’ve been attending the festival since it began, and spent a day earlier this year at the event, pedaling some of my favorite bike trails in the state. I’ve launched myself into more than one cactus there, and enjoyed every moment.
Welcome to National Bike Month, when we cyclists gloat non-stop about how pedaling to work beats sitting in traffic in a car.
But seriously. It does.
I started riding a bicycle to work as a result of a commuter challenge hosted by the city 13 or 14 years ago. I got caught up in the mania, and somehow by trying to log more bicycle trips than other teams, it became a habit.
These days, I ride my bike to work an average of four times a week. I love it. The 14-mile round trip gives me some bonus exercise, keeps one more car off the road and it helps me avoid the distress of getting caught in gridlock traffic. Plus, I like to think it keeps my legs cute.
Every May, cities around the country celebrate National Bike Month. Here in Austin, the highlight of the month comes on Bike to Work Day, set this year for May 18. And the best part of that day? Free breakfast for bike commuters at stations all over the city.
Bike Austin has partnered with more than two dozen businesses that will serve up free coffee, water and breakfast treats like tacos and donuts during the morning commute. The fueling stations will be open from 6:30-9 a.m.
Here’s a handy (and evolving) list:
• Alliance Transportation Group
• Austin Beerworks
• Austin Habitat for Humanity
• Bennu Coffee
• Bouldin Creek Cafe
• C3 Presents
• City Hall
• Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
• Crux Climbing Center
• Cuvee Coffee Bar
• Dia’s Market
• Easy Rider Pedicab
• Greater Goods Coffee Roasters
• Houndstooth Coffee
• Monkey Wrench Bicycles
• Mueller Neighborhood Association
• Orange Coworking
• Regions Bank
• Sayers Advisors
• The Austin Coffee Trailer
• The Paramount Theatre
• Townlake YMCA
• Vital Farms
• Wells Branch Speedy Stop
• Wheatsville Food Co-op
TownLake YMCA will offer free passes and shower use, and C3 Presents will donate a pair of 2018 ACL Music Festival tickets to a lucky winner.
The day wraps up with a party from 5-7 p.m. at Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River Street. Don’t forget to pick up a passport at the first fueling station you visit. You’ll get one entry into the evening’s door prize drawing for each stamp you collect.