The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council and the Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (HCMPO) have joined forces to transform the region into a more biking-friendly community through the Bike Friendly Business (BFB) Program.
With the assistance of Texas A&M, qualifying businesses can fill out an application to receive a free bike rack! Each business will be responsible for installation and maintenance.
The BFB was created to recognize businesses that are making efforts to accommodate the growing population of cyclists in the Hidalgo County area. Businesses who meet the minimum qualifications are recognized with the placement of a BFB logo and an addition to the Bicycle Friendly Business Map as a way for cyclists to plan their rides and identify which businesses to stop to catch a breath at, shop, dine or grab a drink. Qualified businesses will also be recognized in the HCMPO’s quarterly newsletter.
Why Should We Encourage Biking?
Biking provides residents and visitors a healthy alternative to driving to their favorite restaurant. By promoting healthy habits and lifestyles, biking works out your heart, blood vessels and improves your overall fitness level.
In the Valley, there are over 24 cycling groups that participate in weekend rides. Bike racks, accessibility for cyclists and bathroom facilities are the top three reasons why cyclists pick a business over others during their trips. Cyclists are willing to travel over two miles during a daily trip with preferred spots being restaurants, cafes, gyms, convenience stores and retail shops.
How to Become a Cyclist Destination
Interested businesses must first fill out a bike-friendly recognition application, which can be found here. Businesses must meet at least three of the following requirements to qualify as a bicycle-friendly business:
- Designated bicycle parking – bike racks and sheltered/covered bike parking
- Discounts for cyclists
- Water for cyclists – allow cyclists to refill water and offer complimentary water bottles
- Offer accessibility to cyclists – bicycle lanes/routes/street shoulders
- Offer cyclists free access to bathroom facilities
- Offer flat repair kits for cyclists at your business
- Incentives for employees who ride to work – relaxed dress codes for cyclists and changing stations/lockers
The deadline to be a part of the Bike Friendly Business Program is October 2nd.