Thursday, March 31, 2011

City of Austin Bicycle Safety PSA

A few weeks ago there was a casting call put out to all local cyclists to appear in a Bicycle Safety Public Service Announcement here in Austin.

The purpose of the PSA is to promote bike safety through a series of television commercials and they called out to Austin cyclists to help them out.

They knew that they couldn't have a public safety announcement without involved Al Bastidas from Please BE KIND to Cyclists, so they asked....and Al was happy to participate.  There was a lot of fun and excitement as everyone felt like TV stars while they posed with their bikes and promoted bicycle safety.  The PSA's are currently being edited and will be airing on local TV stations in the near future.

Congratulations to the City of Austin for putting together a great promotion.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Round Rock Express Ride

It's that time of year when many parts of the country are launching the 2011 ride season.  Here in Austin, there are a lot of great cycling events and rides happening almost every single weekend.

They are all great events and we definitely encourage people to take part in as many cycling friendly activities as they can.  But there is one that is very close to our heart and we hope you'll consider participating in The Round Rock Express Ride.

Jack & Adam's Bicycles Round Rock Express, and High Five Events are holding this inaugural ride in an effort to raise interest and awareness in Please BE KIND to Cyclists.  Cyclists can choose from a distance of 27 and 77 miles and each participant gets tickets to the minor league baseball game happening following the ride.  There is also lunch and a pool party so it's a great event for the whole family.

The event takes place on Sunday, April 10.  Please Register for the Round Rock Express Ride and get set for an incredible day of cycling, fun, and support.

Thanks to all of you who have already registered.  For more information, please visit

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two Wheels: A Documentary

The "Please BE KIND to Cyclists" story is not unique.  Unfortunately there are similar occurrences and tragedies happening all over the world.  But as part of our mission, we are here to help spread the word, and prevent future occurrences from happening.
A new documentary just surfaced online last week and comes from a story that happened very close to our home here in Austin, Texas.  "Two Wheels" was put together by Jacob Ramon, a 14 year old from McAllen Texas.  He began putting together this documentary in November 2010 following the death of Roy Carlson, and just completed it a couple weeks ago.  Jacob has put together an moving film that exposes the life-and-death conflicts between drivers and cyclists in the Rio Grande Valley.
He has done this to help spread the message: Share the Road.
Below is a short trailer to the documentary, but I encourage you to take 25 minutes out of your day, and watch the full film at

Thursday, March 10, 2011


When you think of the Please BE KIND to Cyclists organization, odds are you instantly think of cycling safety among vehicles and the people who drive them.  But if you're Scott Rust, it is bike safety from gangs that worries you most.

This past November, Scott bought himself a road bike with the intention of using it to commute the 7.5 miles between his home and the high school in which he works.  After 6 weeks of loving the commute, he found out that he was being targeted by a local gang that several of the students in his school belonged to.

Two years ago a teacher at the school next to his was severely beaten, bike destroyed, and his money and laptop stolen.  This teacher had been left for dead during his morning commute.

Scott isn't about to give up on his dream of commuting by bike and has looked into his options.  The problem lies in the fact that the only other route for him to take is a 14 mile ride that takes him through an even worse neighborhood than he is presently commutting through.  This alternate choice is bottlenecked through gang territory and there is no way around it.

Desperate to figure out a way to continue riding to work and keep himself safe, he's turned to just about everyone he can find who'll listen.  He's searched websites, asked friends, and just recently brought the question to #bikeschool for some answers.

He has been told by his wife, the school-based gang expert, the school-based sheriff's deputies, and his school vice-principal to stop riding to work.  He's talked to the teacher who was severely beaten two years ago and he's told him that he'll never ride to work again.  Other responses have been "carry a gun", "carry a knife", and "get pepper spray" to which Scott say's "no thanks".  He is not about to fight violence with weapons (and besides, it would be illegal for him to carry such items and have them on school property).

So what does he do?  Last week's #bikeschool provided a bunch of suggestions and we'll see if any of them are able to deliver what Scott needs to maintain his safety.
If any of you have a suggestion for him, we all would welcome your comments.  We're all in this together, and we'll always do whatever we can to help support and protect our fellow riders.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Yeah, that is a whole lot of accronyms for you....but the simplest way to say that Please BE KIND to cyclists (PBKTC) was very excited to be at this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) that took place in Austin last weekend.
The 7th NAHBS took place at the Austin Convention center from February 25 to 27
and remains the largest and most important gathering of custom bicycle builders
anywhere in the world. It features all conceivable types of bikes:
some dazzlingly beautiful, some you thought might have been impossible to
build...some very funtional, and others that are simply classics of their
The event was a fantastic opportunity for Please BE KIND to Cyclists (PBKTC) to get involved and promote themselves to the cycling audience in attendance. There was a total of almost 7,500 people who checked out the show last weekend and over 100 media representatives.

PBKTC added over 300 more sign ups to our cause and we are so pleased with the support.

It was so much fun to spend the weekend with cycling minded people, sharing stories and our love for the bike. Although it was one incredible weekend, out founder, Al Bastidas, experienced something not so wonderful on his ride home from the show on Saturday night.

As he turned right onto Dawson Road heading South, the sound of tires screeching came from behind him. Something didn't feel right, so Al took his defensive cycling tactics to mind and turned into a driveway to get off the road. The screams from the passengers and antics of the driver made it apparent that the people in this vehicle were under the influence. The truck came within inches of the curb and had Al not veered off the road, he could have been another cycling statistic.

Cycling at night can be dangerous and Al has the following suggestions to keep you safe:
  • Try not to ride in poorly lit areas at night.
  • Make sure people can see you.
  • Communicate to a friend/loved one the time you are leaving and when you expect to reach your destination...and the route you plan to take.
  • If something doesn't feel right, get off the road.
  • Stay safe, be alert, and stay one step ahead.