Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hotter 'n Hell Hundred (HHH)

Today is the HHH here in Wichita Falls. As seems to happen just before HHH every year, the temperatures broke. For the last several weeks we have been over 100 degrees everyday. For the past few days the weather has been relatively moderate. A good thing for the riders, but they must wonder about the name of the event.

A good thing about the HHH this year is that they are collecting recyclables at the rest stops for the city composting program. There was an article in the Times Record News this week, although I haven't been able to find a link to that article on the web site. This should remove a lot of compostable materials from the waste stream. Good for the HHH committee and the City of Wichita Falls for working together.

One thing that has rather surprised me is that Wichita Falls is not a more bike-friendly city. I do see many bikers on the city trails when I am out. The city buses have a way for bike riders to transport their bikes. However, most of the main roads don't have room for bikes to ride safely and their is no place to secure bikes at most businesses. The local Sierra Club was talking with some MSU students about making and setting up bike stands at some locations. I don't know what happened to that idea. Money was a sticking point.

It would be nice for the Hotter 'n Hell to be a catalyst for more biking opportunities in the Falls.


  1. The bike path system in Wichita Falls strikes me as typical of the work/play dichotomy that characterizes much of American society. We rarely connect recreation with practical means of living. These bike trails run almost entirely through parks, and I'm very glad that they do. They provide beautiful scenery, and as far as recreation goes, it's wonderful. But why do they not run to grocery stores, or even between neighborhoods, so that we can ride to visit friends or pick up some milk or sugar that we've just run out of? Or to work? Some do. They're either brave, desperate, or foolhardy.

    Of course, this brings up much larger issues of building cities in a society where the car is king. Our automobile obsession is only part of the problem, as our zoning laws, which make local (i.e. pedestrian or bicycle) living on a neighborhood scale impossible, are rooted in utopian, modernist urban planning that predates car culture.

    Numerous components will have to fall into place before a real bicycle culture (and not merely a recreation) is possible in Wichita Falls, but bicycle lanes would be a start.

  2. Bill, thanks for your thoughts. Like everything else, change starts with us. As we update roads in the city, perhaps some thought to improving bike access can be accommodated. Like everything else, money is an issue.