Red Bike pedals out

Austin Parks and Recreation director Kim Underwood rides away from Rydjor Bike Shop on one of the red bikes following a ribbon cutting for the Red Bike Program Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin Parks and Recreation director Kim Underwood rides away from Rydjor Bike Shop on one of the red bikes following a ribbon cutting for the Red Bike Program Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

In the front of Rydjor Bike Shop and at six racks around town, 30 shiny red bikes are “ready to roll” around the streets of Austin.

The 30 red bikes are a finished product of the Vision 2020 Bike/Walk committee’s nearly six months of work to turn Red Bike into reality.

“It’s great,” said Steve Kime, chairman of the Vision 2020 Bike/Walk committee. “It will be a testimonial to see the bikes in the city for their intended use.”

The project started October 2015 with an idea to get people on a bike and ride, make biking more accessible to people, increase awareness about benefits of biking and expand the city trail system.

Soon, work sessions to disassemble the bikes, repaint them red and re-assemble them again were underway. The last bike was finished the night before the kick off.

Kime said people donated over 120 hours of volunteer time to get the bikes ready.

Steve Kime, chair for the Vision 2020 Bike/Walk Committee speaks Friday at the ribbon cutting and official launch for the Red Bike Program outside Rydjor Bike Shop. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Steve Kime, chair for the Vision 2020 Bike/Walk Committee speaks Friday at the ribbon cutting and official launch for the Red Bike Program outside Rydjor Bike Shop. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

He thanked everyone for their efforts to make the project into reality, including Rydjor Bike Shop, Riverland Community College auto collision class, city of Austin and many volunteers.

“So many people helped and we couldn’t have done it without them,” Kime said. “I look forward to seeing the bikes around town.”

After an Austin Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting by Kime and Rydjor Bike Shop owners, the bikes were officially ready to go. A few people including City Administrator Craig Clark and Parks and Rec Director Kim Underwood took them for a test run.

Tony Roehl, one of the Chamber Ambassadors, sits outside of Rydjor Bike Shop Friday afternoon, waiting for the ribbon cutting that officially kicked off the Red Bike Program.  Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Tony Roehl, one of the Chamber Ambassadors, sits outside of Rydjor Bike Shop Friday afternoon, waiting for the ribbon cutting that officially kicked off the Red Bike Program.
Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Even though the program is starting with half the bikes and racks originally planned, Kime said they have more donated bikes ready to be refurbished, which could be as soon as next fall.

For now, Kime hopes the bikes serve residents well for health and transportation.

“It’s a whole new opportunity for people use bikes,” Kime said. “I hope it’s a sustainable project. It’s a good opportunity for Austin citizens to ride.”

The red bikes will go into storage on Oct. 15 for winter and debut again the following spring.

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