Houston BCycle Bike Ride Prescriptions for Better Health

HOUSTON – The next time you have a check-up, a doctor may give you a prescription for cycling. The new program is called Bike Rx and it started about a year ago. The American Heart Association and Houston BCycle have partnered with Legacy Community Health to empower people to cycle for better health.

This social program that will “prescribe” Houston BCycle patient members is the first of its kind in Houston. As part of Bike Rx, providers at participating clinics like Legacy Fifth Ward can “prescribe” physical activity through the Bike Rx program, help the patient sign up for free BCycle where they can take unlimited bike rides of 90 minutes for a year, and then track physical activity and bike use in the clinic’s electronic health records (EHR).

“Our most important mission is to let people know they can ride a bike, it’s available to them, we’ve expanded to areas that were previously underserved, so it’s important that all Houstonians have access on a bicycle. Now, it’s not only great for commuting, but it makes you feel better,” according to Mary DeBauche, Houston BCycle Development and Communications Manager.

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Bike Rx started at Legacy Community Health in Lyon’s Fifth Ward, but several other clinics and health systems are in talks to join, so Houston BCycle hosted a bike ride for medical providers through the Third Ward over the weekend. -end last.

“We are trying to expand this Bike Rx to other clinics and other medical facilities, showcasing them to see how easy it is to get on a bike and how comfortable it can be, especially in Third Ward” , DeBauche said.

Emily Paul, director of community impact at the American Heart Association, understands that this partnership is a huge benefit for transportation, but also for your health.

“We know cycling is great for our heart and brain health, low impact, great for people with joint pain…they have e-bikes that provide that extra momentum to make cycling easier,” according to Paul.

Houston BCycle says summer is their busiest riding season, understands it’s hot, so here are some tips for staying safe in the heat:

  • Wear an SPF

  • Helmets protect from the sun

  • To drink a lot of water

  • ride earlier in the morning or closer to evening hours to stay out of the heat.

Remember, anyone can rent a bike from Houston BCycle, they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Houston BCycle released the following statement:

“Bike Rx is an innovative solution that addresses health inequities in underserved communities,” says Felicia Latson, Senior Program Manager for Social Determinants of Health at Legacy. “Physical activity can be difficult when you don’t have access to equipment. Additionally, many community events have taken place outdoors in response to the pandemic; it’s a solution that can bridge the two to keep people active and give them access to the community.

Bike gear will be provided with memberships to Houston BCycle, Houston’s nonprofit bike share organization. Anyone can borrow a bike from any of the 150 stations and ride to any other station or back to where they started, whether it’s for fun, exercise or commuting to the work or school. The Legacy Community Health Fifth Ward BCycle station and three other bike-share stations were installed around the Fifth Ward this year with funding from the Fifth Ward CRC and Harris County Precinct One.

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“As Houston’s nonprofit bike share, we are thrilled to partner with Legacy Community Health, American Heart Association, and Precinct One to expand a key part of our mission: access,” said Bryan. Reed, executive director of Houston BCycle. “Cycling is exercise AND so much more. It’s the chance to interact and see each other in a way that doesn’t limit us to looking out the window of a vehicle. Let’s roll Houston!”

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