Growing Up

When I think back to my first bike,  I remember the Christmas morning of 1987 when I received the powder blue Schwinn Super Sport that I desperately wanted. I spent the majority of my summers on it and rode that thing until I was old enough to drive a car. Everyone remembers his or her first bike, and those childhood memories can shift into an adulthood attraction to biking for fitness, fun or to simply get from Point A to Point B.

Folks in Fort Worth are increasingly embracing the benefits of a life on two wheels. In fact, this spring Fort Worth launches a bike-sharing system in the city. After receiving a grant of $941,000 from the Federal Transit Authority, Fort Worth Bike Sharing was able to purchase 300 bikes that will be housed at 30 bike-sharing stations across Fort Worth. As Associate Editor Sonya Cisneros Curry so aptly wrote, “It’s like Redbox for bikes.”

The city is truly behind it, as the City Council unanimously agreed to waive $12,100 worth of permit fees. It also helps that Mayor Betsy Price is an avid bike enthusiast. To read more about this new program, see page 72.

But years before the Schwinn of Christmas 1987, I rode on the back of my dad’s bike as a little girl, exploring the developing neighborhoods in the north Fort Worth area near our home. My family moved to that part of town because the schools were great, housing was affordable, job opportunities were available for my parents and it was safe. It’s for some of those same reasons that the population where I spent my childhood is expected to grow by nearly 75 percent by 2030.

In this month’s cover feature, Best Places to Live, we provide an overview of 12 cities in North Texas where people are flocking in a remarkable hurry. Our feature includes each town’s hot spots, shopping destinations, historical landmarks, unique modes of transportation, and festivals and rituals.

Our decision was based on information we collected from official city websites, North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Handbook of Texas online and the 2010 U.S. Census. We took into account school ratings from the Texas Education Agency and USA.com, as well as the 2012 sales prices and asking prices on the Multiple Listing Services used by realtors. Aside from all the statistical information, Editor Emeritus Paul K. Harral spoke with residents from these 12 cities about why their towns are best. See that feature on page 54.

While on the topic of growing cities, Fort Worth sprouts a new neighbor on the near Southside that we are excited to share with our readers. To Market, To Market on page 48 reveals the new neighborhood market, Ryan’s Fine Grocer and Delicatessen, and a look at the brother-sister duo behind it. Brittany and Hunter Ryan have the sense of community that seems a must among the hip, new additions to Magnolia, and they offer and commission several products from local businesses, which they feature in their store. Their mission is to create a synthesis of all nearby businesses in a walking community. Brittany says, “When the water rises, all boats float. None of us are going up against each other. We are all friends and want good things for each other.”

We love that kind of thinking. So if you haven’t done so already, jump on your bike or walk on over. Brittany and Hunter are expecting you. For a behind-the-scenes look at Ryan’s opening, including interviews with the owners, visit fwtx.com.