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Blue bikes lead to a healthier, fitter Bandera County

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Pictured: Photo by Carolyn B. Edwards
The Courier’s Wonder Woman urges everyone in Bandera County to participate in Unstoppable 2014, joining Vinnie Mifsud and Massiel Hill from Strive 24 Fitness & Salon, spending 24 minutes a day, for 100 days, getting fit outdoors.

You've seen them. The old bikes painted bright blue. They're parked all over Bandera County. So, what do they mean?

Vinny Mifsud of Strive 24 Fitness & Salon in Lakehills is the enthusiastic mover and shaker behind the blue bike blizzard. "We want the people of Bandera County to get outdoors and do something," said Mifsud, who can barely contain his excitement about the program.
"Those old bikes have been ridden and enjoyed until they just wore out," said Mifsud. "We want people to rediscover that enjoyment in outdoor physical activity."
Mifsud is quick to make clear that this is not a drive to get more people to join his gym, located on FM 1283. He just wants people to get healthy.
The Blue Bike Project, aka "Unstoppable 2014," encourages people of all ages to spend 24 minutes a day for 100 days doing something outside.
The project kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 15, and continues to Memorial Day weekend. There will be special events scheduled throughout the 100-day effort and the project will conclude with a 10K bike ride and a 5K walk/run with entry fees to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.
The first special event will be on Saturday, Feb. 22, from noon to 2 pm at the Cowboy Church on FM 1283. The family friendly event will feature Frisbee golf and kite flying, among other activities. Everything is free, including refreshments. Other special events will include group walks at local tracks, a bike rodeo and nature hikes. More information will be forthcoming.
"If participants stop by the gym on 1283, we'll give them a 24 regimen, a list of activities suitable for 24 minutes," said Mifsud. "But you don't need to join a gym, you don't need money to get fit. You can do it in your living room." Then he paused for a moment before adding, "But it's better OUTSIDE!"
Mifsud, with the assistance of Massiel Hill, has been busy placing two dozen blue bikes all over the county, getting sponsors and organizing the special events.
"The blue bikes are parked in front of our sponsors," said Hill. "These businesses are supporting our county getting healthy and we really appreciate that."
Participants in the program can pick up their 100-day forms at Strive 24 Fitness. The forms will be used to keep track of the physical activities done by the participant. "You can just use the honor system to keep up with your activities," said Mifsud. "Or register at the gym or at one of the special activities."
"We want everyone to get their family and friends involved, too," said Hill. "They can sign off on each other's forms, stay motivated and have fun together."
"Get off the couch, get off the video games," said Mifsud. "That's our goal."
The hard working duo have been pleased with the reaction the blue bikes have had from the community. "Everyone has been asking about them and getting excited about the project," said Mifsud.
Any business or organization that would like to be a sponsor may contact Mifsud at 830-612-2300. Sponsors are needed to provide water, health snacks, food, a location or space for an event, special services or skills, entertainment or other activities.
Here's hoping that in 100 days there will hundreds of more fit Bandera countians biking, running or walking to raise funds for the wounded warriors.