Whether you walk or ride your bike, sometimes you just need a drink of water or a bathroom break. A new program in Central Texas is hoping to identify the businesses that have those amenities.
Belton resident Rucker Preston rides his bike to the park or work three to four times a week, and that sometimes calls for a water or bathroom break.
"I gotta get home or find a grocery store or a business friend that I know who'll let me come in for a glass of water or go to the restroom," he said.
The Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization is hoping to get more businesses to open their doors to people like Preston.
"We wanted to find ways to promote bicycling and walking in our area. And so we started researching ways to go about doing it," KTMPO regional planner John Weber said.
With the help of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Weber and his team came up with the Fitness Friendly Business Program.
It helps businesses attract cyclists and pedestrians while promoting their own goods - as long as they meet three requirements.
"The businesses must provide water and access to bathrooms. The third criteria is left up to the businesses, such as providing a bike rack or access to bike lanes," Weber said.
Barrow Brewing Company in Salado is one of the first businesses to sign up for the program.
"When [Weber] approached me about it, he told me about the criteria, and I realized we already met a lot of the criteria. It just made sense to be a part of this organization that is promoting cyclists and pedestrians here in Bell County," co-owner K.D. Hill said.
The brewery is already fitness friendly.
"There's a water tap on the back of the brewery that we put there specifically for cyclists. We know that cyclists, when they go on these long runs, they need a place to refill their water bottles, and we wanted to have clean, cold, good water available for them, no matter if we're open or not," Hill said.
For people like Preston, having more fitness friendly businesses around can make those long rides much easier.
"It would be helpful for people like me who are running around ... whether we get caught with traffic and just get hot or a hot day in the summer and need a glass of water or a place to stop in for a break," Preston said. "It would be really great."
Businesses who sign up for the program will be featured on the organization's website and on their social media, all while promoting a healthy lifestyle. They'll also get a decal to display on their door or window that notifies people their business is fitness friendly.
If you'd like to sign your business up, head on over to KTMPO.org. It costs only 25 dollars.
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