Houston Patients Can Now Receive Rental Bike Prescriptions Under New Program – Houston Public Media

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Doctors at a local clinic can write more than just prescription drugs: The Bike RX program allows healthcare providers to write prescriptions for a one-year Houston BCycle subscription. The program is for patients with prediabetes, diabetes, prehypertension or hypertension.

The program, which began in February, is a collaboration with Houston Bcycle, the American Heart Association and Legacy Community Health in Fifth Ward. It’s the first of its kind in Houston. The goal is to give patients the opportunity to exercise and develop healthy lifestyle habits.

Patients have the option of choosing between two different bikes – standard or electric for 90 minutes at any BCycle location in the city.

Sable McEleveen is Program Manager at Legacy Community Health. She says the initiative will benefit patients in many ways.

“It’s a really wonderful program that gives our patients the chance to experience the outdoors, but also to get their health back,” she said.

Bike RX started growing before the pandemic, but once the pandemic hit, it slowed down the process. McEleveen said while everyone was coping with the pandemic, it didn’t stop the program’s vision.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, our former director continued to speak with the American Heart Association. They saw another program that was happening in another state and some of the great things that were happening in that community.”

Mary DeBauche is Communications Manager at Houston BCycle. She said they wanted to help underserved communities in Houston after setting up a bike station in front of the Fifth Ward Clinic.

“The three organizations have just come together to see how we could produce this truly innovative and forward-thinking program to help the people of Fifth Ward.

Houston BCycle has been around for 10 years. They have over 150 bike stations in downtown Houston that allow residents to rent bikes. The association also offers annual and monthly subscriptions.

DeBauche said the program allows Houston BCycle to fulfill its unofficial motto of “butts on bikes.”

“We’re always looking for programs that will help people get into cycling. Not only is it a great way to get around the city, but it’s also an inexpensive way to get from one point A to point B. There are so many health benefits for cycling,” she said.

Emily Paul is the Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association, she said cycling has many health benefits.

“Cycling is a low-impact form of cardiovascular physical activity and all adults need cardio physical activity for brain and heart health.”

Paul said partnering with Houston Bcycle was very natural after contacting them because they offer active transportation.

The American Heart Association has heard of the Houston BCycles Go Pass program which offers lower income community members discounted rates.

“The American Heart Association is interested in health equity and that was a very important program for us and so it made sense for us to connect it to the clinics,” she said.

The program is only offered to patients at the Legacy Community Health Clinic in Lyon’s fifth district, but the program hopes to expand to other sites.

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