Category: Recreational Cycling

Pictures from Cycle Memphis 2.0

Hi everyone.  Here’s a few shots I took of last night’s awesome ride.

Cm23

This is the crowd just before we left the gazebo.  I think a few more people showed up after I took this picture, but you get an idea of the size of the group.  Note the bike-riding ice cream vendor in the foreground.  I had one of his orange sherbets when we got back from the ride – so good, especially after a group ride on a hot night.

Cm22

Another shot of the crowd.

Cm24

And a third, slightly blurry shot of the crowd.

Cm25

This is the only shot I took during the ride.  Rather blurry, yes, but you can clearly see the trailer with the speaker being towed by Jason Smith.  I rode within earshot of his bike pretty much all night.  It was awesome.

Cm26

And here’s the end of the ride.  The blurry people in the upper-right?  That’s the spontaneous dance party that erupted on our return.  Happy times.

Wow

I just got home about an hour ago from Cycle Memphis 2.0, the second in a hopefully long-running series of monthly group rides.  I have to say, it was a blast.  Seriously ridiculously fun.

The group congregated at the gazebo at the intersection of Cooper and Young around 8:00 PM.  I got there early and there were just a few cyclists present, which dismayed me a bit, as apparently the first Cycle Memphis ride had over 60 cyclists.  But riders kept trickling in and by the time we left, we had over 75 cyclists, maybe more than 80.

I forgot to activate my GPS app for the ride, so I don’t have a map to share with you, but you can see the route here.  If you’ve never been on a group ride like this, you might look at the map and think, whoa, biking on Central?  Crossing Poplar on Mendenhall?  This is crazy.  No way could I do this.

Trust me, you can.  The organizers of the event were careful to position cyclists at major intersections to stop traffic so that riders could bike through unimpeded.  (I even helped out a few times with that.)  Sure, we probably annoyed a few drivers tonight, but it was for the greater good.  And the pace was generally very moderate.  Sure, there were times when the lead cyclists sped away from the ones in the rear, and there were a few times when we all stopped to make sure everyone stuck together.  But overall, even a novice cyclist should feel completely comfortable participating in one of these rides.  And I hope you all do.

But enough with the logistics, let’s talk about the fun.  There were two, count ‘em, two cyclists with sound systems on trailers.  One, Steven Wray, whom I’ll be interviewing for my cyclist-of-the-month feature in December, had a couple of speakers attached to a handful of batteries stored in a cooler on his trailer.  I got to meet Steven as we were biking down Southern at the beginning of the ride.  Really great guy.  But then, coming from behind, Cycle Memphis co-organizer Jason Smith blazes by on his bike, towing a trailer with a nice-sized speaker, blaring some funk.  And that was when I knew that the party had started.

I’ve noticed one thing about group bike rides.  Besides the fun of getting to ride with fellow cyclists and perhaps explore parts of the city I might not have visited on my bike, it’s easy to forget that you are actually pedaling when you’re on a group ride.  Part of this is by necessity: when you have 80+ cyclists traveling together, it is inevitable that some cyclists will want to ride faster than others. So there’s this constant evolution in the composition of the group: some people want to race ahead to the front, others are content to hang back.  So you always have to be mindful of who is passing you, who is in front of you, who is behind you, who is beside you, and who else you might want to pass.  This tends to moderate the pace of the group and keep everyone aware of what is happening around them.  To say nothing of watching for oncoming traffic, which fortunately was not much of concern tonight.

But mostly, it is just really empowering to ride along with a shit-ton of fellow cyclists and have a good time doing it.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the ride tonight, and I give a helmet-tip to the ride’s organizers, Jason Smith and Adam Hite.  I have a few pictures from the ride that I’ll post tomorrow, once my email client allows me to receive them from my iPhone.  Oh, and did I mention that there was a spontaneous dance-party that erupted at the gazebo at the end of the ride?  Seriously awesome.

Until I get a chance to post the pictures, I will sign off.  But a new adventure awaits tomorrow tonight – I’ve been talked into trying bike polo.  If you want to learn more about bike polo in Memphis, go here.  If you want to hear more about my bike polo debut, stay tuned.  It should be eventful.

Cycle Memphis 2.0 – tonight!

People.  I mentioned this in my post yesterday, but the Cycle Memphis 2.0 group ride is tonight.  Here’s a link to their facebook page for the event.  What I forgot to post was a link to the route for tonight’s ride – here it is – and a link to a flickr photo set from the first Cycle Memphis ride.

I hope it’s not too obscenely hot tonight, but one way or the other, I will be there.  Hope to see you all there as well.

Yesterday’s ride

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy summers as an academic – while my work load right now is rather high, I appreciate the freedom to work from if I choose to.  But I do have to go to campus at least once a week for meetings or to run an errand, as was the case yesterday.

I left home around 11:30 AM – not quite the hottest part of the day, but a time well past morning’s relative cool.  I’m pleased to report that the heat wasn’t really that bad.  I must be getting used to the heat, because it was 94ºF when I arrived at work and I wasn’t that uncomfortable on my ride.  That’s one aspect of summer biking that I think many people fail to consider: as long as you are moving, you have a 10-15 M.P.H. breeze washing over you, cooling you down and drying your sweat.  It’s only when you stop, either at a traffic signal or upon arriving at your final destination, that the sweat begins to jet out of you like a lawn sprinkler.  Was that a good visual?  I hope so.

Anyway, here’s a screenshot from my iPhone as proof of the heat.

Hot

And what a lovely forecast we have to look forward to.  I loves me some Memphis, but summers here are rough.

So after my afternoon meeting I biked home.  Again, it was hot, but not that bad.  I then took my second shower of the day and headed to Boscos for some relaxation.

(Note to the interested reader: I am almost always at Boscos on Thursday evenings.  My academic and non-academic buddies and I usually congregate there for beers and such for most of the evening.  Feel free to stop by and say hi if you’re in the neighborhood – I’ll be the guy with the most awesome helmet you’ve ever seen.)

I left Boscos around 10:30 AM and biked home.  I decided to take the long way, west on Madison, then south on McLean to Young Avenue.  By that time in evening, the weather was quite pleasant and my ride was very enjoyable.

MotionX GPS tells me that I biked 10.8 miles that day, but I forgot to reactivate it when I left Boscos, so between there and McLean my mileage was not being recorded.  So we’ll round up and say that I biked 11 miles yesterday.  Not too shabby for just getting around town.

Here’s a screenshot of my ride.

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And here’s that clickable link I know you love.

I’m a bit behind in my blogging so you can expect an extra-long weekend wrap-up this Sunday.  Also, I am ridiculously excited about Saturday’s Cycle Memphis group ride.  I hate that I missed the first installment of what will hopefully become a very regular event – I love biking around downtown at night – but this week’s ride should be just as fun.  Hats off to the organizers, Jason, Adam, and Matthew.  I hope to meet you all at the ride.  I’ll be the guy in the … well, you know.

Alright Memphians, I gotta run and get ready for a meeting.  It’s raining right now, so hopefully the temp outside has dropped a bit.  Be safe out there and I’ll see you around.

Presenting August’s Cyclist of the Month: Brett Edmonds

Brett
Hi everyone.  Please join me in welcoming “Mr. August,” Brett Edmonds.  Brett has been biking in Memphis since 2004 and is an avid bike polo player.  Read on to hear about Brett’s adventures on his bike and his favorite biking blog.  (Brett: the check is in the mail, bro.)  By the way, the credit for the above photo goes to Jason Sheesly.  Mighty fine shooting there Jason.

1.  Let’s start at the beginning.  Tell me about your experiences as a cyclist in Memphis.  Do you bike to work?  To the store?

Although I rode a bike when I was younger, I wouldn’t say I really took any steps towards being a cyclist until 2004.  I returned home from college in Massachusetts full of environmental zeal and bought a used Trek mountain bike for commuting to work, determined to cut down on my car use.  I was only able to keep this up for about a year though before my front wheel got stolen.  I had to learn one of my first commuting lessons the hard way: use a cable lock to lock up your wheels!  Even if you’re just in Walgreens for five minutes.  After that, cycling fell by the wayside until about 2007, when my girlfriend Cara and I started borrowing my room-mate’s bikes for midnight rides all over town.  Soon, we had to have bikes of our own and ended up going to Revolutions, and I haven’t looked back since.  I now make the trek up to Whole Foods for work 5 times a week, and there’s not a day that I’m not on a bike in some capacity.

2.  Tell me about bike polo.  I’ve cycled past the sporting goods store’s parking lot on Cooper several times and seen people playing bike polo there.  Why is this sport so much fun? What do you recommend for someone who is interested in bike polo but perhaps a bit wary of giving it a try?

First and foremost, Bike Polo is FUN – fun in all the ways that any team sport is.  But beyond that, I’m helplessly drawn to it simply because I’m a bit of a bike freak, and it’s something new and different.  Because it’s so new, there’s a real feeling of being in on the ground floor of something big.  Bike polo is blowing up all over the US and Europe, and it just feels great to be even a small part of that.  There’s also a DIY aspect to bike polo that most sports lack.  Bikes are heavily customized to match personal styles, the mallets are made of ski poles and gas piping (or whatever you can get your hands on that’s light and won’t shatter), and wheel covers are made from old campaign signs.  Polo just happens to combine a bunch of things I love.  As far as newbies are concerned, the biggest thing is just getting out there!  We’re always looking for new players, and we tone it down so people don’t get scared away by the pace.  If you’re nervous about your first time, bring a friend or two (or three!).  I had the luxury of starting with a bunch of other friends and we all sucked together.  Making a fool of yourself isn’t so bad when you’re not alone.  And you can always practice a little bit beforehand – the balls are street hockey, and a croquet mallet will work fine for just shuffling the ball around by yourself.

3.  On a scale of one to ten, how awesome is the Shelby Farms Greenline?

I actually have a beef with the Greenline … just kidding!  It definitely goes to 11.

4.  If you could identify any single road where you would like to see bike lanes installed, which one would it be?  How would that make your life as a Memphis cyclist better?

Maybe this is crazy, but I’d love to see bike lanes on Poplar.  Now, I’m not denying it would take a lot of resources as well as a VERY hard sell.  The street would have to be widened, I’d imagine, and I think it’d probably need to be separated for some people to feel comfortable.  But Poplar is like the aorta of Memphis.  On top of its utilitarian value as THE major east-west street, its symbolic value would be through the roof.  Buuuuuut, realistically, I’ll say Central.  It’s nice and shady, not too crowded, and is a pretty good connector.

5.  Do you run any errands on your bike?  If so, how do you handle cargo?  Have you invested in any panniers?

I definitely run the occasional errand on my bike, but I tend to rely on backpacks and bungees.  You’d be surprised how much you can bungee to your frame if you really have to.  I’d really like a cargo bike and pined for one for a while, but really, do I need another bike just for hauling stuff around?  I already have four bikes for specialized things, do I HAVE to have another?  Of course not.  It’d be really cool, and I haven’t abandoned the idea of welding one together out of old frames, but it’s on the back burner for now.

6.  Where do you go for information about bike commuting?  Are there websites you consult?  What about friends in the area who are experienced cyclists?

Without trying to suck up too much, let’s just say I peruse a local commuting-specific blog.  I also look at a few other local blogs (fixmemphis, brickhouse racing) and check out Urban Velo often, but there’s only one commuting-specific site I go to (wink wink).  Of course, Google Maps, as always, is your friend.  Group rides are great ways to meet up with experienced locals, along with Revolutions and local shops.  It’s through them that I’ve met people like Kyle Wagenschutz, Anthony Siracusa, Kermit, Cort Percer and a bunch of other awesome commuters.

7.  Tell me about the cycling adventures you’ve had, like riding from Shelby Farms to downtown or from midtown to T. O. Fuller State Park.  What’s the most adventurous day you’ve had on your bike?

My cycling adventures all tend to take place late at night, when the cars are mostly gone and red lights are mere suggestions.  The golf courses are all a ton of fun, especially Galloway with it’s crazy steep little bridges.  Even more exhilarating is going over the I-55 bridge and winding through gravel roads to get to West Memphis.  And the Wolf River Conservancy and the Greenline at night are a blast.  Some of my best ride memories are just going and going and going with a group of friends, till you end up nearly in Collierville or Olive Branch on streets you’ve never heard of before.  Of course some adventures have been a little more harrowing, like having Cara put into the back of a squad car and getting ticketed for “obstructing traffic” at 2 am on an empty 2nd Street, but even these I look back fondly on with enough time.

8.  What kind of bike do you have?  Are there any biking accessories you can’t live without?

I have four bikes right now, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t always have my eye out for another one.  First, my commuter: an early 80′s Schwinn World Sport 10-speed – this is the bike I cut my teeth on at Revolutions, first learning how to fix my own problems instead of going to the shop.  Then there’s my polo bike, a fixed-gear, super-spinny Charge Scissor.  Finally, my fast bike (Mercier Kilo TT) and mountain bike (Surly 1×1).  No matter what bike I’m riding, I’ve gotta have my Knog lights – they’re just so easy to take on and off and you can put ‘em pretty much anywhere.  My other favorite accessory is the road morph frame pump – there are times I use this even when I have access to a regular floor pump.  It’s THAT good.

9.  What about drivers in Memphis?  How friendly are they to cyclists?

I know that most drivers really aren’t all that bad, it’s just that I only remember the ones that really make me see red.  Rarely do people roll down their window and yell words of encouragement (although this has happened and it makes my millennium), but it seems weekly at least I have someone tell me to get off the road.  Many people still have the attitude that cyclists shouldn’t be on the road at all, or, if they do concede your right to it, they simply think you’re crazy for risking your life by doing so.  That said, with as many cars that pass me and give me the required three feet, or even change lanes to avoid getting close to me, I hafta say the haters are vastly outnumbered.  They’re just way louder.

10.  Any other stories you’d like to share?

I can’t finish this up without pimping bike polo!  We play every Wednesday and Sunday from around 7pm to 10:30ish (or whenever people need to leave) at Bluff City Sports on Cooper and we want you to play with us!  Bring yourself and a bike – mountain bikes are usually the best for beginners, but when there’s enough people there, someone can probably lend you their bike for a game or two.  You can check out the website at memphisbikepolo.com.

And there you have it, my people.  Yet another testimonial from a local bike commuter and cycling enthusiast.  I hope to interview many more local cyclists in the coming month; in fact, I’m booked up all the way though December!  So if you want to be interviewed, leave a note in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading.

 

Responding to Comments

I’ve gotten a couple of comments in the past week that I want to respond to in a post, as opposed to in another comment.  Here we go …

First, please join me in wishing an early welcome-to-Memphis to Yuhei, who asks this question:

Hi Doug,

I am moving to Memphis this August, and wanted to ask you if you know there is any safe bike route for commuting from downtown to the University of Memphis. It would be very helpful if you can provide me with any information on it.

Thank you,

Yuhei

Absolutely, Yuhei, there are many routes you could take from downtown to campus.  The best route leaves downtown on Linden Avenue.

Linden intersects Main Street (in downtown) a few blocks south of Union Avenue.  (You should probably be looking at Google Maps right now.)  Following Linden Avenue east, you keep biking until you intersect with Rozelle Street.  Turn right on Rozelle and proceed south to Harbert Avenue.  Turn left on Harbert and follow it to Cooper Street.  Then turn right on Cooper and follow it to Southern Avenue.  Southern has bike lanes for most of the ride to campus, one of the few streets in Memphis that currently does.  If you follow Southern to campus, you’ll end up at the southwest corner of campus, at the intersection of Patterson and Walker.  From there you can quickly proceed to you office or classroom.  You can see a map of most of this route in this blog post.

Drop me a line when you get to town.  I’m also an employee of the University of Memphis.

Second, I’ve gotten a couple of responses to Ryan’s question about biking from Memphis to New Orleans.  He asked this:

Hey Doug,

I’ve been thinking for some time about bike riding from Memphis to New Orleans on top of the river levees (I’m pretty sure they have dirt/farm access road on top of the levee for a significant portion of the trip).

Know anyone who’s ever tried a similar trip, or how long it would take?

Kermit responds with this:

Riding the Levee’s is illegal, I have looked into it.  You may consider riding the Mississippi River Trail which is actually all on roads.  There is a guide available online, and I also saw one sitting on the counter of the bike section of the Outdoors Inc shop on Union Avenue.

And just today, Bob added this:

Ride to New Orleans: MRT – Mississippi River Trail, mississippirivertrail.org/index.html – It goes from Minneapolis to NOLA crossing the river at Memphis on the old bridge (a truly unique experience if you’ve never ridden across).  I understand road marking is spotty and some of the routes may be sketchy, but someone has produced a guidebook for the route available on the MRT website.

And there you have it.  Thanks to everyone for the comments/questions and your responses.  Hopefully I’ll see you all soon, biking in Memphis.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Hi everyone.  I’m going to keep it short today as I have quite a bit on my plate.  Here’s a few pages on facebook I discovered recently which made me happy.

By now you’ve heard of the young woman who was struck by a car as she was biking on Cooper Street this weekend.  I don’t have any information beyond what is in the linked article; if any of you have any information about her status, feel free to leave it in the comments.  Here’s hoping she has a speedy recovery and that the driver who hit her is brought to justice.

This guy is awesome.  I mean, he would complete pwn the next Tweed Ride.

We now have bike lanes on Chelsea Avenue!  I was going to ride them this weekend but was busy doing other things.  I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Lastly, I missed this year’s Tour de Bird, mostly due to bad planning.  I did see a few of the riders as I was heading home from downtown.  It looked like a good crowd.  You can read more about it here.

I got a comment/question on my “About” page from a reader who wants to bike from Memphis to New Orleans (hell yeah!) and is looking for more information about how to do that.  (Scroll to the bottom to his his comment – his name is Ryan.)  I really don’t have any information about how to do that, as cool as it sounds – please help out a fellow cyclist in the comments.

Alright Memphis, time to earn some $$$.  Have a good week.

Today’s ride

It’s been a minute or two since I wrote about my day’s biking.  It’s not that I haven’t been biking; in fact, I’ve logged almost 950 miles this year, having crossed the 900 mile-threshold earlier this week.  I’ve just been so busy that writing about each day’s ride is a luxury I cannot often afford.

But today I can.  I began my day by downing several cans of some iced coffee beverage or other, having slept later than planned.  You see, I had scheduled a bike ride with a friend for 8:00 this morning, the beginning of which was compassionately delayed until 9:00.  (Hi Stacy!)  Ordinarily I would have made a proper pot, er, press, of coffee at home had I not overslept, but no matter.  I was sufficiently caffeinated to begin my day.  So I biked east on Southern Avenue to meet my cycling pal.  After rendezvousing near campus, we set off on the Greenline.

The morning was warm and humid – this is a Memphis summer after all – but not too unbearable.  We biked to Shelby Farms on the Greenline, which was quite busy with cyclists, runners, and walkers, despite the day and time.  After resting for a moment at Penal Farm Lake Number Three (!) we headed back to our point of origin and, after a few pleasantries, separated.

I then biked home and spent the rest of the morning relaxing and sweating.  It seems these days that there is no amount of water I can drink and feel my thirst quenched.  Admittedly I have been spending an enormous amount of time in the mid-day sun and heat, the effects of which are hard to shake off.  After an hour or so of respite, and a much needed shower, I headed off to Local Gastropub to watch the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team face off against Japan in the World Cup.  If you’ve been following the news, you know how the match ended.  We lost.  But our team played really well, and I was happy to see how much chatter the game generated on facebook.  It was good to see Americans getting excited about soccer.

By then it was getting near 5:00 PM, so I once again mounted my trusty bike and headed home.  After changing clothes, I settled down into my evening of reading, eating dinner, and writing.

Here’s a map of today’s ride.

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And a clickable link if you are interested.

I must share one story from this morning’s ride before I sign off.  Stacy and I were almost to Shelby Farms and were approaching the intersection of the Greenline and Mullins Station Road.  We were slowing to a stop as we approached the stop sign on the Greenline.  To our left, a vehicle heading south on Mullins Station had stopped at the intersection, presumably to let us proceed unimpeded.  Just as we were beginning our final approach to the intersection, the driver of an SUV approaching from the south honked his horn at us.  We stopped in time to see the driver dramatically point at the stop sign we had just passed, as if to admonish us for … biking?  Not driving?  Not screeching to a halt at this first sign of his shiny wagon?  All we could do in response was look in open-mouthed wonder at our new friend.  Apparently some cyclists had offended him to the point that he felt the need to correct us for their past misdeeds.  OK, fine.  Thanks for the feedback.

Altogether though it was a good day to be biking in Memphis.  My schedule permitting, I hope to write a few more blog entries about my cycling adventures of late.  Until then, thanks for reading.

Wednesday’s Night’s Meeting

I have to be honest here – I’m getting a little tired of writing about meetings about what to do with Madison Avenue.  I’m not going to pretend that I’m alone in this; I’m sure most of Midtown is sick to death of waiting for a decision to be made.

That said, I do think the meetings of the last three weeks were very helpful and much needed.  I wish we had had meetings like this back in February.  In that spirit, I have to give major props to the architects and planners at Looney Ricks Kiss, who moderated each of the meetings and did some fantastic analysis of the road bed and environs around Madison.  Over the course of the three meetings, the attendees were guided through and discussion and deliberation process, first to figure out what we wanted done with Madison Avenue, then to identify what was feasible, and finally to hear about the options we have (as LRK sees it) and to deal with some final issues.

What I appreciated most about the dialogue is how much of it was grounded in the language of economics.  The speaker at each of the meetings talked often about trade-offs (in my mind I could hear him take the next step and say “opportunity cost“) and about how, for most of the length of Madison Avenue, we only have 60 feet of road bed to work with – the very definition of scarcity.

I also appreciated how much the community around Madison was involved in the process of deciding what to do.  It seems that a feeling of a lack of prior notice was the source of the ill feelings on the part of business owners at the meeting back in February – more than once I’ve heard that the business owners felt the city was trying to “ram [the bike lanes] down our throats,” not inconspicuously borrowing a phrase from the Republican opposition to health care reform – although it’s worth noting that the opposition has not abated one bit.  The city has held a series of proper meetings, with numerous break-out groups, plus a website with a survey, but it doesn’t seem to have moved the needle much, at least as far as some business owners are concerned.

Of course, I am now as ever sympathetic to the concerns of the business owners.  It’s one thing when your favorite local store closes; no one likes to see that happen.  But it’s something else entirely when your livelihood shuts down.

So I’m really interested to see what happens in the wake of this week’s meeting, because it was then that we finally saw some estimates of actual traffic volumes on Madison.  Up to this week, all of the talk about the current capacity of Madison and what adding bike lanes would do to that capacity did nothing to quell anyone’s concern.  At the meeting on Wednesday it was revealed that even peak traffic on Madison is below the capacity the street could sustain, even with bike lanes.  That’s right: traffic volumes could grow by an estimated 36% before Madison would be “full” – and that’s with bike lanes, two lanes of traffic, and a turn lane.  At a growth rate of 2% per year – which is actually a pretty solid growth rate – it would take something like 15 years before Madison started to feel too crowded.  Considering that traffic on Madison has basically been flat for the past decade, after peaking in the mid-1990s, I’m not too concerned about capacity being reached any time soon.

Not that I don’t want Madison Avenue to improve – I desperately do.  And if we transform the street from an under-developed thoroughfare to a unique Memphis destination, one that will draw tourists (and their dollars) to Memphis, we could see that happen.  But sticking with the status quo will not.

If all we do is repave the street, nothing will change.  What we need to do is make Madison Avenue a destination that is safe and fun for all Memphians and visitors, however they choose to move around town.  Yes, drivers must have adequate lanes to use, but so must cyclists and pedestrians.  Improving sidewalks, adding plants, benches, and trash cans, repainting crosswalks – this is all good stuff.  But adding bike lanes will help to slow traffic, making the businesses and improvements on Madison more visible and the street safer.  This is what we need.

I understand that change is hard and sometimes scary.  I also understand that accepting such change when your very livelihood is on the line (or is perceived as such) is even more difficult.  Don’t take my word for it – read it for yourself in this article.  (The relevant part is at the end.)

But it’s clear that we need to do something to make Madison better.  Bike lanes can and should be a part of it.  There’s just no good reason to conclude now that bike lanes will harm businesses.  If anything, by being a part of an overall improvement to the street, they will help.

At the very least, we’ll know soon.  The Mayor’s has to decide on something by the end of the month or it risks losing the stimulus dollars needed to pay for the project.

(Slightly Delayed) Weekend Wrap-Up

Lately I find myself wanting to start every new blog entry by remarking how busy I’ve been this week, by way of explaining why I haven’t posted much recently.  In reality, I just haven’t been biking much lately.  My summer course ended the week before last, and other than a few errands here and there, I haven’t been on the old Gary Fisher much.  I guess that’s what happens when one is primarily a bike commuter; no commuting = no biking.

But I am really excited about what the guys over at Cycle Memphis are doing.  I know I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m really happy to see other Memphis cyclists organize events and generally promote the cause of biking in our fair city.  I missed the first Cycle Memphis group ride, but I will most definitely be at the next one, scheduled for Saturday, 6 August, at 8:00 PM. The meeting place is the gazebo at the intersection of Cooper and Young.  I really hope that even more people attend this event; apparently over 60 cyclists participated in the first ride.

In a recent blog post I wrote about this article and rightly took the author to task, as many other writers have.  In all fairness, here is a link to his response.  And another response from him. Overall, he does raise some interesting points in his responses, but I must to his defining biking advocacy as purely an interest-group driven activity.  Wanting to get from home to work (or anywhere else) is not specific to cyclists.  Everyone wants that.

For another perspective on this discussion, have a look here.

In more local news, it looks like the Greenline could actually get a proper link to Overton Park and Midtown.  I missed the meeting where this was discussed, but I’m really excited about it. Read more here.

Also, I’m happy to report that Memphis has been selected as one of six cities for a pilot project called “Strong Cities, Strong Communities.”  I don’t know what this could mean for biking in Memphis, but it’s good news nonetheless.

And, local bike shop Midtown Bikes posted this article about bike commuting.  I’m really glad to see more Memphis people writing about cycling as a means of transportation.

Did you ever wonder if you could wear a skirt and still comfortably ride a bike?  Have a look here for an answer.

Unfortunately, some people in Congress are not so friendly toward cycling.  Please take a moment and contact your local legislator about this issue.

That’s all I have for now.  I’m planning to bike to work at least three days this week, plus to the meeting about Madison Avenue on Wednesday.  Hope to see you all biking in Memphis.