Tagged: biking routes

One person’s opinion

I ran across a link to this blog entry on the Memphis Flyer’s website.  The post generated a fair amount of chatter – at least on the facebook link where it was originally posted – and I wanted to weigh on it myself, given that I am a frequent bike commuter in Memphis.

(To give you an idea of how frequently I bike around town, I have driven my car in Memphis only twice since early February, when that particularly nasty snow storm rendered the bike lanes and road shoulders basically unusable for a few days.  In the months since the snow melted, I’ve driven only once when I should have biked.  What can I say?  It was a rainy Saturday morning, I had an early meeting and I got lazy.  [And why do I feel like I'm attending confession when I write that?  I'm not even Catholic!]  The other time I drove was when thunderstorms were threatening the area, and I just don’t mess with them.   But I digress.) Continue reading

The Meeting the Week Before Last About Bike Lanes on Madison Avenue

I’ve been a bit delinquent in posting my thoughts on the meeting two weeks ago about proposed bike lanes (or other bike facilities) on Madison Avenue and other roads around town.  I have been extraordinarily busy lately and haven’t had much time for long-form posts.  Plus, some of the opinions expressed in the meeting were quite shocking in their tenor such that I really wanted some time to process the events and write something thoughtful about it.

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Biking to the store(s) and elsewhere

Today was an absolutely amazing day to ride.  Temperatures in the mid-70s, clear skies, a nice stiff breeze (the occasional brutal headwind aside), and a long list of errands to run.

I’ve long believed that the best biking is the kind that takes you out of your car and puts you on a bike. Obviously, not all trips are equally easy to be done on a bike.  Visits to the bulk-buyers mecca known as Sam’s Wholesale Club are just going to be more difficult on a bike, unless you have a cargo trailer, which even the most dedicated cyclist often doesn’t own.  But many trips are completely feasible on a bike, including a sizable weekly trip to the grocery store, which I accomplished today.  Given that something like 75% of trips under two miles in length are made in a car, I think we all have a little room for improvement.  And that was my goal today.

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Email from Kyle Wagenschutz

I received this email from Kyle Wagenschutz, the new Bikeway/Pedestrian Coordinator with the City of Memphis, last week and wanted to pass it along.  It’s really important for all Memphians, not just cyclists, to support initiatives to make our city more sustainable and active.  Cars aren’t the only means of getting around, and we seem to have forgotten that. Anyway, here’s the email.  I’m planning to go to all three meetings.  Hope to see you there.

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More Bike Lanes!

Hi everyone.  If you have a moment today, please have a look at this email the good people at Livable Memphis just circulated.  It’s about proposed bike lanes on Madison, from Cooper St. to Cleveland Ave.  If the lanes are created as the email describes, they will be a crucial biking link from the heart of Midtown to the Medical District.  Madison Avenue is not the least bike friendly street in Memphis, but when these new bike lanes, it will be one of the most.

Please take a moment, read the email, and take action.

My Route, Then and Now

I don’t remember who or what first motivated me to begin biking to work; it might have been my brother, who regularly bikes to work from his home in Seattle.  It might have been the realization that I was driving 3.5 miles one way to work (about a 10-15 minute drive, plus time looking for parking), when I could easily walk that distance in an hour.  (I’ve still never tried that.)  It might have been the sinking feeling that as I sauntered through my 30s, my metabolism was not getting any faster, and that if I wanted to avoid becoming fat and feeble in my old age, I needed to get my exercise on, and fast.  Or, it might have been a desire to cut down on my carbon emissions and contribution to traffic congestion. Likely, it was a combination of all of those factors, plus some I’ve forgotten.

Whatever the case, my first challenge in biking to work was planning my route.  I’m a planner by nature; I love maps, spreadsheets, numbers, labeled files, and having an organized life.  So after spending hours poring over Google Maps, this is the route I came up with.

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