Tagged: group rides

Catching up: Round 3: The Midnight Classic

It’s been just over a week since I participated in my first Midnight Classic Bike Tour.  I have to say that I was pretty much blown away by the number of cyclists who rode that night.  There must have been over 1000 people on bikes, all pedaling through Memphis in the wee hours of the morning, all for a good cause.

My evening started out well.  After kissing the wife goodbye and promising to text when the ride began and ended – we’re like that – I biked over to my friend Matt’s house for a little carbonated fun and socializing.  After a while on his porch, the lot of us biked over to the Poplar Plaza parking lot and waited around for the ride to start.

Here’s my evening’s gear, plus my very first number from a sponsored bike ride.

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Number 3284.  I felt so special, and yet completely anonymous.

For the two or so hours that I hung around the Poplar Plaza parking lot waiting for the ride to begin, I managed to take in several rounds of bike polo.

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That’s some bad ass shit happenin’ up in there.

Here’s a shot of some bikes just near the polo court.

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Clearly, I need a new camera, or at least one that is not part of my phone.

As the midnight hour grew closer, I felt my eyelids starting to sag and my energy level begin to wane.  It was strange.

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Yep, no idea why that was happening.

Finally though, I lined up for the ride, with about 10 million of my closest friends.

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I wonder if Nikon is having a sale this week.  I was in the 9th wave of cyclists to leave, and while I started out a moderate pace, I soon realized that if I didn’t step on it, I’d end up finishing the race and arriving home sometime around October.  So I pulled the strap down and finished around the second wave.

After guzzling some water and chatting for a bit, I headed home.  I was too tired too sleep so I stayed up until around 4:00 AM reading.  Let me tell you, I was feeling great the next day.

All in all it was a really fun event.  I hadn’t counted on how much socializing there would be, and how much it felt like tailgating before a football game.  Next year I might come just for the fun.

Here’s a map of my ride that evening.

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A very respectable 23.5 miles that day, including the pre- and post-rides to and from home.  If you’ve never done the Classic, you should give it a try sometime.  I’m glad I did.

Weekend Wrap-Up

I’ve been meaning to mention how much I love the new Reading List feature in Safari.  It’s made collecting links for my weekly wrap-up considerably easier.  I know, there’s probably some Firefox plugin that does it 10x better, but I am after all a creature of habit.  Safari became my default browser around the time it first showed up in my Dock.  So there.

OK, on with the news.  Pleasanton, California deserves big props for using microwave technology to protect cyclists.  Microwaves: not just for burritos anymore.

The effort to get bike lanes on Madison – seriously, I think those are probably the words most commonly used together on this blog – continues.  Visit the blog and sign the petition if you haven’t, please.  Here’s a great article by the creator of said blog and petition.  Hat tip to Les Edwards everyone.

The Memphis MPO wants your pictures.

It’s good to know that North Carolina appreciates complete streets.  So do Tupelo and Hernando.  Hopefully Memphis will too.

Have you heard of Drag’n Frozen Treats?  No?  Well, you have now.  Hit up the dude for some heat-beating treats.

This is awesome.  (h/t Cort).  So is this.

So it looks like bike lanes aren’t that bad after all.

Haters gonna hate.  Also, biking in a skirt is really, really bad.

Yes, please.

The good people over at Operation Broken Silence are organizing a Ride for Refuge bike ride on 5 November at Shelby Farms.  I hope to be there, but my morning is already booked and the ride leaves at 1:00 PM.  It’ll be a stretch, but if I can be there, I will be.  You should be too.  (h/t Ryan)

And then there’s this.  Suffice to say that I will have more to say in the coming days.  Stay tuned, my people.

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.

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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.