Tagged: Memphis

Memphis MPO Meeting

An email reminder from Kyle Wagenschutz …

Hello everyone,

Just a quick reminder about next week’s meeting during Phase 2 of the update process for the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  We had over 70 people attend last month’s meeting, many of whom were new faces, and we got some great feedback and ideas for expanding our region’s greenway and trail network.

We are now gearing up for our second meeting that will focus on pedestrian and bicycle issues.  During this process, we will be getting public input on the most important part of the plan – describing what we, as a region, want to accomplish in terms of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and support programs.

The Memphis MPO will be holding two additional public meetings over the few weeks to help us gain your perspective on how the plan should be updated.  Each of the meetings will be held at the Church Health Center Wellness Center at 1115 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 in Conference Rooms A and B.  A link to a map and a schedule of the times and topics is listed below:

(http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&q=church+health+center+wellness&fb=1&gl=us&hq=church+health+center+wellness&hnear=Memphis,+TN&cid=0,0,7484869207653639589&sqi=2&ll=35.136493,-90.02561&spn=0.003268,0.007612&t=h&z=18)

February 9, 2011 – Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities – 5:30pm-7:30pm

March 2, 2011 – Review and Revise Phase 2 Findings – 5:30-7:30pm

Please make sure to mark these dates on your calendars and plan to attend. We need to hear from you about how we can advance our efforts in formulating a regional bicycle and pedestrian network.

Feel free to pass this information on to anyone that may be interested in attending.

Kyle Wagenschutz
Memphis MPO
Bikeway/Pedestrian Coordinator
kyle.wagenschutz (at) shelbycountytn.gov

I’m planning to go but may have to skip.  My students have their first round of exams this week and I’ll be buried in blue books and spreadsheets for the next few days.  The first meeting was pretty quick, so hopefully I can squeeze in time for this one.

Elvis rode a bike

Courtesy the wonderful Rides a Bike, here’s a couple of pictures of a certain famous former Memphian getting his ride on.

I especially like the second one, since it is so obvious that he’s not actually riding, and appears to be singing to the kid on the front.

Back in the saddle again

I have such a wonderful feeling of relief.  As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I torqued my knee the first week of the year and have had to take a few weeks off to rest and recuperate.  So I’ve been following the advice of my sporty friends: plenty of rest for the knee, icing it three times a day, lots of Advil, and, lately, lots and lots of stretching (after warming up of course).  The efforts seem to have paid off: I biked from home to the store today, making a pit stop at Otherlands on my way home for a bagel and iced soy latté, with no pain in the joint at all.  There was a slight twingy feeling, but not where it hurt before (under the knee cap).  I’m going to continue to take it easy and ride really slowly in low gears for the next week, but it looks like I am on the mend.

As I was telling my wife the other night, driving to work is more convenient in that I can get there and back faster, plus I have the option of listening to music on the way.  (I’ve been wearing the hell out of this song in particular lately.)  But driving just isn’t any fun.  I get no feeling of accomplishment from driving, especially after having logged 2000+ miles as a bike commuter.  Plus I hate having to burn fossil fuels and dump pollution into the atmosphere for a trip that is easily conquered on a bike.  I just really missed biking and am very glad to be back in the saddle (pun intended).

Here’s a gallery of some pictures I took today.  It didn’t hurt that it was 70º F – uncharacteristically warm for Memphis in January, but I am not complaining.  Enjoy.

[slickr-flickr id="57760946@N03" tag="first day back" type="gallery"]

More about the Memphis MPO meeting

Here’s an article about the Memphis MPO meeting I attended and wrote about last week.

What impresses me most about all of this is the way all of these efforts are slowly transforming Memphis from a town known for the sedentary lifestyles of its residents to one that is friendly to walkers, joggers, and cyclists of all ages and abilities.  I’m very excited for these developments; they mean so much for the future of my town and for the health and happiness of its residents.

Oops

It occurred to me as I was updating the links page of this site that the name I chose for this site – Biking in Memphis – is remarkably similar to the name of an organization that does a great job of supporting Memphis cyclists: Bike Memphis. Just to clear the air, I am in no way trying to confuse people about what I do or what Bike Memphis does, nor am I trying to glom onto their good name.  I’m writing about my experiences biking in Memphis, and I really appreciate all the work that Bike Memphis and many other organizations do to support cyclists like me.  Given that my page views are right now somewhere near zero, I can’t imagine that anyone is confused or upset.  But I wanted to take a moment to make my intentions clear.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Firsties

Hi everyone.  As I feel most blog writers should, I’m going to begin with an apology.  Not for presuming that you are interested in what I have to write about – you’re free to resume affirming your self-worth over at failblog at any time – but for the name of this blog.

In a way it’s the perfect name; the focus of this blog is the ins-and-outs of being a commuter cyclist in Memphis.  And that’s me. I’m a commuter cyclist in Memphis.  Hello.  Nice to meet you.

But unfortunately, the name of this blog (Biking in Memphis) inevitably invokes the name of a song that I absolutely detest.  I won’t mention it by name, but here’s the video.

I actually hated the song for years before I ever moved to Memphis.  Need I explain why?  It’s just a very trite recitation of “Memphis highlights,” like Beale Street, Graceland, Elvis, and so 0n.  OK fine, it does mention W.C. Handy, the Hollywood, Al Green, and the Delta Blues, but it does so in a way that is so cloyingly earnest it makes me barf.  Would like to hear a better song about Memphis?  Try this.  Or this.

But I’m getting far afield here.  My plan is to spend the next year or so writing about the day-to-day realities of being an urban commuter cyclist in Memphis.  Plenty of other blogs detail the travails of commuter cycling in other cities, but as far as I know I’m one of the first in Memphis.  (Once I finalize my list of links, I’ll be sure to include some of the other cycling blogs and websites I’ve found that are specific to Memphis.)

Anyway, that’s the big idea here.  I’m planning to publish at least once a week, perhaps more if the mood strikes me. Feel free to leave comments, just don’t be an asshole.

And by all means, get on your bikes and ride.