Tagged: Victory

April cycling events

Hi everyone.  Spring has certainly arrived early this year, making biking ever so much more enjoyable.  I have some hope that we can make these moderate temperatures last for a few months; the last thing we need is four months of summer.  But I digress.  Just in time for spring, the month of April is exploding with bicycling events here in Memphis.  Read on for more information.

1.  Tour of Flanders Party – The Brass Door Pub – Sunday, April 1, 7:30 AM until you bonk.

Did you really need an excuse to drink beer and eat waffles at 7:30 in the morning?  Because now you have one.  Co-hosted by the good people at Victory Bicycle Studio and The Brass Door, the Tour of Flanders Party features coverage of the 2012 Tour de Flanders ride (obviously).  Get there early for a good seat in front of the 92″ FLAT SCREEN TV. Is that shit even legal?  ‘Cause I’m tripping balls just thinking about it.

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2.  The Fourth Annual Tour de Grizz – Memphis Zoo; FedExForum – Saturday, April 7, more or less all day.

The Tour de Grizz is one of my favorite group rides in the city.  It begins this year as in past at the Memphis Zoo and ends up at FedExForum and is definitely fun and safe for all ages.  For $25 per person, you get one-day admission to the zoo, a terrace-level ticket to watch the Grizzlies demolish the Dallas Mavericks, plus a t-shirt and lots of other stuff I’m forgetting.  And if you want club-level seats, you can pay $55 per person and make that happen.  (Note: if you’re a Grizzlies season-ticket holder like me, it only costs $15.)  The ride begins at 5:30 PM and is escorted by the Memphis Police, which is fun in and of itself.  I’ll be there, and so should you.

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3.  15th Annual Charles Finney Ride – Lakeland Outlet Mall - Saturday, April 14, 8:00 AM.

The Memphis Hightailers are sponsoring the 15th Annual Charles Finney Ride to benefit the Church Health Center on Saturday, April 14.  There are three rides you can choose from: 18 miles, 45 miles, and 62 miles.  I won’t be able to attend, as I have a work event that day, but hopefully you can.  Click here to register.

Button Finney Ride 2012

4.  Cycle Memphis April – Cooper-Young gazebo – Saturday, April 14, 8:00 PM until around 11:00 PM.

I’ve missed the last couple Cycle Memphis rides due to prior commitments, so I am super-excited about this month’s ride.  Normally held on the first Saturday of the month, Cycle Memphis April was pushed back a weekend due to the Tour de Grizz.  I’ve written about the Cycle Memphis rides before – they’re always a good time.  I imagine that the crowd will be extra large this time, what with the weather improving and all.  And, as an added bonus, I will be DJing the ride.  That’s right – I’ve volunteered to create the musical soundtrack for April’s ride.  I used to DJ some back in grad school, so I’m excited to dust off my skills and select some tunes for the people.

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(Note: that should read 2012, not 2011.)

5.  The Dorothy Day House of Hospitality Family Fun Rides – Levitt Shell at Overton Park – Saturday, April 14, 7:00 AM.

The Memphis Rotary Club is sponsoring Families Supporting Families, a day of bike rides to benefit the Dorothy Day House, which provides shelter and support for homeless families in Memphis.  There are three rides that day: a 1/2 mile family run ride around Overton Park, plus two rides to Shelby Forest and back, at 33 and 53 miles.  The longer rides begin at 8:00 AM and the fun ride at 10:00 AM.  Click here to register.

Dorothy Day Ride

6.  Bikesploitation II: Some Bike it Hot! submission deadline – Friday, April 20.

The good people at Live from Memphis are once again sponsoring Bikesploitation, a festival of bike-related films.  The festival isn’t until May 18, but the deadline for submissions is Friday, April 20.  Click here to read more and here to learn about how to submit your own film.  Hmm … maybe it’s time for me to get that handlebar-mounted camera I’ve been eyeing.

Honorable Mention - Ignite: Sustainability – The Zone at the FedEx Institute of Technology, University of Memphis Campus – Tuesday, April 3, 6:00 PM.

While this event doesn’t have any biking-related content per se, my good friend Matt Farr, along with Launch Memphis, Sustainable Shelby, and the University of Memphis, is organizing Ignite: Sustainability to promote ideas for sustainable products and projects in Memphis.  I was planning to present but had to bow out due to my work load.  It should be a great event though, so plan to go if you can.  Here’s more information.

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What a great month we have in store.  So much biking, so few Saturdays.  I hope you can attend all of these events; I know I’ll be at most of them.  Did I miss anything?  Leave me a message in the comments.

Sunday’s ride

My people.  Several times last week I had planned to have a mini biking adventure, deviating from my normal there-and-back-again ride from home to campus to home, but the weather kept thwarting my attempts.  Also, I had planned to actually do some writing last week, but my schedule and workload kept thwarting that as well.  But finally, we have a week of really nice weather ahead of us, and I have practically nothing on my to-do list.  So let’s go.

After cramming a pile of eggs and potatoes into my face at Boscos Sunday morning, I decided the time was right for a bit of biking fun.  I knew that I had several errands to run, beginning with a stop at Otherlands.  No, not for coffee, to drop several pairs of jeans into a collection bin for Thigh High Jeans.  Founded in 2009 by photographer Ann Smithwick and artist Kerry Peeples, the company accepts donations of used jeans and embroiders them with inspirational quotes and other finery.  I’m not a huge fan of their product – I guess I prefer my jeans unadorned – but I appreciate that they are recycling unwanted clothes, and that it’s a local business.  So there you go, Thigh High – four pairs of my old jeans are yours.

Here’s a shot of my cargo just before leaving the house.

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And here’s one of all the bikes parked behind Otherlands.

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Yes, that is my shadow in the picture.

After that I stopped at Easy Way for mushrooms for dinner.  Here I am, parked outside.

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Then, I stopped by the Redbox outside Ike’s to return a couple of movies – sorry, Black Lodge, but my wife picked them out.  I doubt you carry the type of chick-flick she likes anyway.

After that, I continued north on Cooper, turned left at Poplar and pedaled furiously to the entrance of Overton Park.  I was going to cruise around the park for a bit, but I decided to make a bee line for Broad Street and my next two destinations.  First up, Victory Bicycle Studios.

Co-owner Clark Butcher, photographer Nathan Berry, and some other folks were hanging out in the shop that afternoon, so after perusing the lovely merchandise, including this absolutely sick Merckx …

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(I know.  Day-um.)

I hung out and drank beer for a while.  It was great: cold beer, bikes, and good people.

After draining my High Life, I biked east on Broad to Hollywood Feed for a new tag for my dog.  Here’s my bike outside:

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And here’s the engraving machine inside:

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Then, I biked down Broad to Tillman to the Greenline, then south on High Point Terrace, around the golf course, to campus.  I had a plastic bag of recyclables to drop off.  BTW, did you know that U of M recycles damn near anything now?  Everything the city takes, we take, plus electronics, all types of plastic (not just #1 and #2), keys, cell phones, styrofoam, light bulbs, batteries, you name it.  Seriously, if you have a pile of any of that crap sitting at home and you want to get rid of it, leave a comment below.  We’ll make it happen.

OK, after the office I biked home.  Twas a lovely day on the bike.  Twelve miles total, I believe.  Here’s a map of my ride.

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Later that day I installed some interesting new bike lights, which I’ll write about later this week.  Until then, be safe, and keep biking in Memphis.

 

Success

I just want to say thanks to everyone who helped make Bike-to-Campus Day a success.  Ty and Cort – thanks for helping me publicize the event.  Thanks to all the Memphis bike shops who displayed posters: Victory Bicycle Studio, the Peddler Bike Shop, Outdoors Inc., and Midtown Bike Company.  And a special thanks to the Peddler for donating the water bottles.  They were a big hit.

And a huge thanks to everyone who rode today.  I really appreciate everyone’s support.  As soon as I get some pictures, I’ll post them.  Cheers.

Spreading the word

I had a proper biking adventure over the past few days.  The goal: to deliver posters to the four bike shops in in-town Memphis to spread the word about Bike-to-Campus Day, which is next week.  Here’s what happened.

On Saturday I biked from home to campus to pick up the posters.  I then biked to the Peddler on Highland to deliver my first set of posters.  There I ran into Cort and we chatted for a minute before I headed off to my next destination: Outdoors Incorporated on Union.

I caught a lucky light at Belvedere and Union and was able to (hurriedly) bike east on Union for half a block before I turned into the parking lot.  I dropped off another set of posters before heading off again to my next (and final) destination of the day: Otherlands Coffee Bar on Cooper.

There I dropped off my last two sets of posters for the day.  I had hoped to make it downtown to Midtown Bike Company and to Victory Bicycle Studio in my neighborhood that day, but I ran out of time.

I took care of the first of those two errands this morning.  Around 9:30 this morning I headed east on Southern toward downtown, arriving at Midtown Bikes around 10:00 AM.  I left two posters with Daniel, the owner, and then biked to campus for a day at the office.  I was going to leave two posters at Victory this afternoon but forgot that they are closed on Monday.  Boo, my memory.  I’ll hit them up on Wednesday.

Here’s the map of combined rides on Saturday and today.

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Pretty hot, huh?  And here’s a clickable link to the same.

Altogether I logged 28.3 miles on my bike in just over two hours.  Traffic was generally very manageable and I had only one close call.  Yes, cars should yield the right-of-way to bikes when leaving a stop sign.  Otherwise, skidding might happen.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  I hope to see you all at Bike-to-Campus day.  Here’s a poster for the event.  Cheers.

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Mid-week review

Hi people.  Today was a fucking lovely day to be biking in Memphis.  The weather this morning was slightly chilled, but not too bad, and this afternoon was unbeatable.  At one point, as I was turning right on Madison from McLean, I could have sworn I was in Seattle.

I’ve been wearing my knee warmers, which I purchased from the Peddler a few weeks ago, on my morning commutes; they seem to be helping.  Hal recommended that I wear them whenever the temperature drops below 70ºF, which seemed a little extreme at first.  But he explained that the area under the kneecap gets very little warming blood and as a result the knee is prone to injury in cold weather.  Given that I was out of commission for several weeks in January due to an overly-ambitious cold-weather ride on the Greenline, I am taking much better care of my knees.  Can’t genuflect without them, you know.

Interbike 2011 was last week, and while I don’t see myself heading out for such a huge bike expo anytime soon, it’s nice to see reports from there on the other biking blogs I read.  For example, check out this absolutely sick set of bike tire chains from Slipnot Traction.  I mean, how cool is that?  Makes me want to move someone snowy.

And, have a gander at these ridonkulous lights from LED by LITE.  I’ve long wanted turn signals for my bike, and you know my love of bike lights (four rear, two front and counting).  This might be the solution that I’ve been dreaming about.

Lastly, check out this clothes-folding system for commuter cyclists.  I’ve never been particularly worried about having wrinkled clothes – that’s an academic for you! – but I might kludge my own version of this for use on my commutes.

Hey, are you a real cyclist?  I guess I am.

It’s comforting to know that Memphis is not alone in having a backlash against bike lanes.  I mean, Portland of all places?  I can sympathize with the complaints about gentrification.  Too many neighborhoods have been bifurcated or simply torn down in the name of “progress.”  Most familiar-sounding quote from the article?

“There was the feeling that the city just rolled through with this.”

Des Moines also suffers from some anti-bike lane paranoia.  But I hear it’s so flat out there …

I admit, sometimes I lose a little steam with my blogging.  Being so busy preparing for my new job plus teaching almost 300 students and keeping up with all my job responsibilities (not to mention housework) can be a little daunting.  So it’s always great to get a little love, like I did today on the facebooks.

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I’ve always favored world domination of any sort, but bicycle world domination has to be the best.  Thanks for the shout-out, Matt.  Maybe my blog will be mentioned in an article like that someday.

What made my day earlier this week was being recommended by Clark over at Victory Bicycle Studio for inclusion in a photo series by local photographer and bike mechanic Nathan Berry.  Nathan is taking pictures of local cyclists in their everyday street clothes in an effort to demystify cycling.  I really like the idea and was happy to sit for some pictures.  The project will culminate in an art opening on 14 October in the Broad Street neighborhood.  Sadly, I’ll be out of town for the event, but I’m really honored to have been cited by Clark as a prominent local cyclist.  I guess it goes to show what hundreds of miles biking and a blog can do for you.

The good people over at Greater Memphis Greenline posted this map of all the multi-use trails around town.  I had no idea there were so many such facilities scattered around town.  I can’t wait for the day when they connect with one another seamlessly.  And for a good chuckle, zoom in on the U of M campus.  We are positively dense with biking possibilities apparently.

Agreed.

Speaking of the Greenline, the second in the series of I Love Memphis murals, envisioned by Kerry Crawford of the awesome I Love Memphis blog is being installed even as we speak on our favorite rails-to-trails facility.  I loved the first such mural, located in my neighborhood as it is, and I’m really excited about the new one.  Can’t wait to bike by it and take a few pictures.

Yes, please!

Q: Are bikes more environmentally friendly than cars?  (I mean, do you really have to ask that question?)  A: Yes, they are.  By a mile.

More lighted awesomeness.  Expensive, but still awesome.  Damn my budget constraint!

I can’t say that I’ve ever really wanted to take a tall bike on my daily commute, but this video by the good people at Live from Memphis just might change my mind.

Speaking of Live from Memphis, go here to see their pictures from the recent Midnight Classic.

Well, I didn’t make the list of the 50 most influential bike bloggers this year, but there’s always next year.  Still, check out the list for some gems.  I particularly love Commute by Bike and Bike Commuters, for obvious reasons.

Do I really need more lights?  Oh, why not.  They’re so inexpensive!

Yes, please (part two)!

80% bike network coverage?  It looks like Hoboken is giving Portland a run for its money.  Although it appears that Portland is safe for the time being.  Notable fact from the article? Hoboken’s City Council approved these efforts unanimously. You listening, Memphis City Council?

Well, what started out as a short mid-week post has turned into a massive purge of all the biking-related links I’ve been saving over the past few weeks.  Look for another post soon.  Until then, keep biking in Memphis.

Driving in Memphis … ?

Yes, my people, it’s true.  For the time being at least, I am no longer biking in Memphis.  I have rejoined the ranks of the car clan.

Until tomorrow, that is, when my bike is finished getting tuned up by the good people at Victory Bicycle Studios. (SIKE! You didn’t really think I had given up on biking, did you?)

Anyway, I’m very excited to have the capable hands at Victory give my sweet ride (and my wife’s too) a once over.  I hear great things about their mechanics and I’m so very happy to have a bike store in my neighborhood.  Plus, I have now patronized all four of the intown bike shops (Outdoors, Midtown, the Peddler, and Victory) in the last year.  Such a wealth of bike store options we have.

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks.  My semester – one of the busiest I’ve had in years – ended just over a week ago, and I’ve spent the time since getting caught up on all the things I fell behind on in April and early May. Suffice to say that I have a huge backlog of ideas for posts, plenty enough to keep my writing for weeks.

Expect more posts from me in the next few weeks.  Thanks for reading.