Sunday, March 23, 2008

Go to bed instead?

According to a letter being circulated to the LBS's, Meritan (formerly Senior Services) has decided to cancel the 2008 Midnight Classic Bicycle Tour. This year will instead be an "evaluative" year. The main reason for this, as deduced from the letter, seems to be the cost of police services. Now ask yourself, "When was the last time I needed a police escort to ride my bike?"

Meritan has, in the past, done a tremendous job of bringing together over a thousand cyclists in the city of Memphis for a 17 mile ride. I've seen families cycling up Poplar Avenue in traffic to attend this ride. The cost of the ride is $20, which broken down presumably goes towards insurance, police, permit, advertising, t-shirts, and refreshments. When was the last time you needed any of that stuff to ride your bicycle?

This June I would like to see over a thousand cyclists take to the streets without a police escort, without a special t-shirt, and without a Coca-Cola. And you don't even have to do it for Meritan. Take that $20 and donate it to whomever you want. Even if you donate it to your own pocket! Lots of cities do this on a regular basis! I'll tell you what: if you feel like riding your bicycle at midnight this June 14th, 2008 I'll ride with you. I'll be at the public library on Poplar with my bicycle, my helmet and my lights and we'll have ourselves 17 miles of fun without the police.

Photo from the Commercial Appeal


Kermit said...

So do you know why they are distributing this information to the bike shops? Are they anticipating someone picking it up and running with it? I know the company has the e-mails of all the attendees and could easily contact everyone. Even an increased entry fee would be tolerated by most.

Fix Memphis said...

I think it is the bike shops have donated more than just the ride fee in the past.