Monday, June 30, 2008

To those about to bike

Some of you probably aren't on the Revolutions email list so I just wanted to (let Anthony) fill you in on a couple of things.

This Saturday July 5 is the kick-off class for a six week bicycle education seminar. Our topic this week is "Bicycle Safety in the Streets."
The class will deal with these questions: Should I ride with traffic or against it? Should I ride on the sidewalk? Can I take a left hand turn in traffic on my bike? Is it even legal to ride in the road? How can I safely navigate Memphis' city streets? Answers to all these questions and basic street safety procedures will be covered in this workshop. Class starts at 10 a.m., and will be hosted at Revolutions Community Bike Shop.
We will actually get on our bikes and practice some street skills, so please bring your bike if you have RSVPed for this workshop. If you haven't RSVPed and you plan to attend, please let me know. Email

On Tuesday July 8, at 6 p.m. the Cooper Young Community Association will hold its monthly meeting just outside Revolutions on the new deck at First Congo. The topic for the meeting is "Making Cooper/Young Memphis First Bike Friendly Neighborhood." We'll unveil the proposed design for bike racks in the Cooper/Young neighborhood, and describe what we need to do to make CY into a bike friendly neighborhood. Using precedents from similar neighborhoods in other cities we will demonstrate how bike lanes and bike signs can calm traffic, improve parking, and impact crime. Your presence at the meeting would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday July 10 at 6:30 p.m. the Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold a public meeting at CBHS to discuss the proposed bike lanes on Shady Grove and Humphreys Blvd. Revolutions will close on that night so that all volunteers and members can attend the meeting. If you are working to complete your 10 hours of volunteer time at Revolutions this is an opportunity to get hours! Time spent riding to and from and time spent in the meeting will count towards meeting your volunteer requirement.

Flat Track 2: There goes your social life.

There was an amazing soccer game in the field during the first race and the ball went out onto the track a couple of times. I don't think they were trying to hit us, though. Anthony offered to help them with their ball handling skills...

These track races are serving as a fundraiser for a Cooper Young bike rack in honor of Revolutions. So far we have raised $71. Our goal is around $400. Please come out and support a good cause, but most importantly, have fun!

See this month's and last month's pictures here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Critical Track

Being that the last Friday of each month is kinda designated as Critical Mass, I thought I'd remind everyone that the Memphis Critical Mass meets at 5:30pm at Rainbow Lake in Overton Park. Unfortunately I'll be at work then but if you feel like riding up to Raffe's Beer Garden afterwards I will be there.

Also, Josh Gorman sent me a link to a glossary of track events. It might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of them so you're not wondering what's going on in the middle of the race. The races we did last time were a Points Race, Miss-And-Out, and Team Pursuit. But anything is game. Here's the list.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Track Race this Saturday!!!

This Saturday, June 28th, will be the second installment of the Flat Track Attack. I know that some of our previous spectators will be out of town for the Tour De Corn and some people will be racing in the 2008 Smith & Nephew/Marx & Bensdorf Grand Prix but that one should be over before 7pm.

No posters, no prizes, no spoke cards. Just fun. And donations for the Revolutions Bike Rack Fund.

This time brakes are optional. There will be tools and mechanics there so if you want you can ride up there with brakes, take them off for the race, and put them back on afterwards. Fixed wheel bikes only.

East High School Track, 7PM.

Spectators ENCOURAGED!

Tell everyone you know.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Our friend Matt Kime's bike was stolen recently. You probably know Matt as the tall fellow who was a cook at Square Foods (RIP) and now works at Pizza Cafe. His bike is a 60cm silver and blue Trek. It's fixed, has blue tires, blue chain, and blue Oury grips. I built it for him last year so I'd really like to see it back in good hands. If you see anyone who looks out of place on a fixed wheel bike call one of the local bike shops asap. Thanks.


It's been a lot of words lately so thankfully we can break this up with some pictures of the Thursday Night Ride. "Meat Soup" is what Emily called the after-ride swim.

Check the rest of the set here.

That's more like it

Because of errors in the way the Sustainable Shelby Digital Congress Votes were counted there was a re-tally. You can read about the congress and the results here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Problems inherent in the system

We were honored today to be a part of the Sustainable Shelby Digital Congress. The subcommittees all presented feasible recommendations for future governmental policy. Of all the recommendations the top 10 will be implemented 90 days after July 8th. One thing that was really cool was the almost unanimous support for biycle lanes. However, the problem with the system is this: a consulting firm did a random sampling telephone poll of 610 Memphians but that poll made no mention of bicycles. So when you combine the results of the congress with the public the results are skewed so that bicycling didn't even make it to the final Top 10. The silver lining is that some of the recommendations are rather broad and talk about revitalizing neighborhoods, which could include adding bicycle lanes.

Anthony Siracusa of Revolutions Community Bike Shop is on the Traffic and Transportation sub-committee and hopes that there will be some kind of concession made for these system errors, if not a full-on public re-poll.

The Top 10 results will be released on July 8th in a ceremony led by Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton at 2:30pm at the Memphis Botanical Gardens.

Later that night at First Congo Church in Cooper-Young at 6pm Mr. Siracusa will make a presentation to the Cooper-Young Community Association (CYCA). In this presentation Anthony will explain ways to solve parking problems, create bicycle lanes, and increase business. He will also unveil the bicycle rack designed by Cooper-Young artist Yvonne Bobo. These bicycle racks will cost between $300 - $500 each and 5 businesses have already stated an interest.

As you know, every bicycle event that we plan in the future is donation a portion of the proceeds to install one of these bicycle racks in the name of Revolutions Community Bike Shop. Twenty dollars has been raised so far and there are several upcoming events: Flat Track Attack 2 on June 28th and The Moon Landing Anniversary Alleycat (details soon!) on July 19th.

So mark your calendars for all these dates.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Things First

After some e-mails and talking with Anthony it has become clear that the Sustainable Shelby meeting is not open to the public. HOWEVER, Anthony has informed me that 3 more votes have been made available to the cycling community in regards to future policy. While the meeting is not open to the public there is nothing stating that demonstrations are not allowed. I will recommend that any confrontation be avoided. If you would like to show support please direct it in a positive manner. For instance, I plan to have a sign that says, "I want to ride my bike to school!" Also, please plan on getting there early, 8:15am or so. ON YOUR BIKE!!!

This is a MAJOR chance to show support for the kind of change we all talk about. I'll be sending out a text message to everyone I know about this. If you don't get the text, email me your phone number. If you do get the text, I'll see you there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Call To Action


This Thursday, the city engineer, the county engineer, the director of MATA, policymakers, community specialists and other leaders from all over the county will gather to vote on Shelby County's sustainable agenda. It will be a very important and very historic meeting, as you can stated by the MPO's Paul Morris. His comments are attached below.

This is an opportunity for us to put bicycling at the forefront of city and county planning. I have served on the Sustainable Shelby Transportation Committee for the last 6 months or so, and we have written bicycle lanes, bike signs, and bike paths into the set of recommendations submitted by the transportation committee. Now, six other committees will join us to decide how high bicycling will be on our county priority list. The recommendations that receive the most votes will begin to be implemented within 90 days.

If you can come to the University of Memphis this Thursday at 9 a.m., your support would be greatly appreciated--not to mention that if other voters see you ride your bicycle to the meeting it may influence how they vote on bicycle policy. I do not think you can vote if you were not on one of the seven committees appointed by the mayor, but if you can come and support the bicycle vote it would be a great asset to developing a truly sustainable Memphis.

Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks so much,

Anthony Siracusa
First Congregational Church UCC
Revolutions Community Bicycle Shop
1000 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN, 38104
(901) 949-1201
Thursday 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Sunday 2-5 p.m.

At Thursday's meeting from 9-12 in The Zone at the FedEx Institute of Technology at University of Memphis, you and your fellow committee members will rate these priorities using wireless keypads. In addition, Steve Ethridge will cast votes on behalf of the public, based on the results of the polling that was done for Sustainable Shelby.

Each committee co-chair will explain the recommendations of that committee and the voting will be conducted at the end of each committee's overview. That's why there are boxes besides the priorities on the attached document of recommendations, so you can jot down the values that you give to each priority – from 1, strongly disagree, to 7, strongly agree. There will be copies distributed at Thursday's meeting as well.

As Mayor Wharton has said, this will be a unique experiment in public policy development, so we hope that you can be with us. Once this list is set, Mayor Wharton says these will be the priorities for immediate action and within 90 days, staff members will develop plans of implementation for each of them. However, while these are the immediate priorities, all of your recommendations, including your goals, values and other material, will be included in the final report to be presented July 8 at the Sustainable Shelby Call to Action meeting at 2:30 p.m. at the Memphis Botanic Garden.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We look forward to your help at the Digital Congress Thursday morning.

Continental breakfast will be from 8:30 until 9 a.m., and we will begin promptly at 9. Parking is available across the street at the Fogelman Executive Center garage. Please bring your parking ticket to the Digital Congress so we can provide you with a parking pass.

If you have any questions please let us know.

Paul Morris

Transportation Planner

Memphis MPO

1075 Mullins Station Road

Memphis TN 38134

901-379-7849 (office)

901-379-7865 (fax)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I had an oppurtunity to talk to Chase today and he and his family are doing well. They have been busy taking care of funeral arrangements. The funeral will take place this Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a charitable donation to the Lee Becker Memorial Fund. Lee Becker (Ashlee's father) leaves behind four children, not including Ashlee. Your donation can be made at any 1st Tennessee branch location.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming July 19th Alleycat will be donated. Chase says Thank You to everyone and that he'll be back in Memphis on Sunday and is very anxious to ride.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Talk, Talk, Talk

The word is spreading about this year's non-existent Midnight Classic. Apparently more and more people are ready to ride on June 14th (that's this Saturday night!) regardless of "police services." Like I said in an earlier post, I'll be at the library on Poplar that night. But keep in mind I'm not organizing this nor is anyone for that matter.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Good news and bad news

As many of you know Chase and Ashlee are officially Mr and Mrs. Hardin. The couple exchanged vows yesterday in Hendersonville, TN at a lakefront gazebo. The ceremony was beautiful and everyone looked like they had a great time.

Unfortunately, Ashlee's father died in his sleep that night. Our condolences go out to the entire family. Chase and Ashlee are an integral part of our bicycling community and always a pleasure to be around. It's iportant to support our brothers and sisters when they need us most. I'll keep you all informed with funeral arrangements if you would like to send flowers.