Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MEMPHIS DOWNS 3!!! Interactive flyer!

Please print this, color it, and put it up in your shop, business, favorite restaurant or bar or wherever!


And mark your effing calendars!!

Revolutions Video on CA!

From Anthony:

The Commercial Appeal has published a video about Revolutions and the work we are doing there each week. Go to the Commercial Appeal's home page and look to the right. It's in the CA TV box.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heads Up, Mallets Down

This is from, a wonderful webazine:

The Novice's Guide to Bike Polo
By BillDozer -

While the proper institution of Bicycle Polo was begun over a century ago in the wilds of Pakistan, and maintains much of the refinement and dignity of it equine forbearer, we of the city environment have mutated and bastardized this gentlemanly game into something that suits our more reckless and drunken lifestyles.

About five years ago in Portland, a few of us bike messengers, upon learning of this new pastime from some peers in Seattle, decided that we should establish standard rules for play. Although rules seemed counter-intuitive to the haphazard and utterly disorganized nature of the game, it was agreed that should disputes arise, there should be a standard against which they are judged, so as to keep the game going—the most important thing.
We arrived at the title: Little Beirut Style. Now, each city has a few of their own localized rules, in keeping with the DIY ethos, but these are the skeletal basic rules, to guide the novice into a simple understanding of that sport over which we are so fanatical:

Regulation court size is a single tennis court, fenced on all sides. Approximate dimensions are thirty five feet wide by seventy feet long. Basketball courts, handball courts, or any enclosed court will do in a pinch.
The court shall be set up with a goal on each end, marked by traffic cones or some other post visible from all points in the court. The goal does not need to have an upper limit, nor a net. The posts shall be set one bike length apart. The goals are placed approximately six feet in from the edge of the court, so that there is a playing area behind the goal.
The half-court line must be marked.

No time limit. First team to 5 wins. When the game is tied at 4, we call it “Beer Point.”
Each player must have a bike and a mallet. The Mallet may be held in either the right or left hand (generally right is easier), but must remain in the same hand for the entirety of the game: no switch hitters.
To start the game, the ball is centered. A count-off of “1, 2, 3, GO!” is given, and teams sprint like hell from their goal line to try to take control of the ball before the other team does.
Mallet-to-mallet contact is permitted, as is “hooking” another player’s mallet.

Body-to-body contact is permitted, but hands may NOT be used. Just like in football, you can use your elbows, arms or shoulders to push, shove or ride someone into a fence or bystander... but you may not grab or push with hands.

Players may handle the ball in any direction they wish, and are not subject to rules to establish “right of way.” Stealing is part of the game. What are we? Gentlemen?

A player may throw their mallet in order to try to block a goal. So far, this has resulted in some fairly memorable crashes, but no serious injuries. Just don’t kill anyone.

Teams consist of three players. Any more and too many people get hurt.

The ball used is a standard street hockey ball. It is suggested that you heed the weather recommendations on the packaging (red - above 80’, orange - 40’-60’, blue - below 40’) as getting hit with a red ball in 40’ weather is right painful.

The ball is ALWAYS IN PLAY unless a goal is scored. If a goal is scored, the scoring team must retreat to half court before the ball must be brought back into play. The ball may be brought back into play before the scoring team crosses the half court line. This is called “coming in hot.”

If a player touches the ground (“dabs”) then that player must complete a 360’ turn (“circle out”) before returning to play. The player may block the ball or other players with his/her bike before returning to play, but may NOT contact the ball or any other player with his/her body or mallet until returning to play.

A goal is scored ONLY if an attacking player strikes the balls with the end of his/her mallet, and the ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts. If the ball is hit with the flat side of the mallet and crosses the goal line, the shot will be called a “shuffle” and the play will continue. The goal is awarded to the last player to touch the ball. Assists may be awarded.

If a player is behind the goal, he/she cannot pass the ball through the goal to him/herself. You may pass it through the goal to another player, but you can not bring it through the goal and score yourself.

If you have a question about a play or rule, and it’s not listed here or under the court-specific rules, it’s legal. We generally don’t like rules.


No specific rules apply to the building of a polo bike, but we do have some strong recommendations.

The bicycle should be single-speed, either fixed- or free-wheel, with a single rear brake mounted on the left side (for right handed players)

We recommend that polo bikes be of the mountain bike variety, as they are more durable, and the parts are cheaper and more readily available from used bicycle stores.

Riser bars or BMX handlebars are recommended. For safety, it is also stressed that handlebars be cut down shorter than the length of an average arm. We would prefer that there be no more impaling on the polo court.


The standard bike polo mallet is constructed from an ordinary aluminum ski pole, and a short piece (about 5-7 inches) of high density PVC piping, which you can get from the hardware store or steal from the gas company. The pole should be cut down to a length of about 32 – 36 inches, with the point and grip removed. Match the diameter of the narrow end of the pole to a small wood-boring drill bit (usually 9/16”), and drill through the center of the PVC pipe. Press fit the pole into the PVC mallet head. Trim off any excess pole that peeks through the underside of the mallet head, and affix the mallet head to the pole with a long self tapping screw or a bolt and nut that passes through the pole and both sides of the mallet head. If using a self tapping screw, make sure to trim off any excess poking through the other side of the mallet head – for safety.


I have enough ski poles for nine mallets so you just need a bike.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bikes 'Round the Globe

In Seattle, I've gained a new level of inspiration. Not so much from the Seattle streets--which are pretty awesome, don't get me wrong, but from having the time to explore global cycling on the internet.

This movie is a little bit cheesy, but give it a chance. I promise it'll pan out to be one of the more inspiring global cycling videos you've seen:

It's coming Memphis:

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm not a witch

because I didn't melt on my ride home in the rain tonight.

Just a heads up: The Memphis Downs is going to be YUGE this year. September 11th-14th - Mark your calendar.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Memphis Bicycle Design Guide

Most cities have a bicycle design guide which, well, guides engineers as they plan for bicycles in the roadways. Memphis' bicycle design guide is in the works, but you can see their initial findings here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meeting with Councilman Strickland and City Engineers

I am writing today to report on a meeting Nate Ferguson and I had with City Councilman Jim Strickland and City Engineers John Cameron and Wain Gaskins this past Friday. The topic for the meeting was making Cooper Young into Memphis' first bike friendly neighborhood, but as expected, the vision and scope of the meeting expanded to include planning for bicycles all over Memphis. I had brought with me the "Chicago Bicycle Design Guide," a city planning resource that the city of Chicago had put together to guide road planning for the inclusion of bicycles. It is a very thorough manual, and I thought it to be a wonderful resource for us in Memphis. Turns out, the engineers had already begun work on a Memphis design guide. They are in the final stages of development for the guide, and as soon as I see it I will send it to you all.

Instead of talking specifically about Cooper Young, which they agreed would be a great place to start striping bike lanes in Cooper Young, and which they also agreed to begin looking seriously at in the next couple months, we talked about making standards for the city and implementing these standards on every newly paved old road and every newly constructed road county wide. The engineers thought this was a good idea, and encouraged us to pursue ratification of such a standard in the new Unified Development Code which is in the works right now. I think we might get that through, and there are a number of people working on this code who might be able to help. If we can ask that all newly paved roads be required to have some sort of bike facility (if they are not too busy or too fast--think Poplar or Union) based on the new Memphis bike design guide, we will see an incredible number of bike facilities all over Memphis. Not just bike lanes, but sign shared roadways, marked wide outside shoulders, and other safety provisions.

The engineers said they have considered creating a bicycle advisory committee to the city engineering department, which I offered to help assmeble and be a part of. This would provide very close oversight of road development in the city for cyclists, and would guarantee that cyclists have an active role in the planning of city streets. Councilman Jim Strickland asked that the enigneers stay in contact with us so that we can continue our work together. On the whole, this meeting was an excellent start to an ongoing dialogue between bicyclists and city planners. This was an unprecedented meeting of minds in Memphis, and we hope it is the beginning of a new form of planning in the city.

Finally, this weekend Revolutions will host the last of six classes on bicycling. The class is called "Advocating for Safer Streets," and will provide a summary of the last five years of advocacy work for bikes in Memphis, give a synopsis of where we are today, toss out a few ideas for the future, finally offering practical strategies for making the streets of tomorrow a reality today. Class starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and will run til noon. Please RSVP in advance, as there is limited space.

Many of you have seen the improvements going on at Revolutions. If you haven't please stop by and pick up a paint brush, or, just hang out and check out the space. It's an exciting time for bicycling in Memphis!

I hope to see some of you in the shop soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

GGM To Meet August 12th

Greening Greater Memphis is an organization that brings together the leaders of "green" organizations in Memphis in an effort to implement a green plan for Memphis. The purpose of the August 12th meeting is to "[seek] feedback on a proposed organizational model and services to be provided."

The meeting is from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

Here is a list of just some of the organizations that will be attending:

CommonSense, Inc.
Community Foundation of Greater Memphis
Greater Memphis Greenline
Hyde Family Foundations
Memphis Regional Design Center
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
Sierra Club
University of Memphis Ecological Research Center
Urban Land Institute District Council Memphis

Sunday, August 3, 2008

2005 Specialized Langster for sale!

Hal is parting with his 61cm 2005 Specialized Langster. It's been ridden a handful of times so it's in consummate condition. Asking price is $500. Drop by The Peddler on Highland to test ride.