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.
A BIG Thank YOU to everyone who came out last night. Extra Special thanks to the MASH crew, Dale And Kristen at Light Years Vintage, and Andrew at the MeDiA Co-Op. Congrats to Denis for winning footdown and Josh Gorman for longest skid (and blowing a tire). Here's a couple of pics and a footdown video for your enjoyment: