Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking Suggestions From Others

In the comments section of a previous post (The Bicycle Lane Movement) maydaymemphis said that he/she rode the median of North Parkway to Broad and Tillman and suggested we all try it. It sounded like fun and seeing as how I have a cross bike, yesterday I rode the East Parkway median from Harbert to Sam Cooper/Broad. It was sloggy but def fun. The only "obstacles" were under the overpasses, in my case Union Ave. Thankfully traffic was light. Some of the intersections were also narrow because of turning lanes but others had cutouts like driveway access, presumably for city vehicles.

Later on in my ride I hopped on the Vollintine/Evergreen Greenway from McLean to Watkins and it got me thinking of how easy it would be to make the Parkway medians into a very similar greenway. I don't know how much money was spent on the V&E but there's really not much to it. It just seems to exist (I know that it was purchased) because people use it and volunteers take care of it. Paths are worn in and it's pretty hard packed, but not paved at all. There are bridges where necessary but I don't think you would need anything like that on the Parkways.

From Dunlap/North Parkway to Young/East Parkway is approximately 5 miles. If you want to add South Parkway you could almost double that. The city maintains the medians so all we have to do is start using them. For commuting purposes they don't suit my needs at all but the days that I don't work I would really enjoy doing a couple of out & backs to build my base miles. The Parkways are easy access for most midtowners and are in a large sense buffetted from traffic. Just don't ride or run through the flower M at Union.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Upcoming Events

Some of you may have heard that the Memphis Halloween Alleycat is not happening. True bummer. There might be a costume party somewhere but I'm not sure. I'll let you know if anything is happening. As for now, still plan on doing the regular Thursday Night Ride.

For a future event I'm looking for people to run checkpoints between East Memphis and Downtown. I think I have 5 set checkpoints but that number could change. The date is not set in stone but it will take place sometime in January. You'll want to put on some cross tires for this one.

That's all for now. Be safe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Bike Lane Movement

As I was voting last week (yea Wharton!) Emily was reading the Flyer. She spotted an article about putting bike lanes in Memphis, or rather, in a part of Memphis that would be more visible than a little stretch of Shady Grove. The Coalition for Livable Communites is working with our buddies at Revolutions in a seemingly never-ending struggle with the Memphis Planning Organization (MPO). The project is called Walk Bike Memphis! and they meet the first Monday of each month at Otherlands at 5:30pm. I'm going to try to go to the next one, November 2nd, but of course I won't get there until after 6. I know we all like to bitch about cars and drivers so I'd like to see a lot of people there. It reminds me of the line from Alice's Restaurant:

"And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an
organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said
fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement."

The Bike Lane Movement.

Personally I would like to know the best way to get the MPO to do anything. A gentleman was in the shop with his little boy the other day and asked when they were going to put a bike lane on Central. I've wondered this myself. (Let's Repave Central Ave) As he was leaving he said that if there was a petition he would sign it. And maybe that won't hurt, pushing a stack of signatures in front of the MPO.

Finally I'd like to draw your attention to this article from Urban Velo. The title is "Does Share The Road Work?" and they're talking about the slogan, not whether bike lanes are a good idea or not. Perhaps we can discuss this at the next Walk Bike Memphis! meeting.

To Live and Ride in LA

Despite all the rain we're getting you can be sure that California still has some beautiful riding weather. Just check this video from Trafik:

To Live & Ride In L.A. [Teaser A] from TRAFIK on Vimeo.

David Rowe, the man who brought us Fast Friday, has been down in Los Angeles documenting their fixed gear culture. It's scheduled for realease sometime in 2010, I believe. In the meantime visit for posters and other info.

The weather calls for cross with a strong chance of crunk

It's supposed to rain all day. The Cyclocrunk race tonight should be a fun wet one. I won't be racing as I can't seem to shake this cough. I don't know whether or not I'll be spectating, either. But good luck to all who make it out there tonight, I know the pictures on will be amazing. Pictures from last weeks race are already up.

I'm really lame, I know, because I have a bike set up and ready to race. I wish I could reach into my mouth, down my throat and grab this gnarliness and pull it out. Maybe I should try eating some plants as it seems to work for my cat. In the dark morning I stepped barefoot into some of her vomit. Nice, right? After hopping on one foot to clean it off and going back to clean it up I saw some leaves in there. I bet it looked and felt like the ground for tonights race.

And check this out: If you don't have a cyclocross bike but want one my friend Jerry is selling a practically brand new Salsa LaCruz:

I'm pretty sure cyclocross rules forbid disc brakes but it's not like Cyclocrunk is officially sanctioned. It's still a badass bike anyways, and he's only asking $1200 for the complete bike. It's a 53cm which is cross for 56cm. More info can be found here. Let me know if you're interested.