Friday, February 27, 2009

From the Road Bike Rider Newsletter

Overheard: "People are riding their bikes year-round in Iowa and so these hardy souls deserve to ride their bikes safely." -- Matt McCoy, state senator, backing bills that would require drivers to maintain a "five-foot bubble" around cyclists and be fined as much as $1,000 if they happen to kill one.

So Steve Cohen, how about some cycling justice in TN?

And now, a message from your federal government...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

GMG, BFF, and TN

The Greater Memphis Greenline will have an informational meeting this coming week. From their website:

The Greater Memphis Greenline is meeting to discuss “The Future of the Greenline”
We will conduct an open meeting to update the public on the status of the CSX corridor and future projects.
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: March 2nd
Where: Benjamin Hooks Library, Meeting Room A

The Benjamin Hooks Library is the main library at 3030 Poplar Ave. I'm planning on riding this corridor in the next few days, weather permitting.

Next up our friend Alona is hosting a planning meeting for the Bicycle Film Festival. As some of you know we are currently working on a trailer to submit to the 2009 BFF with a completed film to follow in 2010. If you would like to know what you can do to help Memphis be a host city for the Bicycle Film Festival PLEASE attend this meeting:

Event: Bicycle Film Festival Memphis First Planning Meeting
"Roll on over to be at the beginning of this historic event."
What: Informational Meeting
Host: Alona Lerman
Start Time: Saturday, February 28 at 5:30pm
End Time: Saturday, February 28 at 7:00pm
Where: Alona's House, contact for address

And finally I recieved this email from the Memphis Hightailers:

IMPORTANT ALERT!!! Bill to Ban Bicycles on TN Roads...
Please spread the word about this important state issue to your concerned friends and others throughout the Tennessee bicycling community. While this is currently limited to one road in Davidson County, it could set a bad precedent with implications across the state. That's why it is imperative we take action today!
A bill to ban bicycles on River Road in Davidson County (House Bill 0342 and Senate Bill 0276) is proceeding through the Tennessee Legislature. River Road is a typical state rural highway with light to moderate traffic and no paved shoulder. There have been no bicycle-car crashes on this road in the last 5 years. If a ban is successful, many such roads across the state would be likely candidates for a ban as well.

It is critical that everyone makes an effort to reach these representatives, regardless of where you live. See House Transportation Subcommittee on Rural Roads members below:

Chair: Rep. Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram, Cheatham and part of Montgomery and Williamson Counties
Phone (615) 741-7477, or
Vice Chair: Rep. George W. Fraley, D-Winchester, Franklin, Moore, and part of Lincoln Counties
Phone (615) 741-8695 or
Rep. Judy Barker, D-Union City, Obion, Lake and part of Dyer Counties
Phone: (615) 741-0718 or
Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, Part of Hamilton County
Phone (615) 741-2746 or
Rep. Bill Harmon, D-Dunlap, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Grundy and Marion Counties
Phone (615) 741-6849 or
Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, Part of Washington County
Phone: 615-741-2251 or
Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir, Parts of Loudon and Monroe Counties
Phone (615) 741-3736 or
Rep. John C. Tidwell, D-New Johnsonville, Houston, Humphreys, Perry, and parts of Hickman and Maury Counties
Phone (615) 741-7098 or

Talking Points (borrowed from the Harpeth Bicycle Club's position):
We oppose any legislation that bans bicycling from any state and local roadways of Tennessee, including HB342 and HB276 that bans bicycles from River Road in Davidson County, for the following reasons:

Bicycles are legal users of roadways throughout the United States,
Available accident statistics for River Road in the last five years provides no evidence of bicycle related automobile accidents,
Proper roadway design creates conditions that are safe for all valid roadway users including bicycles and motor vehicles,
Current law including the Jeff Roth and Brian Brown Bicycle Protection Act addresses the issues of safe use of roadways by motorists and bicyclists, and
Bicycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly form of transportation and recreation, and should be encouraged in our state which ranks 47th in health outcomes and 6th in obesity.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love riding in Memphis

Urban Velo has an ongoing feature in their magazine called "I Love Riding in the City" where normal folks like you and me (especially me) fill out a simple questionnaire and submit a photo. You might recognize the bike, trailer, bag, and two cases of Fat Tire in the picture on the bottom right. Issue #12 should be available soon so you'll be able to see why I love riding in Memphis.

Click the photo to fill out the questionnaire.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Memphis Makes Bike Blogosphere

Our friends at Tracko and Bootleg Sessions have picked up on "Suspect's" pipe bomb bike.

However the bike picture they are using is not the actual bike from the "Memphis Airport Scare."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bike Communting: Making it a Habit

One Year in the Slow Lane

Here's a wrap-up from Gary "Slow Guy" Kirkland, a writer in Gainesville, Florida, who resolved to start riding his bike to work in 2008. In his first two reports (newsletter Nos. 342 and 346), he told about getting started, gaining experience and finding his groove.

By Gary Kirkland

One morning as I was pulling on my gloves and hat and wrapping up to face the fierce Florida winter -- really, it was below freezing -- it hit me that my experiment/commitment to bike commute for a year had rolled right past its 2-wheeled anniversary.

My original goal wasn't all or nothing, it was 100 days of commuting, figuring it would put me on my bike twice a week, reducing use of my car by 40%.

My final bike-to-work tally for 2008 was just over 150 days, or 3 a week, a 60% auto reduction. And on most of those non-bike days I was able to carpool.

So, what did I gain?

My commute is not huge, just under 6 miles roundtrip, but I figure I saved at least 35 gallons of gas.

I've since learned that an engine's efficiency from a cold start may reduce the advertised mpg by a third or even half during the first 5 miles of a trip. This would make even my fuel-efficient economy car a gas hog coming and going.

There was another savings I hadn't thought about. Putting a bike into the commuting equation allowed the 3 adults who live at home to go our different ways but comfortably share 2 motor vehicles. So we gained transportation flexibility without adding a car payment, insurance payment and maintenance, while still keeping an open space in the driveway.

And, I had a good time riding and burned some calories instead of fossil fuel.

What did I learn? >>>SOS

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trailer Filming

We're going to try to start filming the trailer to submit to the BFF tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 19th) night at the co-op and on the Thursday night ride. Everyone is welcome and we'd like as many people as possible, all ages, male and female.

I'll repost if there are any changes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Suspect has a Pipe Bomb Bike!

It's made national news so I'm sure you've seen it already.

Suspect dropped Someone off at the airport today and a pilot noticed a "This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb" sticker on it and alerted authorities. Suspect was detained and questioned by FBI and ATF for 2 hours and then released. His bike was kept for further investigation but he should be getting it back tomorrow.

This is the third time this sticker (from the punk band of same name) has made national news, and I'm sure there are countless other incidents. I have this sticker on one of my bikes, as do many other people, but one would assume that IF one were to make a pipe bomb out of a bicycle one would not advertise such explosive. Suicide bombers don't paint their intentions on their coats. That's like the mob warning you that your car is bombed.

In related news, as I was searching for songs about bicycles I came across a song by The Catalyst titled "This Bike Is A Gravity Bong."

See suspect (who you might recognize) being led away in cuffs on Fox13.

16 whoppers

Worth repeating from Good (magazine) via prolly.

Lance Armstrong's Custom TTX STOLEN!!!

Via the Trek Website

Whoever stole that is going to have to hide that thing for like 50 years.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

PS7 in Polo Sunday 7. Yes, that number was arbitrarily assigned, but I think it's pretty close. It's going to be chilly tonight but there won't be any precipitation. We'll be making new mallets soon so come out if you want to learn how to make your own. You should also come out if you want to hear about the bike movie we're going to make. Hopefully we can start filming this week and have a trailer submitted to BFF by March 7th.

As usual we play behind the Peddler on Highland at 5pm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday Night Ride/Party

In addition to the normal Thursday night ride it's also Isaiah's birthday.

As such he is having a party at his house. So the ride will probably happen a little earlier than the normal 10:30 start time (at least I hope) to allow for sufficient beer-drinking/dancing/bonfire antics and of course the requisite tomfoolery.

*I wanted to post the picture of Isaiah that's in the banner but I think Kellen took down all of the Revolutions photos.

Polo can be rough!

I was browsing the netweb and came across some NYC Polo pics from last summer. Here's a couple:

I'm envious of the high walls that I see in a lot of photos. It would be such a score to find a court like this here in Memphis. Also note the score cards. That girl is Polo's little league scorekeeper equivalent. Who (as in what kind of) kid was that anyways? I never played little league baseball so...

This chap apparently took a mallet to the eye. Either that or he hole-punched on somebody's bar end. Safety first!

Check the rest here.

Bike Film Festival Deadline is approaching!

From Alona:
Hey guys,

the call for entries is out -- the deadline is fast approaching! we should get the memphis team to make a movie for the festival! AND we should get a team together to go to nyc for the festival (or some other city...maybe chicago?)

would you guys consider posting this on the fix memphis blog?

it would be great if we could forward it to anyone else that could publicize it (maybe in new orleans or nashville? i can reach out to the guys in st. louis). it is such a fun event.

i've been emailing with Brendt, the director, and we're talking about having one night in memphis in 2010. it could be awesome.


Deadline: March 7

Enter the Ninth Annual Bicycle Film Festival! This annual event's
looking for films with a bike-related theme. Any style's acceptable:
animation, experimental,narrative, documentary and music videos are
all a go.

The Bicycle Film Festival travels to over 20 cities around the world,
including Paris, London, Tokyo, New York -- and Sydney.

Last year, more than 100,000 people attended the festival. The BFF is
a lot of fun and includes rock shows, block parties, film screenings,
and art shows.

The Bike Film Fest is expected to be a huge success in 2009. All
cities have been selected and dates for NEW YORK are June 17-21. All
other dates will be set within the month.

Get your entry in by the deadline!

Pass the word. Print the poster and put up at your office and/or
local cafe.

Brendt Barbur
Founding Director
Bicycle Film Festival

So, let's get on it. We need to represent this year if we want to have a festival next!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stimulate Some Bike Riding!

Life Cycles: Bicycle lanes should be on stimulus plan for Memphis

The League of American Bicyclists has urged Congress to include bicycle lanes, designated bike paths and more shared roadways in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan.

"The message," the league stated, "is to urge Congress to ensure that any infrastructure investments going to the states under the recovery bill are balanced across the states geographically and across various types of transportation modes."

Memphis, a city with a great bike plan but almost no bike lanes, would benefit greatly from these recovery dollars...