Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ride your bike to the Grizzlies game this Friday!

Funny enough, we will be riding down BEALE ST. on the way back--with a police escort no less! Ha!

Grizzlies Go Green: Tour de Grizz bike ride

Friday, April 3
Grizzlies vs. Mavericks

Go Green with the Grizz for a game and try on sustainable travel as part of a group by participating in a 4.8 mile bike ride to the game. You'll also get a special ticket discount.

Discounted ticket prices
Terrace Level $10
Plaza Level $20
First Tennessee Club Level $25

Buy discounted tickets online

Just use the password: GREEN

Tour De Grizz details

  • Group Bike Ride departs at 6 p.m. from parking lot at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper.
  • View the bike route.
  • Check in begins at 5:30 p.m.
  • Escorted round-trip by Memphis Police Dept.
  • Rain or shine – be prepared for wet weather
  • Ticket includes secure “Bike Valet Parking” inside Grand Lobby of FedExForum
  • Post-game return ride departs FedExForum 15 minutes following conclusion of Grizzlies game

For more information, contact Anna at 901.205.1491 or via e-mail.

The Greenline gets the Greenlight!

Vote passed yesterday 13-0.

This from Greg Maxted:

Yesterday, the county voted 13-0 in favor of providing $375,000 to complete the first 7 miles of the CSX Greenline!

Mayor Wharton stopped by to lend his support.

It was a veritable Greenline love fest.

The highlights:

  • Shelby County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the $375,000 for the Greenline Project!!!
  • $4,750,000 to buy 7 miles of abandon rail, from SFPC
  • $1,500,000 to build a trail, from the Feds
  • Plan is to finish it by the end of the year!!!

This is huge, yall. Like whoa.

An idea is floating between the Greenline people and city officials regarding the creation of a parking lot off of Flicker Street near Avery.

View Larger Map

The city owns all the property around the head of the Greenline, and the Greeline folks hope that they will consider construcing a parking lot for people to park and then ride out to the Farms on the CSX. Thats a great thing for families etc., but for cyclists interested in riding their bikes to the greenline and riding out to SF this is also great news. There are a number of bike friendly routes to get to the trail head at Flicker and Avery, so the creation of a well lit, well designed starting place with a parking lot on Flicker is a win for the families and the avid cyclists riding to the trail head.


Even More Bike Polo

Last Sunday Rocky, Todd and I completed the construction of six mallets, giving us a total of eight. We do have an extra ski pole available if someone wants to come up with a mallet head. That done, we are still searching for a more suitable court. The labrynth at Audubon just wasn't big enough, and had some gravel. If you know of anywhere with a tennis or basketball sized court open to the public and most importantly enclosed please let us know.

Also, our neighbors in Atlanta will be hosting a polo invitational this summer. Info can be found on this myspace page: www.myspace.com/atlmspi as well as on bikepolo.ca at the event profile http://www.bikepolo.ca/atlanta-midsummer-invitational. And I'm sure there is even more info here: www.atlbikepolo.com.

bikepolo.ca is a forum for the League of Bike Polo. Our friends in New Orleans and Baton Rouge have already set up groups.

If you've read this and have no idea what bike polo is or how to play you can check out this article from Urban Velo #1.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

BFF Planning Meeting Tonight

We're meeting at Alona's house on Nelson at around 5:30. Bring your own food and drinks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

CSX Rail Line Official Vote

From an email from Bob Schreiber:

The County Commission will formally vote to approve the purchase of the unused western portion of the CSX Line from Poplar/Walnut Grove to Farm Road at Shelby Park on Monday, Mar 30. The meeting will be in the County Administration Building Auditorium, 160 N. Main, beginning at 1:00
This is an historic first. If you can possibly make it, we would very much appreciate your coming to this meeting, to show the members of the County Commission just how much we would like this to happen. With your help, we would like to fill the auditorium ! Please come, and bring a guest.. and also, pass this on.
Bob Schreiber

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I've been in touch with a fellow from Pensacola who will be moving here around Easter. He loves the game and I have word that he's a bruiser. That means we need to make sure we're on top of our game for his arrival. So this Sunday at 5 there will be a mallet making session at The Peddler on Highland. Poles and mallet heads will be provided but you need to bring the hardware, a 1/4"-20 bolt and nut which will cost you about a buck at a hardware store. If we have time we will also ride over to Audobon Park and check out a possible new court.

View Larger Map

Our friend Rocky informs us it's circular, flat and enclosed by ledge steps. It should make for a rather interesting court. If you have any questions post them in the comments section.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Embacher Collection

Seen at Tracko and elsewhere the Embacher Collection showcases some of the very finest and very unique bicycles ever made. However lacking the site may be in BMX (suddenly I was overwhelmed by memories of my mom taking me to a police auction and allowing me to bid on a bicycle. She told me I had a $25 limit so I started bidding on some bike that I vaguely remember being white but who really knows. The bidding went above my bank so like a good son I stopped bidding. After it sold she told me that it was okay to go a little higher. So I took my new freedom to the next bike I saw and actually won it for a mere $5. Only later would I find out that it had no brakes and was in dire need of a new rear wheel but all my joyous eyes saw was "awesome." It was a dark grey Schwinn Predator and after some time in the shop and several car washes later, I was the fastest kid in the cove. Thanks, mom. I love you.) I found that the bikes I was most enjoying are the steel racing bicycles and the city and touring oriented bicycles.


This is somehow not surprising to me as I've found that I more and more like riding my geared bike and hauling my trailer over riding my fixed gear, not to mention that I still haven't decided what to do with the GT GTB frame.

But this realization brings up a salient point: I started this blog to represent the fixed gear scene in Memphis and named it with the double entendre in mind. But if you review the posting that we've done you'll see that it's more about actually making Memphis more bicycle friendly. This is due in large part to the company I keep. Memphis (nor I) wouldn't be anywhere without the efforts of Anthony Siracusa. At times it seems like this man is single-handedly responsible for putting bicycles on the Memphis agenda and we all owe him a sincere debt of gratitude. If every cyclist in Memphis had a 100th of his devotion we'd be beyond Denver and lots of Left Coast cities in bicycling infrastructure. We wish him well as he travels the globe.

As people influence me, I influence others. Even if it was just putting my mom on a bike that she loved I like to think that I was partially responsible for her commuting to work. And my girlfriend Emily wouldn't even think about bicycles and cyclists on the road had it not been for me; now she's a contributor giving us her female (and wholly unique elsewise) perspective on fixing Memphis. Don't think I'm leaving out Josh Gorman who's guidance has helped bring you every alleycat or Kermit "Captain Planet" who showed almost every shop how to recycle tubes or the countless others who in their way try to fix Memphis.

So you can go drool over amazing bikes on the internet or if you're hardcore, put on your rain pants and go to work. Just remember that people are looking at you and thinking that you're doing something really good for everyone. You'll see this yourself as our community grows (which it is continuously) and we all fix Memphis.

Girls Ride Tonight!!!

Hey ladies! Lookin' for some two-wheeled action to fill your Wednesday night blues?
Meet at Megan Miller's house at 7:30 for some short visiting and then a nicely paced girls ride. Handsome boys are allowed but must stay with the pack.

Hope to see you all there!!!

Finally....Spain Pictures (Cort's boring title)

A lot of you guys know that Cort and I went to Spain last week. After we woke up from our "bench bed" in the Madrid airport we started taking some pictures.
Here are some of the bicycles that we saw when we walked to the market or the grocery or to H&M (3 times).
We stayed with our good friend Jenna and her boyfriend Brandon in their beachfront apartment that they rent while Jenna teaches English to gradeschoolers at a nearby school. All along the beach there is a small two lane street for motorized traffic. A pedestrian-only sidewalk runs parallel the entire length of the street with a bicycle-only path directly next to it. It was amazing. The cars actually slammed to a stop if pedestrians were crossing the crosswalks, which were located at every single block and intersection.
We took a train to Granada for Cort's birthday and had rabbit (still on the bone) and tried to befriend some very disinterested Arizonians.
But all in all we mostly laid on the beach in our dugout to block the intense wind. Cort tanned, I burned. It turned to tan though.
You can check out more pictures on my Flickr which will be updated with more pics slowly.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bicycle-Sharing Program to Be First of Kind in U.S.

Ed Alcock for The New York Times

Bikes waiting for pickup at a self-service docking station in Paris, where the Vélib sharing program began last summer

Published: April 27, 2008

WASHINGTON — Starting next month, people here will be able to rent a bicycle day and night with the swipe of a membership card.

A new public-private venture called SmartBike DC will make 120 bicycles available at 10 spots in central locations in the city. The automated program, which district officials say is the first of its kind in the nation, will operate in a similar fashion to car-sharing programs like Zipcar.

The district has teamed up with an advertiser, Clear Channel Outdoor, to put the bikes on the streets.

“There’s a lot of stress on our transit systems currently,” said Jim Sebastian, who manages bicycle and pedestrian programs for Washington’s Transportation Department. Offering another option, Mr. Sebastian said, “will help us reduce congestion and pollution,” as well as parking problems.

In the deal, Clear Channel will have exclusive advertising rights in the city’s bus shelters. The company has reached a similar deal with San Francisco. Chicago and Portland, Ore., are also considering proposals from advertisers.

For a $40 annual membership fee, SmartBike users can check out three-speed bicycles for three hours at a time. The program will not provide helmets but does encourage their use.

Similar programs have proved successful in Europe. The Vélib program in Paris and Bicing in Barcelona, Spain, both started around a year ago and already offer thousands of bicycles.

Mr. Sebastian, who started trying to bring bike-sharing to Washington even before its success in Paris and Barcelona, said he believed that the program could grow within a year and hoped that it would eventually offer 1,000 bicycles.

While automated bike-sharing programs are new to the United States, the idea of bike-sharing is hardly novel. Milan, Amsterdam and Portland have all had lower-tech free bike-sharing programs in the past, with Amsterdam’s dating to the 1960s.

But “studies showed that many bikes would get stolen in a day, or within a few weeks,” said Paul DeMaio, a Washington-area bike-sharing consultant. “In Amsterdam, they would often find them in the canals.”

Improved technology allows programs to better protect bicycles. In Washington, SmartBike subscribers who keep bicycles longer than the three-hour maximum will receive demerits and could eventually lose renting privileges. Bicycles gone for more than 48 hours will be deemed lost, with the last user charged a $200 replacement fee.

That technology comes with a price, which is one reason cities and advertisers started joining forces to offer bike-sharing. The European programs would cost cities about $4,500 per bike if sponsors did not step in, Mr. DeMaio said.

Cities realize “they literally have to spend no money on designing, marketing or maintaining” a bike-sharing program, said Martina Schmidt of Clear Channel Outdoor. Washington will keep the revenue generated by the program.

Bike-sharing has become a “public service subsidized by advertising,” said Bernard Parisot, the president and co-chief executive officer of JCDecaux North America, an outdoor advertiser that made a proposal to bring bike-sharing to Chicago.

But, Mr. Parisot added, if users had to pay all of the costs for bike-sharing, “they would probably just take a cab.”

The low cost could be one of the program’s major selling points.

At George Washington University in Foggy Bottom, one of the program’s 10 locations, students were unsure how often they would use SmartBike, but said its price made it worth a try.

“I’d probably use it more in the summer than winter,” said Dewey Archer, a senior. “But for $40? That’s cheaper than gas.”

Friday, March 20, 2009


Hi all

Because I'll be leaving to travel around the world for a year studying bicycle culture, policies and advocacy, I started a blog. I just made a pretty epic post about the routes the City of Memphis has slated for bike facilities, so check it out. Tune in. Follow the blog. Or, follow your bliss. Better yet, follow my blog as I follow my bliss. Mayhap you'll experience residual bliss and want to come visit. That would be swell.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And thus the Tennessee delegation set about their work on capitol hill this past week. We had a total of 8 meetings--I attended 5--and won support from most of the congresspeople and senators we met with. Congressman Cohen was especially supportive--agreeing to co-sponsor Complete Streets legislation, support the American Bikes Agenda in the new Transportation Bill, and likely will endorse the CLEAN TEA provision of the new climate bill.

I know this might all sound like a lot of political mumbo jumbo, but it's important stuff. This year we will likely see more federal money dedicated for cycling than ever before in our nation's history. That means more riders, riding more safely, more often. I have VERY brief issue sheets on each of the things I've mentioned. Hit me up if you want to know more.

Happy riding!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The News from Day one at the Bike Summit

This article details the talks delivered to the bicycle summit by Transportation and Infrastructure committee chairman James L. Oberstar and the Democratic Congressman from Oregon and in-residence congressional bike advocate, Earl Blumenauer. They pledged that bicycles would be a part of the re-authorization of the transportation bill in congress. Woot!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Greeting from Washington DC!

Tuesday 10 March
Late Evening


Greetings from the Ronald Reagan building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.! I’ve traveled to DC for the week to represent Memphis, specifically Congressional District 9, at the National Bicycle Summit sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. I arrived mid-day yesterday, and plan to stay through the end of the summit into next week. In addition to attending the summit, I hope to spend next week volunteering with the League and checking out the “SmartBikes,” DC’s public rental bike program.

The program began this evening with a wonderful talk from Congressional Transportation Committee Chairman, James L. Oberstar. “When I started out on this committee, I listened quietly as representatives told stories about the major highway projects going on in their neighborhood,” he said. “Then,” he paused…”I became chairman of this committee. And I made it a point to tell anyone who walked through that door: don’t come boasting about anything but your bike and pedstrian projects at committee from here on out.” A typical politician catering to his crowd, no doubt, but it was amazing to hear such vigorous support for a bicycle friendly nation from the Congressional Transportation Chair!

I sat in a room with more thatn 600 people: industry leaders (including the CEOs for Trek America, SRAM shifters and Quality Bicycle Parts), alongside more than 400 advocates representing 46 states. For the first time in its history, Memphis had a representative at this meeting. I scheduled a meeting with Steve Cohen’s office for Thursday, and I plan to meet with Senator Lamar Alexander in the morning and Mr. Cohen’s transportation advisor in the early afternoon.

I also had the dsitniquished honor to hear from Denmark’s Ambassador to the United States, Friis Arne Petersen and Mr. Andreas Rohl, Director of the City of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Program. They shared with us the tremendous progress that has been made in Copenhagen over the last few years. It would too long to lay out the points of their addresses, but these two things stand out:

First, bicycling is a way of life for the Danes. The average Dane does not think of themselves as a “cyclist,” though the average Dane rides 4 miles to work each day. It is simply a part of their culture. This is the work that we have to do over the next few years.

Second, the Transportation mode share in the Copenhagen metro area breaks down like this: 36% bicyclists, 33% on public transit and 31% in cars. Mr. Rohl’s presentation detailed the perks and the challenges of a whole city that moves primarily by bicycle.

Tomorrow we begin the conference in force with a breakfast address from Ray LaHood, the Transportation Secretary for the United States. It’s pretty major to have LaHood address cyclists from all over that nation. Tomorrow, he plans to share his vision for a bicycle friendly America.

I will keep you all up to date about the Congressional meetings we have planned, the content of the workshops I plan to participate in, and the overall cycling agenda for America, which will be presented here at the Summit. Don’t hesistate to write with a question of comment, and for goodness sake, keep those wheels turning Memphis!

Best to you all,
Anthony Siracusa


In the coming days, we will need your help. It will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD if you write City Engineer Wain Gaskins and Represenative Cohen to let them know that you support my advocacy work in Washington on behalf on Memphis bicyclists, and that you hope they will join the best cities in the world in working to make bicycling an integral part of our city life. Stay tuned for contacts and pre-written emails….

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Memphis to turn Overton Park Greenfield into flood control basin

Sorry for straying from the topic, but this seems relevant to lots of us. The City of Memphis (and our old friend Wayne Gaskins) are planning on turning the large field at Overton Park into a drainage basin. Overton Park Forever has more details about the plans, which have been in place since 2006 with, apparently, very little public input. While they will maintain plenty of room for the Zoo to use for overflow parking, they will basically eliminate the usefulness of the space for soccer games, ultimate frisbee, flying kites and just hanging out on a blanket. This basin will fundamentally change an important historic component of the park (Kessler designed the field for a reason) and detract from one of Memphis' best open spaces. I urge you to contact the appropriate individuals to let them know how much you value that space.

BFF Planning meeting tonight

Alona is hosting another planning meeting for the BFF. We've made great progress so far, even securing the Brooks Museum Theatre. The dates are set for the last weekend in May. We still need help securing a band and especially with all of the media. This isn't a "if you have it, they will come" type of event, as nothing in Memphis ever is. It will take a lot of media. If you think you can help with any aspect or if you just want to see what's going on meet tonight at Alona's house at 6pm. Contact alonalerman@gmail.com for further info.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sad News from Chattanooga


I regret to inform you that David Meek, our good friend and former CBC
president, was killed this morning in an accident while riding to work on
Ashland Terrace. You can read the details at the following links:


David was a great cyclist in his own right, but he was always willing to
offer advice and assistance to others. He helped the club in so many ways
I can't possibly list them all. He was passionate about cycling and making
the club the best it could be. We lost a great friend today.

We will forward information on visitation and funeral arrangements as soon
as possible.

Please keep David's family in your thoughts and prayers.


Philip Pugliese

Bicycle Coordinator

Outdoor Chattanooga

1250 Market Street, Suite 1006

Chattanooga, TN 37402

423.643.6887 Fax 423.643.6885




Monday, March 2, 2009

Greater Memphis Greenline Meeting Tonight

From greatermemphisgreenline.org:

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

Sunday, March 1, 2009