Saturday, April 30, 2011

Huling Station Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_110944Pop quiz hot shot! Who made this bicycle rack? That's right, Jill Turman. Located right next to the Huling Station Trolley Stop this rack is a wonderful locking point for The National Civil Rights Museum or, uh, Public Storage. Seriously, though, there are several restaurants around here and it has definitely picked up from the 5 years ago that I worked in the area and it's just going to continue to grow.

Here's how the rack racks up:

Form - Artistic
Function - Pass
Environment - It's the "Memphis Rack"
Points of Interest - The National Civil Rights Museum

Friday, April 29, 2011

Memphis In May - Honoring Mud Boots

I've been getting some blog love (blove?) lately. gomemphis has set up the definitive guide to Memphis In May and procured my help in setting up a bike route map. They even link to my bike rack map which is accessible from a smart phone. (You'll need that smart phone to track the storm systems as they approach.) It would be super cool if there were free bike valet at the entrance to Tom Lee Park - yet another nice way to honor the bike-loving country of Belgium.

Speaking of which, here is how I plan to honor Belgium during the month of May:

1. I will only ride my cyclocross bike. Very popular in Belgium, cyclocross is a type of bicycle racing where participants ride in the grass, sand, gravel, mud, water and they even have to jump over barriers. Just like Music Fest! Even if you're just spectating it's necessary to be prepared and nothing says prepared for Music Fest and cyclocross like The Pit Boot from Vanilla Cycles. Available online for $65.

2. I will only drink Belgian beers. Here is a list of approved brews should you decide to honor in the same manner.

SIKE! That's too long of a list. If you want to know you can visit The Flying Saucer's Beer List and see which beers are Belgian.

3. Like most Belgians, I will NOT wear a helmet while riding.

DOUBLE SIKE! Ya'll stay safe out there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Drag'n Frozen Treats

Last week you may have read on several blogs (like The Memphis Blog, Notes From Memphis, I Love Memphis, Hungry Memphis, Fertile Ground, Paul Ryburn, norococo are just a few) about the Food Truck Fare that took place in Court Square on Tuesday, April 19th. Unfortunately, this was a singularity for downtown Memphis, but with the city's updated ordinance, the likelihood of seeing this again is possible. Perhaps maybe for Bike to Work Day on May 20th, 2011? But enough about trucks. This is a bike blog.

Remember that post a few weeks ago where we talked about bicycle food carts at the end? Well, good news for my readers:
2011-04-28 13.16.48

Sam Dunn is the proprietor of Drag'n Frozen Treats, a bicycle-drawn trailer which supplies downtown Memphians with a much needed cold treat. Sam was in the shop the other week with a yellow Cannondale road bike when he told me about his idea. His girlfriend Yvonne welded a trailer for him (Emily gushes aloud) and I was warning him of the difficulties of pulling a fully laden trailer with road bike gear ratio. As you can see from the picture, he has switched to a mountain bike which he finds easier.

I haven't been able to meet with Sam since our initial conversation. Our friend Martie was super awesome to take his picture while she was out today (she's great, really!). Hopefully we'll be seeing Sam and Drag'n Frozen Treats out at the Bike to Work Day Expo and according to his facebook page, he will be attending Bikesploitation (we know he likes Live from Memphis-we don't blame him either!).

Now if we can just get those gyros and hot dogs!

498 S. Main Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_110613I know this is starting to sound like a Jill Turman blog... get over it. She has quite a few more bicycle racks to be featured on the map so let's get on with it: This rack belongs to no business in particular but serves several. Bluff City Coffee, Midtown Bike, The Folk Alliance, and WEVL. You'll notice that I also captured a Yuba Utility Bicycles van in the background. I'm glad there's another company in the U.S. producing more ways to haul more stuff (you know, for kids!). And the Yuba would lock up nicely to a rack like this!

Here's how it racks up:

Form - Artistic
Function - Pass
Environment - Bloody Ribs!
Points of Interest - Bluff City Coffee, Midtown Bike Co., The Folk Alliance, WEVL

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Memphis Bicycle 27271

This little Raleigh Sprite visited the shop the other day. A preliminary search of Memphis Bicycle Registration and Memphis Bicycle Licensing revealed nothing relative. Any information would be appreciated, or show me your Memphis Bicycle License Plate. Email photos to


Gibson Guitar Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_112108With 3 potential titles, I decided to go with the building closest. The other candidates are of course FedEx Forum and the Westin Hotel. When those places get bicycle racks in front of their buildings then they'll get named on the map. Until then, BEHOLD: The Gibson Guitar Bicycle Rack. Not shaped like a guitar, instead, another "Memphis Rack" from Jill Turman, which seems slightly more usable.

Here's how it racks up:

Form - Artistic
Function - Pass
Environment - Not really. (Ribs, ya'll!)
Points of Interest - Gibson Guitar Factory, FedEx Forum, Westin Hotel

New Blog - Seen Memphis

via The Memphis Blog

Doing the morning rounds and came across Seen Memphis: a photography blog. Browsing the photos I said to myself, "Hm, several of these photos have bicycles in them." Then I started to pontificate on said subject, whether bicycles are inherently artistic, a growing part of the collective subconscious, or just more prevelant; then POWH! It's a picture of my friend Cliff sitting at one of our favorite spots with his bike locked out front. He's the one in the middle.

Photo by Amy Dale

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Center City Commission Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_113357While on my initial bicycle rack picture taking expedition this wave rack in front of the Center City Commission (CCC) had the most bikes locked to it (aside from the Flying Saucer newspaper corral). This rack might even see more daily use than any other rack in downtown Memphis. I know I use it about once a month in early spring while planning Bike To Work Day.

Here's how it racks up:

Form - Wave
Function - Pass
Environment - Doesn't blend
Points of Interest - CCC, Fire Museum

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opportunity Knocks

A few times a year we (Peddler Bike Shop) get a call from someone at the University of Memphis who has lost their lock key and needs us to cut their lock or someone who is handicapped and needs us to change their flat tire. This past Saturday was the first time that I (though I'm sure there have been others) took a call from someone out on a ride with a flat tire and they wanted me to bring them a tube and change their flat.

A. We don't do that.
B. We don't do that, especially not on Saturday.
C. We don't do that, especially not on Saturday, even more so when we're short-staffed and there's a sale going on.

That's not to say that the Superman in me wouldn't love to get on my bike, race through Memphis streets to save an unprepared cyclist, because I would. But I have bigger responsibilities at the shop. Though I really love that you as the stranded cyclist are loyal to my shop even when my competitor is closer.

Fast forward to Tuesday when a customer and I are conversing about the aesthetics, anti-theft advantages and cargo capacities of Dutch bikes, bakfiets and "xtra-cycles" and she mentions that her husband and friend were on the greenline this past weekend and experienced a flat on a trail-a-bike. She relayed her idea for a mobile flat-fixing service. When I asked how much she would pay for such a service she said "$20. Most people when riding have a $20 bill on them." (paraphrased)

That implies, of course, tube and labor. At a shop you will pay about $6 for a tube, $6.60 with tax. Leaving you $13.40 for your labor. For a young high school or college kid with a love of cycling and free weekends you might be able to make some dough. Start-up costs would include several tubes in various sizes, a floor pump, sizes 13, 14, 15, and 17 wrenches preferred but an adjustable wrench would suffice, a few tire boots, and a backpack to carry everything. Then as you got established several different tires and a trailer to carry everything. So minimum would be about $100, after 8 jobs you could start making profit.

To be honest I'm not sure if the demand is fully there, but perhaps it's just because the service isn't available.

Then this customer and I started talking food carts: hot dogs, ice cream, gyros. That's a whole other post right there.

Court Square Bicycle Rack South/North

IMG_20110317_113053These bicycle racks are a recent addition to Court Square, having been installed after last years Bike To Work Day Expo. Last year there was free valet parking provided by Livable Memphis. This year these two bicycle racks may be sufficient. Readers will recognize these as Jill Turman creations. I got a chance to email Jill and she calls them "squiggle racks" but has given usIMG_20110317_113209 permission to call them Memphis racks, as we are the only city to have them. A lot takes place in Court Square from the weekly Food Not Bombs meal servings on Saturdays at 2pm to the yearly Bicycle Expo for Bike To Work Day. Last year I had a table set up for the Bicycle Film Festival (Bikesploitation is taking the place of this for 2011). There were other vendors set up and people were distributing information and giving out freebies and a lady came up to my table with her hands full of stuff and asked what I was doing. I gave her a flyer and talked about the BFF and she was just nodding her head and when I had finished she asked, "What's this?" To which I replied, "My sunscreen?" not sure where she was directing her question. She said, "Yeah." So I explained to her the purpose of sunscreen and then she asked, "Is it free?" This lady actually wanted my sunscreen. When I told her "no" and that it was mine, she huffed off like I had wasted her time.

Here's how they rack up:

Form - Artistic
Function - Pass
Environment - Ribs!
Points of Interest - Rachel's Salon, Stella, Blue Plate Cafe, Springhill Suites

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Criminal Courthouse Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_120229I see a lot of people drive drunk. Some of them are even my friends. After turning down a taxi I just have to hope that they'll be my friends tomorrow. The least that could happen is that they end up riding their bikes here; the LEAST.

Here's how it racks up:
Form - Wave
Function - Pass
Environment - Nope
Points of Interest - Court, 201 Poplar

Stolen Bikes Alert

pake bikesanta cruz heckler

Jim Thompson had his bicycles stolen. Keep an eye open for these, that Pake should be hard to miss. I'm throwing a post up on FB so spread the word on twitter. I don't tweet but I think someone set up this blog to feed? Anyways here's a parts list, no serial #'s sorry:

thompson stolen bike parts list

Powerhouse Bicycle Rack #2 and #3

IMG_20110317_110125Do you remember the first Powerhouse bicycle rack? Well when we take that 9 bike and add to it another comfortable 27 (I consider myself a professional when it comes to loading up a bicycle rack - 4 days a week for almost 4 years; fenders, racks, pegs, no problem. You can definitely get more than 18 on that long silver rack.) we have the potential to rack 36 bikes.

The silver rack is old school. I think that is exactly like my grade school bicycle rack. I would ride to school on my Schwinn Predator. My mom took me to a police auction (do they do these any more?) and told me I could spend $25. The first bike I bid on went above that but this grey and pink beater I won for about $10. Of course it needed some work and I got it back from the shop about a week later and I was the fastest kid on the block.

The green rack is new, a Jill Turman creation. The curvature like waves on the river. You'll see this style of rack throughout downtown Memphis. I wonder if Jill has put this rack in other cities or if we can officially term it the Memphis Rack. Now that I think about it, it kind of resembles ribs as well. Mmmm...

Here's how they rack up:
#2 (the old school silver rack)
Form - Dual-sided
Function - Pass
Environment - If this were at a prison it would fit in.

#3 (the Jill Turman "Memphis Rack")
Form - Artistic
Function - Pass
Environment - River, Ribs; pick one

Points of Interest for both racks: Farmer's Market, South Main, The Warehouse

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cafe Francisco Bicycle Rack

IMG_20110317_113838The Cafe Francisco Bicycle Rack is yet another splendid creation from Jill Turman. Unfortunately, the area in which it is located, the Pinch District, has seen more populated times. It is very odd to me that this area, surrounded by an affluent neighborhood, a mixed-income neighborhood, a hospital, a "theme park" (Mud Island), a hotel and a convention center is so lacking in consumer amenities. A handful of restaurants and shopping are scattered on Main Street with other side streets severely lacking. The area is like South Main 10 years ago, but look how much that has changed; and it didn't take a big retailer like Bass Pro to turn it around.

This bicycle rack reminds me of the trees which populate our entire city, yet this area lacks the greenery we see elsewhere. Perhaps the Pinch District really just needs a "facelift" similar to Broad Street. Then instead of being the interstitial, pass-through area it is it will become a blending of the surrounding areas as well as a destination in its own right.

It's been said that one of Memphis's most noticeable features are the trees. In a metaphorical sense their roots hold the soil of our lives together. A tree is only as strong as its roots and right now our roots are spread wide. We need to strengthen the roots of the city and from there we will grow healthier.

So... here's how the rack racks up:
Form - Artistic
Function - Pass (9 bike potential)
Environment - If there were more trees in the area we might have a hard time finding the bicycle rack.
Points of Interest - TJ Mulligans

Good morning tree


Cars were behaving weirdly yesterday and did you notice that there was more traffic on your route? That storm is the only way I can think to explain it. Luckily I was able to ride right under this sucker.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Legit Polo Courts in Memphis?

So yes, it's extremely annoying setting up and breaking down wooden pallet barriers, as anyone who's ever played bicycle polo in Memphis knows. So what would happen if there was a legit court that wouldn't have to be set up and broken down before each play, that wouldn't have low spots saturated with water, and the ball didn't jump the curb or the barriers didn't fall over every 3 minutes? Would our play progress? Would more people play?

Obviously a new court to a few polo players isn't the same as a new arena to a few basketball teams but look what happened for them!

We as cyclists are always ready to recycle and there are several tennis courts that could be fitted as polo courts but with the skatepark going in at Tobey Park could the city build a new polo/street hockey court in Midtown?

If you'd like to discuss some possibilities meet at the Young Avenue Deli tomorrow night (that's Sunday) at 6pm. I'll see you there, then polo at 7 at Bluff City Sports.

Autozone Park Bicycle Racks


This will get cheesy later but for now let's just get some facts out. Two racks at Autozone Park, home of the AAA Memphis Redbirds, plastic beer bottles, Rendezvous concession stand serving sausage and cheese plates and barbecue chicken nachos and a climbing tower with retractable ropes so you can really jump for the holds. The racks look like they can hold 9 bikes each, 18 total, provided there is enough space between the rack and the wall, which there should be since the racks were installed by Peddler Bike Shop. The left picture is the rack on 3rd Street, the right picture is the rack on Union. My favorite part is, when looking at the picture on the right, that there is a sign that says "Bicycles Only, Motorcycles Will Be Towed." Call me territorial. OK, time for the cheese:

Here's how they rack up:
Form - Wave
Function - SAFE!
Environment - In case you didn't "catch" that they are "wave" racks, fans do "the wave" at baseball games.
Points of Interest - Autozone Park, hot dogs, beer

Friday, April 1, 2011

Paula Raiford's Hollywood Disco Bicycle Rack


You know I'm pretty big on the beer drinking but not so much on the disco clubbing. But if there was one club that I would go to it would be Raiford's (except for wherever my Electrocity boys are playing), it's only a plus that I could lock up right out front, provided Paula would have a space available. I think that during business hours that rack is usually occupied by some shiny low-rider bicycles. I'd actually like to take one of those home - lower center of gravity, y'know.

Here's how it racks up:
Form - Wave
Function - Pass
Environment - Doesn't blend.
Points of Interest - Raiford's (of course)