Slowly, but Surely, Rollng Towards a Bike-Friendlier Nashville

My passions these days include doing what I can to make Nashville a city for people who walk and people who ride bicycles

Recently (4.11.2016), I took this photo of about 30 representatives of various Nashville bicycle tribes. Walk Bike Nashville organized a “round-up” of them held at Yazoo Brewery. Good job, Walk-Bike Nashville. Good beer, Yazoo. (Unsolicited shout-out: Try their Daddy-O Pilsner.) I was at the gathering representing Mayor Barry’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

The group represented many different bike-related organizations, ranging from non-profits, to various types of cycling enthusiasts (roads, off-road, commuters, slow-riders, night riders) to people who own pedal-propelled businesses — from shops to bike-tour businesses to food delivery services to the owner of Pedal Pub (although, I guess, technically-speaking, it’s not a “bicycle,” but it is powered by pedals ).

Each person who wanted to could spend five minutes talking about what their company, non-profit, advocacy group, public agency does. One after another, I heard some very inspiring stories about groups who have done various things, ranging from helping to build many of the off-road bike trails in Middle trails to learning more about one of my heroes, the quietly inspiring Dan Furbish of the Oasis Center Bike Workshop.

My passion for bicycling is focused on transportation, recreation and travel. It’s amazing to meet others who love bikes but who express their passion in so many different ways and that have so many different positive outcomes.

635967579643256482-IMG-2290One day, when Nashville completes what’s necessary to have the walking/biking infrastructure necessary to make people feel safe, I’ll be appreciative to the folks I’ve met in the past three years who have, in often quiet ways, done so much to create the foundation that’s necessary to build a great bicycling/walking town.

Which brings me to an announcement Nashville Mayor Megan Barry made earlier this week and that is covered in this Tennessean story.

As my passions these days include doing what I can to make Nashville a city for people who walk and people who ride bicycles — as well as people who drive cars — these kinds of projects regarding specific locations and time-frames for development are what is needed to convey to Nashvillians why I’m optimistic about the future. (Impatient, but optimistic.)

A New Rule: Re-mojo Your Bike After Every Time a Car Knocks You Down

The weather finally being nice, I got to test out my newly re-mojo’d bike…and it is great.

On December 1 of last year, I was knocked down by a car’s side-view mirror while riding my bicycle home from work (and no, the car didn’t stop but a wonderful good samaritan did). While I was scratched and bruised, the major injuries were invisible: a concussion that wiped out a couple of hours of my memory and what turned out to be–although I didn’t realize it until a couple of months of denial–a chipped-off bone in my left hand that required surgery and a wire that’s still inside my left ring finger.

But enough about me.

It was my bike I was concerned about. While I’ve ridden it several times since  December 1, it just didn’t seem to have its mojo. Read more “A New Rule: Re-mojo Your Bike After Every Time a Car Knocks You Down”

Riding a Bike in Cold Weather is Like Cross-country Skiing on Wheels

ortlieb-pannsI rode my bike into work yesterday (Thursday, Jan. 2). It was raining lightly and the temperature was around 40. It’s fairly easy and not terribly expensive to have the necessary gear to layer up for such a ride. The most expensive thing for me is a pair of Ortlieb Front Roller Classic bags (panniers)–what I use to make sure my Macbook Air (which I also slide into a gallon-size Zip-lock bag), camera, and clothes all stay dry.

By the time I was ready to head home, it was dark and the temperature was 25 degrees with a windchill of around 12. That’s my weather threshold for riding (nothing below 25), but I decided not to use the handy Nashville MTA #5 Bus with its front bumper bike racks and friendly driver who is always willing to stop and let me off a block from my home, despite it not being an official stop. (Sidenote for Nashvillians: MTA busses will also pick you up if you flag them down where there is not an official stop.)

Whenever I ride in such cold or rainy weather, I get the feeling people driving by think I’m nuts–even more than when they see me riding in normal weather. But the fact is, riding in such weather is about as close to cross-country skiing as you can get if there is no snow.

If you take care of your extremities and have the right gear, it is invigorating and a whole lot of fun–and you don’t have to fly north or west to enjoy it.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a mountain range in Nashville to provide the scenery one can enjoy in the Rockies. That is, unless you count the range called the Green Hills.