Friday, April 23, 2010


The Bicycle Plan passed City Council Tuesday evening with no hitches! Thanks to Jim Hagerman, Caroline Cooley and Stephanie Welch for coming and speaking on behalf of the bicycling community. (Jim actually spoke at first reading, after sitting through a grueling 3 ½ hr debate over housing for the homeless, so he deserves major, unlimited kudos!)

Next, the Plan will go to Knox County Commission on Monday around 6 p.m. I think emails to Commission will be best. Their meeting starts at 2 p.m. on Mondays and goes til late, late, late, so I don't really want to take up meeting time with comments. You can find their email addresses here: Please do take a few minutes to send an email to your commissioners.

The bike rodeo at EarthFest was a big hit, especially considering it was the first year we held one and it was kind of last minute. I think about 30 kids came through. Thanks to Linda Gray, Ellen Zavisca, Mark Parker, Brad Hedge, Karen Wilkerson (sp?), Deb Haines and Martha Buchanan for running it! And thanks to Knox County Sheriffs officers for helping too.

We are doing another rodeo in Townsend on May 15th, and I'm still looking for some volunteers for that. Please let me know if you can help. Safe Kids is going car seat checks, so we have to do helmet fitting ourselves, and Blount County doesn't have bike education through the sheriffs office so we don't have that help either.

Smart Trips Month starts soon. Calendar of events One thing we are asking is for people to pledge that they will use alternative transportation, either for the first time or do it more often, during our Commuter Challenge (through Sept 30). Please be a role model for the rest of the community and send us a pledge! You'll get a Be Green, Save Green card with great discounts to local merchants (including the most popular one at Mast!).

You may have also seen my plea on facebook for photos. The First Friday Art Bus is supposed to feature photos of alternative transportation (biking, transit, etc) but we have not gotten many submissions (and by that I mean one). We've extended the deadline to Monday, so if you get a chance this weekend (I know the weather isn't helping) to take some, please send them in.

The marketing committee made great plans for an awareness campaign featuring lifesize cutouts of local bicyclists with the message "We're your neighbors and friends, sons and daughters, husbands and wives.
And we bike.
Please drive as if you know us - because it just might be true!"
I've submitted a funding request to SMW and Knox Rev and am waiting to hear back. We've got "models" lined up to photograph and are trying to get permission from places to put the cutouts (like the mall, Walmart, etc). Then need to figure out how many to make.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The price of oats

The New Scientist has a story about how a volcanic eruption and the rising price of oats in the early 19th century led to the invention of the precursor to the modern bicycle.

A snippet:
The resulting velocipede, or draisine, was the first vehicle to use the key principle of modern bicycle design: balance. "To modern eyes balancing on two wheels seems easy and obvious," says Lessing. "But it wasn't at the time, in a society that normally only took its feet off the ground when riding horses or sitting in a carriage."

Ice skaters, who balance on a blade, were the main exception to this rule. There are contemporary accounts of Dutch women skating from village to village along frozen canals, balancing a milk churn on their heads while doing their knitting.
It's a good read.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bicycle Plan

The TPO Regional Bicycle Plan will be going to Knoxville City Council for adoption on April 20. Please let City Council know how you feel about the Bicycle Program and bicycle issues in general. Email addresses are at:

The Plan will also go before County Commission on April 26. Please contact your commissioners as well ( ) Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Be Green, Save Green

You can now see all the info on Smart Trips Month events online at There are a ton of bike classes, rides and events for all ages and skill levels. We've also got a bike rodeo for kids at EarthFest from noon to 3 p.m. (April 17, Pellissippi State College off Hardin Valley).

Remember that Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21. If you have questions about getting started bike commuting, check out our handy guide If you still have questions, just send me an email
There are prizes out there for the winning, as part of Smart Trips Month and also our new Commuter Challenge.