Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exciting Progress!

We are in the midst of giving a "Sharing the Road with Bicyclists" presentation to all Knox County high school drivers education classes. It would not be possible without the dedication of eleven volunteers! We present in teams of two. Each school takes an entire day of work, so you can see how much effort it takes when you multiply that by eight schools. We plan to continnue this every semester because it is a valuable message to get out to this age group. If you want to help out next semester, please let me know! It's a lot of fun interacting with the students and hearing the questions they come up with.

We have unveiled our "I Bike" awareness campaign targeted at motorists (see photo!). If you're at Regal Cinemas, Pinnacle, look for Sherry Wiles' smiling face on the right side of the lobby. Linda Gray will soon be featured at West Town Mall. When I was putting the banner out at Regal, there were many people stopping to look at it, so I think it's going to be successful at conveying our message. A huge thank you to Smoky Mountain Wheelmen for sponsoring this campaign.
(We were inspired by the "And We Bike" campaign in Oregon,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Neighborhood Bike Ride

Saturday, October 2, 2010
Free safety checks begin at 9 a.m.
Ride leaves at 10 a.m.

The Neighborhood Bike Ride is turning 10 this year!

When we started the ride on Market Square in 2001, there wasn’t much else happening on Saturday mornings. Things have changed dramatically (for the best!), so we have decided to move north where we can spread our wheels. The start location will be the corner of Central and Baxter Ave. We’ll tour Old North Knoxville, Parkridge, Mechanicsville and 4th & Gill for this year’s route. When we return, the Happy Hollerpalooza festival will be getting under way. Free parking is available at the Knox Central building, 1000 N. Central. As always, all ages and skill levels welcome, and helmets required. There will be some hills, since this is East Tennessee, but we try to limit them, and we don’t leave anyone behind. The route is less than 12 miles (takes a little more than an hour, including a rest stop). Email with questions.

UT Clean Commute Day breakfast

In support of Clean Commute Day, Friday, August 20, the UT Office of Sustainability will be providing FREE light breakfast to the first 50 faculty, staff or students who commute to campus by alternative means - walking, biking, carpooling or riding the bus. Please join us for this fun event at the north end of Humanities Plaza from 7:30 to 9:00 am. We’ll have information about alternative commuting plus prizes to give out to a few lucky visitors.

The goal of Clean Commute Day is to get 10,000 people to commute by some means other than driving alone. Please pledge your support for the event and encourage your friends and co-workers to participate too!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bike to Work Convoys

Want to bike in for Clean Commute Day (next Friday, Aug 20), but aren’t sure of the route or just want some company? Meet at one of these locations to join the movement. Please call 215-3815 or email to RSVP. And remember to fill out this online pledge form for Clean Commute Day (if you aren’t logging with Smart Trips).

West Knoxville to downtown and/or UT
6:45 a.m.
Meet at Food City parking lot, 5941 Kingston Pike (just east of Northshore Dr)

Rocky Hills to Scripps/Parkwest Hospital
6:50 a.m.
Meet at Manor House Assisted Living, 8501 S Northshore Dr (corner of Wallace)

Oak Ridge to West Knoxville (Weisgarber area)
6 a.m.
Meet at The Rush, 302 S Illinois Ave

Holston Hills to downtown/UT
6:55 a.m.
Meet at Holston River Park, 3300 Holston Hills Road (top parking lot by pavilion).

Oakwood/Lincoln Park to downtown
7:30 a.m.
Meet at Oakwood Baptist Church, corner of E Columbia Ave and Central Ave

South Knoxville to downtown
8:15 a.m.
Meet at Graystone Presbyterian Church, 139 Woodlawn Pike

North Knoxville to downtown and Island Home
6:45 a.m.
Kmart shopping center on N. Broadway

Sutherland to UT
7:30 a.m.
Meet at the Sutherland Ave trailhead for Third Creek Greenway (between Tobler and Liberty)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Great bike decals...and more

I can't believe I haven't discovered this site before! They have reflective bike decals, bumper stickers, t-shirts...even bike-themed bottle openers.

Clean Commute Day!

Smart Trips first annual Clean Commute Day is Friday, August 20, 2010. Our goal is to encourage at least 10,000 people to use an alternative to driving alone to work that day such as carpooling, bicycling, taking the bus or walking to work. If the goal is reached, more than 200,000 pounds of air pollution can be reduced in one day, a feat which normally takes months to achieve.

Gift cards to Best Buy, Mast General Store, Three Rivers Market and Panera Bread will be awarded to randomly chosen participants. This is the first time Smart Trips will offer prizes for just one day of alternative commuting.

To keep track of participation, an online pledge form is available. Or those interested can join Smart Trips, for free, and log their Clean Commute participation. Current Smart Trips members can do the same.

With all the recent air quality alert days, efforts such as these are important to raise consciousness and change habits. Plus, it’s exciting to see what a big difference we can all make together.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chattanooga hosts bicycle conference!

Chattanooga, TN - The National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) will come to Chattanooga, TN Sept. 13-17 for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike® 2010 conference. This year's theme, Bringing Livable Communities and Regions to Scale, will help attract a diverse representation of community planners, engineers, transportation and elected officials, as well as those concerned with the environment, public health and energy policies. The conference will bring over 600 people to Chattanooga, making it North America's premier conference on walking, biking, and livability. Attendees will be able choose from over 70 panel sessions on bicycling and walking issues and a host of mobile workshops over the course of the conference.

While attendees come from all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and further abroad, “regional participation is very important,” says Chattanooga Bicycle Coordinator Philip Pugliese.“Local attendees are vital to the success of this conference,” adds Pugliese. “As we showcase Chattanooga’s accomplishments for sustainable transportation, we will also be learning from other communities on how best to prepare for the future, both locally and regionally.”

In addition to the regularly scheduled panel sessions and mobile workshops, there will also be a special conference session on creating a more livable Chattanooga, geared towards local leadership, hosted by the Active Living Transportation Network, Choose Chattanooga and the Pioneering Healthy Communities initiative. Registration is open now. Standard rates apply through Tues., Aug. 31. Early bird discounts are available through Sun., Aug. 15.

To learn more about the conference or register, visit or contact Philip Pugliese at (423) 643-6887 or

Philip Pugliese
Bicycle Coordinator
Outdoor Chattanooga
200 River Street
Chattanooga, TN 37405
T 423.643.6887 M 423.322.1489
Fax 423.643.6885

Friday, August 6, 2010

Letter to a Bicyclist

To the bike commuter in blue on Broadway this morning:

As I was getting on the bus at 7:45 (my bike is in the shop), I saw you veer into the center turn lane to pass the line of 4 cars waiting behind my bus. A few minutes later, the bus was waiting at a red light and I saw you stop (points for at least stopping first) and then run the red light. We passed you, and then a few minutes later as we were stopping for another red light, you passed on the left between the bus and a car, and then made a quick right turn onto 5th Ave.

Wow, that is a lot of law-breaking in the span of about 5 minutes! Not only is it illegal to do pretty much everything I just listed, but it's extremely dangerous. What if one of the motorists waiting behind the bus suddenly decided to do what you were doing and pass in the center turn lane? Do you think they would have looked back to see if a bicyclist was coming before pulling out? Nope, and you would have been creamed.

As for the red light running, in your situation, it was safe because you looked for traffic before going, but you basically were saying to all the motorists waiting at the intersection,"hey, look at me, I'm on a bike so the laws don't apply to me!" They are going to wonder why you are allowed on the road at all. And they may take it out on the next bicyclist they see, even one doing nothing wrong.

How can we expect motorists to take us seriously as legitimate users of the roads if we don't follow the same laws? Why do you get to run the red light on a bike, but not in a car? The laws are there to keep us all safe. It doesn't work if we pick and choose which ones and when to follow them.