I spent a little too much time on YouTube looking up clips from “Trigger Happy TV” the other day. For those of you who haven’t seen this gem, it’s a hidden camera show from the UK that used to air on Oxygen about 7 years ago. Although my absolute favorite gag is the cell phone one, on this watch through the following clip stood out (click the image to watch on YouTube).
Yes. it is hilarious to see a grown man crawling across a crosswalk in a snail costume—but what really struck me about this clip on this viewing is that THE CARS STOP. And NO ONE HONKS. It’s really rather remarkable.
Here in Nashville, I’ve noticed an increase in signage at crosswalks and intersections over the past few months, along with an increase in sharrows and bike lanes.
Unfortunately, there has been no corresponding increase in cars actually stopping for pedestrians at said crosswalks, and the signs have ended up looking more like this (and having to be replaced) more than once. Today I stopped at a crosswalk—a new one on Wedgewood, with flashing lights that signal to motorists when people are crossing—and the guy behind me swerved around me to avoid having to wait for the pedestrians.
image by notes from the basement
I’m hoping that the Share the Road campaign launching soon will have some effect on this, but I am not going to hold my breath. Has anything worked in your city? Anyone interested in staging a snail-crossing protest in Nashville?
On July 9, Nashville hosted the Tour de Fat for the first time.
It was a big deal for a lot of reasons, first of all because it was one of the first times the “no alcohol in Metro Parks” rule had been set aside for an event. Good news is, the chance the Mayor took was worth it: Nashville’s tour set records for both the number of parade participants and money raised for local nonprofits at a first time Tour — 600 parade riders and $14,000 for Walk/Bike Nashville and Soundforest.
Honestly, I didn’t know how much this ride was for me, since photos from Tours in other cities showed a lot of scantily costumed folks on tall bikes or cruisers, but any group ride in Nashville can pretty much count me in so I headed out. I did not have a summery costume so I wore a flounced, sheer overskirt over the smallest tank dress I could find and my trusty Jessica Simpson heels. Setting out at 9 am, alone on the street, I felt slightly ridiculous (ride of shame?) and got a couple of curious looks/honks, but once I arrived among the throngs of cyclists at Centennial I felt more at home.
me next to my beer, after the ride
The ride was a blast. Even though it was hot and we were very, very sweaty. Music was blaring and the carnival atmosphere at the starting line had the energy rising. I also liked the “this ride is pro-bike, not anti-car!” message that the “Rymanese Twins” were proclaiming from their platform at the start of the race.
Afterward I met up with Anna from Bike Skirt and we watched the shows and tried out some of the trick bikes they had in the corral. Anna was more adventurous than I.
Anna & me
Anna and Ross on a tandem
The moral of the story is: if the Tour comes to your city, hop on! It really is the best party on two wheels.
This Friday, the cycling event of the summer begins! We couldn’t be more excited about hosting the Summer Games again this year—and giving out some wonderful prizes for you players out there.
Things are a little different this year. Instead of three separate parts, we’re asking you to complete 4 out of 10 of the events from the list below between July 22 and August 8. Once you have completed your events, there are two ways to enter:
1) Email us links to your blog posts detailing the activities; or
2) Email us your story and photographs [LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com].
Please use the subject line [Summer Games]. At any time, you can also upload your photos to our Summer Games Flickr pool. By entering, you give us permission to publish your content here.
- on vacation? rent a bike and go for a ride!
- write a letter advocating for bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike rack, etc) to your alderman/council representative, mayor, or a local business.
- take a picture of something along your commute that says “summer” to you, and explain why
- commute to work by bike or bike/transit if you don’t already
- perform a maintenance task on your bike
- explore a greenway or bike path in your city that you haven’t previously visited
- test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride (road bike, mountain bike, etc.)
- read a book about cycling
- ride your bike somewhere new in your city
- go on a group ride
We will draw for prizes from among the entrants who have completed at least four events. So start planning, and drooling over our prize page.
Major thanks to all the sponsors who are helping us spread the bike love!
Want a banner to put on your site to let others know you’re playing the games? Right click on any of the images below to download it — and be sure to link to this post.
Two bike events are happening in Nashville this weekend that you should know about.
First of all, New Belgium is bringing the Tour de Fat here for the first time on Saturday, July 9. The event benefits Walk/Bike Nashville and Soundforest, and Kermit Allegra and I will be marshals, so come on out. You totally want to see my costume (OK, I haven’t planned it yet, but that just means it will be even MORE awesomely random, right?). Things get started around 9 and the 5-mile, leisurely ride kicks off at 10. Kegs are tapped at 11.
Then on Sunday, July 10, I’m planning a bicycle brunch. If you ride your bike in Nashville, or if you want to start riding your bike in Nashville, come on out and meet others who do! We’re meeting at ChaChah on Belmont Blvd at 10:30.
Will you be at either event? Both? Let me know in the comments!