We’re pleased to present TBAG’s annual Holiday Lights Ride for your very own entertainment! Deck the bikes with boughs of holly, tinsel, bells, ribbons and lights. Wear your favorite ugly sweater and pack your thermoses with mulled cider and hot chocolate. We’re going to take a tour of Tempe and Scottsdale neighborhoods, check out the holiday decorations and rock out at that one house with the Electric Light Orchestra synchronized light show.
Where: Tempe Beach Park entrance, NW corner of Rio Salado & Mill
How Much: FREE, donations accepted (money or kid’s bikes) for Toys for Tots!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/293834514159805/
The City of Tempe is asking for public feedback on proposed re-designs for the 8th St/Creamery Row, going from Rural to McClintock in front of Four Peaks Brewing Co:
This is fundamentally a bicycle project and bike user input is explicitly requested, though needs of area businesses are also being weighed. Of course, we think that a 2-3x increase in bicycle traffic would benefit Four Peaks and area businesses.
We’ve created a Facebook event here. Please RSVP if you can attend, or just go online and give your comments and discuss the project: https://www.facebook.com/events/963869433627725/
Sep 25 2014
Tour de Fat’s coming up Oct. 4, so join your fellow greased up gearheads on an entire week of warm-up rides and shenannigans Monday – Friday Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, across Phoenix and Tempe!
5:30 p.m. Meet at the Spoke and Wheel | 8525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
5 p.m. Meet at Mellow Mushroom | 14205 South 50th Street, Phoenix
5:30 p.m. Meet at Boulders On Broadway | 530 W Broadway Road Tempe
6:30 p.m. Meet @ Tempe Beach Park | Corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway
*hold the phone. Win a new bike again? Yeah. That’s a thing.
6-9 p.m. Tap takeover at Handlebar | 680 S Mill Ave., Tempe
Better than Christmas, your birthday, Halloween, aunt Millie’s cat’s adoption day all together!
Sep 24 2014
New Belgium Brewing Company is TBAG’s biggest sponsor and one of our all-time favorite breweries. Not only do they make amazing beer, but they do so while continually striving to make their brewing process more environmentally friendly, by reducing water consumption, diverting waste, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So we’re thrilled to share the news that Kim Jordan, co-founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company, is coming to the Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus to speak about brewing sustainability on Thursday, October 16th, 4:30-6:00pm. After the talk, TBAG’s own Ryan Guzy is going to lead a ride to Spokes on Southern for a community reception. For more details and to RSVP, check out the link here. Hope to see you there!
Correction: We originally incorrectly listed the date as the 14th. ASU’s official event site lists it as the 16th. Apologies for the error.
We are officially less than two weeks away from the biggest and best cycling event in the valley! That’s right, the annual Tour de Fat is right around the corner so we’ve compiled some information to get you all caught up and ready to go for the big day.
What is it?
Touted by New Belgium Brewing as their traveling celebration of all things bicycle, Tour de Fat starts out with a costumed bike parade through the city but the finish line is only the beginning of the festivities. Being the tenth and final stop on the Tour de Fat circuit this year means that you get to experience the grand finale and there is nothing we are holding back! There is going to be musical acts, yo-yo performers, bike/costume/dance contests, and even vaudeville acts so make sure to bring the family and friends along for the fun.
Why should you go?
Do you like bicycles? Do you like good beer? Do you like supporting the community? Do you like having fun? If you answered yes to one or more of these than you have no excuse to not show up to Tour de Fat. Also, those are trick questions because by signing up to receive these emails we already know you answered yes to at least a few of them. Proceeds from beer sales and donations are being given directly to local non-profits consisting of Tempe Bicycle Action Group, The Mountain Bike Association of Arizona, The Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol, and Bike Saviours Bicycle Collective to benefit bicycle culture and advocacy. Tour de Fat serves as the main source of funding for these groups so come sip an ice-cold New Belgium brew for a good cause.
When is it?
The costumed parade ride will start at 11 a.m. on October 4th, but registration for the ride will open up an hour beforehand, at 10 a.m. Remember we said that it was a daylong celebration? Well we weren’t kidding! After the parade there will be tons of entertainment to keep you busy until the big finale starts around 5 p.m.
Where is it?
Tour de Fat will be taking place at Tempe Beach Park, 620 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ. Also visit here for a map of the parade ride!
How much does it cost?
The best things in life are free which is why there is no charge to come out and partake in the festivities! Also, if you really like free stuff you can always pre-register for the parade online and if you chose to make a donation you will be rewarded with some awesome, free Tour de Fat gear such as a frog bike light or a license plate. That can all be taken care of here.
Why can’t it be sooner?
We know that you’re more excited than ever for Tour de Fat and while it may seem far away, these next couple weeks or so will go by fast. What does this mean for you? Start picking out your costume, decorating your bike, and spreading the word about the event. Us over here at T.B.A.G. look forward to riding and celebrating with you on October 4th. Also, stay tuned for upcoming pre-TdF ride information coming soon. Happy Cycling!
Sep 12 2014
Dressed all in black, biking down your street the wrong way in the middle of the night, giving no sign of their existence save for the squeak of a rusty chain: the bike ninja is a fearsome adversary indeed. They’re rarely seen until they’re right in front of you, requiring a sudden swerve out of the way and perhaps a fist shaken in their general direction. Riding a bicycle at night without adequate lighting is unsafe and against the law in most states, but many cyclists do it anyways, either because they’re not aware of the dangers or they don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of buying and maintaining bike lights.
Here at the Tempe Bicycle Action Group, one of our recurring events it the Bike Lights for Ninjas ride: volunteers stake out a handful of streets and intersections where bike ninjas are known to travel and hand out bike lights, for free, to anyone on a bicycle who needs one. It’s a cheap and easy way to reach out to a segment of the cycling community you don’t usually see on organized rides or major events, and it helps reduce the risk of cyclist injuries or fatalities in your town. So how do you go about doing an event like this?
Buy Cheap (but Good) Lights
There’s numerous online stores with a focus on delivering bulk consumer goods, and bike lights can be found on many of them. Check out dx.com, dhgate.com, dollardays.com, and globalsources.com for a few examples, or do a search for bulk bike lights or wholesale bike lights. Look for lights that come with batteries included, so you don’t have to buy batteries separately and pack them by hand. Lights with simple attachment mechanisms are best – the “tadpole” light design with a wrap-around silicone loop seems to work really well, whereas designs using velcro straps or screw-together mounting brackets are much harder to install. Go for light sets of one white and one red light – some light suppliers sell red and blue light sets, but these are definitely not street legal in th
Get Some Volunteers
Talk to your friends, network at social rides, start a Facebook page, ping your mailing list – whatever it takes to get a handful of volunteers willing to hunt down bike ninjas and give them free stuff! The best way to entice people to help is by making the event fun – bribe them with free pizza after the ride, get a portable speaker and some music playing, hand out costumes. Sparkly lights and fairy wings are a good choice; ninjas have a known weakness to fairies.
Pick a Date, Time, and Location
Here in Tempe, there are a number of key streets and intersections that have high ridership, mostly around the ASU campus. We like to stake out Mill Avenue, University Drive, and Apache Boulevard is prime ninja-hunting streets. Where you set up depends on where you see bike ninjas most frequently. Is there a university nearby with student housing concentrated off-campus? Do some streets concentrate cyclists due to the presence of bike lanes, protected lanes, or other bike-friendly features? Think about what time of day has the highest traffic and what the light conditions are like. Once you’re actively looking for them, bike ninjas are easy to spot after dusk but hard to identify between sundown and proper night – is that rider a ninja, or do they have lights and are waiting to turn them on?
Hand Out some Lights! (but Be Nice About It)
When the big night arrives, get ready to chase people down and give them lights! Bring a backpack or panniers to carry your lights around. Watch for vehicular traffic while you’re out – you’re going to be making a lot of U-turns and stops, so be extra conspicuous with your signaling. When you catch up to a bike ninja, be nice to them! Tell them you saw them riding without lights and you’d like to give them a free set, no strings attached. If they accept, that’s great! Congratulate yourself on defeating a bike ninja. If they decline, that’s okay too. Don’t push the issue or harass them, just let them go on their way.
One issue in particular to keep in mind: think about what your reaction would be if you were biking along, at night, and a stranger suddenly appeared and offered you free stuff. You’d probably feel suspicious and possibly a little nervous. Maybe this weird bike person is trying to mug or assault you. This is a normal reaction for people to have, so try your best to be as non-threatening as possible. Stick to areas that are highly trafficked and well-lit, and don’t pursue people who aren’t interested.
You Saved Your Town From the Bike Ninjas! Now Go Party!
Eat that pizza you used to bribe your volunteers, have something nice to drink, and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Plan your next bike lights for ninjas ride, and get those volunteers signed up for it.
Help us on our mission of bringing safe streets to everyone who wants to ride! Right now, the TBAG board members are doing most of the day to day chores, but we want to change that and grow the organization. The more people helping, the more crazy plots and schemes we can chase and the more good we can do! Please get involved if you can. Here’s what we need:
In addition to beer pour, trash, ticket sales, and so on, I need a small team of people to help introduce TBAG to the crowds and give away stickers, and to staff the TBAG booth. If you follow what we do and you’ve volunteered for TBAG before and helped with advocacy, bike lights for ninjas, or any of our programs or stunts, consider joining the Chain Gang team.
TdF is a riot, but we also need help on an ongoing basis. We could really use help with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — pick one or go crazy).
Help writing blog posts and sending out periodic newsletters based on that would be spectacular. If you can help us make our WordPress site at http://biketempe.org look a little more airy and cheerful, we’d love that.
Amateur, semi-professional, or professional videography would help a lot. We should be showing the world what the Bike Lights for Ninjas look like, or what happens when we put on Bike Games, and we need to produce a video to show New Belgium what we’ve been up to. A willing amateur would be a lot more than we’ve got now!
Can you schedule monthly meetings at Boulders on Broadway for volunteers and advocates to come to to get involved and find out what’s going on? Board members can attend, and we need to start doing this again since ASU is in session and bike session is on, but help scheduling and promoting them would help free us up for actually helping people with their ideas.
We’re planning a Bike Lights for Ninjas Night sometime probably this week. Visit http://biketempe.org/join-us and sign up for Volunteer Opportunities if you aren’t already on there.
Have another idea for something we should be doing but aren’t? Please get in touch.
There’s a lot of us who ride in Tempe, but we want everyone who wants to ride a bike to feel safe and part of a community! Please help us realize our dream.
May 25 2014
Let your opinions shape your community for years to come – voice your opinions in the City of Tempe Transportation Master Plan. This is an opportunity for cyclists of Tempe to tell the city what we need by way of bicycle friendly infrastructure.
This survey will be used for the Tempe Transportation Master Plan for the next 10 years. The city is asking for specific street names where residents would like to have bike lanes, protected bike lanes, bike boulevards and paths. They are also asking for lists of gaps in the current bike system. You have until June 15 to let your voice be heard!
There are also public meetings on May 29th and 31st, please attend and give your feedback: http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-
Need some inspiration? TBAG has been advocating for the following changes in the Tempe bike system:
Apr 24 2014
In April 2013, the third annual city-wide bike count in Tempe was conducted as a way of understanding cycling habits and to identify routes and intersections that are problematic or dangerous. In total, 14,750 bicyclists were counted from a total of 91 different locations, with 26 locations common between 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Get the report here [pdf]:
Thanks to everyone who helped bring this effort to fruition!