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! 

week of eventsMonday 9/29

5:30 p.m. Meet at the Spoke and Wheel | 8525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
6:30 p.m. Depart for the Yard |  5632 N. 7th Street Phoenix

Tuesday 9/30

5 p.m. Meet at Mellow Mushroom  | 14205 South 50th Street, Phoenix
6 p.m. Depart for Public House Garage 4855 E. Warner Rd. #A31, Phoenix

Wednesday 10/1

5:30 p.m. Meet at Boulders On Broadway  | 530 W Broadway Road Tempe
7 p.m. Join your peers for a mountain bike ride
9 p.m. WIN A NEW BIKE (!!) at Boulders on Broadway  | Get your raffle tickets anytime beforehand at Boulders. One winner will be drawn at 9 p.m. Must be present to win.

Thursday 10/2

6:30 p.m. Meet @ Tempe Beach Park  | Corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway
7 p.m. Depart for Papago Brewing Company  | 7107 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale
8:30 p.m. Arrive at Casey Moores and WIN A NEW BIKE*!  |850 South Ash Avenue Tempe

*hold the phone. Win a new bike again? Yeah. That’s a thing.

Friday 10/3

6-9 p.m. Tap takeover at Handlebar  | 680 S Mill Ave., Tempe

Saturday 10/4

Better than Christmas, your birthday, Halloween, aunt Millie’s cat’s adoption day all together!
10 a.m. Register for the Tour de Fat parade
11 a.m. PARADE! Galavant through the streets of Tempe!
Noon – 5 p.m. Tempe Tour de Fat music, beer, bikes and babes at Tempe Beach Park

Comments No Comments »

header

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.

Comments No Comments »

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!

Comments No Comments »

Dressed all in black, biking down your street the wrong way in the middle of the BikeNinjaPosterLandscape copynight, 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, tadpole bike lightand 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
e US! Finally, avoid the really weak lights with low power LEDs – they may be cheap but they don’t provide enough illumination. We’re usually able to find lights for less than $4 per set, and will buy 50-100 lights at a time.

 

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.

Comments No Comments »

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:

http://www.biketempe.org/events/tour-de-fat/ — Tour de Fat is fast approaching! It takes an army to put this on, but thankfully there are multiple shifts so you can still enjoy the show and share a beer.

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.

Comments No Comments »

BikeActivistLet 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.

http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-/transportation-master-plan-survey

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!

Take the survey today http://www.tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/transportation-master-plan-/transportation-master-plan-survey

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:

  1. A north-south bike route along the railroad tracks east of McClintock.
  2. Bike lanes on McClintock
  3. Bike lanes on Southern
  4. Bike lanes on Broadway
  5. Bike boulevards on the major bike routes such as College, Hardy, and Alameda
  6. A bike path along the railroad tracks from Tempe Town Lake to Kiwanis Park
  7. A bridge over the 1-10 at Alameda
  8. A bridge over the 101 at Alameda

 

 

Comments 1 Comment »

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]: Tempe_Bike_Count_Report_2013

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this effort to fruition!

Comments No Comments »

Zhergxing Yang is the winner of a balloon tour for two by Float Balloon Tours. The other night before the CRAP Ride Tempe, we gathered all the count sheets we have. We recruited two visiting cycle tourists to throw them all in the air and grab one, and Yang is our lucky winner! Thanks again to the huge cast and crew who made this effort a success.

photo 5

photo 4photo 1

Comments No Comments »

bikecountsm

The 4rd annual Tempe Bike Count takes place in just two weeks, on March 25-27. Training meetings are in just one week. Each of 58 intersections has an AM shift and a PM shift. You can sign up for just one 2 hour shift, or more shifts on more days if you want.

If you think you can make it, please sign up now to reserve your intersection, and so that I know that we’re going to have enough people, but let us (bikecount@biketempe.org) know if you have to cancel or switch days.

RSVPs for training dates are used to figure out how much pizza to order. Tempe icon William T. Terrance will introduce the Bike Count and all of the ways to get confused that you never even thought of.

When:

The count will take place over three days. Each volunteer counts during commuting hours, with morning (7:00am to 9:00am) or afternoon (4:00pm to 6:00pm) shifts (or both).

  • Tuesday, March 25th
  • Wednesday, March 26th
  • Thursday, March 27th

For full details on the Tempe Bike Count and to sign up please go to: http://www.biketempe.org/events/bike-count/

Why:

Traffic Engineering responds well to serious safety problems. People ride bikes even where safe infrastructure doesn’t exist. Often, the only way through is on roads like Southern, McClintock, or Rural, where bicycles were not taken into consideration. The Bike Count lets us show the city where cyclists overwhelmingly feel they have to ride on the sidewalk, something that the city knows is not safe. It also shows the City of Tempe how many bicycles do come out where safe facilities do exist, which helps them with their goals of smug reduction and congestion reduction. The raw data has been requested by environmental engineering firms, traffic engineering grad students, and others. We’ve presented it to the Tempe Traffic Engineers and at the ADOT Highway Safety Summit. The Bike Count is a fantastic way to encourage making Tempe bicycle friendly, and to quantify progress. It helps the city help us!

Afterparty:

We’re throwing an appreciation party at Boulders on Broadway for our volunteers! Come turn in your count sheets, have a beer, and tell tales of the craziness you saw out there on the streets of Tempe.

Comments No Comments »

http://bitcoin100.org promotes Bitcoin with donations of $1000 worth of Bitcoins to selected non-profits. At today’s rates, that’s 1.599 of them. Tempe Bicycle Action Group is pleased to receive this contribution. To accept this and future Bitcoin contributions, we’ve added a Bitcoin donation widget to the side bar. Our address is 1DtJhkiszBie5iLKGin7NnsWBwXvbuCuSG. This also means that we now have a balance of Bitcoins to pay for goods and services where they are accepted. Thanks much to bitcoin100 for their philanthropic work!

Comments No Comments »