Tour de Fat Tempe week of events

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

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Become a bike hero: join a committee or the TBAG board member Nov. 3

superhero-bike-MR TGet a report of what we’ve been up to all year and get some skin in the game at the annual voting and committee assignment meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 3 at Boulders on Broadway. RSVP on our Facebook event here.

Since the TBAG board has seen a serious change of members, there has been a lot going on! Make the choice to lead or join one of our fine committees concentrating on a multitude of different areas.

While you’re at it, grab a snack and a beer on us, plus snag some sweet beer specials!

  • Where: Boulders on Broadway
  • When: Sunday, Nov. 3, 5 p.m.
  • Why: Become a bike activist star and spokesman.


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New Billboard Campaign: I Ride A Bike


Thanks to a grant from the Not One More Foundation, the billboard has been renewed for two more months with new a campaign inspired by Pittsburgh’s I Ride A Bike campaign.

Kolby Granville, Tempe City Councilmember and bicycle advocate, kicks off the series. We’re working to book other well known public figures with a goal of doing a series of three people over two months. We also hope to refine the presentation as we go.

The campaign is designed to humanize cyclists. Motorists should be aware that people on bicycles are, like anyone else, pillars of community, members of families, workers, auto owners, and so on, just like anyone else. We hope that some empathy encourages people to take care and save a life.

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Hooray for New Public Art!

Tempe Bicycle Action Group, in cooperation with the Mitchell Park East Neighborhood in downtown Tempe, has completed a bicycle-themed public art  installation on Farmer Avenue, between University Dr. and 13th St.  In 2012, TBAG commissioned the artist team, co-LAB led by Matthew Salenger and Karl Eicher, to develop permanent sculptural elements of a bicycle theme in four traffic calming locations along the street.  TBAG funded the public art through the proceeds of the annual Tour De Fat event in Tempe , hosted by New Belgium Brewery.  The project demonstrates the importance of public art and bicycles in making a street and neighborhood more livable.  The artwork also reinforces the creativity and strength of the Mitchell Park East neighborhood and it will be a permanent reminder of the contributions of TBAG in Tempe.

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Billboard Hysteria

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Two months ago, Becker Boards sent us photos of our brand new billboard. I had to go see it for myself to make sure it wasn’t a rouse, but sure enough, a 14 foot high, 48 foot wide billboard was talking about bikes. The photos got posted on Facebook and were an instant hit with our followers.

The ad was inspired by one LA Metro did. It struck a chord here. Clearing up confusion about whether bicycles are allowed to be on the road (yes!) seemed important.

And create dialogue it did. Suddenly people — and news outlets — wanted to talk to us about it. One hectic week, we had three interview requests we were scrambling to cover. We talked to two different TV networks, one twice, a morning news radio station, and a major local newspaper.

People interested in bikes in Tempe are finding us. These last two months, the ranks of people following us swelled by 25%. I thank you for joining us and hope we’re able to provide you with some delicious cycling community. Community is important.

Last week, long time TBAGers Jeremy Deatherage and Scott Nowicki organized a photoshoot at Tempe Beach Park for a possible new billboard design. We’re grateful for the dialog created by this one, but we have a lot we want to say, and our Awareness Committee latched on to a very simple message. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but the goal is simply to make Tempe residents feel good about living in a bike town. We want to show cycling in Tempe as a friendly, welcoming, and pleasant part of Tempe.

We talk about our board, the Special Projects Unit, the Awareness Committee, and so on, but really we’re just a bunch of people who like riding bikes who meet over beer to work together on all of our ideas. Awareness, Special Projects, and Advocacy are mostly made up of interested members of the community. If you aren’t already on the Volunteers list, please click “update subscription preferences” on the bottom of this email (or click “Join Us” at the top if you’re viewing this on our site) and you’ll get the meeting announcements. Click Advocacy too — Tempe can’t say that there isn’t a cyclist community when we all show up to a public meeting wearing helmets. Thank you for riding your bike!

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Bike Lights for Ninjas, Part III

Sundown, Wed the 4th, Mark Eastwood led a group of four riders out to hand out bike lights to riders in need. He wrote this about the affair:

There were 4 of us, Sue, Tim, and Mike. Since there were so many people out we focused on the area between Hardy, University, Rio Salado and College.
Sue had already brought 20 sets of lights from the locker and I picked up between 10 and 20 more just before we took off. We ended up passing all of them out to quite a varied group of people. It is funny having people tell you they don’t need a light when it’s dark and they obviously don’t have one on their bike.

Thanks Mark and company!

Do you want to help make cyclists safer and reach out to new cyclists at the same time? Update your email preferences at and specify “volunteer opportunities” and we’ll announce future Ninja Lights Nights so you can join the party!

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Calling all artists – TBAG wants YOU to design a billboard

76 gasoline bikeGet your bike art on!

TBAG is going big – with a 14-by-48-foot billboard. The only thing that we’re missing is the design! If you’re artistically inclined or like to design, we want your ideas for the TBAG billboard for all to see!

TBAG is accepting applications from artists; send your resume (two-page maximum) and portfolio to and get a chance to show off your creative genius to the valley! All portfolio submissions must be received by Sept. 14.

We are open to the artsy and unconventional. To be digestible by freeway users, any written message should be short.Your artistic designs should convey the following message points:

  • Cycling is cool!
  • The cycling community is a tight knit family
  • The benefits of a sustainable biking lifestyle
  • Encourage drivers to share the road
  • Bikes are fun!

This message should be friendly to all who see it. The guiding principle here is that bikes are fun and everyone should see the cycling community as open, inviting and adventurous!

For more, go to

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TBAG Grants Program

TBAG is one of the recipients of funds raised each year by New Belgium’s Tour de Fat, but it takes people to get bicycle advocacy done, not just money.  That’s why we have a grants program.  In the past, we’ve paid grants to the Bicus Bicycle Co-op in Tucson, the Rusty Spoke Bicycle Co-op, Karma Racer, WeCycle, and various other awesome organizations.  Most recently, we pledged money to help get PHX Bike Labs going in their new space.

We also do small grants.  Do you have an idea for making bicycling better, or a project to spread the word?  Write up your plan in 1-2 pages and mail it to (cc’ing won’t hurt either).  If you can attend one of our meetings and introduce your idea in 3 minutes, we’d love to meet you.

We can’t do everything ourselves — not even close!  But we can help enable you to.

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Tempe Ghost Bike Re-location

Over the past year, Tempe Bicycle Action Group has worked with the City of Tempe council and staff on properly retiring the two ghost bikes that we placed in Tempe over 3 years ago. The city officials and staff at all levels went above and beyond to handle a tough situation with dignity and respect, give plenty of notice and time to work with the families, friends, and the local bike community, and also offered their time and equipment to re-locate the bikes.

The ghost bike at University and Ash has been re-located to the Bike Saviours bike co-op where it was built. Bike Saviours is working with the family of the man killed, Chris Volpe, on ideas for a more permanent memorial and continued public education.

The ghost bike at Alameda and McClintock was re-located in cooperation with the family of the man who was killed, Jay Fretz. The family has chosen to keep the bike themselves as a private memorial.

Aside from it’s purpose as a memorial, a ghost bike’s greatest impact is immediate bicycle awareness when a tragedy happens. The goal is to remind people to watch for bikes and respect their presence as traffic. As time goes on, the ghost bike can also benefit real change and create positive dialog about bike facilities and bike safety, including the possibility of signage or engineering changes in general, but also where the accidents happened.

Last year, the city of Tempe adopted it’s first policy for the management of any roadside memorials. In doing so they “acknowledge a desire to allow temporary memorials within the street right-of-way and adjacent to city owned land”. This is a positive step since roadside memorials were not allowed before. TBAG will continue to work with the city on the specifics of this policy when it concerns future ghost bikes, due to the fact that a ghost bike’s purpose is educational and awareness in addition to being a memorial.

We will never forget Chris Volpe or Jay Fretz as we continue to advocate and educate for bicycle improvements in Tempe and the region.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact

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Arizona ranks in top 10 of bike friendly states

TutubikerThe League of American Bicyclists recently released their bike-friendly state status rankings and … drum roll please… ARIZONA MADE IT! Arizona is No. 10 in the rankings, meaning that we’ve climbed our way up the ranks thanks to statewide infrastructure and funding, education and encouragement, evaluation and planning and policies and programs!

The sunny state of Arizona ranks behind (in order of ranking) Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, Delaware, Massachusetts, New jersey, Wisconsin and Illinois.

To see the league’s comments on Arizona’s rank in the top ten reviewed states, go to their website, or click here to be directed to the Arizona fact sheet. For more about the rankings structure and to see how other states fared, click here.

While we’ve broken into the top ten, Arizona still has a long way to go especially with integrating biking into all of the state’s transportation plans. Tempe Bicycle Action Group is a great place to start making those changes. Want to see your state climb the ranks? Get involved with our many education and activism programs and activities.

Read up on our activism board member’s recent work with the Arizona Department of Transportation on our blog or by clicking here.

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