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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Volunteer at biggest party in town: the Tempe Tour de Fat


Grab your bike and your fishnets – Tour de Fat is coming to Tempe Oct. 5. But first – grab your friends and get ready to volunteer in the biggest bike event in town!

Volunteer to help us out in a couple ways:

1. Enjoy the Tour de Fat as it’s meant to be- with your friends! Volunteers can sign up as a group and work together during a specific shift. Whether you want to work with a specific group, during a specific time period, or in a particular position, be one of the first to register! Sign up to be the first to know when volunteer registration opens by going to or click here. Registration will begin soon.

As the lifeblood of this event, volunteers earn a free Tour de Fat t-shirt and two beer tokens.

2. Live or frequent anywhere in Arizona? Help us spread the word about the biggest party in town by volunteering to invite EVERYONE. Hand out flyers, put up posters and you could be in line for incentives and/or prizes through a system called StreetShimon. Please email if you’re interested!

Background: The Tempe Tour de Fat is the biggest bike party in the southwest. 100% of the proceeds go to local non-profit groups: TBAG, Bike Saviours, and Mountain Bike Association of Arizona. This years party is on Saturday October 5th at Tempe Beach Park. We need your help to make this party another  spread the bike love and help us raise more money for biking in the valley.

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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 Bicycle Action Group and Farmer Avenue BICYCLE PUBLIC ART

TBAG and the Mitchell Park Neighborhood are moving forward with an exciting bicycle public art project for 2012.  In the fall of 2011 a committee made up of a public artist, Mitchell Park neighbors and TBAG board members conducted a competitive artist and concept selection process.  More than 15 fifteen Arizona public artists were considered.  A Tempe-based artist team by the name of coLAB was selected in December.

The concept for the public art (see attached images) involves bicycle sculptures and large boulders that will be placed in 4 locations along Farmer Avenue (between University Drive and 13th Street) that will serve as a permanent monument to the importance of bicycling in Tempe, the contributions of TBAG to the community, and help deepen the emphasis of creating bikeable, sustainable corridors for our town and to serve as a model for land use and transportation.  In the words on the artist team, coLAB: “The people-powered vehicle (bicycle) is immensely efficient and useful, and can drastically change the outlook for future balance between man and nature.”

The city of Tempe and TBAG is currently working with the artist team to finalize designs.  Construction of the artwork is expected to happen late Spring/early Summer 2012, with a dedication ceremony anticipated soon thereafter.  This important project will help transform the street and further emphasize TBAG’s role in shaping Tempe and beyond as a bicycle region.

Eric Iwersen


Check out the concept pdf: TBAGbicycleART.pdf

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Film Screenings – With my own Two Wheels and Contested Streets

For many Americans, the bicycle is a choice. An expensive toy. An eco-conscious mode of transportation. For countless others across the globe, it is much more.
For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients.
For Bharati, a teenager in India, it provides access to education.
For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to disabled people in her community.
For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment.
For Sharkey, a young man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers. With My Own Two Wheels weaves together the experiences of five individuals into a single story about how the bicycle can change the world—one pedal stroke at a time.
44 mins.
Here’s the trailer:
Co-Director Jacob Siegel-Boettner will be present to answer questions after the show.


Contested Streets is a Transportation Alternatives produced, Cicala Filmworks made documentary that explores the rich diversity of New York City street life before the introduction of automobiles and shows how New York can follow the example of other modern cities that have reclaimed their streets as vibrant public spaces.

Contested Streets features new footage of reclaimed streets in London, Paris and Copenhagen and interviews with New York savvy notables such as Ken Jackson, Mike Wallace, Bob Kiley, Majora Carter, Kathryn Wylde, Enrique Peñalosa, James Howard Kunstler and many more.
57 mins.
Here’s the trailer:


November 7 @ 8 pm, FilmBar in Phoenix
November 9 @ 6:30 pm ASU Tempe SCOB   
November 10 @ 7:30 pm University of Advancing Technology


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SanTan Wheelie Jam – Posters are Printed

The posters are printed for the SanTan Wheelie Jam, and they’re starting to go up all over the place. The event is at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix on Saturday April 23rd. TBAG is working with local cycling advocacy groups and sponsors from Phoenix and around the Valley, and all proceeds will benefit the non-profit groups.

RSVP on Facebook here:

And sign up here if you’d like to volunteer:

SanTan Wheelie Jam 2011

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Bike Month Events This Week

While most parts of the country celebrate Bike Month in May, we like to get the wheels rolling early, while the weather is still spectacular. This year, TBAG is involved in a whole host of Bike Month activities. The events are summarized over on our Bike Month 2010 page. Check Tempe in Motion’s page and Valley Metro’s page as well. This week:

Friday, April 2: Ride your bike over to Phoenix First Fridays, then check in at the Bike Valet. I will lead the nine-mile ride from Tempe Beach Park (corner of Mill and Rio Salado) to Phoenix. We’ll roll out by 6 for a leisurely ride there. Be sure to bring lights or plan on taking the light rail back to Tempe. Grab dinner on Mill Ave beforehand, or find something to eat at First Fridays instead.

We’re still looking for volunteers to help run the bike valet, which will run from 5 to 10 pm. Sign up for a valet shift at the end of this post.

Saturday, April 3: Used Bike Drive! Drop off a used bicycle at either Valley REI location, in Tempe or Paradise Valley. See the previous post, below.

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Win tickets to the Monsters of Folk!

Win tickets to Monsters of Folk!
Win tickets to Monsters of Folk!

Monsters of Folk is the musical supergroup made up of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, and singer/songwriter M. Ward. They’re on the road together and will be in Phoenix on Wednesday Oct. 21st.

This Saturday, Oct. 10, TBAG is sending one lucky winner to the show! Just stop by the TBAG booth at Tour de Fat on Saturday and sign up to win a Pair of Tickets. The drawing will be held about 3 p.m., you gotta be there to win!

Why are we involved? Monsters of Folk is partnering with Air Traffic Control, a resource for musicians’ philanthropic and social change work. The band will be donating $1 from every ticket sold on the tour to local non-profits. TBAG was chosen as the beneficiary of the AZ date… How cool is that?

For more information on Monsters of Folk and other Stateside Presents concerts, visit

Thanks to STATESIDE Presents for supplying the tickets and to the band and ATC for their generous support of Tempe Bicycle Action Group!

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