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3, 2, 1, “CRAP Ride!”

A parade of roadies, cruisers, and single speed bicycles pulled out of the Bike Saviours parking lot and took over South Roosevelt Street. Drivers were forced to wait as 58 giddy hooligans coasted through the first intersection, and pedestrians pulled out their phones to capture the group’s radiant energy. Rogue cyclists heading in the opposite direction either nodded their heads or turned around to join the pack. This was the new Car Resistance Action Party.

Alex ‘Jayarr’ Steiner was the ride leader and de facto chief of the tribe. He wielded a megaphone and funky hat, and his vision was to build a tight-knit community through a weekly circus of earnest riders. The pace was slow, the distance was short, and the destination was a different local restaurant each week.58crap

Jayarr’s Surly Big Dummy hauled a large speaker filled with hypnotic party tunes, making the ride feel like a montage from a summer movie. Some danced, riding with no hands; others bopped their heads while getting to know someone new. They came from different jobs, voted for different candidates, enjoyed different flavors of beer, and ranged from 22 to over 65 years of age. Perhaps intimidating at first, due to the snug bond of the usual suspects, the unmistakable joy of a first-time crapper was evidence of welcoming vibrations.

As they drifted through Tempe Beach Park, the halfway point, the sense of comfort and belonging was palpable. They passed by a group of 100-plus boot campers pushing through a weekly workout. Hoots and hollers and frantic waves sprang from the fitness troupe, all provoked by Jayarr, his megaphone, and the supportive maniacs yelling behind him.

The last leg of the ride bombarded ASU’s campus, where during the school year it had become the stuff of campus lore. Adults riding bikes together could be a head-exploding concept to the college student. Circling a raised planter while performing a call and response to “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)” by The Proclaimers was this ride’s attempt to enlighten these students on social cycling.

After circling three or four or five times, the swarm headed off campus and toward the final destination.

Tapacubo, the spot of the week, had a large square bar, halfway between inside and out, with taps and bottles of booze on both sides of the well. The thirsty mob surrounded it, ordering local craft beers and 4-dollar margaritas before heading to the pool.

A few kicked back and waited for appetizers, but most riders hopped in the water with little hesitation and started an impromptu game of keep-the-ball-in-the-air-for-as-long-as-you-can. The serving staff kept the party going well into the night, whirling around with trays and notepads, taking orders and passing drinks to outstretched hands.

Strangers became friends and friends became family. It felt special, it felt surreal, and it happened every Tuesday around 7:00 pm.

Photo Credit: Alex Steiner

Video Credit: Anthony Scalise

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TBAG Solstice Ride 2015

This is the ONLY reason to leave the house this summer.

On the HOTTEST day of the year, we celebrate by riding bikes to different stops.

– Riding then jumping into multiple pools
– MASSIVE water balloon fight in the park
– Slip n’ Slide at Birchett park

Then we end the festivities off with an amazing pool party. This years host will be University Pointe ! Check the event page for photos of the party space.

This event IS a fundraiser, so heres how that works:

$20 presale tickets are available now! SOLSTICERIDE.com

The ticket gets you into the final pool party, a 1 of a kind limited edition Solstice Ride tank top, and a beer donated
from our good friends at SAN TAN BREWERY and NEW BELGIUM

The ride itself IS FREE. The end party and the tank top are not. All funds go to Tempe Bicyle Action Group and their vigilance in growing our cycling community.

More details to come. Feel free to ask ANY questions and ill answer them immediately.

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Information for Advocacy

Advocacy Programs

  • TBAG strives to keep the local cycling community up to date on bicycle planning and infrastructure development efforts as well as public meetings and other opportunities to make their voice heard.
  • TBAG holds a position on the City of Tempe’s Transportation Commission Bicycle, Planning & Project Review Committee. This committee provides citizen input on bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation planning activities in the city of Tempe.

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Advocacy Activities for May 2015

Coming soon (or open and this page is out of date): Online feedback for the Character Areas. This is a chance to request amenities like shade, water, and public art like what went in on Farmer Ave.

Tell ADOT “No more interstates until kids can bike to school”. May 26 is the last day to submit comments. Allocation of Federal funds for bike projects built Portland’s original award winning bicycle network. Tempe wants to do a lot, but getting projects funded is the hard part. Put the pressure on to fund it! http://azdot.gov/planning/transportation-programming/tentative-program

Tempe Open Houses and Meetings: (more…)

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Holiday Lights Ride Saturday, Dec. 20th!

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.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  (more…)

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8th St Streetscape Project

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:

http://tempe.gov/city-hall/public-works/transportation/traffic-calming-/8th-street

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/

reminder flier

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week of events

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! 

Monday 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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Tour de Fat 2014 Comes to Tempe

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!

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Saving your town from the bike ninjas: a how-to

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.

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Volunteers needed!

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.

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