Sunday, February 8, 2015

Strive and Happiness

February is filled with challenge opportunities. You have Valentine's Day, President's Day and the whole month is Black History Month, so instead of choosing one I've attempted to combine a little from each.

Follow along because we're traveling all the way back to 1865 on President's Island (not actually named for any President, it's just the largest island on the Mississippi) where a camp for freed slaves was established by the Freedman's Bureau. (1) Years later more people fled to President's Island to escape the Yellow Fever Epidemic and devastated Memphis.

Around 1901, in an effort to rebuild after the Yellow Fever Epidemic the City of Memphis hired architect George Kessler to design a system of boulevards that would connect what is now Martin Luther King Jr Riverside Park to Overton Park. (2) The city wanted meandering parkways but Kessler said, "Nah boys, we're gonna race cars and carriages so we need straightaways, straight away!" (I'm paraphrasing there.) This is why we have our Parkway System: North, East and South. These beautiful straight streets have a tree-lined median (which would be great for a dirt running trail/ singletrack) and there are currently bike lanes on a lot of the length.

Fast forward about 50 years to a little street named Lauderdale that intersects South Parkway. On Lauderdale sat a little theater that in 1956 was converted into a recording studio called Royal. (3) Founded by Willie Mitchell, Royal recorded many acts and released them on a label called Hi Records. One of those acts is Al Green, maybe you've heard of him. He's got a song called "Love and Happiness", maybe you've heard of it. That brings us to our segment: a portion of South Parkway (that could possibly at one time have had race competitions) that starts a little after the I-240 overpass and ends at Lauderdale, which is now named Willie Mitchell Blvd. Coincidentally, Willie Mitchell Blvd runs from South Parkway to E McLemore. McLemore was one of Memphis's first 50 citizens. He claims this honor from buying Andrew Jackson's (the President) share of the city.

For this challenge I'm hoping for a little bit more competition so we'll award prizes to 3 categories: Team/Shop, Non-Team Men, Non-Team Women. No doubling-up, though. You have until the end of February!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Union Avenue Climb Climbers

Kudos go out to everyone who was able to navigate the turns, tracks and temperatures on this "Category 4 Climb"! It was kind of tough to determine where it ended so you just had to keep on pushin'! Our winners this week are Carter Chappell for the gentlemen and Alicia Huettel for the gentle-ladies. You two will each receive a $10 Peddler Bike Shop gift card!

Stay tuned for the February Local Challenge: Strive and Happiness!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Union Avenue Climb

In this new year it is my hope that we can work together to bring safe and fun bicycling to more Memphians. In the past we have dealt with incomplete infrastructure, trail remodels, and bad weather. Now, we have turned the page. We can look forward to new monthly challenges, Strava Club Group Rides, and gift certificates. Yes, gift certificates!

We are a little late coming into the January local challenge, but I'm just coming out of hibernation. Rest assured, (see what I did there?) this one is gonna be interesting. Memphis is known for being flat so when a Cat 4 climb pops up in the middle of the city you gotta wonder, WTF Mate? This is one of those automatically generated segments that appears when Strava analyzes someone's ride data and maths it out that they climbed enough in a set distance for it to be tougher than your average hill. This segment has only one rider, and it's been that way since 2012*, so it's ripe for a new KOM and QOM. It's called the Union Avenue Climb, which is strange because it is not on Union Avenue, rather adjacent to it. Regardless, 273 feet of elevation difference in 6/10ths of a mile, average grade of 8.3%. So attack it, right!

You have until the end of January to KOM or QOM this. Winners will each receive a $10 gift certificate. Yes, gift certificates!

Go ride!

*I had someone go ride this and they noted that the segment crosses the trolley tracks on Madison, so be very careful!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooky Scary StravART!!

It's time for some more drawing with your bicycle! Because it's the Season of the Witch (my top Halloween song, BTW) the challenge this month is to draw something that fits that theme. It could be a pumpkin, a ghost, or this scary cat:
We'll ride this out to Sunday, October 26th. Do the ride, draw the thing, email the masterpiece to My team of art critics will judge your creativity and we will select a winner on Halloween, October 31st.

What's this month's prize, you ask? Check this out:
Just in time for cheering at cyclocross races!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SSSHHH Sleepy September

I welcomed a new cub to my wolfpack on September 5th at 2:57PM. Since then my schedule has revolved around him sleeping and the Peddler Bike Shop Strava Club has missed a monthly challenge. Today I correct that!

To correspond with my new found joy I'm looking to the new Tour De Wolf 2014 segment to award this month's Local Challenge prize.

And the Club Members with the fastest times are Ellis Huey for the boys and Mollie Smith for the girls! For each of you I have a bag of Skratch Labs Apples+Cinnamon Hydration Mix. Swing into the Walker Shop and pick up your bag at your earliest convenience.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mmiiddnniigghhtt Ccllaassiicc

Kudos to everyone who rode the Midnight Classic this year! The Peddler Strava Club has a few members on the leaderboard for this year and I know some people beat some personal goals they had set for themselves. But the challenge this month was to take a ssllooww ride and one person was the slowest: Pete Sullivan! With a time of 1 hr, 42 minutes, and 53 seconds Pete is almost an hour behind the KOM. That's definitely some chill riding!

Pete, stop by the Walker location to pick out your T-shirt and size.