Although Memphis is slowly becoming a more cyclist-friendly city, most streets still lack bike lanes, which can make riding in traffic intimidating to new cyclists.
But Cycle Memphis, a grassroots social group, wants to help biking newbies and intermediate riders tackle Memphis streets. Cycle Memphis' first group ride from the Cooper-Young neighborhood to the Mississippi River is scheduled for Saturday, July 2nd, from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Cyclists should meet at the gazebo in front of Cortona Contemporary Italian restaurant.
"We have so many friends who want to get into cycling, but their bikes are collecting dust because they're scared to get out in traffic," says Jason Smith, who co-founded the group with his friend Adam Hite. "We hope our monthly rides will ease them into it."
The rides are open to anyone, and all one needs to participate is a working bicycle. But Smith suggests people bring reflective bike lights since the event takes place after dark. The route will take riders down less-heavily traveled roads to show beginners the safest routes around town.
Although Cycle Memphis rides are intended to help new cyclists, Smith hopes experienced riders will come too.
"We just want to have a big rolling party," Smith says. "Hopefully, we will have someone with a boom box."
To sign up for the free ride, visit cyclememphis.com.
Cycle Memphis ride starting at the intersection of cooper and young, Saturday, July 2nd, 8-11:30 p.m. cyclememphis.com.