02

Blog

The Importance of Cycling Community

Bike Law Amy spreads the gospel in Knoxville and throughout Tennessee

The past few weeks have been a steady stream of activity for me as Bike Law Tennessee.  I have new cases and investigations where the rights of cyclists can be zealously advocated for, and motorists can continue to be educated. I’ve joined forces with the Memphis Hightailers to assert the rights of cyclists in western Tennessee.  I’m scheduled to speak at the Tennessee Lifesavers Conference in Murfreesboro in September.  I had a very productive trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to meet Bike Law Ann and her amazing staff.  I’ve spoken with Bike Law Mississippi, Charlie Thomas, about joining up with the Memphis Hightailers as well.

All exciting and inspirational work, that is furthering the message of Bike Law, and is geared toward getting the word out amongst the cycling community, that a like-minded network of attorneys exists to take on tough bicycle accident cases.  Meanwhile, the past several days have shown me that I must also continue to be present, and focus on is what’s going on in my backyard here in Knoxville. I’ve viewed cycling in Knoxville through rose-colored lenses the past month or two, basking in how far we have come, rather than looking to what needs to be done.  When I was the president of Bike Walk Knoxville in 2013, I focused my outreach and efforts towards the casual bike rider and the around-town commuter. I was plugged into the pulse of downtown Knoxville.  Since June, I’ve been training for an Olympic distance triathlon in August, so I’ve been logging miles on my road bike this summer, and have been feeling pretty plugged into the more competitive cycling community.  It is a challenge to stay plugged into both groups. I think that we have to bridge that gap and develop a cycling community where casual commuters are connected with hard core group riders, and here is why:

On Saturday afternoon, July 19, I gave a Bike Law clinic at Cycology Bicycle Shop in Maryville, Tennessee.  The discussion was lively, and the questions from attendees were well-thought out.  I think everyone in attendance took away something that they didn’t previously know.  I was struck in particular by one attendee who asked several questions.  As she and I were having a dialogue in front of the group, it came to light that she is not plugged into a cycling community.  She is not on a listserv, nor is she a member of a cycling club.  She doesn’t have access to the resources to get her the help she needs should the worst occur.  Strength comes in numbers; humans are built to be in community. My friend from Saturday does not like the idea of putting her bike on a rack and driving thirty miles to take the bike off the rack and bike thirty miles.  I get it. She is old school and didn’t seem to like the idea of a listserv.  She attends the weekly Saturday group ride and accompanying women’s cycling clinic that Cycology hosts. She has promised to email me, and let me help her get connected.  I hope she follows through. This resonated so strongly with me, that my parting words to the group were:

Make sure you have a community!

This thought was further cemented yesterday evening, when I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, waiting for water to boil.  A colleague from the criminal defense bar posted a message about a cyclist collision they observed from three cars back, that occurred here in Knoxville yesterday, with serious injuries.  This was the first I’d heard of it.  No one from the commuter-centric advocacy groups has made mention of it.  No one from the shop rides has sent out a message that one of their members has been seriously hurt.  I hope this victim is plugged into a community.  I hope she knows she is not alone. The silence in the cycling community in the hours after this collision makes me worried that she is not.  We must all be in community with one another.  Not because our end game is the same (a commuter and a racer may not have that much in common) but because when these incidents occur, we need our community to spring to action and look out for one another.

Knoxville is hosting the 4th annual Tennessee Bicycle Summit in 2015.  Maybe this is the opportunity to bridge the gap here in Knoxville.

Comments

Peter Wilborn Jan 13, 2021

As a Minneapolis-based attorney, I live, work, play and bike in the city. Although my city might be known for its lakes and our infamous Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis’ dedication to having safer streets for all should be included in that list. To reach the safe streets goal, numerous non-profit organizations and groups are working tirelessly […]

Read More
Ambassador
Rachael Maney Jan 11, 2021

Applications for the Bike Law Foundation Ambassador Program are now live. CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 24th. Those selected will be notified on or before February 1. Thanks for your support and willingness to work together to make bicycling safer for all. We are committed to you, to one another, and […]

Read More
3-foot passing close call
Charlie Thomas Jan 11, 2021

It happens all the time: Someone emails me video footage, clearly showing they were biking along when a car buzzes past, coming within inches of a horrible crash — and there’s nothing I can do about it because we don’t have the laws in place to do something to help. Luckily, that might be about […]

Read More
killing cyclist bike law
Rachael Maney Dec 22, 2020

BIKE LAW ANNOUNCES THE INDICTMENT OF CARL BEHLER FOR KILLING CYCLIST AND INJURING OTHERS   Today, Carl Behler appeared in court for the first time for killing cyclist Arthur Carter and injuring others. He was indicted on Friday (12/18) by the Anne Arundel County Grand Jury and promptly arrested and detained for 7 crimes related […]

Read More
Bicycle Mayor
Bruce Hagen Dec 03, 2020

When I (Maria of Bike Law Georgia) called Pattie Baker, the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, she was trudging through marshland on her bicycle on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway. I pictured her in my mind with her bike, wearing her signature skirts, and mud on her sandals. Always on the go, the newly minted Metro […]

Read More
Alabama Bike Advocacy
Danny Feldman Dec 02, 2020

When Alabama bike advocate Jamie Miernik was growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she dreamed of being an astronaut.  And today, although she is not an astronaut, as a chemical engineer who worked for Boeing on the NASA space station project, she put her knowledge and talents to use keeping the astronauts safe and sound in […]

Read More
Local bike shop Atlanta Bike Shop Mechanic
Bruce Hagen Nov 06, 2020

We have so many amazing local bike shops in the Atlanta Metro Area and in Georgia that it’s hard to single out any for the service that they provide, but here’s a short list of some of the shops from various parts of town and throughout the state. Eight Great Local Bike Shops in Georgia […]

Read More
Justice Ginsberg Bike Law
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Nov 03, 2020

Last month after Justice Ginsberg passed away, I went on one of those long solo rides to pedal things out.  I was hoping that time in the saddle would help settle the emotional torrent within me.  On one hand, I was feeling driven, empowered, and more motivated than ever to step things up a notch […]

Read More
Women on Bikes Rachael
Peter Wilborn Oct 11, 2020

Rachael Maney is the Director of the Bike Law Network and of the non-profit Bike Law Foundation. As most of you know, she has spent the last two weeks on these pages profiling 16 Women on Bikes leading up to yesterday’s inaugural Women’s Cycling Day. If you haven’t yet, read her profiles of and conversations with […]

Read More
Load More