I rode my bike down to the Walk Bike Nashville 10th Anniversary birthday party and annual member meeting at the Farmers Market tonight. The weather was quite mild and I was overdressed with leg warmers, long sleeve shirt and wind vest. When I arrived, I’m so disappointed at the number of people that drive to a Walk Bike advocacy meeting. I’d park my car around the corner and ride a block over just so I didn’t have to show up in a car.
Last year, the meeting was downtown. It was the first time I had ever ridden a city bus in Nashville, and it was a great experience. I met lots of interesting people downtown late at night waiting for the bus. Using the bus is in the spirit of an organization like WBN. The bus is an amazing way to get to downtown Nashville. After hours, the return trip isn’t so good, as the buses start running every hour instead of every half hour. Maybe if demand increases, they’ll run them more.
On the note of buses, Mayor Karl Dean spoke at the event tonight. He has participated in Bike to Work days. It was announced tonight that he got a new bike for his birthday, so I hope he can get out there and ride some. He’s also known for riding the bus in to downtown. He spoke of budget problems, basically warning the walk bike community that money is tight. We understand Karl, but please don’t miss out on opportunities to do something easy. While the economy sucks, please don’t let the the city government slide into a culture of indifference towards walkers and bikers.
The ride home was great! Traffic wasn’t so bad, and I took 8th back across to catch Demonbreun. I had a brief thought that if I were run over, maybe I would become kind of a martyr – maybe Karl Dean would remember meeting me tonight and make big changes in laws, facilities, ensuring safety of bicyclists in Nashville. Again, after thousands and thousands of bicycle miles, I made it home safely.
I even caught Donna coming out of Angel’s on Music Square West, having her hair done. She rode behind me for a half mile to inspect my night rig. I have a Nathan reflective triangle strapped around my trunk bag, a Planet Bike flashing light on my helmet strap (thanks Todd Nordmeyer for the idea) and my reflective Nathan ankle bands moving up and down. I have a LED armband and reflective stuff all over, but the previous stuff really stood out according to Donna.
PS – congratulations Shannon on her wedding coming up next weekend! I met her fiancee’ who moved from Austin to marry her. He seems like a good guy. He’ll like Nashville. I visited Austin once and I think they’re a lot alike, but we have mountains. Shannon did a great job speaking tonight too. I think she’s really growing professionally.