Archive for February, 2011

Bikes and a Historic Tour

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Mobilians on Bikes hosted a historic neighborhood tour of Ashland Place in Mobile, Al.  A local architect and historian, Douglas Kearley, educated the cyclists on the neighborhood which he called Mobile’s first suburb.  Its stately homes and live oak trees are very beautiful.  We also visited the nearby Visitation Monastery with its pleasant grounds and beautiful chapel full of stained glass windows.  Over 50 participants pedaled across town, approximately 4.5 mi each way and everyone got a little history lesson on important homes, trees, and neighborhoods along the way.  While the ride wasn’t designed for children, there were a couple child passengers that joined us.  I don’t know how old the oldest participant was but I would guess over 70.  This is great and goes with our 8 to 80 theme that people of all ages can ride a bike.  Along the way  a police officer blocked traffic so we could all get through a busy intersection and a fireman aided one of our riders who got a small gash on her shin.  So kudos to our public servants.  I would also like to mention that the drivers were all very courteous and patient, most turned off to avoid us (a benefit of a gridded street system) and others that passed gave plenty of room and went slowly.  Along the way the group got plenty of waves and smiles from neighbors and people on the street.  One woman who saw us has already joined MOB and is looking for a tricycle!  All in all another example of how using bicycles can be a fun, practical, and low cost way to get around and have fun.


Mobilians on Bikes Rides to the Chili Cookoff

On Saturday Mobilians on Bikes hosted a short little ride down to the Chili Cookoff in downtown Mobile.  The Cookoff is a fundraiser for cancer research and regularly gets 20,000 – 25,000 participants.  Never mind that eating too much red meat is linked to causing cancer.  While I think the Chili Cookoff is a fun thing and some of the chili was very good I always have to question these health fundraising activities that promote unhealthy eating practices.  My guess is poor diet and lack of exercise are the leading causes of cancer.  But I guess there is no money to be made in cancer prevention!  They did have a vegetarian chili section and a vegetarian chili won 1st prize for the first time ever.  So that is a good thing.  How about the exercise part?   People in Alabama don’t collectively do any real active transportation and the city of Mobile certainly does not support it.  It’s beginning to tick me off seeing so many people simply driving on a nice day to get a couple miles.  The Chili Cookoff was packed with auto parking but not many people ride their bikes or walk.  This is sad because the weather was nice.

Mobilians on Bikes is trying to promote more active transportation in the Mobile area and so we hosted a short bike ride down to the event.  We also asked the Cookoff organizers to provide secure parking for cyclists.  The organizers were very gracious and gave us a convenient spot to park our bikes.  I’m hoping that next year we will get the organizers to promote this feature and get more citizens cycling to these types of events.

Tweed Ride Video