Bike sharing group offering free safety classes

Bike sharing group offering free safety classes

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In 2008, Bicycling Magazine named Memphis one of the three worst cities in America for bike riders.

A decade later, Memphis leads the way in the cycling revolution rolling across the country.

A leisurely bike ride through South Memphis fits Yolanda Manning's fitness plan perfectly.  She's d ropped 90 pounds so far, and she's ready to peddle off even more using Explore Bike Share.

"So physical activity has definitely been a part of my life," said Manning, "but biking is fairly new.  I'm enjoying it.  I'm going to do 90 days of it, exploring Memphis."

Yolanda invited her friend Noah Morrell along for the ride, and he didn't need much convincing.

"I went to Miami a couple years ago," said Morrell, "and they had bikes like these down there.  I couldn't wait until Memphis got some of these bikes!"

Explore Bike Share launched in Memphis a week ago.  Six-hundred bikes are at 60 stations across the city.  The bike station furthest west is across the Harahan Bridge in Arkansas.

The station located out east is at Semmes and Waverly not far from the Memphis Country Club.

The station WMC Action News 5 visited Wednesday night is in South Memphis on Jennette Place in front of Knowledge Quest.  And that's where Daniel Gregg was teaching a free bike safety class.

"So I see a lot of people," he said, "come to these classes and they  just want to know how to get on the bicycles."

Gregg is the Education Coordinator for Revolutions Bicycle Coop, a group that pledges to "save the world, one bicycle at a time."

Revolutions is leading the transformation of Memphis into a community that embraces bike riding.

Click here for more information about free bike classes.

Gregg moved to Memphis four years ago from Nashville and says the Bluff City is definitely more bicycle friendly.

"Unfortunately, it was a little bit more of a struggle than I'd like to admit," he said.  "I love Nashville, but Memphis seems to be taking to it better than Nashville."

In 2008, Memphis had a mile and a half of bike lanes.  Today, more than 100 miles of bike lanes, shared lanes, paths and trails stretch across Shelby County.

The birth of the Shelby Farms Greenline in 2010 really put the wheels in motion.  Bike lanes now connect neighborhoods and encourage healthier lifestyles.

"This is for Memphis," said Manning, "and this is for everyone in Memphis, no matter who you are."

"People want to go out," said Morrell, "because it's summertime.  We need to get out and have a little fun!"

You can get a monthly pass for unlimited rides on Explore Bike Share for just $15.  To learn more about how to sign up for the Explore Bike Share program, click here.

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