Tag Archives: cycling

A city dangerous for pedestrians + ranked among least fit?

ThinkingThere may be a correlation between two reports released in recent weeks looking at Birmingham, AL and our metro area’s level of fitness.

Last week The Atlantic published a piece by Richard Florida, one of their senior editors best known for his book The Rise of the Creative Class (affiliate link) and the accompanying website. It focused on the results of this year’s American College of Sports Medicine‘s American Fitness Index, an index that included Birmingham, AL.

The report points out that metro Birmingham, although ranking 47th out of 50 areas examined in this study, contains more farmers markets and more park units per capita than the other cities though most of it sits outside of the urban areas.

The folks over at the Living Streets Alliance pointed out the striking correlation between those cities with high percentages of commuting to work by bike and those cities that were among considered the most fit in the index. The results of a report referenced recently by The Birmingham News could also be looked at as a reason for our metro area’s fitness ranking – it lists the Birmingham-Hoover metro area as the 16th most dangerous for pedestrians in the country (with 136 between 2000-2009).

It’s not like metro Birmingham hasn’t started trying to address the issues including Railroad Park’s “Get Healthy on the Railroad” and the Our One Mile initiatives.

Photo: Thinking. Max Wolfe/Flickr.

Le Tour de Birmingham arrives on Saturday

bici coop logoBiCi Coop has announced an alley cat cycling series that will take place throughout the streets of metro Birmingham during the month of July.

Le Tour de Birmingham will take place each Saturday of July (on July 3, 10, 17, and 31) with additional information available on the organization’s blog (you’ll also be able to help them out by letting them know that you’re willing to volunteer). The buy-in for the stages will be $5 each and it will benefit the 1+ year old organization. Le

They currently plan to announce each stage a few days before, providing information like altitude changes, et. al. They’ve already announced this week’s prologue stage; it will be a 2-minute TT from BiCi Coop‘s home on Southside to Parkside Café across from Avondale Park beginning at 8 p.m. There will be some prizes but as they’ve stated on the site, “this race is for the glory not a gift card.”

Pro mountain bikers come for South’s finest

picture-1Believe it or not Birmingham is a bicycle-racing town.  If you need proof consider this weekend’s Bump N’ Grind mountain bike race.  Presented by Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (B.U.M.P.), this year’s event marks the fifteenth year that the single track at Oak Mountain State Park has challenged pro and amateur racers from around the country.  This race is arguably the best mountain bike race in the South (as well as the largest), so if you we’re planning a bike ride this weekend Oak Mountain is the place to be. Not only will you get to enjoy the park but you’ll have the treat of catching a glimpse of pro mountain bikers as they rail across the park and through the trails.

Volunteers are needed, details here.

Logo: Courtesy of official website

Critical Mass rolls through Birmingham tonight

Critical Mass in New York City - Seth W./Flickr

Critical Mass March 2007 (New York City). Seth W./Flickr 

The grassroots movement known as Critical Mass will attempt to make its presence known in Birmingham this evening at 6 p.m. Their inaugural ride will begin at Linn Park downtown. These rides, which take place monthly throughout the country (and the world) are geared to remind drivers that cyclists should be allowed to share the road and that they’re here.

The cyclists follow all of the rules of the road, emphasizing bicycle safety and a sustainable method of transportation. There’s no real leader or plan to the route – it just seems to happen (and it’s been happening now for more than 15 years). As you can see, the longer it goes, the more people get involved – like the scene from NYC up above.