Hey, people with bikes who like to ride them! Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, and there is free coffee everywhere.
From 7:30-8:30 (yes, in the a.m.), there will be free coffee and biscuits on Market Square, courtesy of Trio Café and Pete's respectively. If you feel so inclined to get gussied up so early in the morning, Mayor Madeline Rogero will be giving out "best dressed" prizes. So if you don't mind sweating in your fancy clothes, go on with your bad self (and be there by 8 for the prizes).
For those of you who don't need to be downtown so freaking early (or you just don't need to be there, period), there are several places all around town you can stop by during the day for a free cup of Joe. Mojoe's Trailside Coffee House, TIme Warp Tea Room, Old City Java, Remedy Coffee, Downtown Grind, and Gourmet's Market will all give you a cup of coffee on the house if you've biked to work. Three Rivers Market will give you a free drink AND bakery item. And Nothing Too Fancy will give you a free metal water bottle with a carabineer.
The catch? You have to bring in your helmet and say "I biked to work today!" YES, that's a little goofy. But I think we should make a game of it. I think we should all try to casually mention it in conversation with our friendly baristas/salespeople. If someone happens to take a video of said casual conversation, I think you should post it on Facebook or Twitter and tag/mention Metro Pulse. Or hey, take a picture of your free loot and tag/mention us! I think this could be fun, guys! (If you just blurt it out, that works too. Means to an end, guys.)
If none of those places is near where you work, check with your place of business--they might be handing out free coffee to bikers.
Newbies: Don't know where there are sidewalks or streets with slower traffic? THAT'S OK! You don't have to bike to work alone. There will be groups leaving from North, South, East, and West Knoxville. It'll be like a parade! Maybe. I don't know. But hey, make new friends! Meet people who could maybe be your daily/weekly/biweekly biking buddies if you really like it.
Here are the starting points for the group rides that will go downtown and to UT:
Commuters from Halls can meet at 6:30 a.m. at the Halls Center near Ace Hardware (6950 Maynardville Pike).
Coming from North Knoxville? Meet at the Office Depot/Food City parking lot (4212 North Broadway) at 7 a.m.
Folks biking in from East Knoxville can meet at 7 a.m. at Holston River Park at the top parking by the pavilion (3300 Holston Hills Road).
Parkridge Commuters can meet at the Ashley Nicole Dream Playground at Woodbine and Winona at 7:40.
Coming from Cedar Bluff? (Bravo!) Meet at the Ten Mile Creek Trailhead at 6:30 a.m. That's at 175 Seven Oaks Dr. at the east end of the Carmike Wynnsong Theater parking lot.
Bearden bikers can meet at the Third Creek Greenway trailhead at 130 Forest Park Blvd at 7:15.
South Knoxvillians! Meet at the South knoxville LIbrary (4500 Chapman Hwy)) at 7:15.
If you live in the Island Home area, meet at the intersection of Island Home Ave and Sevier Ave.
ANNNND!! If none of those areas is near you, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization wants to help you find a route (if you don't already know one). So give them a call at (865) 215-3815.
All of this information, and more info from the Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program can be found here.
Try everything once, right? And who knows, you might even like it. Good luck out there!