More Big News!

Hello from the New Director


Greetings! My name is Sylvia Crum and I am the new, just announced, Executive Director of Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to step into this incredible work. Revolutions has a long and impressive history of helping folks learn to repair their own bicycles. And I look forward to continuing to build the bicycling community of Memphis. My husband is Teddy Crum, a teacher at Snowden School, and we have two children under five years old! My family moved to Memphis two years ago, and a big part of our decision to come here, instead of another Southern city, was the growing bicycle infrastructure. We were pleased that by living in Cooper-Young, we could, again, be a one car family. And we intend to decrease our car usage even more, now that we have a family bike that can haul the kids along with all of our stuff!

I come to Revolutions with an eclectic job history, all of which adds to my skill set to do the wide and varied work of this bicycle cooperative. In rural and urban Alabama, I worked to establish farmers’ markets and decrease food deserts. And for a time in Malawi, in Southeastern Africa, I coordinated development and youth empowerment projects. I also have a great love of sewing. My grandmother, who always sewed my halloween and ballet costumes, instilled this love in me. But by the time I was ready to learn, her arthritis was too severe to teach. So instead, I learned to sew clothes by reading patterns and asking lots of questions of older women at church. And I learned to quilt in a very small town in Missouri with a group of little old ladies who quilted with their United Methodist Women’s circle. For many years, I even ran my own sewing business, providing stoles and paraments to clergy around the Southeast!

All of this hands on work made for an easy leap to bicycle maintenance and repair. I spent the month of June in Oregon at the United Bicycle Institute. I received a solid education, there, and had a chance to practice my skills for the month of July with our friends at the Peddler Bike Shop. I know I have much more to learn, but I look forward to doing that alongside all of our Revolutions members!

We have much planned for Revolutions for the Fall, and I hope you will join us in classes, projects and Bicycle Chats! Please watch this newsletter and the Revolutions Calendar for ways you can continue to get involved!

We had Kidical Mass


Kidical Mass! Kids and grown-ups out on the road with their bicycles! On Friday night, we had forty-five folks out to ride! It was slow, and there was some veering to the left (see walking mom, above, helping with corralling!). But there were also lots of smiles, both from the riders and the restaurant patrons along Cooper! The second time around the block, some cars behind the group were honking, but surely it was only to encourage us along, right?!

If you missed this ride, plan to join us for the next Kidical Mass ride on Saturday, September 20. We’ll join GrowMemphis’ Tour de Coop for their Mini-Tour. More info here.

Women’s Bicycle Chat

Ladies, please plan to join us next Sunday, Aug. 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. for a Women’s Bike Chat! We will gather at 1st Congo on the North Deck (unless the weather is bad! Then, find us just inside the deck).

I came back from my month in Oregon with lots of ideas for how Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative could do more to reach out to women through rides, classes and other gatherings. I’d like to share a few of those ideas. And I would also like to hear how you might like to connect more, too.

When you think about bicycles, are you thinking about riding bikes for recreation or transportation or both? Are you thinking about health and safety? Are you thinking about how to carry stuff or people by bike? How do you use your bike or how would you like to? Do you feel supported in your bike use and would you be interested in knowing more women on bicycles?

These are the types of questions I would like to chat about. Would you be interested in gathering with me?


Bicycle Shop Refurbishment and Temporary Closing

For the last seven months, Revolutions has been kept running by three extremely dedicated volunteers. I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to Keith Norman, Mark Allen and Gene Carkeet for running the Shop, finding work for volunteers and members and cleaning up the floods after the deluges of June and July! These three worked so very hard and we all owe them a standing ovation for their tireless work!

On Friday, August 15, Revolutions will close the Shop temporarily to do some refurbishment of our space. Hopefully this short closure will give everyone a time to rest and me the time to re-envision the space! Don’t be surprised, though, if I call on you to come help sort tools, parts or wheels!! We plan to re-open by the Cooper-Young Fest. And we’ll keep you posted via this newsletter, on our progress!

Our Ride into the Future!!

We’ve got some news-and as our friend Mark “Keeping It Wheel” Allen put it:  “This is good, great and fantastic-all at the same time!!”

What’s the news?  Our Revolutions Bicycle Co-op has received a grant from the Assisi Foundation for $50,000!  This is money that we can use to get an Executive Director in place, as well as start some much-needed updates to our space, and the Revolutions Planning Committee and the officers of 1st Congo Church have gathered this week to move forward.

The good news:  Programs that Revolutions has established and become known for nationally will be maintained and strengthened!

The great news:  We are moving forward with new expansions of the Revolutions program in the form of our Cycle Lodge, new classes, and the largest membership we’ve ever had-100 new members so far this year!  Big thanks to Keith Norman who has logged extensive shop hours to make this happen, along with Mark Allen, Jackie Nerren, Sylvia and Teddy Crum.

The fantastic news:  Sylvia Crum is stepping into the Executive Director’s position!  She meets every hope and expectation we had for this new position and she brings a fresh perspective.  She will be the only woman in charge of a bicycle co-op in the South!

Kidical Mass announce with visual aid

A United Bicycle Institute certified mechanic, Sylvia’s skillful hand has already been at work in Memphis, organizing the highly successful Wee Rides, tomorrow’s Kidical Mass ride, traveling to Portland to glean information from other bike shops and cooperatives and networking effectively with bicycling advocates in Memphis.

She’ll begin with a 25-hour a week position next week, and it’s going to be a wonderful ride into the future!


–Guest post submitted by Rev. Cheryl Cornish, 1st Congregational Church

A Kidical Mass Ride!

We want more families and kids on bikes! We have had several great rides with Wee Ride Memphis (our family-friendly bicycle rides hosted by Revolutions). But we’re having trouble getting families to ride with us. Many have said that they don’t have a way to tote the little kids on, or behind, their bikes. After a very informal and small survey, we decided to try something different: a much shorter ride! Lots of other cities are doing rides like this. They call them Kidical Mass rides.

For our Kidical Mass, we plan to meet at 1st Congo, and ride the four blocks it takes to get all the way around the church, on the street. At then end, we’ll head up to the deck on the north side of the church and enjoy homemade ice cream, together! Will you and your kiddos join us?

On Friday, August 8, we’ll meet at 6:45, go over a few rules of the road and ride, and then head out promptly at 7:00 p.m. We encourage parents to bring kids with balance bikes, bikes with training wheels and other kids bikes, as well as your own. Everyone MUST wear a helmet for this ride.

Will you join us?

DATE: 08/08/2014 (Friday)

TIME: Meet around 6:45 PM, Roll out promptly at 7:00

START: We are meeting at 1st Congo, 1000 S. Cooper St, in the Southeast parking lot (on top of the labyrinth in the parking lot, where you would park if you were coming to the farmers’ market).

END: 1st Congo, on the North end of the building. We will park the bikes and gather on the North deck for homemade ice cream.

HELMETS ARE REQUIRED AND BELLS AND LIGHTS ARE STRONGLY SUGGESTED. Kids under 16 are required by Memphis Code of Ordinances to wear helmets, but as a ride sponsored by Revolutions Memphis, we require all riders to wear helmets and be a good example for the kids.

What is Kidical Mass? Kidical Mass is a legal, safe and FUN bike ride for kids, kids at heart, and their families. The first ride was held in April 2008 in Eugene, Oregon and has now spread to over a dozen communities throughout North America and beyond. The rides are meant to be family friendly bike rides through a community.

All types of bikes, trailers, trail-a-bikes, Xtracycles, longtails, bakfiets, Long Johns, tandems, folders, trikes, and whatever rolls are welcome! We celebrate the fact that Kids are Traffic Too and aim for family fun on vehicles that don’t hurt the future!

Check out this great FAQs page for how Kidical Mass works.

ROUTE: We plan to ride four full blocks, on the street, around 1st Congo. If older kids show up, we’ll add a few blocks more for them.


RSVP: To Wee Ride Memphis’ facebook page.


  • What happens if there is bad weather?:  If it rains, we won’t ride. Please check back on the website and Facebook group.
  • I want to drive down, where can I park?: We suggest you park in 1st Congo’s South parking lot (along Walker) or the Northeast parking lot (along Blythe), so you can easily reload bikes and kids at the end.
  • How fast do you go?: For this Kidical Mass we will go so slow we could probably walk faster. No really, this ride is at a slow rate, we wait for the group between lights / stop signs and we cross these together.
  • Kids on Training Wheels?: This will be a very short and slow ride. Therefore, we welcome training wheels and balance bikes.
  • Can I come without a kid?: Yes, as long as you are pro safe streets and do not make us nervous you are welcome to come without children. Please remember though you are riding with children.
  • Can I come without an adult?: Sorry, at this time we require you come with an adult who is responsible for you.
  • Can I volunteer to help?: YES PLEASE. Send us a Facebook message!

Riverside Drive and Kidical Mass

Don’t Forget:

This Tuesday, July 29 at the Beale Street Landing, join in on the Riverside Drive Complete Streets Project Community Meeting at 6:00 p.m.


In June, Riverside Drive was transformed into a multi-use path. Have you ridden your bicycle, walked or driven down it, yet? What did you think?

This community meeting is the first of several that will be scheduled during the pilot period so that data can be shared and public comment can be made. This meeting will include information about what data is being gathered, the projected schedule of future meetings, and what the public can expect during the duration of the pilot period. Doors will open to the meeting at 6:00pm, followed by a presentation at 6:30pm.

Come to the community meeting and express yourself. Your ideas and opinions are a valuable part of the process that will impact the final design of this roadway. The ultimate success of the Riverside Drive Access and Mobility Project depends on your participation… so please join in!




Questions? Please contact Kyle Wagenschutz, Bicycle /Pedestrian Coordinator, City of Memphis at: (901) 636-6710 or


Next Revolutions Class:

Bike Tools and Parts on Monday, August 4. More details and sign-up here.


Save the Date!

Have you been thinking, “Gosh, I wish I could ride with my kids on the streets of Memphis, but I can’t because…”?

Well, we have a ride for you! Join us on Friday, Aug. 8 at 6:45 p.m. for a very slow, very short ride on the streets, around 1st Congo. We’re encouraging parents to come out with their kids and their bikes. Parents should be on bicycles and kids can be on whatever kind of bicycles they have: balance bikes, bikes with training wheels, bikes without training wheels. We just want families to have a way to bicycle together!

You can read more here and join our Facebook Wee Ride event here. Save the date and we hope to see you on the 8th. There will be homemade ice cream at the end of the ride!

Classes and Community Involvement

Greetings to you in the midst of this beautiful Fall weather. Since it’s so cool out, I’m sure you are looking for places to ride your bike. Revolutions has several ideas for you!

First, how about a some classes?

Traffic Skills 101

This traffic skills course will help you understand riding in traffic –from side roads, to bike lanes, to urban highways.  It will give you the confidence you need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. This is a “must have” if you have thought about bicycle commuting, or just for day-to-day riding on city streets.  It will give you the confidence and know-how to handle traffic basics.

Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen.

Class cost $30 dollars for members and $50 for non-members and includes a student manual.


Class is limited to 10 openings. And you can sign up here. This is a class in two parts. Please plan to attend both sessions:

Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM, in Conference Room B

Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 8:00AM to 12:00PM, the Field Practical (parking lot and road session)



Community Meetings

Looking for a way to have your voice heard? Cycle on down to the Beale Street Landing, on Tuesday, July 29 at 6:00 p.m. for the Riverside Drive Complete Streets Project Community Meeting.


In June 2014, Riverside Drive was transformed using paint and signs to demonstrate how a reconfigured street could improve access and mobility to the Memphis riverfront for persons walking or riding bicycles. This temporary exhibition will be used over the next 12-18 months to test, measure, and refine the design so the end result is a street that works well for all roadway users. A series of public meetings will be used to share data that has been gathered and to receive comments and questions about the roadway’s current and future function.

This community meeting is the first of several that will be scheduled during the pilot period so that data can be shared and public comment can be made. This meeting will include information about what data is being gathered, the projected schedule of future meetings, and what the public can expect during the duration of the pilot period. Doors will open to the meeting at 6:00pm, followed by a presentation at 6:30pm.

Come to the community meeting and express yourself. Your ideas and opinions are a valuable part of the process that will impact the final design of this roadway. The ultimate success of the Riverside Drive Access and Mobility Project depends on your participation… so please join in!




Questions? Please contact Kyle Wagenschutz, Bicycle /Pedestrian Coordinator, City of Memphis at: (901) 636-6710 or


Volunteers Needed

Tour de Coop-2013

Did you go on last year’s Tour de Coop, put on by GrowMemphis? It was awesome!! This tour of backyard chickens, honeybees and community gardens is a great way to see how Memphis is growing our own food. And it can all be seen by bicycle. This year’s tour will be on Saturday, September 20. GrowMemphis needs volunteers to put on this event. If you are interested in helping, please email Carole Colter at And mark your calendars, because if you aren’t volunteering, you’ll want to be riding!


More Places to Bike

Have you heard about the new bike corral in front of 1st Congo, in Cooper-Young?

IMG_8165 IMG_8183

It’s a great new place to lock up your bike when you’re out enjoying the Cooper-Young neighborhood.


And how about Riverside Drive?


What a beautiful ride the new bikes lanes afford. Beale Street Landing has a bar and grill that is almost open. And there are bathrooms, there, if you need a pit stop. And when you’re ready to cool off, the new playground at the Beale Street Landing also has a water feature. Riverside Drive is a new biking destination for us. How about you?

Shop Closed Sunday, July 6

The Shop will be closed Sunday, July 6th, in observance of the end of Independence Day weekend.

Upcoming Classes

We have some classes coming up, so mark your calendars, now, for:

1. Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101. This is a two session class taught by Gene Carkeet on July 24 and 26.

2. Basic Parts and Tools, on Aug. 4 with Keith Norman.

You can find more info and a sign-up form here for all upcoming classes.



People on Bikes

I’m back from Oregon and I had a few more pictures that I wanted to share with you. First off, in Portland we saw this:




The Red Hat Society out for a ride. It looked like a great way to see the city.

And while sitting at brunch, we saw this crew roll by:




The woman and cameraman are on an Xtracycle Edgerunner and she seemed to have no trouble peddling him. The guy in the bucket was, maybe, on a Bullitt front loader, but I can’t be sure of the brand. You can also see a little of a bagpiper on a unicycle. Unfortunately, I missed getting a picture of him playing. It was pretty exciting because, for some reason, flames kept shooting out of his bagpipes.

We heard many times in Portland that people do all sorts of things on bicycles. This group is a talk show. You may be able to read that the side of the bucket says “Pedal Powered Talk Show.” I looked them up and they’re pretty fun. They pedal to places all over Oregon and then park the bike and the host interviews interesting people. You can find their shows here. And this is a great interview with the host, Boaz Frankel, talking about the show, and the sorts of people they have interviewed, over their three seasons.

Bike School was awesome!! I passed the test to be a Certified Bicycle Mechanic! Now I just need a bunch of practice. It was really great to be around and bicycle with so many folks in Oregon. But we were anxious to get back home. We came back with lots of ideas and things to try in Memphis! I hope I’ll see you around Revolutions where we can work on bicycles, together!

Hours & Info

Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
Thursday: 6:30pm-8:30pm

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