Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative is thrilled to a partner in The Big Jump Project initiative, in South Memphis.
What is The Big Jump?
The Big Jump Project is a national initiative provided by a People for Bikes grant, designed to help 10 cities radically reimagine their bicycling infrastructure while, at the same time, helping to propel communities nationwide into a better future for bicycling. The initiative, which aims to double or triple bicycle ridership in specific neighborhoods, hopes to prove that when cities make smart changes, more people ride bikes, and communities become better places to live, work and play.
People for Bikes selected 10 cities out of 80 applicants in the United States to be a part of the Big Jump Project initiative. Memphis is one of them, alongside other cities such as Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and Portland.
What does The Big Jump mean for Memphis?
The Big Jump Project is designed to focus efforts in one targeted area of the city, and in Memphis, South Memphis will be the target neighborhood. The goal is to start in South Memphis and expand city-wide.
One way the City of Memphis is acting to put this grant into action is by partnering with Revolutions and The Works, Inc., to form a Big Jump Teen Ambassadors Program which will train them as volunteers who are confident in using a bicycle as transportation. They will gain a broad understanding of the Big Jump project, in order to lead neighbors in community rides through areas of South Memphis that could be improved by the Big Jump focus, as well as speak fluently on the need for better bicycle facilities and accessibility and connectivity within the South Memphis area.
The Works, Inc. will recruit teens who can act as Big Jump Teen Ambassadors. Nick Oyler, City of Memphis Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Manager will offer an after-school information session on what the Big Jump entails and how these youth can engage. And Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative will provide bicycles and helmets for a half-day workshop using their Bicycle Safety Program curriculum to help the Ambassadors feel safe and confident riding on the streets of South Memphis. After the Big Jump and Bicycle Safety workshop times, the group will ride through the South Memphis neighborhood looking for current and potential bicycle facilities on offer in South Memphis. This group ride will highlight schools and other neighborhood amenities that are within a short riding distance of The Works, Inc., a stalwart of the South Memphis community. This ride will also provide the chance for conversation about how the Big Jump Project could impact the livability of this area. After the Big Jump Teen Ambassadors complete this training program, they will be asked to follow up with a variety of community engagement activities. The first offering will be a community ride that the Ambassadors will lead, looking at Big Jump potential in South Memphis, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 11. Then, next Spring, the Ambassadors will be asked to assist Revolutions in Bike Trains to school with elementary schools within the Big Jump geographical area, in order to introduce those schools to the Revolutions Bicycle Safety Programming and opportunities to traverse their neighborhood by bicycle. The Ambassadors will also be encouraged to create a weekly or bi-weekly neighborhood group ride to increase a culture of riding within the South Memphis area.
Here’s the plan:
- November 2: City of Memphis will lead a closed workshop for the ambassadors on The Big Jump Project, to educate everyone on the project and its value.
- November 4: Revolutions and City of Memphis will lead a closed How To Ride in the Street class and practice session for the ambassadors, followed by a group ride through South Memphis to view the Big Jump amenities, as well as talk about what improvements to bicycling infrastructure the Ambassadors would like to see.
- November 11: The Big Jump Teen Ambassadors will lead an open Community Bicycle Ride through South Memphis at 2:00 p.m., educating others on The Big Jump Project, its amenities in South Memphis and how to commute by bicycle.
We encourage the community to join us for the South Memphis Big Jump Community Engagement Bicycle Ride on November 11th.
Furthering the Project
The Big Jump Project grant is funding the programs to educate and train the Big Jump Teen Ambassadors, as well as providing a handful of bicycles and helmets. But Revolutions wants to do more. We want to fully outfit 30 South Memphis teenagers, with the tools to commute by bicycle daily.
This Giving Tuesday, we are asking individuals for your help. For $300, you can provide transportation for a teenage bicycle ambassador, for Christmas. $300 gets one teenager a bicycle, helmet, lights and heavy-duty lock. With this gift, these teenagers will have transportation to-and-from school, after-school activities, and work opportunities.
Donate today to provide a bicycle to a South Memphis teenager. Please note that your donation is specifically for “South Memphis Teen Bicycles”.