Monday, September 21, 2009

Meanwhile, in Louisville, KY

As mentioned in previous posts, the Planner Guy and I met in Louisville, Kentucky, where we returned for a 10-day visit (including a jaunt up to Cleveland for his cousin's wedding) to visit family and friends. After 16 years of living in the 'Ville, I know the city quite well - but not as a bike commuter since I didn't start down that path until after we moved to Flagstaff.

Bob and I are staying out in the East End, which is very suburban and generally lacking in bike infrastructure suitable for safe bike commuting. Very few bike lanes and no urban trails or multi-use paths. The old City of Louisville is very much a different story, however, with increased bike commuting being a priority of Mayor Abramson, who apparently is pushing for a bike transit station (with showers, bike storage, and some services attractive to bike commuters) downtown. Fantastic idea in my book. I wish him much success with this project.

While bike commuting is growing in popularity, Louisville is home to many enthusiastic road cyclists, who travel in huge, colorful, Lycra-clad packs through Cherokee Park on the weekends and with after work bike groups. Cherokee Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted park (one of several in Louisville) and also a popular destination for mountain and trail riders.

Because bicycling is so tremendously popular in Louisville, it is home to many good bike shops. As Bob signed up for the Louisville Ironman next summer, we visited one of them today, The Cyclist Cafe for a little inspiration. I will admit that my previous visits to The Cyclist Cafe have been limited to the cafe portion, sometimes after a ride along the bike path that runs along Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River. With much shame though, I usually traveled there by car in between meetings. They serve all the fashionable coffee drinks, yummy muffins, and sandwiches. Almost always in need of a good sandwich, Bob found himself ordering one within minutes of our arrival and found it indeed superior to the one he had consumed an hour before at another restaurant, which will go unnamed. I had a Diet Coke and a soft and chewy, cranberry and white chocolate chip cookie. Reluctantly, I left Bob 1/3 of the cookie, remembering the pastries I consumed at the Cleveland wedding.

Most the the bikes at The Cyclist Cafe are of the triathlon, road and mountain biking variety but I did see a Felt commuter bike. It had a coffee cup holder attached to the handlebar. I occasionally see people in downtown Flagstaff pedaling while also sipping a cup of joe and always wonder if I will ever be so graceful. Do you suppose those bike commuters go to an empty parking lot somewhere and practice sipping and pedaling? I can only imagine having several humiliating falls before successfully being able to manage both biking and drinking coffee.


jj said...

i have a coffee cup holder but i pretty much only drink when i'm waiting for traffic to clear so i can cross, or at a red light. i suppose it'd be no different than drinking from my water bottle while riding, but i'd rather not risk dumping hot coffee on myself!

Christa said...

Bike cafes are such a great idea. What a fun job too.

Trisha said...

Fun survey of Louisville biking! It's not too far from me so maybe I'll get up there to check it out one day. The cycing cafe sounds like fun. I've been wanting a cupholder for the Bat.

robison52 said...

Maybe the torn up saddle serves a purpose of discouraging thiefs? I had a great saddle that was stolen off my TREK 1000 and was rather pricey to replace. I recall on biker had painted his bike ghastly colors to avoid his bike being stolen.

Thomas Rasinen said...
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Motorize Your Bike said...

Excellent post and photos. Looks like you had a great time!

@robinson52 on the torn saddle - I hope so! We've had two bikes stolen in Old Louisville in the last year! A nice one like the top photo and a motorized bicycle. Maybe I'll go neon paint with my road bike! Or an electric bike with a slight current to deter would be thieves?

Cycler's Cafe is great and one of the first places my brother, a serious bicycler and bike safety instructor took me in Louisville. Anyone interested in cycling or motorized bikes, can add me on Twitter: @Rasinen or @motorizedbike or checkout:

Enjoy the ride!