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Dedicated to promoting cycling in the Memphis and Mid South community

Hightailer News

Bike the Greenway, rides, my cat Boo, more

Hey- Look!! Saints and Sinners starts at 4:00 pm Sunday now!!

Hi Y'all-

Cycle the Greenway Sunday morning!

Cycle the Greenway ride, June 7th  ---- The third annual Cycle the Greenway ride is this Sunday,  June 7th. The ride raises $ for the Wolf River Conservancy. This worthwhile event offers rides ranging from 20-50 miles and features great food and entertainment. Please sign up on the MHBC website or go to for more details.


MS-150 September 12 & 13

FedEx "Rock-N-Roll" Bike MS 2009.

Tour Minimum Pledge: $300

The FedEx "Rock-N-Roll" bike ms ride begins at Graceland, the home of the "King", in Memphis, TN and rolls the dice all the way down to Tunica, MS and Harrah’s Casino. This ride is a tour for all cyclists, offering a variety of rolling hills and flats through the back roads of Mississippi. You will enjoy Harrah’s as you relax and play at this wonderful resort. Be moved by a wonderful "warm" evening program and try your luck at hitting the Jackpot!

The National MS Society and local sponsors will provide rest stops with refreshments every 10-12 miles, supplies along the route, support and gear vehicles, bike mechanics and medical staff throughout the weekend to help you.

Please join the Hightailers MS-150 team today.

To register, you may go online at . If you have any questions, please call Nancy Laycook at 901-755-0994, or email her


Note: This next piece is not really cycling related, but hey, I am the editor, and it is my cat, so it is getting published. If you have ever loved a pet you will understand.

In Memoriam

Jiboo “Boo” the cat used up her 9th and final life Thursday, June 4th. Boo was a loyal friend and long time supporter of your current Memphis Hightailer newsletter editor, me. She was smart, fierce, and beautiful.

Boo looked upon all of my various bicycles with the obvious disdain that is common to those of the feline persuasion. I was never able to train her to ride with me on a bike, but she definitely trained me to not try to ride with her—my attempts to ride my bike with her were met by her claws and her hasty departure.

Boo really trusted me when I was on the bike, however. I would come barreling down the hill into our driveway after a ride. She would just sit right there in the middle of the driveway, staring at me, not flinching at all, as I rolled by just inches away from her tail.

Boo would sometimes demand to sit in my lap while I was putting together the weekly Tailwind. It was distracting, but it never delayed the publication by more than a few minutes.

Boo was my psychotherapist when I was down or bored. She was never critical when I would cuss or when I would get upset while working on my bike. She helped me recover from some serious cycling accidents and was a relaxed companion when I was toasted after a long hot ride. And, I learned the handy skill of how to clean cat hair out of a bike chain during the year I kept my Serotta in my living room.

She will be missed greatly by your newsletter editor.

Bon Voyage, my faithful feline friend! May you have nothing but the freshest tuna in Kitty Heaven, and may you stay forever young.

Weekly Hightailer Rides

Saturday & Sunday Morning 8 am: the Superlo Rides

The weekly Saturday & Sunday morning rides will leave from the parking lot in front of Super Lo on Southern between Perkins and Colonial. The rides usually travel between 25-30 miles.  Avg. speeds range from 12 to 18 or so mph. Saturday's group is usually larger and often has a wide variety of riders from beginner to advanced. Sunday is generally smaller and a bit more relaxed in general. The rides have rest stops at grocery or convenience stores near the midpoint.


Downtown Ride: 1st & 3rd Saturdays, 9 am

Join Bill Draper for a nice ride.  From Bill: The ride accommodates each group and goes at an appropriate pace for the group. This is more of a historic interpretative ride than what is commonly thought as a "bike ride". There is loads of historic information here and the beauty of the river front is worthwhile. I lead three different routes in the downtown area. This is an easy 2 to 2 and one half hour tour. It has several stops at historic and panoramic locations in the downtown area. We do a different route each ride.


Saturday Morning Vic's Ride -- Lakeland Outlet Mall on Canada Road and I-40.  The rides will start at 8 AM (until it gets hotter, when the start time will move to 7) and we average 16-18, with rest stops every 12-15 miles. More info? Click here to email Vic.


Sunday Afternoon -- Hustle & Flow with the Saints and Sinners, 4:00 p.m. Super Lo

Are you a saint who went to church on Sunday morning? Or are you a sinner who partied too much and just woke up on Sunday afternoon? Either way, this is the ride for you.

Intermediate pace (15-19 mph) 25-40 miles.  We try to be aware of riders with different abilities and pace preferences-- we will try to not really drop anyone, but sometimes we fail at this endeavor. Varied routes, mostly urban.  Lots of bumps, holes, tracks, and glass. Orange Mound, Windermere, Frayser, Shelby Farms, North Memphis, Beale, Summer Avenue, Trolley tracks, Hooters, Stax, Elmwood, Hollywood. Flats can happen - be prepared. Want a tame, sedate, bucolic, suburban nature ride? This isn't it.


Tuesday Night at Howard-McVay Park, 5:45 pm

Slower paced Ride. If you have ever been left behind on a group ride, you will recall that it¹s a lonely feeling. A new ride is starting on Tuesdays after work at 5:45 from McVay Park. We will go at a slower pace (10-13MPH) and we will start out at about 10 miles. Most importantly, we won¹t drop anyone.

If you have wanted to do a group ride, but thought you may get left behind, this is a perfect ride for you. We will start out the season at this slower pace and only increase speed an distance if riders choose to. So join us if you like a slower pace or you are not accustomed to riding on city streets.

We will start at McVay Park in Germantown and ride on roads that have less traffic.  Meet at the McVay Park parking lot at Turpins Glen Drive at McVay Rd. at 5:45 starting on Tuesday, April  14.

Any questions, contact Steve Miller at


Tuesday & Thursday Night, Shady Grove Soiree, 6 pm

When: Depart promptly at 6 pm 
Where: Shady Grove Elementary School, Shady Grove Rd., just west of Yates.
Distance: 25-30 miles
Route: Mostly flat, seek hills
Pace: avg. 17-19 mph. This is not a serious ride, but we do strive for a good work-out.  We make one brief stop usually at St George’s High School in Collierville.  No sweep.
Front and back lights recommended, required by law after dusk or in low-light conditions. Any questions? Call Matt, 482-6342.

Want to see the route we ride? Click here - It is posted on


Thursday Night Thrill Ride, 5:45 pm

Location:  Bartlett Performing Arts Center (BPAC)

Distances: 25-34 miles

Route: F-M Ride:  A-C

Intermediate to advanced

The TNT ride is back this year at it's old location, BPAC.  Starting a month earlier than normal due to DST, this ride typically has three groups ranging in speed from 15-17 mph, 17-19 mph, and 20+.  The fast group is usually led by Memphis Velo team members.  Distances vary by the amount of daylight available but will ultimately be about 32 miles during the hot summer.  The ride will leave promptly at 5:45 pm and there is no sweep.

STOLEN BIKE ALERT - Help find John Vookles' bike!! John started riding bikes before a lot of y'all were born. He is a long-time Hightailer and an generally decent fellow most of the time, except when UT wins, when he becomes temporarily insufferable.

Keep your eyes open for this bike- it is unique, as is John.

Litespeed Appalachian touring bike -- black frame with yellow lettering. Probably the only one in Memphis. Stolen out of my locked garage the first week of April. If anyone sees this bike, please call me at 725-1177 or 355-4265 -- or call the police.  Or offer to buy the bike from the rider -- I'll reimburse of course. The rider will probably have no idea of the value  of the bike.  Thanks , John Vookles

Support your local bike shop-- They have rides of all sorts. Riding with a shop or with the Hightailers is a great way to learn new routes.

Bike Shops and links to their rides are listed here: Links

Critical Mass - Overton Square - Cooper and Trimble. Last Friday of the month, 6 pm or so.

No charge, no t-shirt, no plan other than to gather and ride together.

Fixed Gear Track Races - Starting Soon! Advocacy info, events and more - Fix Memphis 

Mason writes well about Memphis and biking at

Anthony has a nice bike blog at

Out of Town Rides: Riding a bike is a great way to get a feel for an area.

Enjoy the rides--

Cliff H.

Deadline: If you have an item you would like to have included in the newsletter, get it to me no later than the Wednesday afternoon before the newsletter is mailed.