Cold temperatures kept Nellie and I from adventuring much this month. I’ve risked driving a car (maybe more than I should) and only taken her out for short errands. That changed this weekend!
Each year Knoxville, TN closes a course around Market Square for about an hour and a half to allow about 1,000 riders on bikes, trikes, tandems, and unicycles to hit the streets for a highly-unregulated, wildly-festive parade. Billed as “a fun, free bike parade through downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville”, riders are encouraged to get creative with lights, costumes and decorations. The route is about 5 miles long and takes about an hour to ride (read “very slow pace” here). All streets are completely closed for the event. Hot cocoa and treats are available thanks to Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market.
Tuesday, M posed the idea to deck out bikes with “Christmas Clutter” and join the festivities at the 10th Annual Tour de Lights in Knoxville, TN. (I am staying with an outdoorsy family for a couple of weeks.)
Wednesday, K and I shopped for the necessary tinsel and twinkle (K drove). We started at Goodwill for costumes, hit Big Lots, picked up M from school, and then finished out at Everything’s $1. Fortified with tater tots and frosty beverages, we spent the evening decking the
halls bikes. Three reindeer and Santa. Nellie wore a sleigh costume for the evening.
Friday, we loaded the bikes and navigated to a public garage. We arrived a bit ruffled, but had a glorious time! Lots of carols, lots of lights, and even more “Merry Christmas”es from the poor schmucks caught by closed streets and forced to watch. A cone-shaped Santa with flapping arms towering over a tandem definitely deserved a prize for best decorations. While we didn’t stick around for judging, I’m pretty sure we were in the running for “Best Group Theme”. Other than a herd of Christmas pigs (the size of the herd was impressive), I didn’t see a group who compared. However, the event was NOT a race or competition… it was simple, glorious, festive silliness.
After the ride we did another 3 mile out-and-back for a bite at Mellow Mushroom and pass through UT’s campus. After a long week, the kids sacked out in the car within a few minutes. Fun memories to entertain me on another sleepless night!
I bet M hopes that K will be available for some kind of pre-Christmas merriment next year. I’m looking forward to my next biking adventure. It turns out that bike-people are my kind of people: a long suspected correlation. Will I see any of you there next year?