Hello everyone! I’m Cort Percer. When nice weather happens bike shops get busy (I know because I led the fine team at Peddler Bike Shop for a few years), and while Jim, The Bikesmith, is busy wrenching on your bikes I’ll be taking over the Cheers & Gears column. But we’re gonna switch things up a bit and caIl my version Bikes & Beer & BBQ!
So why have me sub in for Jim? Well, I currently work in land conservation with TennGreen and advocate for parks, livability, and bicycles through Mid South Greenways and Bike Walk Memphis. Throughout the years I’ve written Fix Memphis, Better Bikes & Gardens, and now you can follow my adventures on ADANAY.co. You can also visit my Instagram where I find all kinds of #peoplewhoridebikes.
Bikes & Beer & BBQ & Memphis T-Shirt at The Bikesmith or ADANAY’s Webstore.
This week I’ve been catching up with Tulio Bertorini. (You’ve seen his name mentioned on this site a lot!) He’s a very busy man but is always eager to help out with any bike related activity or event happening in Memphis. From organizing charity rides to education initiatives to public bicycle infrastructure he’s working to Make Memphis a better place for people who ride bicycles. Visit the Memphis Hightailers online to become a member.
As President of Memphis Hightailers you’ve probably ridden a lot more places than most people, so where is your favorite place to ride in Memphis?
That is a tough one. I have a few answers for this one. For off-road a favorite place to ride is Herb Parsons. They have added many miles of trails since I first started riding there many years ago. For riding on the road I always enjoy riding at Shelby Forest but hated the drive to get there. So I normally ride from East Memphis to Oakland and have my regular refueling spots on the way. My favorite is cyclocross and I always look forward to cross races at Shelby Farms or Mud Island for the Outdoors Cyclocross Race.
Riding bikes makes me thirsty. Where is your favorite watering hole and what is your favorite beer?
This is probably where I will disappoint many cyclists out there. I don’t have a favorite watering whole or beer since since I don’t drink. So does that mean this section is now called Bikes and BBQ? Of course, I don’t have a problem with anyone else drinking. But if I were a drinker I would probably support many of our local Breweries.
Nothing wrong with that! So what is your go-to spot for BBQ and what style?
Now that is one I can answer. I love ribs and prefer my ribs dry. I do have a few favorites depending on the part of town I am in since I don’t eat it everyday. If I am downtown I have to have some Blues City Cafe ribs as I don’t head downtown too much. If in Midtown I enjoy Central BBQ Ribs. If I am desperate for a rib fix and don’t want to drive too far I head to Corky’s for my dry ribs; it is only a few miles from the house. I prefer pulled pork over chopped pork. I love it when it is moist and juicy. Not a fan of places that are dry and you have to add sauce to get rid of the dryness.
So now that we have the essential questions answered, who are the Hightailers and what do they do?
That is a long story. Memphis Hightailers was started in 1962 with a group of people that wanted to ride together. The club has evolved over the years. We had a race team in the 70s/80s with our own team vehicles. The past 5 years we concentrated more on group rides and now have over 30 Weekly rides for all levels of rider. We even have a few trail rides. The past three years we have been concentrating more on education and safety. All of our ride leaders are required to take our Safe Street Cycling Class and an optional CPR Class. We also have invested a good amount on having League Cycling Instructors. We have close to 20 and are already planning our 2017 Class. We have also sent people to the National Bike Summit to represent local cyclists on Capitol Hill. So the Hightailers are more than just a bike club. We want to be the club for anyone with a bicycle.
Thirty rides a week is a lot! Which ride is your favorite?
Everybody we’ve interviewed so far has said that you are the go-to person for getting into bicycling in Memphis. How did you get into bicycling?
After winning Cycling Club of the year from the League of American Bicyclists, what’s next for the Hightailers?
Hmmm. What’s next? That is a good question. We recently acquired our own space and we want to step up our education program and also have many member events and public events. Aren’t you a member? 🙂 Our overall goal is really to try and help get more people on bicycles and riding. We are working with local business to try and get them to become Bicycle Friendly Businesses and we are hoping that will help. We even have a member building bike racks and repair stations for us that we hope to sell in the near future at much lower cost than those that are mass produced in China. Even allow our members to purchase them to get them installed in various places.
Finally, can you teach Jim how to ride a wheelie?
I am guessing he already knows how. He has had some practice on his pump track!