Louisville’s car-free scene

Louisville Car Free Happy Hour poster
Louisville Car-Free Happy Hour Poster

They rarely show up at the same place twice. They arrive mainly by bike, on foot or by bus. They’re not against cars and trucks, but they’d rather get around without using them.

They’re sometimes labeled “bike-peds” because they tend to cycle and walk a lot. That’s the main thing they have in common and that’s why they meet – to eat, drink and be merrily car-free (as much as possible in this highly motorized culture).

For more than a year now they’ve been meeting monthly at a movable feast they call Car-Free Happy Hour, a thoroughly grassroots event that celebrates getting around mainly by human power. One of the chief organizers, Katie McBride, passes around some printed posters and updates a Louisville Car Free Happy Hour facebook page alerting anyone and everyone to attend.

Don’t worry, you won’t be snubbed if you arrive by car. No one is likely to know or care. We all have choices to make. But even in the most miserable weather on Car Free Happy Hour nights, in  bone-chilling rain or snow, a couple dozen cyclists are apt to straggle in wearing reflective vests and foul weather gear. Outside you’ll see bikes locked to every solid object.

Over the past year, hosting venues have included Third Avenue Café, Sergio’s World Beers, Hillbilly Tea, The Monkey Wrench, Eiderdown, Dragon King’s Daughter, Bluegrass Brewing Co., La Rosita Mexican Grill, Smoketown USA, Big Blue Country and Vernon Lanes.

Since Car-Free Happy Hour is merely an event and not an organization, there are no officers. The event has no agenda. No one pays dues. But due to the efforts of a few organizers behind the scenes, speakers sometimes show up to talk briefly about one aspect or another of transportation – complete streets, safe routes to school, bus transportation, the bike and pedestrian master plan, or other related topics.

Jan. 2011 Louisville Car Free Happy Hour at Eiderdown
Louisville Car-Free Happy Hour last month at Eiderdown

Don’t miss the February, 2011 edition of Car Free Happy Hour 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 10, at Browning’s Brewery and Restaurant, adjacent to Slugger field in beautiful downtown Louisville!

Free parking for pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders. (Drivers, don’t forget to feed the meter if you park before 6:00!).

Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.

PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane. Share the road.

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Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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