Tour de Lights Delights

Tour de Lights, Knoxville, December 2011

What could make this year’s Tour de Lights better than last years? An extra thirty degrees and less rain. It was a warm night with a threat of rain, but it held off until after the riders returned to Market Square and melted back into the night.

Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Tour de Lights Staging Ground


Tour de Lights 2011, Knoxville

 The bicyclists gathered in front of the stage at the Bill Lyons Pavilion on Market Square where many posed for photographs. One young girl groaned when I asked to take here picture and said I was the seventh person to ask. But she smiled. Most people seemed to enjoy having their pictures taken and there were at least as many cameras as bicycles. I suppose given the effort many of them had taken to put together their costumes and trick out their bikes they were happy to show them off. I did have one person decline to be photographed. I think that makes about four people out of the hundreds I photographed.

Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Tour de Lights crowd shot pre-ride, Knoxville 2011


Happy Santa, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011

 There were live trees, hats that moved up and down and menorahs. There were single bikes, bicycles made for two, extra tall bikes and hand-propelled bikes. There were people of all ages but, as always, the children were the cutest. Some people came with a theme in mind from the Grateful Dead to the more seasonal wise men and shepherd family. There were many Santas from the conventional to the sexy. Some dressed up and some wore long johns only.

Shepherds and Wise Men, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011

Biking Buddies, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Automated Hat, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011

The gathering left via Wall Avenue and rode to the Fourth and Gill neighborhood before winding their way back into the downtown area via Gay Street, arriving back at their starting point within an hour. Not intended as a race, but more a promenade on two wheels, the group seemed as jovial on their return as when they left. A soft mist fell, but it was lighter than last year and it didn’t threaten to freeze on contact, which was an improvement.

Happy Christmas Family, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Proud Mama and Cutie-pie of the night, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Grateful Dead Christmas Biker

It would be two hours before the threat of rain turned to actual drops downtown. By that time the participants had enjoyed hot chocolate with friends and family and returned to their homes to begin planning next year’s costumes and themes. It was another great night in the city.

He’s got it all going on, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Daddy/Daughter Delight, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011


Ho, Ho and Ho, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011

Riders exit Market Square, Tour de Lights, Knoxville, 2011