Bike it and shine on: Knoxville’s Tour de Lights 2014

Snowman bike -- Knoxville's Tour de Lights 2014If you’ve ever wondered what 1,000 lighted entries in a bike parade would look like, come to Knoxville’s Market Square right before the official start of Tour de Lights, a newly-designated (and proud of it!) Christmas in the City event. From humble beginnings of about 100 bikers eight years ago, the ever-growing bike tour sees creative riders putting as much time and creativity into one-upping their own festive attire as they do adorning their bikes.  Take a look at what we saw.  Scott West called it “a Dr. Seuss parade” (“Spin city, holiday style,”Knoxville News-Sentinel, December 20, 2014) running from Market Square through Fourth and Gill to Old North Knoxville and back.  And it’s got to be the wackiest, “bestest” five-mile Tour de Lights in the South!

Pee Wee Herman kisses girlfriend

Pee Wee Herman plants a big smooch on Miss Yvonne while Batman looks on — Knoxville’s Tour de Lights 2014

As you would expect, Santa Claus and the Missus were there . . .

Santa and Mrs. Claus, Tour de Lights 2014

as was a team of red riders from Loudon, Tennessee . . .

Dressed in red -- a team from Loudon

and a merry band of snow women!

Snow women -- Tour de Lights 2014

Little kids seemed mostly an afterthought, overshadowed by the funky, dazzling, grown-ups on the scene.  Some young riders just looked around and “hung out” until Start Time was announced.

Puzzled kid at Tour de Lights 2014

Others became half of a Selfie Duo whenever Mom could get ’em to hold still and look at the camera.

Mom and child taking selfie -- Tour de Lights 2014

One man wearing a See Rock City birdhouse just smiled as he and his cardinal mostly watched the action on the square.

See Rock City birdhouse hat -- Tour de Lights 2014

We couldn’t remember if these three riders, the only Biblical ones around, represented “We Three Kings of Orient Are” or Three Wise People.  Didn’t matter.  They were having fun being kingly and silly at the same time.

Thee kings at Tour de Lights, 2014

Ellie Faul, Jennie Andrews, and Saul Young in search of the big star!

Some bikers like this lady with the sign needed a little untangling . . .

Untangling a rider's attire, Tour de Lights, Knoxville

and this duo decided that the couple who rides together stays together.  Looks like a great kick-off to a long marriage to us!

Just married couple -- Knoxville's Tour de Lights

A whole family joined the fray with an able son riding his own bike while his little sibling got a ride-along from his red-and-green parents.  Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

Family riding together -- Tour de Lights Knoxville 2014

Our favorite costumes had to be from this crafty couple — a tree and package duo — whose bikes morphed into reindeer with a little help from some corrugated cardboard, battery packs, and lights.

Tree and package -- Tour de Lights, Knoxville

Finally the announcement came from organizer  Line up.  We’ll start in five minutes. And line up they did.  While we sipped free hot chocolate passed out by Mast General Store,  young and old, colorful and twinkly, and everything in between started moving toward the start near Gay Street.

Lining up for the start -- Tour de Lights, Knoxville

We couldn’t follow along after that.  But next year, we may locate a cozy spot along the route where we can stand and cheer ’em on.  After all, what a great way to join our hometown in the Christmas in the City celebrations!

Merry Christmas bike sign -- Tour de Lights, Knoxville

Merry Christmas, everyone!


For more information: and Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program


About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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15 Responses to Bike it and shine on: Knoxville’s Tour de Lights 2014

  1. susanissima says:

    Lovely, warm and FUN!

  2. Amy says:

    Fun, creative, beautiful… way to celebrate! Love the bike decorations and lights. 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you, Rusha!

    • Not sure how I missed this nice comment, Amy. But in catching up with correspondence tonight, I wanted to say thanks for always being so positive. Hope your Christmas and now your New Year have both been great!

  3. prior says:

    what a fun post!!!

  4. Peripatetic Eric says:

    What fun!

  5. Lily Lau says:

    I’m so happy you all had so much fun!

    • Lily, thanks for reading and commenting! It’s always fun watching others enjoying something our city puts on. This is a fun event, and judging by the turnout, one that many, many people enjoy. Hope your holidays are good!

  6. And a Merry Christmas to you. The bike decorations and costumes remind me of Burning Man… a little. 🙂 –Curt

    • Curt, we’d love to see Burning Man — the people, the costumes, the event. Keep us posted if you go again. Thanks for commenting. The bike event was great for Knoxville!

      • It certainly looked like people were having fun.

        I expect Peggy and I will head back to Burning Man this year. Depends on the summer schedule. I’ve been 10 times, and it is a unique experience. Guaranteed. 🙂 –Curt

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