2016 TOUR DE LIGHTS
More than a thousand people participated in the 10th annual Tour de Lights - a fun, free bike parade through downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. The route is about 5 miles long and takes about an hour to ride. All streets are completely closed for the event. Thanks to Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market for providing hot cocoa and cookies.
Prizes were awarded in these categories:
- Best costume - Adult
The Naughty Grinches
Runner Up - David & Debbie Stair - Christmas Trees
- Best costume - Child
Zack & Zoey Schade - O Christmas Tree
Runner Up - Eloise Wimmer - Candy Cane Girl
- Best bicycle and/or trailer
Kent Turnbull - Tandem Reindeer
Butch Evans - Monster Bike
- Best helmet
Randy Darnbush - Candy Cane
Garrett - Daft Punk-inspired custom helmet
- Best group with theme
The Pink Nightmares
- Best all around
Wes and Jesica Breitenbach - #worldslargestbikepoweredsanta
Jason Kinnaird - Possum Guy
Thank you to these businesses for donating the prizes!
Nothing Too Fancy
Knoxville Bicycle Company
Cedar Bluff Cycles
The Bike Zoo
Earth to Old City
Union Ave Books
River Sports Outfitters
Fountain City Pedaler
Bearden Bike & Trail
Restrooms were available at these businesses: Cafe 4, Market House Cafe, Stock & Barrel, Tomato Head, Trio, and Uncorked.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is definitely a ride, not a race. The average speed is less than 8 mph. If you start out and realize that you can’t make it the whole way, you can stop and wait for the group to come back by, or return downtown. The route is completely closed to traffic, with KPD officers at every intersection.
It depends on your child’s abilities on a bike. If your child has never ridden on the street, or hasn’t ever ridden five miles (on greenways, for example), this is not the time to try it for the first time. If your child doesn’t have good bike control skills, then he or she should be in a trailer or on a tag-a-long/trail-a-bike. When there are this many people riding together, it becomes a safety issue when kids who have trouble controlling their bikes are swerving unexpectedly. Remember, there are hills, and it is a nighttime ride.
We can’t stress enough that your child needs to be able to pay attention to people around them, and your instructions, in the midst of a lot of people and the dark. Go out on the greenways on a weekend, and make sure they stay close to you and listen to you when you give them instructions.
No, you sign in when you arrive at Market Square. You can RSVP for the event on Facebook if you would like!
Please be sure to allow enough time to find parking if you are driving, unload your bikes, and get ready. We want to leave at 7 p.m. promptly. You can park for free in Locust St., State St., and Summer Pl parking garages, as well as Market Square garage, which tends to fill up quickly.
If you want to be in the decorating contest, you should arrive early so that the judges have time to see you. They will be looking at everyone’s costumes and decorations between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The five mile route departs from Market Square and will tour the 4th and Gill and Old North neighborhoods before returning to the Market Square.
Please contact Kelley Segars
with any questions we have not answered!
Rules and Safety Information
There are some challenges that go along with riding with a thousand bicyclists. Please see our safety tips to help us all have a fun time!
Wear a helmet. Not only is this for your safety, you’ll be serving as a good role model for all the kids (kids 16 and under are required to wear helmets by law).
- By law, your bike should be equipped with a front white headlight and red rear reflector.
- Make sure your bike is in proper and safe condition, either by checking it yourself using the ABC Quick Check or taking it to your local bike shop. There will be safety checks available on Market Square between 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. but it’s best to have your bike checked before the last minute. Make sure your tires have air!