Meet Memphian no. 111, Doug Campbell (and his awesome bike helmet). He’s an economics instructor at the U of M, big music nerd, and the force behind the blog Biking in Memphis.
Name: Doug Campbell
Occupation: Economics Instructor at the University of Memphis
Hometown: It’s hard to pick one. I was born in Huntsville, AL, but my family moved to Knoxville when I was four, where I grew up and went to college. My job brought my wife and I to Memphis in 2006.
Neighborhood: Cooper-Young all the way, baby.
I ride a bicycle because: it’s fun. I imagine that my carbon footprint has dropped dramatically in the three years that I’ve been a commuter cyclist in Memphis. But mostly, it’s just fun. I really hope that more people reconnect with cycling as something that is both fun and practical. I realize that the streets of Memphis are not known as being particularly cyclist-friendly, but that’s changing.
My favorite place to be outside in Memphis is: It’s a tie between Overton Park, the Greenline, Shelby Farms, and my backyard. I’m kind of a homebody in that regard.
I’ve always wanted to: Have a light saber and some Jedi mind skills. That would be sweet. Plus, an X-Wing fighter for when the weather is too rough for me to bike to campus. I could park it on the roof of my building.
The best kept secret at the U of M is: all of the amazing things the University is doing to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint. In the past few years we’ve implemented a recycling program, created an urban garden, begun composting, switched some of our vehicle fleet to electric, purchased fuel-efficient lawn equipment, and replaced incandescent light bulbs with compact-fluorescent light bulbs.
I’m passionate about: music, commuter cycling, economics, teaching economics, higher education, my wife, my home, my family and my friends. Also, a good single-malt scotch, india pale ales, obscure horror movies and reading.
I hope that: As more roads are striped for bike lanes, I see more people biking in Memphis.
It’s Friday night. I’m probably: Probably? I’m definitely at home with my wife, watching a horror movie from Black Lodge and eating pizza from one of the many outstanding pizza joints in Memphis. We are completely domesticated and boring, and I love it.
My favorite thing about spring in Memphis is: the slow eruption of colors from blooming trees and flowers. Plus being able to bike to campus without wearing multiple layers of clothing.
Something people don’t know about Memphis is: how many great things are happening here. What excites me most is the installation of bike lanes around the city. My commute to work on Southern Avenue has been dramatically improved since the bike lanes were striped, and I hope to see many more bike lanes around town, especially on Cooper and Madison.
My bike helmet is: the new love of my life. (Sorry, sweetie. You’re always on my mind, but my helmet is always on my head.)
I love Memphis because: I could go on and on about all the great things happening in this city, but mostly what I love about Memphis is that it is home.