Knoxville, TN: AC Stencils DIY Bike Route Arrows
Earlier this spring a small stenciled image of a bike appeared on the pavement at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Luttrell Street. An arrow painted beside the bike pointed to the right. What’s this? I thought.
Later, I noticed more of the small stenciled bikes zigzagging through North Knoxville, leading the way down quiet neighborhood streets and little-used roads near industrial parts of town. They perfectly matched the route my husband takes when he bikes our child to school in the bike trailer.
“You did this!” I said.
He denied it.
Still, it must be a personal route, I thought, marked by a cycling enthusiast with an anarchist streak, pointing the way to a party; or maybe it was part of a whimsical scavenger hunt. But, the marks were quite consistent, the distance covered was large...could it be a city-sanctioned route? And yet, the stencils were a little low-tech to be official. They seemed to hover in a gray area somewhere between city traffic markings and graffiti.
After going through a short list of suspects, I got a promising tip, and one day I received a call from a man I’ll call “AC.”