Thursday, April 30, 2009

Early Morning Considerations

While I await my first cup of freshly brewed Organic Guatemalan coffee, several miscellaneous and fragmented thoughts are running through my head. Some of them are quite clearly cycling related while others are considerably more tangential in their connectedness to the world of cycling. Let’s see what flows caffeine free for the moment…

Local Bicycle Advisory Council grows: I am please that our little troupe has grown by one more person with the acceptance of my invitation to join our fledgling group. Michelle Trantham comes highly recommended as someone who can get things done. She is the current Publicity Officer for the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. In fact, she has already started making an impact in our county by offering up the following upcoming information on the Ride of Silence.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

National Ride of Silence
WHAT: Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max. 12 mph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.
LOCATION: Hundreds of locations world wide, or hold your own selected ride.
ASHEVILLE, NC: There will be a relatively flat, 5 mile ride in Asheville. It will begin and end at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. The route travels through downtown, toward UNCA, and through Montford.

CONTACT: Pattie Moore at 828-225-4941 or

On May 20, 2009, at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride Of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. (Read the full history at

The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There is no brochure, no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during Bike Safety month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for those who have been killed or injured.

Please check the resources on the National Ride of Silence website:

If there is a Ride Of Silence in your area, we encourage you to join them. If there is not a ride planned in your area, please consider adding your city to the ever-growing list of sites. To get information on how to organize and host a Ride of Silence, please click:

Our county has recently experienced an event in which a 4-wheel vehicle driver ran over a cyclist and did significant harm as would be expected in that kind of encounter. I’ve written previously on the matter so I’ll not include the details again in this post but you can refresh your memory by clicking HERE! The incident remains alive and keeps garnering fresh Letters to the Editors in our local paper each week.

(Hmm, that first taste of coffee goes down smooth… I think a couple of more linking neurons just awakened for the day!)

Somewhat related to cycling: At first blush, you may wonder what the following link has to do with cycling. The sheer excitement of what you’ll see here should stand on its own merits but, for me, the cycling connection is that of seeking out the rush of a controlled descent or maybe its the endorphin rush of taking risk in physical activities. At any rate, I post this here to get your blood flowing!


Even further afield: A friend sent this to me the other day and it is just so darned good I want to share it with as wide an audience as possible. I’ve been impressed with the sense of community I’ve observed in cyclists. While I don’t necessarily find it any more or less intense/acute/ingrained than other groups with whom I’ve been lucky enough to be involved, it nevertheless is significant. This music video link really speaks to the greater community and perhaps holds out hope for an even larger sense of community that we can all share. Besides that, it is just a fine song! Click HERE for an excellent respite from your day or to just get your day started or, heck, to end your day on a pleasant note!

This weekend, my “better half” and I will be heading to Myrtle Beach, SC for our annual Rotary District Conference. We’ll get a chance to see up close and personal the damage done from the largest wildfire in 30 years to afflict S.C. The weather forecast is for rain throughout the weekend so riding time will be limited to non-existent for me. We need the rain here in Western North Carolina as we have our own wildfires burning. Day before yesterday, there were 4 separate wildfires burning on the Cherokee Boundary according to local news reports.

Well, I’ve enjoyed that first cup of java and the first rays of sun for the day have made themselves known over Mt. Pisgah. I think it’s time for that second cup of coffee on the deck.  I’ll sign-off for now…

Until later,

-- Zeke

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