Friday, July 30, 2010

NEW RIDERS GROUP COMPLETES 5TH WEEK

Our BicycleHaywoodNC sponsored ride for new and newly returning cyclists  on Thursday night completed the 5th of 6 planned rides last evening. We were pleased to have our largest turnout yet with 14 cyclists. The rides are intended to acclimate new riders to riding safely within a group, offer an opportunity for newly returning riders to ride back into shape, learn and re-learn the rules of the road, and create situations for the motoring public to get used to seeing cyclists on the roads. I think I can safely say that our expectations have been far exceeded by the response from riders and motorists alike.

Our riders have turned into a mix of new to cycling riders, visiting tourists to the area, renewed cyclists, and our Council members. Thus far, everyone has been quite satisfied with a cruise around Waynesville of about 10 miles. I have been most impressed by the motorists on the road, who have uniformly gone out of their way to be courteous letting our entire group cross in front of them at traffic lights or stop signs, giving plenty of room as they passed, and even helping to trigger a couple of automatic traffic light panels that we just couldn’t get to trip. I think that as close as we’ve been to discourteous behavior was one young adult male, riding in a pickup truck, hollered out at me “way to go Lance!” Hey, I’ve been called much worse and insulted by much better than that!

Officer Jim cruises Brown Ave.(Jim cruises up Brown Ave in the Village of Hazelwood) 

This week we were joined by a young couple from Raleigh, who were visiting in the area and saw our ride listed on a local website. We also had 5 other folks join us for the first time. Two were just back from 3 days riding the Virginia Creeper Trail.

We decided to change up our route a little bit this time and ended up adding about 2 miles to the overall trip. “Cross Country Stan” was our Ride Leader for the night and he added a couple of short climbs to the menu. We’ve been staying pretty flat or at least as flat as possible given that we live in the mountains. Everyone hung in there and made it to the tops of the climbs. A couple of folks got to the top by combining their hiking skills with their cycling skills but that was o.k. They get A+ for effort.

Big J tops a short climb(Big J tops a short climb up to Grimball Dr.) 

Grouped up on Grimball(Part of our troupe of 14 on Grimball Dr.)

The ride took a new turn down into one of Waynesville’s residential areas and along some back streets before the last little climb up Marshall Street and a return to Rolls Rite Bicycle shop. Judging from the post-ride remarks, I think we’ll call it a success.

My Massage Therapist chimes in…

Regular readers of this blog will recall that on Tuesday night of this week, my left calf went into full cramp while I was sitting at a traffic light in Canton. I was unable to get my foot clipped back in so had to do some odd combination of pushing, gliding, grimacing, and one-legged pedaling to get through the intersection. Fortunately, today was my scheduled monthly massage. My left leg has had what felt like a baseball sized knot in it since Tuesday. Wendy, once she quit laughing at the spectacle of me getting through the intersection and went to work on my knotted muscles, kindly informed me I was a “train wreck.” It’s always good when a professional opinion affirms what you think is your reality…

Until later,

- Zeke

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