Friday, September 24, 2010

FRIDAY – FINALLY!

Whew! This has been one LOOOONG unpleasant work week. Seems like the computer gods were out to throw every widget and gadget around into a looping cycle of self-destruction. Pair that up with Wednesday evening’s serious weather storm that knocked out power longer than our 3 hour server batteries could stand and it was a recipe for computer chaos. The first 25 phone calls letting us know that email wasn’t working was tedious. The next 25 were irritating. Oh well, things are back up and running just in time for the weekend!

Our Tuesday night BicycleHaywoodNC advocacy meeting was quite productive. We came away with the impression that we have a great opportunity to qualify for a $40,000.00 grant to get a bike plan for our home county developed. The catch is we have to raise a 20% match of funds sooooo, if anyone out there is feeling particularly philanthropic and wants to send $8,000.00 dollars our way, we’ll make darn sure it goes to getting the larger grant! Heck, if anyone out there wants to send a $1.00 bill to us, we’ll take that as well. We’d only need 8,000 people to chip in! (anyone serious enough to really make a donation, should email me for further information at gr8smokieszeke (at) gmail.com. You know to replace the (at) with @ so as to fool those sneaky bots!)

On a serious note, I have contacted League of American Bicyclist and REI about possible funding toward the $8k. Unfortunately, LAB sends their best wishes but have no money. REI has a grants program but it doesn’t sound as if we would qualify. Still, there is hope as we’ve received some initial positive responses from one of our local municipalities and have developed some other leads as well.

Thursday night’s first ride of our finalblock of 6 sponsored rides was small in numbers but high in pleasure. We had only 4 riders (2 regulars, 2 new participants) but, we had a nice ride around town and county throwing in some mild to moderate climbs. One of our riders, who has been with us throughout the summer and is returning to cycling after some time away, did very, very well as she held her own on the climbs. She came to us from the flatlands of Florida and has never done any climbing. It was good to see her workouts paying off as she climbed the hills on the ride. We (BicycleHaywoodNC) have committed to providing guided rides through the month of October or until there is insufficient after-work sunlight for rides. This will be 3 blocks of 6 rides each that we’ve supported this summer. By all accounts, the rides have been well received by participants and by the automotive public, which has been extremely accommodating and courteous.

Sad to report… 

Our friend Jim Artis at Cycling Experiences has reported on the death of Jure Robic, multiple time winner of RAAM. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jure’s family…

In other news…

The VeloHobo continues to evaluate his equipment used for his recent ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are into ultralight touring, you’ll find numerous hints, tips, and evaluations of equipment to get you leaner and meaner, well, maybe just leaner – when you tour. Want to see a neat way to track your ride/event from above? Check out recent postings on the A.R. Drone at Cycling Experiences. Our own recent Blue Ridge Breakaway continues to garner positive responses from participants. Ken Howle, one of our BicycleHaywoodNC members and a major coordinator for the recent BRB, informed us that rooms are already being booked in Haywood County for NEXT year’s Blue Ridge Breakaway to be held on August 20, 2011. Meanwhile, Fatty ponders the meaning of a $75.00 bike in preparation for the weekend…BikinginLA preps local riders for Friday’s Critical Mass ride and hopes for appropriate behavior by the massive crowd, i.e., it is NOT acceptable for massive numbers of cyclists to ride through the isles of local stores. Are you simply in the mood for some incredible photography of bicycles? You’ll not find any better than that offered up at Eco-Velo.

The Navigator and I are on our way to learn to “throw our own pizza crust” Big J. has been perfecting his style this summer and baking (?) pizzas on his Big Green Egg. Tonight, he shares his knowledge… (Cold libation required…)

Have a great weekend as the Harvest Moon wanes…

- Zeke

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